San Gemini

San Gemini is an Umbrian medieval village with well-maintained alleys, arches & staircases.  If devoid of cars or passers-by, you would have an unsettling feeling that you are lost in another era that at times, I had to fight the urge to check my phone for confirmation that we are indeed in 2011. Walking around at lunchtime on a Sunday, there was completely no life in the streets.  Everyone was either indoors, in the church or at the main piazza which we left long before.

Italy has a lot (and I mean a lot!) of beautiful medieval villages that by now, after tirelessly traveling around every weekend of autumn and spring I should have already seen everything.  The answer is no.  I have covered a lot of the central Italian towns, a good number in the south and a bit less in the north but I still keep on discovering new ones on every trip.  Even my husband who has always been an avid traveler himself all his life has not been to the towns I take him to.  Our roles are reversed.  I take him to the medieval villages and to the local restaurants in his own country.  He thanks me for the wonderful places I show him and I thank him in return for his safe driving and more than extra patience in waiting for me take 100 photos of each stone we pass while he juggles nanny service of the two kids.

A sentence for history.  During the Roman times, San Gemini was known as Casventum.   It current name was assumed in the 9th century when a Syrian monk called Yemin (Gemino) came to preach.  Soon after, it became known as Santo Gemine.

Aside from the typical Umbrian specialties, it is popular for its curative calcium rich mineral water.  One glass of milk has a calcium equivalent to three glasses of water.  For a milk evader like me, it is a wonderful treat.

We have to practice precision in finding a table with food at a precise time before the stomachs of my kids start grumbling.  These stomachs are always perfectly on time, I might add.  For this, my most indispensable technological companion is my phone's Trip Advisor application to find a restaurant wherever we are located.   It saved us from a number of "I'm hungry and you're not feeding me" tantrums. 

Arriving in San Gemini at lunch time, I was able to locate a restaurant with local cuisine with above average reviews.  The Taverna del Torchio proved to be a good choice.  The appetizer until dessert were more than satisfactory and the place itself is aptly decorated in its medieval location.

The facade of Taverna del Torchio.
Inside the inner room of the restaurant.

Artichoke flan for antipasto.
Typical Umbrian antipasto.
Strangozzi con ragu'.  A local pasta that's a tad thicker than spaghetti with tomato and meat sauce.
Steak cooked on the fire.
Semifreddo (parfait) with hazelnuts & caramel, if I'm not mistaken. 
Ricotta and pear pie. 

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