Video: Imagine - Wine & Cooking Under the Tuscan & Umbrian Sun
Imagine - Wine & Cooking Under the Tuscan & Umbrian Sun
|Dec 1, 2018
|49,556 | | Our Vacations
This video features highlights from our Tuscany Cooking Vacations in Italy, based in Soriano nel Cimino. These clips were put together just a few years after Culture Discovery began planting its roots in the quaint hilltop hamlet of Soriano nel Cimino. If you have not yet read the story of how we began, please click here to read all about it.
This video typifies what you can expect to experience when you come to Soriano for one of our vacation weeks. Over the years, some of the names and the places have changed, however, the spirit and the commitment to which we bring an authentic Italian experience each and every week has never changed. In fact, all of our destinations are based on the same principles that were there from the beginning. Our guests can expect to be treated like family and friends while having the vacation-of-a-lifetime.
The video is 100% authentic and mostly raw footage of our Under the Tuscan and Umbrian Sun Vacations.
Some Soriano History
Only an hour from Rome, the village of Soriano nel Cimino began as an Etruscan settlement more than 2000 years ago. There are many sites in and around the area that prove that Soriano was an important stronghold against the impending expansion of the Roman legions. The town has a natural defense barrier with the Cimini mountain range on the south side of the village. This held off the Roman army for many years, however, the Etruscans were outmanned during the 2nd-century b.c.e. as it then became under Roman rule.
Soriano did not see too much expansion until the early middle ages when the territory was owned by the powerful Orsini Family. Their very noble family included bishops, cardinals, and popes. Soriano was the perfect place to build a castle as it offered high ground, a great defendable position and was within a day or two’s ride from Rome. In times of conflict or threat of disease, or just to escape the hot summer weather in the Eternal City, the clergy and company would retreat to the confines of the durable and nearly impenetrable fortress, Castello Orsini, in Soriano.
After the rule of the Orsini family, it fell into the powerful and infamous Borgia family. In fact, when Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia was vying for his papal rule, he included the castle of Soriano as a “gift” to one of the Cardinals as an enticement to gain favor and his vote that would be the deciding factor in Borgia “earning” his election as Pope.
More about the video, Our Tuscany Cooking Vacations, and Soriano in those early years
There are scenes of the Villa Eddarella before and soon after the building of the “new” kitchen where we now have our cooking classes. Originally the classes were taught in the villa’s traditional, family kitchen, which was limited in size and also amenities. While everyone become very close, very quickly, we realized that a new, more working-style kitchen would be necessary.
Everything has been done to enhance the guest experience. Looking at the video, you will see several wineries. These are now wonderful friends of ours! They understand that our guests are their guests and treat everyone as friends and welcome guests with whom they want to share their love of their families and their amazing wines.
We also visit the Madonna delle Macchie Olive Oil Mill and Winery in Castiglione in Teverina. This olive oil mill has been continuously run by the same family for four generations. We think that their olive oil is one of the best in Umbria! We would declare it The Best, however, we also must respect the equally, beautifully-made traditional, cold-press olive oil from our other olive oil maker friends in Umbria, The Carletti’s. Carlo Carletti and his family are incredible hosts and we love visiting them on our Cooking Vacations in Umbria, based in Norcia and Foligno, not to mention our special weeks in which we harvest olives and make olive oil on these vacations.
Back to Madonna delle Macchie...
They also make some wonderful wines! They make a white wine that is similar to Orvieto Classico, using Grechetto grapes, which are indigenous to the area. Their red wines also utilize local grapes as well as Sangiovese, which is very prevalent throughout central Italy. You will meet Serena and Leonardo, the brother and sister that run the family-farm and are the makers of the wine and olive oil. You will also most likely meet their mother, Nadia, who is the amazing chef behind the relaxing lunch we have in the garden while overlooking the beautiful hills and valleys nearby. Nadia is also responsible for making the wonderful local bean-dish, Faggioli all’uccilletto. This fantastic recipe can be found on our website. Our visit here is truly one of the most memorable experiences of the week and one where the guests never want to leave!
There are also scenes of some of the annual Medieval Chestnut Festival, otherwise known in Italian as the Sagra delle Castagne. This festival takes place during the first two weekends of October and features all the regalia and pageantry reminiscent of the middle ages where the town is specially outfitted during a one-month period. Starting in mid-September, Soriano begins its transformation into a medieval village. It is really an outstanding time to be in Soriano and is known famously around Italy as one of the best representations of a re-creation, not only of the village but also through the numerous events that take place. Particularly, the parade that represents the different clans or "Contradas" that makeup Soriano and the influences they have had on the community from the times of the middle ages. We still offer guests the opportunity to experience the festival each year. We have two Chestnut Festival vacations each year, based out of Soriano.
The underlying and running theme throughout the video is really about the people. Sure, we go to some beautiful and interesting places and see some amazing things, we cook and enjoy some incredible food, and drink some fantastic wines. But none of those things would taste, see or feel as wonderful as they are without our incredibly wonderful guests that come every week. Whether guests come as couples, friends, family or solo travelers, everyone bonds very quickly in a very short time and then the fun never stops! This has always been at the very core of a Culture Discovery Vacation and one that continues week in and week out – regardless of the location or destination.
We certainly hope you enjoy watching the video as much as we enjoyed making it. We are constantly making new videos and you never know if you’ll find yourself in one of them! We’ll be looking forward to seeing you in Soriano or Chianti. Or maybe it’s the Amalfi Coast you are dreaming of. You can also find us in Bologna, Sicily or Norcia. Wherever you decide to come visit us, you will most certainly have the vacation-of-a-lifetime! There is so much more information about all of these destinations that you can easily find them throughout our website.
A Little Trivia About Soriano nel Cimino
Thanks for watching!