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Una bella SAGRA

Spaghetti from Gragnano cooked in Amalfi’s lemon zest, fresh squid and Bottarga



It’s official, the summer is over  I’m not saying this because the constant forty degrees temperature has finally dropped here in Umbria, nor do I say this because there is ONE cloud in the sky, but because Ladies and Gentlemen, the swimming pool in Allerona closed for the winter on the 1st of September, so for me, that is that, the summer is over !!! . Every morning at 9:30 am during the hot months I was there to swim my 40 lengths  (my dedication was such that the lady at the entrance asked me if I was getting ready for the Olympics!?)…any way after that treat I then started my day of food shopping in Orvieto, then driving back up the mountain where the small village of Allerona is located and from there straight to my kitchen . Chopping, grilling, cooking and mixing …. Well I must say that it all  went really well, I only burned myself twice and cut my left fingertip just 4 or 5 times .
But I had so much fun during these months, I created new dishes and with the help of wild flowers I was able decorated at least 30 types of finger food. In the Villas, where I worked as a private chef, and during the cooking classes I  met so many lovely people from all different parts of the world, Poland, Russia, UK, America , Sweden ,and of course Chaty and her family from Canada who wrote some wonderful comments regarding  our culinary experience in their blog.

But in my heart I hold this sweet young couple Gemma and Columb from Dublin, Ireland. I had the great pleasure and honor to be part of their dream wedding here in Umbria.

We decided to organize something simple and not too fancy. An Italian country style wedding , in short like a SAGRA. Tables and benches, a few simple accessories for the table, food and wine in abundance, lots of fun and a relaxed atmosphere! 50 guests, friends and family, all  wonderful people that I am so happy to have met.



Columb and Gemma wedding in Umbria

I am very proud and happy to share with you a few of their comments after the wedding:

Gemma: Thank you so much for helping create the exact type of wedding that I had dreamed of and more. It was the informal relaxed atmosphere that i wanted and couldnt have done it without you. You helped us so much and I can’t thank you enough. Everyone loved the food and getting to meet you and talk to you, and have asked me for your website.
Simona you have been a great friend to us and testing to know you was fantastic!

Columb: Thanks so much again for everything over the last few weeks and months! You really helped to make our wedding day completely prefect and unforgettable for us and all of our guests! I hope none of it was stressful for you. Everyone was so happy to meet you too and thought your food was delicious!


This experience for me was absolutely fantastic. To have been instrumental in planning a wedding where there was no need to spend excessive money to enjoy the happiest day of a couple’s life was wonderful. It was very much the same type of wedding that Nick and I had 15 years ago, UNA BELLA SAGRA!

Anyway, in the next story  I will tell you more  about what has been going on in our country lives. Just a little hint: 6 cucumber plants  in our vegetable garden and the only ones I ate came from the COOP Supermarket!  Ciao

PS The dish mentioned above, has been one of the top dishes of the month : Spaghetti from Gragnano cooked in Amalfi’s lemon zest, fresh squid and Bottarga di muggine. If you are interested and want to try I will be happy to give you the recipe.

Ciao .

1 comment to Una bella SAGRA

  • Bill Steiner

    Bella, bella Simona. You are so talented, and such a great cook. Nick’s pictures capture it all beautifully. Maybe you’ll do my daughter’s wedding, if she ever marries!! Ci vediamo. Bill

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