“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust
Marco and Daniela’s main interest is to make you feel at home as possible but also to make sure you have fun and “throw” yourselves into local Umbrian culture through various local celebrations and food festivals depending on the time of year.
Ancient food festivals, religious celebrations and medieval representations in original costumes still take place today in Umbria, which puts particular importance on maintaining these ancient traditions both pagan and sacred.
Some of the more unique food festivals in Umbria include: truffles, artichokes, snails, boar, ombrichelli, goose, porcini mushrooms, black celery and saffron. Locals or the local parish put up a temporary kitchen even in the middle of a piazza and serve these various specialties along with other traditional fare under a big tent with music and stands to accompany all the food and wine. Please check with Daniela to find out what festivals are happening the days you are staying at the Antica Olivaia.
In particular these events occur in Orvieto every year:
Beginning in April, the slow food event called “Orvieto con Gusto” (Orvieto with Taste) is an enogastronomical festival along with “Spasso con Gusto” in October that present the best of Orvieto’s local cuisine spread out all over the city.
In May, the “Festa della Palombella” (Festival of the Dove) on Pentecost Day attracts many locals and tourists alike in order to see the flight of the dove to the Duomo. At the end of May, “Cantine Aperte” (Open Winery Day) takes place when you can sip Orvieto Classico white wine and red wine as well in all the major wineries in and around Orvieto along with barbecues and live music (some are even free!). Always in May, the “Festival del Gelato” (Ice Cream Festival), in which every Italian region presents one very particular ice cream flavor created by their best ice cream maker with tasting stands all over the city for 4 days non-stop of gelato heaven.
In June, Orvieto celebrates the religious holiday of Corpus Christi and Orvieto in Flower, an ancient tradition from over 750 years ago that recalls the miracle of Bolsena.
In August the Folk Festival takes place in Piazza del Popolo for an entire week celebrating Italian and foreign folk music at its best.
During the month of October, guests at Antica Olivaia can taste top notch chocolate from all over the world at “Eurochocolate” in Perugia and in Orvieto during Eastertime.
In November, you can witness the pressing of the olives in various Umbrian olive mills and taste test the new olive oil of the season.
From 28 December to 01 January, Orvieto hosts the spectacular Winter Jazz Festival already in its 22nd edition with some of the best and well known jazz artists in the world along with rising stars. Concerts all day long until ’round midnight, spanning from jazz to blues to gospel with a gospel finale in the Duomo on New Year’s Day.
In this land of saints and heretics, medieval fests both sacred and pagan are numerous all around Umbria and include:
- Calendimaggio (Assisi in May),
- Corsa all’Anello (Narni in May),
- Giostra della Quintana (Foligno in June and September),
- Pentecost and the La Palombella (Orvieto in May or June),
- Mercato delle Gaite (Bevagna in June),
- Historical Procession of Corpus Domini (Orvieto in June),
- Palio di Siena (in July and August),
- Palio dei Terzieri (Citta della Pieve in August),
- Martyrdom of St. Cristina (Bolsena in July),
- Macchina of St. Rosa (Viterbo in September)