For about 150 years, the Giovenali family have been curating the edible wonders of Umbria – award-winning olive oils, black truffles, pecorino cheese, salumi of all sorts, umbricell pasta, honey and historic wines like Sagrantino (from Montefalco) and Orvieto. Every year I introduce my group to Marcello, current defender of Umbria’s edible and drinkable traditions. He proudly tells us the history of his family business – from his nonno’s portable wooden shop to the museum-like current location on Todi’s main shopping street, Via Cavour – and leads us on an item by item tour of his shop. A fountain of knowledge, there seems to be no question without an eloquent, detailed answer. Many of us shopped regularly at Giovenali during our stay and found it to be a formidable classroom for mastering lessons on Umbria’s most stellar products…especially when generous tasting samples were involved! A few of us even took advantage of his ability to ship boxes full of wine, oil and shrink-wrapped cheese and salumi, back to the States, leaving more room in our suitcases for other purchases!
This short film contains a brief interview with Marcello (challenge your ear…it’s in Italian!) as well as lots of images of his impeccable shop. My favorite quote appears at the end of the film when Marcello is assuring a customer from Piemonte of his integrity as a merchant: “Se una cosa non va bene, non la faccio uscire dal negozio” (If it’s not good, I don’t let it out of the store.”). Of course, he wouldn’t let it in there either!