Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Orvieto: Festa Palombella & Trattoria del Moro Aronne

Famous for its colourful ceramics and gleaming cathedral, Orvieto is one of Umbria's grandest hill towns, sitting majestically high above the valley floor perched on a plateau of tufa rock with the outline of its world famous Duomo visible for miles around. Arriving on Whitsunday for the Festa della Palombella, a traditional festival that takes place on Pentecost Day in Orvieto once a year, we were in the main piazza outside the Duomo to witness the festivities. During the celebration, the beautiful Piazza del Duomo hosts hundreds of people to celebrate the Catholic feast with Bishop Benedetto Tuzia, the Bishop of Orvieto-Todi overseeing the auspicious event which was introduced in the 15th century by the Monaldeschi family. The Holy Spirit, represented by a dove, flies in a special carrier from Via Maitani to the Duomo. A Gothic tabernacle depicting the Cenacle is erected on the Cathedral steps days before the event. At midday fireworks burst from the Empyrean, while a white dove, representing The Holy Spirit, descends towards the tabernacle along a wire in a small plastic carrier to the tabernacle, where it is removed and presented by the Bishop Tuzia from the balcony of the Opera del Duomo di Orvieto. Auspices for the year are drawn according to the way the ceremony proceeds, which judging from the great cheers and applause, bodes very well. Following the event, we wend our way to Trattoria del Moro Aronne, one of Orvieto's more esteemed restaurants for a leisurely Sunday lunch.

Enormous crowds gather for Festa della Palombella, a traditional festival that takes place on Pentecost Day in Orvieto once a year

The dove is released from it's wire perch by a helmut wearing workman and monk

The Holy Spirit, represented as a dove and encased in a plastic cylinder, is presented to the crowds as witnessed by Bishop Benedetto Tuzia

Trattoria del Moro Aronne

The sign outside the trattoria

The menu and charming interior of Trattoria del Moro Aronne

2010 Castello di Montegiove, a lovely local Umbrian red wine

A glass of the delicious Elicious red wine

Affetatti Misti Locale

Polpette di Melanzane

Filetto di Maiale alle prugne

Tagliata al rogo

Pistachio Gelato with whipped cream and chocolate sauce 

Pannacotta with wild berry coulis

A hot steaming macchiato to finish the meal

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