And then the heavens opened and . . .September 10, 2017
It RAINED! It has not rained in Umbria since late May. Today that streak came to an end. Our hosts had the good sense to cancel the three hour walk portion of the plan. We did connect with several hilltop towns and learned about olive oil production and the medieval paper making process.
Our first hill top village was Gualdo Cattaneo -- Mary found the town photo on the web -- when we arrived it was merged with a cloud and it was pouring down. We initially took refuge in a church. Here you see all of us looking pretty pathetic listening to an interesting lecture
The round tower(s) are from 1492. We got to explore the main tower extensively. This was the high-tech development of its day. The round shape and 12 feet thick rock walls were designed to withstand the emerging war technology of the cannon.
We were supposed to take a stroll through olive orchards but there was forked lightening happening around the hill so it did not seem prudent to walk with metal umbrellas over our heads -- Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.
So we got on the bus and drove down to an olive oil facility. Main takeaway here was the fact that this product is manipulated by the industry. From what we learned it is likely that the "olive oil" we get in the states is "at best" a mixture of various cooking oils. At worst it can be 10% olive oil and 90% petroleum. Makes me wonder what we are actually getting at Costco.
After another spectacular meal we bussed to Bevagna and learned about the paper making process using medieval technology. Mary was called into action when this watery mixture was placed in a frame and transferred to a stack in preparation for pressing to remove the water. Bad photo because it was pretty dark -- that's Mary with the white hat like thingy on her head.
I had made rash predictions about the weather and was publicly humiliated to the great satisfaction / enjoyment of the group.Read more