Orvieto, Part Two: Il Pranzo!

There are two kinds of temples in Italy: churches and restaurants.  In Orvieto, we beheld God’s grandeur first at the duomo, and then we encountered the divine once again at lunch. In Orvieto, God truly is in the details, and, by details, I mean lasagna.

The bells announced noontide as we emerged from the cathedral into the piazza and the steady rain. What to do for pranzo? We picked our way across the slick cobblestones of the square and ducked into a narrow street that we hoped would lead us to the town center.

One of our many wrong turns in Orvieto, all of them delightful.

One of our many wrong turns in Orvieto, all of them delightful.

You might wonder how someone could get lost in a town with a population of 20,000, but then, you’ve probably never traveled with us. We wandered up and down the wet, labrynthine streets and, for the first ten minutes, called it sight-seeing. But soon it was 12:30 and time for my favorite meal in Italy: il pranzo.

The wild boar seems to be the patron saint of Orvieto, because one gazes down at you from the wall of every salumeria.

The wild boar seems to be the patron saint of Orvieto, because one gazes down at you from the wall of every salumeria.


They take their cinghiale very seriously in Orvieto.

They take their cinghiale very seriously in Orvieto. Appetizing?

There are two ways to travel. We met a couple from Canada during our trip who boasted that they had meandered for three weeks through Switzerland, France and Italy without once making a reservation. The CE found this inspiring. And I, on the other hand, was horrified. So you can imagine our conversation as we stood in the rain in Orvieto, trying to decide what to do for lunch.

“Let’s just find a place that’s open.”

“No. I’ll Google.”

“Put your phone away. There are no bad restaurants in Italy.”

“But I just want to seeeeeeeeeee…”

I quickly found the name of a celebrated restaurant, but finding the actual restaurant was a different story. If you go missing in Italy, you may never be found, because amidst a maze of narrow, walled streets, your GPS signal jumps around like a ping-pong ball.

“I think we go this way.”

“You think?”

Rain is much less romantic after you’ve trudged around in it for twenty minutes. We finally asked someone where to find Trattoria del Moro Aronne, and so should you, because it is not easy to find and it is absolutely the place where you want to have lunch.

trattoria-moro-aronne-orvieto-logo-205x300

It was well past 12:30, and we could hear pots and pans rattling in the kitchen, but the restaurant remained shuttered. When we returned ten minutes later, it was open and the tiny dining room was almost full. Luckily, there was room for us, and we had one of the best meals of our trip.

The cozy dining room at Trattoria del Moro Aronne.

The cozy front dining room at Trattoria del Moro Aronne.

The God-moment arrived in the form of the Nidi di Rondine, which describes a sort of round lasagna but which tastes like heaven.

If you go, order this!

If you go, order this!

I am not generally a fan of lasagna, but this is less lasagna and more art form. It was really, really, good and I apologize to the CE for eating half of his lunch.

After seeing all those hirsute boar parts dangling in the salumerias, a reasonable person might order a vegetarian lunch, but I took it as a sign and ordered the Pappardelle al Cinghiale. I was not disappointed. They know what to do with a wild boar in the hills of Umbria.

The excellent Pappardelle del Cinghiale at Trattoria del Moro Arrone

The excellent Pappardelle del Cinghiale at Trattoria del Moro Arrone

It was still raining after lunch, but we were warmed by lasagna and cinghiale and the impeccable hospitality of Trattoria del Moro Aronne. I would like to have lingered in the shops that lined the streets of Orvieto, but we had to get back to our car and press onward.

Next post: Tuscany!

If I'd had time, I would have found a way to get one of these back home.

If I’d had time, I would have found a way to get one of these back home.


Someday, I'm going back to Orvieto to get this. And have lunch!

Someday, I’m going back to Orvieto to get this. And have lunch!

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
This entry was posted in Gastronomy, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Orvieto, Part Two: Il Pranzo!

  1. dizzyguy says:

    CE here: Orvieto lunch was indeed heavenly. Tough broad, that CCL. Still ordered the wild boar dish after walking past several of their type dismembered and proudly displayed on the way to the Trattoria del Moro Aronne. Some even flashed the Evil Eye to passersby but none of this phased madam. We had a wonderful time!

  2. katherine says:

    Great descriptions, wonderful writing (“for the first ten minutes, called it sight-seeing” made me LOL) and beautiful photos. is it any wonder i look forward to Saturday mornings?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s