A new look about to launch


Bellaugello Gay Country House, near Florence and Rome, Tuscany, Italy, Europe, luxury gay resort and villa #GayResortBellaugelloBellaugello the new logo #BellaugelloBellaugello Gay Country House, Umbria, Italy.  the new logo #Gay

Sitting at my kitchen window watching the light rain fall to the Chiascio valley below, the surrounding hills lightly covered in mist, a quiet, still and somewhat magical day here in Umbria I have a great announcement to make;

After several months of work all is almost ready and the New Bellaugello Gay Country House website is about to be launched.

I have put a great deal of time and thought into the new website which will launch in the next few days, in three languages, English, Italian and Dutch.  We are going through the final checks and controls, doing last minute fine tuning ready to go live.

In the new site you will find greater descriptions, large format photographs and a completely new feel, giving a greater insight to Bellaugello.  The website is also responsive to both tablet and mobile, yes, we have finally caught up with technology.   The designers and I chose new colours and a new logo which feature elements intrinsic to Bellaugello,  they have stayed here so know what Bellaugello is all about.

This is one of my last posts on the current ‘old look’ blog, for my jottings are also being transferred to the new style.  Don’t worry the blog archive will still be available to view, I cannot loose almost six years and over one thousand posts of my blogging but like the website the new blog will be easier on the eye.

Keep checking back and please do let me know what you think to the new website and blog.


Boudicca! Benvenuto!

A friend’s brother reportedly said “Boudicca – don’t let the Romans get near her!”

Last weekend a foal was born in the valley.  The mother a beautiful white Camargue  mare, both mother and daughter are doing well.  Boudicca was born early in the morning and spotted nestling on the edge of some bushes by my caring and diligent farmer neighbour.

Boudicca, the new foal in Valdichiascio

The photo is not the best, but it is a hugely happy one!  Why Boudicca I asked, “Why not?” came the reply, “This is the year that our horses names begin with the letter ‘B’  ”  and how great is that.

This afternoon as I type my blog at my kitchen window overlooking the roofs of Bellaugello Gay Guest House the sky is azure, cloudless, the sun is shining, soft week golds, the strength waning as sunset approaches, the shadows lengthening, not a breath of wind, all is still.

I am reminded that this morning I bundled the dogs into the cab and drove the Apetto down to the Chiascio river below the house where the dogs went for a swim.  In the warmth of the sun I dozed languidly on a huge bough of an uprooted tree that is stranded on the rocky shore, suspended in mid – air almost horizontal, large, substantial, but flexible enough to sway gently too relaxing.  The November floods have again changed the course of the river, our beach of last year is all but gone, now two huge new  beaches full of large stones have appeared up and down stream, the limpid pools have been washed away, new ones carved out, and new swimming holes appear to be formed, they will be perfect for summer skinny dipping…..


Autumn morn

Crisp, sunny, clear. Early rise today, guys going to the beautiful Umbrian town of Todi to meet their tour guide meant I was up early to make breakfasts.
Today the tour is of the vineyards of Montefalco, that beautiful town famous for its Sagrantino, robust elegant Umbrian wine. The guys are meeting their guide in the delightful town of Todi before heading for the Strada di Sagrantino, maybe the will stop at the “Carapace” that surreal building on the cantina of Lunelli so beautifully photographed by Steve McCurry, or maybe it will be Di Filippo, the family run cantina making superb biological wines, or maybe Adanti, another great family run cantina with a very welcoming visitor centre. I wait to hear this afternoon which cantinas were on the list and which wines were purchased…
The garden here at Bellaugello Gayguesthouse is looking great. I am midway through pruning the lavender, the Rosemary is in its second bloom, and the Caci tree is laden with fruit, I so love the colour of the fruit, I must admit it is the one fruit tree I grow for beauty not eating! Bobby came and joined me at the infinity pool, red clouds reflected in the still light, mist hanging low in the Chiascio valley.

sun warming the stone - the Azzurro Suite, Bellaugello Gay Guest House, Umbria, Italy


Bobby wanting a drink - #infinityswimmingpool #bellaugello

Caci ripening in the gardens of Bellaugello Gay b&b near Rome

caci at Bellaugello gay guest house, umbria italy

and there are Scotch pancakes for breakfast


A Wish – well almost!

Today at Bellaugello Gay Guest House it was yet another glorious day.  An overnight frost soon lifted and the sun has shone brightly all day.

After a couple of days at the computer I took the opportunity to work outdoors and, although wrapped up warmly, felt the restorative heat of the sun.  Later this afternoon the dogs were nagging me for a walk.  Inevitably they win, so off we set on one of the delightful dirt roads that weave their way along the valley through beautiful Umbrian countryside.

Naturally neighbours and friends on their way home from work or shopping in nearby Gubbio passed in their cars, some stopped for a chat.  One was a local estate manager who was decrying the lack of rain.  Indeed, the spring here at Bellaugello Gay B&B has all but dried up, not normal for this time of year.  Looking back on photo records I see that this time last year the river Chiascio had burst its banks and the fields below in the valley were flooded.  Tito is right, it has been unusually dry this past 14 months we desperately need rain.  Odd to think coming as I do from Scotland that I could be wishing for rain, but the thought has crossed my mind.

In reality I much prefer the prospect of a month of snow, then the Sauna will be perfect!

Simply floating above the clouds…….

Deliciously it is still unseasonably warm here in Umbria, blue skies and “T” shirt weather.  The clock change this is morning at Bellaugello Gay Guest House confused some guys who rose unreasonably early, however it did allow me an extra hour of lazing in my bed before rising to prepare for breakfasts.  The extra hour did not mean that I missed the mist and clouds hanging in the Chiasco valley below the house, it seems that we are floating on the clouds.


After last night’s storm sunrise was early and very beautiful.  Mist hang in the Chiascio valley and as the sun rose the mist crept up the valley toward Bellaugello Gay Guest House which sits at 500 metres altitude facing south over the valley looking directly toward Monte Subasio the large hill behind the city of Assisi.

By nine o’clock there was a light mist but it quickly burnt off and now the sun is shining brightly.  This morning we finished the chimney for our ancient brick oven and I must say it looks rather splendid.  I decided to finish the top with a pyramid formation which is often seen in this part of Umbria.  However we need something to surmount the very top.  A discussion amongst those present came up with, pineapple, field stone, cockerel, and augello.  Well I have to decide, for now it will remain unadorned……..


Several abbeys stand on the track between Gubbio and Assisi, indeed the “Sentiero Francescana della Pace” hiking trail which runs from Gubbio to Assisi and passes through Valdichiascio not far from Bellaugello Gay Guest House, was designed to weave by these glorious old buildings.

The abbey of Valingeno is now in part an agriturismo, currently closed, however the chapel remains and is still consecrated.  This pic was snapped by me yesterday as I called to see friends who live in the part of Valdichiascio dominated by Valingeno and its bells seen on the horizon twizt blue skies and the verdant green of the Umbrian countryside.

The hiking trail is well marked as it winds its way through the tranquil scenery of northern Umbria, is easily accessed from Bellaugello Gay B&B offering guests a chance to retrace the footsteps of St Francis of Assisi.  Often we pack a picnic and head off along the trail rarely encountering anyone else, to one of the wayside chapels and sit under the shade of an ancient tree, in perfect peace disturbed only by birdsong, an utter delight, forget the modern world, de-stress, relax and drink in the wonders of nature.  A small side trail takes us to the Chiascio river and a wonderful bathing pool with waterfall,  seldom visited and an utterly beautiful spot to cool off before returning on another track to make the climb back up the valley to Bellaugello Gay Guesthouse.

Stillness – Monochrome

Last night there was a full moon and only scant  cloud cover, so the night was light, very surreal, utterly still and silent everything monochromatic and shadows.

This morning is one of those utterly beautiful mornings often found here in Umbria.  Stillness punctured only by the singing of the birds, a slight early morning damp-ness and a strengthening sun, the first traces of blue sky slowly revealled.  The Chiascio river below Bellaugello Gay B&B has returned to its level norm for this time of year, it is now running clearer, and sparkling with the morning light, and the fields in the valley floor are turning that lush green reminiscent of Irish meadows, as the crops benefit from the winter rains and spring sun.  The daffodils are bursting into flower, tulips are poking through, and friends have almond blossom in a vase on their dining table.  The fruit trees here at Bellaugello are gently budding and showing signs of re-awakening after their winter slumber and the Broad beans almost too large for their seed beds and wantingto be replanted into the vegetable garden.

The first of March and it feels like spring.

Festa!! Autumn has arrived!

Bronwyn writes it is raining in L.A. but it also rained here this week.  As I asked it rained overnight!  The garden is delighted and so am I.  The air is clear and crisp and the views spectacular.  The trees are turning their autumn colours, the hillsides of the Chiascio valley at Bellaugello are flecked with ambers, russets, golds and reds.

Friends are down south harvesting chestnuts.  It is the season of autumn harvest festivals, when every small town holds an outdoor festival or fair  to proudly show off (and sample) the year’s production. Specialities of Umbria include potatoes, lentils and chestnuts.  These autumn fairs are a wonderful chance to participate in real life here in Umbria as they maintain real traditions.  Many gaily decorated stalls line the narrow town streets, large pans cook stews and roast nuts, wine is warmed whilst music plays and people walk up and down meeting friends and commenting on the vast array of produce and crafts.

If you love tradition autumn is a special time to visit Umbria and reside at bellaugello heterofriendly guest house.


We have finally located the right wood for the construction of our Russian style Sauna, and are hoping to start work on the construction very shortly.

The Sauna will be  of the Russian style, that is hotter than a traditional scandinavian sauna.  The stove which will also heat the water for the shower and plunge bath will be fired with wood from our estate.

Despite a large Moldavian and Eastern European population currently there are no russian style saunas in either Gubbio or Perugia areas.  Day visitors will be welcome to use the facility.

The sauna will be sited in the garden to the west of the main house.  The building will be wooden construction with a large wooden decking area, and in accordance with our eco-sustainability policy the insulation material will be natural.

A covered verandah with changing space and showers will lead into the sauna proper.  Benches for lying side by side run across the rear wall, with two levels of seating benches to either side.  Lighting will be by LED

Outside there will be a large deck area with space for reclining loungers, a couple of tables and chairs (need somewhere to drink that chilled beer!!!) and the two old wine vats that will serve as plunge pools, one tepid the other cold water!  The deck will have un-interrupted view down the Chiascio valley and also in the summer will be a perfect place for sunbathing