Busy week. Thursday the Sociology of Food class was treated to a trip to an Italian farm called Mani in Terra, which roughly translates to “Hands in the Ground.” This particular farm produces a variety of items, but sells homemade honey, jams, vegetables, and olives. Just outside Viterbo, the farm and region are known for their olives and hazelnuts (aka – filberts). While there Monica Luliano, the owner and operator, showed the class around and explained some her agriculture techniques. Mani in Terra, as are many of the other farms around, are organic, or as it is known in the EU “biologica.” After the tour Monica showed us something very important – how to make homemade pasta. She made it look easy. We made it look difficult. Finally we got to eat our efforts, along with some fresh zucchini and tomatoes from the garden. We all left happy and full.
The next day we went to the towns of Assisi and Perugia. Assisi is the birthplace of the Saint Francis, who is one of the patron saints of Italy. Within the city is the San Francesco Basilica. USAC arranged a tour – the history, art and structure are absolutely amazing. No words can explain it. The town of Assisi is great on its own with small, windy streets, history, and charm.
From there we bussed to Perugia. The capital of the Umbria region, the town is known for its city walls. What was really amazing about Perugia – at least in my opinion – is its location on top of a large hill. The town has a train which transported us to the top. With the heat, I’m glad we didn’t have to struggle our way up. After a walk around, I relaxed with an ice coffee, watch the world go around, and listen to music.