Video: Watch Italy's Great Hill Towns, an episode of the Rick Steves' Europe TV show. Fri, 10/23 at 5:00 pm on Austin PBS Create. Enrico: Same. A 13th-century historian wrote, "No more exquisite monument to the Lord has been built." Rick: With some good wine. It's very big barrel. Rick: And then the ham is waiting…? You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made Rick Steves' Europe | Assisi and Italian Country Charm | Season 9 | Episode 6 | WFSU Skip to Main Content Series: Rick Steves' Europe Assisi and Italian Country Charm In the Italian countryside, Rick connects with rustic, traditional culture: enjoying an agriturismo (farmhouse inn), seeing how prosciutto and pecorino cheese are made, and hiking down into deep and ancient wine cellars. He lived without worldly goods and loved all of creation. Rick: Enrico: When was the first barrel of wine here in this cellar? This is the actual chapel that Francis and his first followers rebuilt. Can you tell when you taste? A visit to Assisi shows that Francis' message of universal love has a broad and timeless appeal. And it was here, in 1209, that he established the Franciscan Order. In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made Rick Steves' Europe | Assisi and Italian Country Charm | Season 9 | Episode 6 | KPBS Skip to Main Content He preached by example and made the gospel's teaching more accessible to common people. In the Italian countryside, Rick connects with rustic, traditional culture: enjoying an agriturismo (farmhouse inn), seeing how prosciutto and pecorino cheese are made, and hiking down into deep and ancient wine cellars. We're visiting the noble farm of the Zanda family, where Nicola raises a couple hundred pigs. How many months? For this wine, it's the artful combination of aging in large, medium, and small oak barrels that gets the tannin levels just right. Gazing at these content sheep, you can almost taste the pecorino cheese — which seems to be a part of every meal. Making cheese this way is labor-intensive and takes lots of patience. Joining a vintner, we descend a long staircase. An hour's drive to the east takes us to the neighboring state of Umbria, famous for the town of Assisi and its beloved St. Francis, who had a huge impact on the medieval church. In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made Rick Steves' Europe | Assisi and Italian Country Charm | Season 9 | Episode 6 | WLRN It rises where, in 1230, St. Francis was buried. Until next time, keep on travelin'. …mills like these are a tough fit in our fast-paced world. It's cohesive — an artistic and theological work of genius. Nicola: The ham is waiting about 12 months. This mill — with its ancient grindstones — has been producing flour for generations. For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, Reservations are required. Pasta comes next — and the children prefer theirs bianco — with only olive oil. Any pilgrimage site will be commercialized, and Assisi — which enthusiastically cashes in on the legacy of St. Francis — is no exception. Signora Gori: 1400. Enrico: From 1337. It opens us up not only to our world — but to new ways of appreciating it. Farmhouse inn; making prosciutto and pecorino cheese; hiking down ancient wine cellars; the basilica in Assisi, Italy, the hometown of St. Francis. Signora Gori is proud to show us her home. His "slow down and smell God's roses" teaching drew a huge following. And high above is Francis on a heavenly throne. Sure. Assisi and Italian Country Charm In the Italian countryside, Rick watches prosciutto and pecorino cheese being made. Title: Enrico: For me, the wine is how my son is. In the Italian countryside, we'll see how prosciutto and pecorino are made, and hike down into ancient wine cellars. (12 Nov 2016). After a life of earthly simplicity, he enjoys glory in heaven. Francis was a big deal even in his own age. 16 LIFE. Rick: Yeah? Enrico: Yeah… While the Basilica of St Francis, where he's buried, dominates the town, we'll visit that later. CREATE 9.2. As her family has for centuries, she lives in the manor house — and the family tree makes it clear: the Gori family has deep roots and goes back over 600 years. And overlooking it all is the hill town of Montepulciano. Around the year 1200, Francis, a simple friar from Assisi, was one such person. The hind legs are destined to become fine prosciutto. Enrico: 13,000. The meat is seared over embers for a just few minutes…before being cut from the bone. In fact, he was made a saint within a few years of his death. He brushes on a coat of garlic and vinegar with a sprig of rosemary, sprinkles it with pepper, and finally cakes it in salt. Can you give me a little tour? And, like any proud farmer, he invites us into his home — not your everyday farmhouse — for a memorable taste. This time we're celebrating the traditions in Umbria and Tuscany. And perhaps the most endearing scene in the basilica shows Francis preaching to the birds. Nicola: It's the best part. Rick Steves' Europe | Episode | Assisi and Italian Country Charm. Rick: Yeah! While locals know stone-ground corn makes the tastiest polenta…. In the Italian countryside, we'll see how prosciutto and pecorino are made, and hike down into ancient wine cellars. These pigs are a rare breed brought back from the edge of extinction by people who care about traditional agriculture…people who really love their ham. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends. We'll end in Assisi — the hometown of St. Francis — which retains its spiritual aura to this day. Below, you'll see five of Francis' closest followers — clearly just simple folk. Travel with Rick on this video guide to Assisi, Italy and find out what to do on your next trip. Rick Steves' Europe. For generations, evenings ended here, beneath musty portraits — another reminder of the family's long and noble lineage. Nicola artfully cures every part of the pig. Then we'll visit Assisi and its awe-inspiring basilica dedicated to St. Francis. And today these young people carry on that tradition — and entertain their visitors — with a colorful ritual. Roberto: Yeah. Born an hour [ago]. Signora Gori: Gori family. Add to favorites: Description In the Italian countryside, Rick connects with rustic, traditional culture: enjoying an agriturismo (farmhouse inn), seeing how prosciutto and pecorino cheese are made, and hiking down into deep and ancient wine cellars. In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made Rick Steves' Europe | Assisi and Italian Country Charm | Season 9 | Episode 6 | GBH Francis strove to be Christ-like. Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Rick: If that was bowling, it'd be very good. Rick Steves' Europe. Rick: Oh, so more than two years. This is the land of two beloved local wines: Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The prosciutto and pecorino cheese provides a fine starting course — beautifully matched with the family's wine. Then we'll visit Assisi and its awe-inspiring basilica dedicated to St. ... View production, box office, & company info. He took Jesus' message of nonmaterialism and simplicity seriously, challenging the wealthy and powerful around him. And even nonreligious travelers become pilgrims of a sort as they explore the town and remember Francis. Nicola: Oh, I love it. Get a sneak peek of the new version of this page. To counter your unhappy memories of Assisi, I would like to share my more pleasant experience! This article, written by Jennifer Robinson, appears on PBS. The town's sleepy main piazza is surrounded by a grab bag of architectural sights. Many rural families still preserve their own meats and enjoy firing up their wood-burning ovens on special occasions. Rick: This is from the head of the beautiful pigs I was just feeding…Is it good? She was delighted and went on for 15 minutes in what I'd call "machine-gun Italian" about her garden. Starting in Tuscany, we visit the wine regions around Montepulciano before crossing into Umbria and finishing in Assisi. He retreated to this hermitage for the solitude. Aristocratic countryside elegance survives in Tuscany. And I'm forever the attentive student. We're staying in a B&B run by Signora Sylvia Gori. Thanks for joining us. In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made Rick Steves' Europe | Assisi and Italian Country Charm | Season 9 | Episode 6 | LPB Skip to Main Content I commented with my few words of broken Italian on how beautiful the flowers were that this dear old lady was watering on her balcony. Roberto: For the expert. In the lower basilica, Cimabue painted what's considered the earliest and most accurate portrayal of St. Francis. Modest dress is required — no shorts or tank tops. From a distance, you see the huge arches that support the basilica. The story of medieval Europe is the story of hard lives and a very religious world where people struggled and stressed about their relationship with God. Watch Rick Steves' Europe season 9 episode 6 Online Assisi and Italian Country Charm : In the Italian countryside, we'll connect with rustic, traditional culture: enjoying an agriturismo (farmhouse inn), seeing how prosciutto and pecorino cheese are made, and hiking to the bottom of deep and ancient wine cellars. In 1939, Italy made Francis one of its patron saints, and in 2013, the newly elected pope took his name…the first ever Pope Francis. The medieval town hall resembles nearby Florence's Palazzo Vecchio — a reminder that about 500 years ago, Montepulciano allied itself with Florence. In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made Rick Steves' Europe | Assisi and Italian Country Charm | Season 9 | Episode 6 | KERA Skip to Main Content He went to the Vatican in Rome, asked for the pope's blessing to continue his work, and got it. Rick Steves' Europe Preview: Assisi and Italian Country Charm Check your local public television station for this new Rick Steves’ Europe episode! In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made Rick Steves' Europe | Assisi and Italian Country Charm | Season 9 | Episode 6 | UNC-TV We've curated a list of lesser-known films to help you explore the space-time continuum from the comfort of your couch. The Franciscan friars, with their passion for bringing God to the people, found a natural partner in Europe's first modern painter, Giotto. You eat it, Nicola? The variety of birds represents the diverse flock of nature and humanity all worthy of one another's love. Rick: Incredibile. In fact, Assisi routinely hosts inter-faith gatherings. And our farmhouse B&B provides a great springboard for a world of side trips. In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made Rick Steves' Europe | Assisi and Italian Country Charm | Season 9 | Episode 6 | WHYY Roberto: Basically. Thanks for joining us. He ends in Assisi - the hometown of St. Francis - which retains its spiritual aura to this day. In the Italian countryside, we'll see how prosciutto and pecorino are made, and hike down into ancient wine cellars. But most visitors are day-trippers. To merit the title "agriturismo," the farm must still be in business — and the Gori family makes wine. Assisi's main drag leads from the town center toward the basilica, which holds the saint's much-venerated remains. Join writer and host Rick Steves as he experiences the local culture, cuisine and fun in some of Europe’s most interesting places. In Assisi – the hometown of … Francis' message of nonmaterialism challenges the wealthy and powerful to this day. Rick: So how old would this wine be here? The vineyards here produce some of the very best wines in the world. Thoughtful travel causes us to consider things differently — from the art of fine living to the teaching of a medieval saint. Palazzo Ricci sits atop a particularly impressive series of cellars. Video: Watch Assisi and Italian Country Charm, an episode of the Rick Steves' Europe TV show. Holy relics were the "ruby slippers" of medieval Europe. Assisi and Italian Country Charm In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made Watch Your Shows Many Ways A grandiose church built around St. Francis' humble chapel, towers above the buildings of Santa Maria degli Angeli — the modern part of Assisi in the flat valley below the hill town — which marks the spot where Francis lived, worked, and died. Roberto: Ah, one year. Francis lived in the hill town of Assisi. Very, very nice. Rick: The connoisseur. The basilica is frescoed from top to bottom with scenes by the leading artists of the day: Cimabue, Giotto, Simone Martini, and Pietro Lorenzetti. Rick: Born an hour — it's a little tiny baby! As you explore, gaze up. Assisi and Italian Country Charm The people of Montepulciano seem to enjoy their red meat as much as their red wine. With farmhouse B&Bs as our springboard, we'll enjoy Italian culture, from village intimacy to the grand and saintly. And, for our last stop, a chance to taste some of the wine as it's aging. The basilica rises where, in 1226, St. Francis was buried (with the outcasts he had stood by) outside of his town on the "Hill of the Damned" — now called the "Hill of Paradise." His story starts here, in the valley below, in the Church [Basilica] of St. Mary of the Angels. Enrico: Baby Vino Nobile. Immediately, pilgrims came from far and wide, making Assisi a thriving pilgrimage center, which it is to this day. Here, in this Crucifixion scene, one angel turns her head sadly at the sight of Jesus, and another is in such anguish she scratches her hands down her cheeks. Same! Rick: Three years. Enrico: Yeah, of course. Nicola: About, uh…15 months. To the faithful, relics had power — they helped answer prayers, win wars — and ultimately they helped you get to heaven. Upstairs is the vast billiards room. Beautifully tended vines soak up the spring sun as hardworking vintners hope that this year's vintage will be one to remember. In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made In the Italian countryside, Rick enjoys an agriturismo, sees prosciutto and pecorino made Rick Steves' Europe | Assisi and Italian Country Charm | Season 9 | Episode 6 | WVPB But ultimately, even the pope recognized that Francis could restore a church and society in great need of reform. Roberto: I think he likes it. See the Travel Details above for recommendations highlighted in bold, excerpted from Rick's guidebooks. It's like "prosciutto for beginners," and this is for the expert. With his teaching, Francis challenged the decadence of church government. During the slow curing process, Nicola checks the progress employing a wooden needle and an expert nose. Finally you wind up in the shop, where you're welcome to taste a few wines (with some local cheese); tastings are free for travelers with my guidebooks. And the little one? He taught by example. But, for these folks, it's well worth the trouble. A Christian church was built into the ruined pagan temple in the ninth century. Open daily until 19:30, but closes for about two hours in the early afternoon. In the Italian countryside, Rick connects with rustic, traditional culture: enjoying an agriturismo (farmhouse inn), seeing how prosciutto and pecorino cheese are made, and hiking down into deep and ancient wine cellars. Then we'll visit Assisi and its awe-inspiring basilica dedicated to St. Francis. Like pilgrims, we'll explore its stony center before trekking to its awe-inspiring basilica, built on the tomb of the beloved saint. The destination of so many pilgrims is the tomb of Francis, which lies deep beneath the basilica. A short and scenic drive south takes us through some of Italy's finest wine country. Tuscany is one of those regions where it just makes sense to sleep outside the city. Above these were the quarters for the hundreds of friars who once lived here. For centuries this town has celebrated its independent spirit. Roberto: Perfect. Francis loved nature as well as humanity. While tourists pack the more famous places, little off-beat gems like this remain overlooked, and are great places for enjoying the traditional culture. Now, like the pigs all eventually do, we move onto the prosciutto part of the farm. Rick: The same! Here Giotto shows a nearly naked Francis — the rich kid tossing his fancy clothes to his father — befuddling high society by trading a life of luxury for one of simplicity. Three generations gather on this Sunday afternoon with no hurry at all. And in Tuscany, the correct way to enjoy a steak is…rare. It's brighter, illuminated by 13th-century stained glass — the oldest in Italy, and covered with frescoes by Giotto and his assistants. Rick: Nicola, three different meats. Giulio, his wife Chiara, and their staff serve their hungry crowd like a well-choreographed meat-eaters' ballet. 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