Sunday, 7 October 2007

The Sabine Hills (Sabina)

Toffia is the oldest medieval town in the Sabine Hills

Nestled between the Rome province, Umbria and Tuscany, Sabina is a land of rolling hills covered with olive groves and ancient vineyards. The lower Sabina, which is where we are situated, is only 40kms from Rome. The landscape is still unspoilt and has not been turned into a theme park like Tuscany. In a way, Sabina is probably like some parts of Tuscany were in the past, before the 'restore-derelict-farmhouse-and-write-a-book-about-it' business started. In other words it's AUTHENTIC.
For my family, this region always meant: food supply. The local extra virgin olive oil has its 'DOP' high quality stamp on it and there are plenty of small independent cheesemakers, producing different varieties of sheep cheese, not to mention local prosciutto and salami. Fruit and veggies are full of flavour and available in abundance here, obviously according to the season.
Sabina has a strong medieval heritage, the landscape being dotted with many hilltop villages, each one of them hiding an architectural or art treasure. For example, Toffia is a 10th Century tiny village built on a cliff. Yet, within its historic walls, there are four 1000 year old churches and beautiful frescoes hidden in its many renaissance palazzos. When family, friends and clients come to visit, they always remind us how wonderful this region is.

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