Only about ten people live in Collepino today, “including le badanti (the caregivers),” Daniele told me as he served up our cafe’ and limoncello. Once a feudal fortress, the tiny walled village of Collepino on the slopes of Mt. Subasio was a thriving agricultural community about forty years ago.
Today, only a few elderly live there – and most, with their caregivers (Ukrainian, Romanian). Arcibibiade (nearly 90) lives on his own. “People live a long time here,” Daniele told me, “the air is good, there’s peace here.”
We felt that peace sitting at outdoor tables near the loquat tree in Colllepino’s one little piazza as we savored the goodness cooked by Francesca, Daniele’s mother. How to describe that lunch?
Well, Collepino’s population temporarily increased when our group feasted together on the superb food cooked up by Daniele’s Mamma at the Taverna di San Silvestro.
Let me tell you about some of the dishes we ordered: pappardelle all’oca (homemade wide fettuccine with goose meat sauce). strangozzi con sanguinelli (Umbrian thick spaghetti with wild mushrooms of the Collepino woods), penne ai quattro formaggi (penne pasta with four cheeses), grilled pork chop, steamed Swiss chard in garlic and olive oil, panna cotta con frutti di bosco (clotted cream pudding with berries). A couple from Perugia at the next table (they often drive the distance just to eat here), were relishing the woodland snails, grilled porcini mushrooms and coratelle (lamb innards – don’t think about what they are but try this dish when next in Umbria! – a regional specialty).
Daniele sent us off with espresso – and then limoncello.
On the house.
Daniele, we’ll be back.
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Lunch at Collepino was just one of Cara’s adventures while staying in our Assisi apartment