Travels with Tim and Lisa

"If my discoveries are other people's commonplaces I cannot help it – for me they retain a momentous freshness" (Elizabeth Bowen)

The Madonna and the Truffle, Monterchi, 21.10.05

Posted by Lisa Hill on September 10, 2006

Tim and Thorolf drove into Arezzo to sort out driver registration so that Tim could legally drive the car, while Tina and I explored Monterchi on foot. We walked down to the local enoteca and bought cheese and prosciutto, biscotti and vino, toted them back up to La Duetta and then set off down the hill to find the supermarket for less interesting necessaries. We bought some postcards, of course, and a cyclamen as a gift for Donatella, but abandoned the search for the supermarket and headed back ‘home’ when the rain came down heavily, just in time to meet up again with the boys.
We had a splendid lunch of prosciutto and salad (walnuts, apples, lettuce & gorgonzola with a white wine and olive oil dressing) and Madonna del Partothen set off to visit the Madonna del Parto (the Pregnant Madonna) by Piero della Francesca in the small local museum. It is just breathtakingly gorgeous – the face is a strong peasant one, but wise and lovely and the colours are beautiful. It was hard not to stand and look at it for ages and ages, but eventually we moved aside to let others have a look too.
From the sublime to the prosaic: off to the supermarket (which was nothing like Coles or Safeway, thank heavens!) to buy all kinds of interesting provisions, and then had a proper macchiato in the cafe. Just like the real thing in Melbourne, oh bliss!
 After that we returned to La Duetta and, in the highlight of our stay in Tuscany, Tim cooked The Truffle. He made some Apero cocktails first (as in Venice) and organised some Truffle Preparation Music, and then he sat down at the table and began.
He shaved the dirt off (as per Donatella’s instructions) and then with great pomp and ceremony divided it into quarters. We made silly jokes about needing to ‘audit’ the sharing. Tina made a brilliant salad of tomato and lettuce with a little basil seasoning and a dressing of white wine and EVO, Thorolf poured the wine and then we sat down while Tim dished up truffle omelettes one by one.
It was divine. So simple, and so delicious. A nice Pinot Grigio to go with it, and Thorolf toasted some bread on the fire and we had Pecorino cheese & toast for afterwards.
A wonderful day! Who cares about the weather?!

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One Response to “The Madonna and the Truffle, Monterchi, 21.10.05”

  1. […] José’s understated style offers many interesting observations about human nature.  In Italy where Elspeth is learning to be an art conservationist, she is befriended by an Australian family, and with her lover Guigi she goes on a picnic with them.  They visit Monterchi in Tuscany, a hilltop village where in 2005 we shared a villa with friends for ten days. […]

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