June 10, 2010

In honor of Italy’s Day of the Republic – meaning that Flo didn’t have to work – we went to Hrastovlje.  It’s a little Slovenian Istrian town with the surprisingly impressive 12th century stone Church of the Holy Trinity: the small church, inside the walls, is more or less covered floor-to-ceiling with medieval frescoes that were uncovered from layers of whitewash in the middle of the 20th century.  They have a very helpful English audio interpretation of the dozens of painted panels, including the famous Dance of Death.

Flo and AnneTT at Hrastovlje

Then we had lunch at the little gostilna.  We ordered…and eventually they brought us food.  Food that, as it turns out, wasn’t what we ordered.  Then we looked around and noticed that everyone had the same dish.  We were okay with it, but we did wonder why there was a fairly comprehensive, multilingual menu?  There was 2 types of pork and sausage with gorčica (mustard) and ajvar (made from pepper and eggplant), potatoes, stewed vegetables, and fresh baked bread.  At the end, they brought us a small glass of a nice liquor made from teran wine.  With all that food, we just decided we wouldn’t eat the rest of the day…

Gostilna Švab at Hrastovlje

Not what we ordered...but good.

…And then I got invited to an impromptu dinner party/wine tasting.  Of course I couldn’t say no to that!  There were 8 of us – including 5 Slovenes and 3 Americans.  We didn’t eat until quite late (very Mediterranean), though, so it almost doesn’t count, right?  We had salad, grilled scampi and an enormous tuna steak that was cooked in a sort of sweet sauce made from brown sugar, honey, red wine, mint and some other fresh herbs; there was an assortment of wines from Slovenia, France and Hungary, including an absolutely amazing white bordeaux.

Also, the other day I went back to Trieste with Ted who, despite having been a Fulbright in Koper last year, had never really explored the city.  We walked around the old part of the city, visited the 15th century Castello San Giusto – which I had not done before – and had pasta at a sidewalk cafe that, as we discovered, offered more Greek dishes than Italian ones…?

View of Chiesa San Giusto and the Adriatic from the castle in Trieste


One Response to “”

  1. amber said

    So how are you going to be able to go back to what-a-burger, leane cuisine and pizza after all this fabulous food you have been eating in Europe?

    Have fun next week with mom and dad! Drink lots of prosecco for me!

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