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e-borghi travel 8, Taste and villages: Città della Pieve: red as gold, precious as flowers

There’s always a reason to visit Città della Pieve, but there’s a very particular one in Autumn, a very special, perfumed, coloured reason. It’s something that has been used for centuries not in the kitchens only. It’s the saffron and this city of Umbria always celebrates it at its best by organizing an event that lasts for three days that is called “Zafferiamo” that will be held on the 19th, the 20th, the 25th and the 27th October this year. “Zafferiamo” aims at celebrating this precious product from the soil that is a pride for this city and it’s also a good source of revenue (the producers from the 15 districts that make the “Croco di Pietro Perugino – the Saffron from Città della Pieve” are gathered in an Association that guarantees its origin and its quality) and also one of the foundations of the history and the culture of this area. The festival is focused on all the different facets of this product starting with the cuisine, actually the tasty moments won’t be missing thanks to its perfume of hay and iodoform, as the experts say, due to the molecules of picrocrocin and safranal that are contained in the pollen of the crocus sativus, the flower from which the saffron is obtained. Restaurants will prepare some dedicated menus on this occasion. “Zafferiamo 2019” taste, atmosphere and workshops The market-exhibition is going to be held in the historical center where the Association’s producers are going to exhibit all kinds of products made from this precious spice, the cheese, the salami, the ice-creams and the appetizers, the pizza and the sweets. But this is not enough since the saffron is also used to make the dyes, the colors and the cosmetic products. If you fancy discovering how you can use it take part in the workshops to learn how to color the fabrics, how to use it to paint the water color paintings and get all the shades from this red gold. If you prefer not to handle the colors and the brushes you will have the chance to see the artworks by many different artists or you may also get dirty with the flour in the food workshop “Mani in pasta” The variety of the uses of saffron is so wide that it has entered into this city’s DNA which is red as well because of the bricks that feature its architecture. It’s much more than a color shade, it’s the true core of this city’s traditions and history. Curvy upon the green of Valdichiana Città della Pieve is a placed blessed by the beauty of its landscape (if it ever existed…). It overlooks the Valdichiana and lake Trasimeno, on the border between Umbria and Tuscany and it offers an amazing view at its 500 metres of altitude on Mount Cimino and the Mount Sibillini, the Pratomagno, the Cetona and Amiata. Stroll around the narrow streets of the historical center, raise your eyes, admire the walls made of the red bricks, the tower-bells, the very narrow streets (for instance the vicolo Baciadonne seems to be the most narrow street of Italy), you’ll breath the fresh air and you’ll be overwhelmed by the same feelings that used to surround Perugino, the great Mater of painting who was born in Città della Pieve although his name. If you know something about the Renaissance painting you can’t forget the backgrounds painted in the works from that Age, the landscapes, the hills, the fortresses since they were the painting translation of what those painters could see before their eyes together with that special light that makes everything so beautiful, poetic and charming. The cathedral, the frescoes, the jails Città della Pieve keeps some of the most famous artworks by Perugino: “The Descent of the Cross”, an impressing fresco although it has been damaged along the centuries. It’s kept at the Civic Diocesan Museum of Santa Maria dei Servi. Another incomparable work is the amazing “Adoration of the Three Kings” which is set in the Oratory of Santa Maria dei Bianchi, not far from the Cathedral where the “Baptism of Christ” can be seen. If you stroll around the city you’ll be impressed by the cathedral, it’s standing in the core of the city that developed around it. Palazzo dei Priori and Palazzo della Corgna face the cathedral, it’s an ancient building where you can enter by going through a frescoed room as well as the ceilings and the walls all around. One of the main landmarks of the city is Rocca Perugina, a former stronghold and a jail: you can visit the rooms, the narrow tunnels, the ancient Jails and a few towers. The contemporary art is also present in Città della Pieve: at the Space Kossuth and in the garden of laurels you can see some very interesting works and installations that are perfectly set in the surrounding Medieval context. The “four seasons” city So, there’s always a good reason to visit Città della Pieve: on Christmas, quite soon, the Monumental Nativity House (Presepe) is arranged in the cellars of Palazzo della Corgna, it‘s made of more than a hundred big statues that are artistically arranged in a perfect way. The living pictures is another touching tradition, they are set on Easter Sunday and Monday in the cellars of Palazzo Orca. They recall the Passion and the Resurrection of Christ with more than 40 living characters. The “Infiorata” that is held in June is an amazing festival, all the streets are covered in flower petals that shape colourful images. In August the famous “ Palio dei Terzieri” is held. It’s the recalling of an ancient Medieval tradition called the “Bull’s run”, it’s a sort of corrida that used to be held along the village’s streets. Nowadays this event aims at celebrating the culture and the traditions from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in Umbria (the parade in period costumes can’t be missed) and the bull’s hunting has been replaced with a competition during which the contestants who represent the different “terzieri” (districts) compete in the archery discipline by hitting the silhouettes that reproduce the bulls.

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TAGS :
  • #PalazzodeiPriori
  • #RoccaPerugina
  • #RunningoftheBull
  • #Trasimeno
  • #Umbriandishes
  • #Valdichiana
  • #cityoftheparish
  • #foodandwine
  • #saffron
  • #sapphires

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