Friday, May 1, 2009

Montefalco, Bevagna and Bettona

We decided, starting rather late in the morning, that we would go back to Montefalco and see the rest of the town, then head for Bevagna and end up with Jo-Ann. So off we went with Beverly driving this time.
We entered Montefalco from the opposite side of town than the last time and took several pictures but, before we knew it, we were right back in the middle at the piazza and pretty much everything was closed up even though it was lunch time. We did find an internet café, though, and we checked our emails. Lee knew he would have some business that needed seeing to. It was a good place to people watch.

Bevagna started out being just about as interesting as Montefalco but without a good restaurant. As we walked from gate to gate not finding the Roman Theater – well we found it but the entrance was under construction so we couldn’t get in – we began to understand why Umbria is called the “undiscovered Tuscany.” But Lee pulled out a map of Bevagna and said we had missed the piazza where the two churches were together so we set off to find it/them. Thanks to the help of a nice man who knows the sign of people staring at a map and then all around them, we did indeed get to our goal. Alas, we didn’t have time to look into both churches – I’m not really sure we knew the second one was there even! – so we settled for the one. It really was a lovely little church, completely renovated in the last twenty years. The building was 13th century, I think, but the frescoes were much newer than that, maybe 18th.

After a few wrong turns – fortunately there were two ways into the parking lot so we made a few circles – we got on our way to Bettona, a tiny town of about 350 people that was begun by the Etruscans, razed and rebuilt by the Romans, razed and rebuilt by Napoleon and somehow not destroyed by WWII. The view is incredible! On one side of town you can see from Perugia to Assisi and beyond. We had a nice glass of local red wine before setting off on a tour of the town. One of the chapels was open enough for us to see their costumes and statues from the Good Friday parade – called something like the parade of the dead. Jesus was in a large wheelbarrow kind of cart and Mary was dressed in the most awful black garments lavishly trimmed in silver and gold. The chapel was pretty, though. ;-)
We trotted off home, again stopping at the grocery store. Bev and I baked the leftover pasta from our second night, adding ricotta, zucchini and a jar of sauce with basil in it. It was quite good and plenty for everyone. We tried a cheap bottle of Montefalco Rosso and it lived up to its price. I’m beginning to think that the wine is what is keeping us awake at night.

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