A day trip to Norcia

Piazza San Benedetto, Norcia

The location of our b&b in Panicale made it easy to visit several Umbrian hilltop towns under 75 minutes or less, but on day #2 of the trip, I was already jonesing for something else: the beer made by the monks of Norcia. A few months ago a little bird (thank you Nonna T) had tipped me off about the brewery, and while it did mean a couple hours drive, it was high time that we visited Norcia and their famous norcinerie or shops full of pork products.

A norcineria is like a salumeria anywhere else in Italy, but with a double dose of character. Every few steps, storefront displays like this one beckon shoppers to yield to temptation. At Dai Tre Porcellini – The Three Little Pigs – all that lacked was a bunch of hungry wolves to take advantage of the super saver deals.

Dai Tre Porcellini Norcineria
Dai Tre Porcellini

Pork is, and will always be, king in Norcia. Wild boar included. There’s even a name for the butcher – il norcino – who processes the pig meat into those tasty cuts that you just wish you could get stateside on the cheap. Some products have creative names, like palle del nonno (grandpa’s balls), which, I might add, were quite large even in its cured state.

Norcineria

So we didn’t get to meet any monks but bought their brew at Corvus et Columba (on the alley left of the church) and sat on the warm stone steps of the statue in the middle of the square. Lunch hour was upon us, I had a sudden thirst for a glass of wine, and we’re surrounded by pork. Oh, and it’s also truffle season.

Fiaschetteria La Crapula

Fiaschetteria La Crapula is an amazing locale dishing up local cuisine with a good dose of class and a touch of whimsy. Small, intimate, jazz spinning softly in the background, and for the kid in you, blackboard tabletops to doodle on. A blackboard menu lists the day’s specials (yes there was pork), but we were hungry for a good plate of pasta and soon discovered that the chef creates dishes that are nothing short of perfection.

Mezzemaniche w/ricotta and black truffles
Mezzemaniche with ricotta, parmigiano and black truffle shavings 15€

Bruschette with black truffle Fiaschetteria La Crapula a pranzo
Bruschette al tartufo nero / bruschette with black truffle spread 8€

Bucatini all'amatriciana Fiaschetteria La Crapula: dopo pranzo
Bucatini all’amatriciana 9.50€

If our hosts at the farmstay hadn’t spoiled us so much with breakfast, we would’ve had room to split a second plate and a dessert. No credit cards accepted at the time of this post, but our dynamic duo were welcome in the restaurant.

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6 thoughts on “A day trip to Norcia

  1. Nonna T

    Beautiful photos! Thanks! I’m sorry that you didn’t see any of the monks. They speak Italian very well:-) I hope to go there again someday. I hear the the plains of Castelluccio have a fantastic wildflower display in the springtime and that there are some great hiking trails nearby too…

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    1. Rowena Post author

      I’ve seen photos of Castelluccio’s springtime flowers and would plan another trip around that time if possible. As for the monks…how I would love to visit in August when they open their doors for a tour, but we both wilt in the heat!

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