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Friday, November 02, 2007

CDC - Day 3

This morning I got up early to get some shots of the town before it awakens from its truffle daze.

My first stop was the little park from yesterday

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Two years ago this park was fenced off as they were working on it so it's really lovely to see just how gorgeous it looks now

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It just wouldn't be the same without a statue of Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I

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Can't you see yourself sitting there?

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From here you can see one of the carparks located outside of the historic centre and it's mostly full of campervans belonging to the festival stallholders

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Still in the garden, just views from another side

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The park sits in front of Piazza Gabriotti and faces the Duomo

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To the right of the photo you can see just a hint of the Museo del Duomo - it is housed in the old rectory and is well praised for its collection (it has the largest collection of Sacred Artefacts in Italy). I haven't been in there yet but I think I will.

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As with most churches it has been remodelled through the ages and it does remain unfinished. The original church dates from the 11th century, it was then enlarged in the 14th and remodelled in the 15th and 16th centuries. The round Campanile is part of this church.

The building attached to the left of the photo is the Palazzo Communale (Palazzo Priori - more on that later.)

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The stairs lead up into the church but if you enter via the lower doorway you'll end up in the cathedral's large crypt.

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The Palazzo Communale started life as the Palazzo dei Priori and was designed by Orvieto (1332-38). It now houses the Archivio Notarile - this contains deeds which date back to 1338.

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Opposite this is the Torre Civica (Civic Tower)

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Dating from the 13th century, the front of the tower is decorated with coats of arms. During its history it has been used as a jail and is also known as Torree Vescovo (Bishop's Tower) because it is attached to the Bishops Palace

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As it happened I was up so early that the market hasn't started but at least I can give you an idea of its layout without all the people cluttering up the space

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This shows the basic layout of tents around Piazza Matteotti.

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In these barrels chestnuts are freshly roasted all day long.

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I'll be back later to show you what is inside!

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On the way back to the apartment I went past the Palazzo del Podestà - it looks quite a bit more gothic on this side that faces Corso Cavour.

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Another look at the Campanile in daytime - there's something very romantic about its shape and at midday it peels out quite a catchy ditty.

Our apartment we're staying in is located in a 15th century building right beside the Duomo in what used to house the canons of the Cathedral.

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The apartments on the lower levels still have the original cell doors.

Lunch was a fairly similar affair as yesterday but for dinner we went to the rather fabulous Il Postale.

Il Postale is located in what used to be the old postal garage

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and ever since we first ate there two years ago we knew we would have to return.

the bread

Along with the normal a la carte menu, they offer two degustations - Menu Il Mare and Menu Sensazioni. Curtis and Leigh opted for Il Mare and Paalo and I had the Sensazioni.

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The amuse was a chickpea soup with a light curry flavour topped with a simple tortellino. A good way to get those tastebuds working.

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Il Mare: Pane, burro ed alici (Bread, Butter and Anchovies)
This dish is to be eaten with the hands, dipping the bread and anchovy fingers into the highly aerated butter - the butter was more like foam it was so light

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Sensazioni: Carne di manzo cruda, acqua di pomodoro e meringhe all’origano (Raw beef, Tomato Water and Oregano Meringues)
The meringues supplied a tasty crunch to the dish - the tomato water had a pure flavour of tomato and the beef wonderfully soft, it was a dish in great balance.

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Il Mare: Scampo, gelato di peperoni e riduzione di campari (Scampi, Peperoni Gelato and a Campari Reduction) - Curtis hailed this as the best Scampi he has ever eaten, the gelato and campari added with a skillful touch so to be in harmony

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Sensazioni: Scaloppa di fegato grasso e gelato di pere alla senape (Foie Gras with Pear & Mustard Gelato)
Our last visit provided us with the best foie gras dish we'd ever experienced and this is its equal. The crisp outer layer of the foie gras held an almost liquid interior that seemed to ooze out as you bit through the piece.

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Il Mare: Cappesante arrostite con spinaci, pomodori confit e salsa al frutto della passione (Roasted Scallops with Spinach, Tomato Confit and Passionfruit Salsa)
Once again a skillful hand with the seafood, a crisp top and a just cooked scallop that sliced with ease.


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Sensazioni: Pancetta di maiale affumicata, pomodori acerbi e spinaci (Lightly Smoked Pork Pancetta, Tart Tomatoes and Spinach Sandwich)

The pancetta was crisp and crunchy and though lightly smoked still had that sweetness to the flesh.

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Il Mare: Tonno, brodo di miso ed albume al limone (Tuna with Miso Broth and Poached Eggwhite with Lemon)
The eggwhite is that cloud like structure sitting on top of the tuna.

As our menu is a little richer we did not have a corresponding course

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Il Mare: Ravioli di patate e basilico con calamaretti arrostiti e cozze (Potato & Basil Ravioli with Baby Calamari and Mussels)

Finger shaped rectangles of Ravioli stuffed with a mix of potatoes and basil, the calamari were incredibly small.

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Sensazioni: Tortelli di pomodori confit, burrata e limone (Tortelli filled with confit Tomatoes, Burrata and Lemon)
Burrata is a fresh cheese made from mozzarella and cream and provided a way to lengthen the flavours in the mouth without making it feel heavy.


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Il Mare: Baccalà fresco con crema di pomodoro e crudité di verdure (Fresh Salt Cod with Tomato Cream and Raw Vegetables)
The baccala done in this manner was an eye-opener especially for Curtis and he was most impressed with its tenderness and moistness of the flesh.

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Sensazioni: Piccione arrostito con la coscia farcita,scaloppa di fegato grasso
e verdure croccanti (Roast Pigeon with stuffed thigh, Foie gras and Crunchy Vegetables)

So good it deserved two photos. The pigeon perfectly cooked and sitting under the layers of crunchy vegetables another slice of foie grass.

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Il Mare: Fragole all’aceto balsamico con mousse di ricotta, salsa vaniglia e mandorle (Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar, Ricotta Mousse, Vanilla Sauce and Almonds)

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Sensazioni: Mousse di pesca con gelato di vaniglia e salsa di nocino (Peach Mousse with Vanilla Gelato and Hazelnut Sauce)

Both desserts provided quite a refreshing finish to the meal - both were quite light and we finished the meal feeling extremely happy and satisfied.

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Petit Fours with Coffee

Two years later and we can happily report it has maintained its high standard and would be in our must-visit restaurants of Italy.

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