Mushrooms, Meat, and Maria in Vibo Valentina
Despite having boxes and boxes to unpack, the day after I arrived in my new home in Calabria, I took a little day trip with my new friends to Serra San Bruno, a 45-minute drive from Montepaone Lido.
It's amazing to me how quickly the landscape changes from the sea to the forested mountains just a few minutes away. I arrived during a heat wave, so going to the cooler, shadier mountains sounded great.
L'Agriturismo Forgi Vecchie
We started our adventure with a fantastic family-style meal at l'Agriturismo Forgi Vecchie. Sorry, there's no website. But this farm raises its own pork and makes its own delicious meats. The area is also known for mushrooms, which were featured heavily in the meal with dishes like fried mushroom patties and mushroom creamy pasta.
Oh, and local wine. Of course!
Sorry, I was too busy stuffing my face to take photos, so use your imagination!
A Meander Through the Forest
What better way to walk off all that food than on an easy path through the forest? We stopped at a path that led to the Santa Maria Nel Bosco Sanctuary, a gorgeous little church and shrine to San Bruno.
From what I understood, he was a German monk who specialized in exorcisms. Back in the day, they were public! Can you imagine attending one? I guess if people attended hangings and burnings, what's better entertainment than a little demon release?
The church there was dedicated to Mary, and surprisingly, unlike most of the Catholic churches I've been in, she featured front and center. Way to go, girl!
Outside the church, there was a gift shop (naturally) selling local specialties, as well as a place to get a snack or a glass of wine. Our group took its time, everyone enjoying the area their own way.
The outing was short and sweet, and I was happy to discover that there are so many fun things to do within an hour's drive of my new home!