Wednesday morning was beautifully clear, and we wanted to do less running around. So after a lazy morning at home, we first stopped by Spello’s weekly market at the bottom of the hill. Many trucks with clothing and housewares, plants for gardens, a porchetta truck, and some stands selling “antiques.” No produce, sadly.
We then drove south. just past Trevi, and found the Tempietto del Clittuno. It is on the old road that parallels the highway, near the Fonti del Clittuno, an ancient spring that is now a pretty park. The Tempietto was built in the 4th or 5th centuries using Roman fragments from the area. It’s a darling structure, with the weathered columns set high. If you squint, you can see that two of them were carved to look like palm trees. Climbing the stairs, you enter into a tiny chapel with carvings and 7th century faded frescoes of Jesus, and Saints Peter and Paul. Set above the river, near an old mill with no one around but the bored girl in the little ticket office, its an evocative place.
From there, we drove the short distance to Trevi, a hilltown that rises dramatically from the valley floor. There are some interesting churches and sights up there, which we decided to save for another day.
We did stop at the Renaissance church of Madonna delle Lacrime, to see the Perugino frescoes. Closed up tight. Larry called the local tourist office, and was told someone would open it at four.
We took a drive up the hillsides around Trevi, which are thickly blanketed with olive trees. I had considered renting a place up in these hills, and wanted to check out the area to see if it was as remote as I’d thought.. The road was quite good, except for the final stretch up to Campbello Alto. A miniscule town, stone buildings, deserted but for a small dog who thought we were the best thing he’d seen in weeks. Beautiful views down to the valley, with slopes of olives and some villages perched on hillsides. I noticed that the olive trees on one slope were browned and dead, wonder what happened to them?
By now we were hungry. I found on the map a hotel ad restaurant up the hill, we called, and were told they were open for lunch. La Fontanella had a pretty terrace under the trees, where a group of business people were eating huge platters of antipasti while simultaneously talking on their phones. We had a long, wine-drenched lunch, accompanied by a friendly old dog who looked like he’d been eating pasta four times daily. As usual, we split everything. One house antipasto platter of local salumi and crostini with assorted toppings, a pasta with truffles, a simple salad, and grilled lamb, which came out on its own tabletop grill. All this, and the owner didn’t think we ordered enough! Good food, nice place to spend time on a lazy day. And I got to admire the owner’s infant granddaughter.
It was nearly four when we finished, so w headed back to the church outside Trevi. Still closed. We were going to meet some online acquaintances in Spello, so we figured we’d try another time, and headed back home.
Back in Spello, we enjoyed hosting Mac and Karen from Texas for conversation and wine in the garden. Larry walked them back down the hill, and I did some reading and writing, then threw together a salad for dinner. After dinner, we spent a fun evening chatting with the Canadians in the other apartments, contributing to the enormous bin of empty wine bottles accumulating.