The past month has been filled with exploring the city of Rome but this past weekend we got a chance to see life outside of Rome. We went to multiple little towns in the Umbria region to experience different aspects of Italian commerce. We all rolled out of bed at the crack of dawn and made our way to the bus. On the way to the first stop, we were slowly woke up to the beautiful views of the Italian countryside.
A couple hours later we arrived at the Monino Olive Oil factory. The factory is set in an old mill complimented by the olive groves surrounding it. An olive oil expert described to us the process of making olive oil and all the health benefits of a good olive oil.
The olive oil expert! How cool of a job is that??
The best part was the tasting. Apparently, there is a whole procedure to tasting olive oil! So we all followed his lead in a process of sniffing and inhaling and swishing and breathing. Although having just olive oil was a little difficult so early in the morning, we learned a lot from the different tastes and smells. We were then given delicious bruschetta to see how the different olive oils compared.
Emily, Sarah, Lydia, and I- all now olive oil experts! 🙂
Our next stop was a small family owned vineyard. The entrance was elegantly decorated with a variety of wine bottles.
We were given a tour by the wine taster of the factory and the cellar.
Our sommelier- what an even cooler job!
Then, we got again to the best part, the tasting! The tasting room had a beautiful view on the vineyard and we were able to enjoy three delicious glasses of wine.
The first was a sparkling rosé wine. Because the bubbles slowly rose to the top, we could tell it was a good wine.
The second was a sweeter white wine. We learned how to observe the greenish tint in the white and describe the different scents.
The third was an aggressive red wine. We swished the wine around to see how the drops or “tears” of wine fell slowly done the sides. The wine would have been perfect with a big, juicy steak!
After the wine tasting, we all took our afternoon naps on the cozy bus. Our next stop was the world famous Derutta Ceramics Factory.
We were privileged enough to meet Mr. Grazia, the owner himself, who explained how dependent his industry is on the American economy. I had no idea that so many companies used to depend on small companies like theirs for their products.
Mr. Grazia in his office 🙂
Then, we were walked through all the various rooms of the factory to see the process of making the ceramics.
I have been loving exploring the city of Rome. However, touring the Umbria region showed me how many other treasures Italy holds!