Sunday, February 15, 2015

Snowy Mountain Lunch--Mormanno

Our friend Antonella from La Perla del Terreno invited us to go to an agrituristica in the country between Orsomarso and Mormanno for lunch. They are friends with the owners and she volunteered her husband Roberto to drive us in his Suzuki 4x4 jeep because there has been 30-40cm of snow in the mountains this week. We met 3 other of their friends at the Mussolini Bridge over the Fiume Lao, and both cars headed into the nearby mountains. Salvatore was driving the other car – a Mitsubishi very similar to our Subaru – all wheel drive wagon.

We had pretty snow flurries all morning in the village. The sun was out, but snow was blowing-in from the mountains. Nothing to stick of course. We have not had a real snow since December 2010.

2014 was a disaster here for olive oil and wine production. No olives on trees and everyone left their table grapes and wine grapes on the vine to rot. We never knew why.

Yesterday our farmacista told us that last winter was too mild, so the olives did not grow and also that last spring and summer were too cool, so the grapes did not develop the correct sugars or something. So, we should be happy with long cold winters for the olives and a hot spring and summer for the best wine! Climate is a touchy thing, good luck to us all!

Guido’s ego says he could have driven our Renault most of the way, but the driveway (viale) would have been too steep and slick for our car and although we have tire chains, who wants to lie around on the ground putting those on?

The agrituristica was very nice. Il Vecchio Fienile (old barn) They are on Facebook and Trip Advisor.  Enjoyed seeing the large dogs lying around in the snow.  In our town, too many people would be afraid of them, but these were tranquile. The place also has several bedrooms for in-season tourists.
Generally Guido likes to take photos of people without warning giving results like this one, 
everyone is busy talking and only Di and Graziana realize what he's up to...
The food was typical Calabrese mountain food – focus on meats, pasta and gnocchi . The secondo piatto was lamb and goose.  A surprise for us was at the end of the antipasto when they served fried eggs  (uovo fritto) that were very good and meant to dip bread into. Okay, not the most healthy lunch, but we seldom eat Italian 3 course meals as a regular thing.
So when Di asks Guido to warn everyone, she ends up with eyes closed, go figure...

We didn't walk around much after lunch due to winds, and temperature of -5C

This road is a beautiful drive year 'round and, amazingly, we found an image of the same curve from May 2010 when we first drove the route! We recommend taking the drive to Mormanno and either returning thru Papasidero or Lauria. Mormanno is at 840 metri, so I’d guess we were near 800m slm (sopra livello di mare = above sea level).

Goodbye Snow, arrivederci-- torniamo a Mormanno in primavera!

The next day, back at La Perla, the sun felt good on our faces again and we are glad we don't live up in the mountains any further than Santa Domenica Talao!


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