Jazz on the HilltopFriday, December 30, 2011, part 2
Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We'd love to hear from you!
Next on the itinerary: Visions of Venice
After that wonderful lunch at La Porta in Montichiello, we continue our drive south, and soon approach the cliffs of Orvieto. We zigzag to the top, and find the streets already filled with Umbria Jazz Winter revelers, making the drive to our hotel rather challenging.
Warm greetings await us from our friends at the lovely Palazzo Picco- lomini, and we quickly drop our bags in the room in order to grab some cliff - edge views before the sun goes down. Another vista we just can't help shooting every time we're here!
Orvieto is a favorite any time of the year, but it just sparkles and zings with life during Umbria Jazz Winter.
On our way to Palazzo del Popolo to get tickets for the concerts, we join the crowds listening to Funk Off as they strut through the streets. And when we return to the hotel to unpack and get ready for our first concert, they march right by below our window and down to the ancient gates of the upper town!
Every year we're delighted with unique jazz at Umbria Jazz Winter and this year is no exception - how about Argentinian bandoneon sensation Juan Pablo Jofre Romarion with a string orchestra of soloists from Perugia? An unexpected combination and a WOW of a concert - enjoy a snippet here. The audience called him back for three encores and wanted even more!
Just across the piazza, we've reserved a table for a post-concert dinner at Piazza del Popolo Restaurant. Kirk's choice of a smoked goose breast, artichoke and arugula salad is so delicious we jot a reminder to make it ourselves while at the apartment we've rented in Florence. It wouldn't be easy to find smoked goose breast in Virginia, but we're in the land of fabulous materia prima (raw material) as when we're in France.
My salad of farro (that Italian grain that we love - rather like spelt) radicchio and caccioricotta, a sheep's cheese ricotta, is also terrific, as are our main courses. And the desserts are so enticing that we can't resist - TWO chocolate ones - a rich dark chocolate tart and a deliciously moist chocolate, pear and ricotta cake.
Back to the hotel to catch up on email, then we're on the streets again - look at that time!
Yes, it's nearly 12 am, and every night of Umbria Jazz there are 'round midnight concerts in several venues.
We mistakenly thought that the late concerts wouldn't be as crowded as the earlier one, where there were seats open. Silly us.... it's SRO, but the staff brings us a couple of chairs and we pick up a glass of Orvieto white and enjoy an hour or so of a jazz combo.
Buona notte, Orvieto - and the jazz goes on!