Showering in the World’s Largest Bathroom

At Bellaugello we love being naked and especially under the outdoor showers

You wake us as the sun peaks through the window, it’s going to be another glorious day.  Stumble out of bed, I hope you have slept naked.  Grab a thick fluffy towel from the large bathroom of your suite.  Open the main door and wander onto your private terrace.  A long languorous stretch, a flex of arms and maybe a yawn and repositioning of your jewels.  Walking a few paces, you admire the large view, the tranquillity punctuated by the sound of wild birds and buzzing of bees feeding greedily on nectar.  There is a splash… is that guys swimming already in the infinity pool, maybe you go and check.

A walk over the lawns, underfoot deliciously damp with morning dew to the pool, the water crystal clear and sparkling, and seemingly falling over the infinity edge, into the mist lingering languidly low in the valley below.  Wow! this pool is stunning, the views huge and the sunbathing space generous.  No, it is not guys swimming but one of the Bellaugello team taking Hagbard the pool robot out of the water.  Overnight Hagbard has worked  to clean the pool.  Yes, this magical place even has a name for the pool robot cleaner.

A slow saunter back to your suite, and flick the lever on the outdoor shower.  Immerse yourself in delicious hot water, heated ecologically by the solar panels that Bellaugello use.

Yours could be the shower on the private terrace of the spacious Giardino Suite, the duplex room with huge commanding views south over the valley towards Monte Subasio and Assisi.  The room is just a few paces down the lawn from the swimming pool, the terrace enjoys sun almost all of the day.  As well of the shower you will find there sun loungers and a table with chairs so you can eat ‘al fresco’  or, if you must work or surf the internet there is, like over all the property a good wifi connection.

For 2023 the Giardino Suite outdoor shower has been modernised, there is a larger showerhead and a second hand shower, so, even more fun..
Simply be naked, let the water spray and splash all over your body
Of course you are also free to wear speedos when you shower outdoors at Bellaugello Gay Guest House

Maybe you have reserved the Azzurro Suite, the room with not only a terrace but also a small private garden with sun loungers.  The Azzurro Suite is in the oldest part of the house, traditional in feel, and many windows so making it light and airy. The suite overlooks the swimming pool with views to the Apennines.   The shower is decked with wisteria, the long pendulous violet flowers fragrant and blowsy every May.

Like the outdoor shower of the Giardino Suite, this shower is not totally public, nor totally private, but has oodles of delicious hot water.

Soaping up under the outdoor shower of the Azzurro Suite at Bellaugello Gay Guest House
and of course if your room does not have its own outdoor shower there is always the shower poolside and you will find another down on the Jacuzzi and sauna terrace

A ‘not to be missed’ exhibition

Works by Il Perugino A major exhibition at the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria runs from 4th March to 11th June 2023

Following a major renovation programme the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria – the National Gallery of Umbria which sits in a very prominent position in the main Corso of Perugia finally re-opened in a much enlarged form last year.  I suggested, when in the city, to take time and visit the museum to many of my guests, all of whom returned to Bellaugello very enthusiastic about the experience.   I thought it about time I went myself, and finally got to visit earlier this week which fortunately coincided with a major exhibition of early works by the 15th century Umbrian painter Pietro di Cristoforo Vannucci from Castel della Pieve, known as “Il Perugino”.

Walk up the Corso, the principal street of Perugia, our regional capital and one quickly sees that this is a proud, strong and elegant city with centuries of history.  Elegant buildings follow elegant buildings, the stone white with dappled grey streaks, mullioned windows and heavy ancient doors lead up towards the Piazza IV Novembre, the large open space in front of the Duomo, which has in its centre the magnificent 13th century Fontana Maggiore, which decadently celebrates a strong water supply to the city.

The Duomo, or cathedral of San Lorenzo, is, like most in Umbria plain facade and took over two hundred years from laying the foundation stone to being consecrated.  But I digress, back to the gallery;

Walk through two heavy imposing doors into the inner courtyard, pass by the bronze Griffin and the Lion, symbols of the city that after centuries of living on the wall of the Sala dei Notari – the city chambers have now been retired.  Their places having been taken by more recent copies, and head left to the ticket office and inevitable gift shop.

The ticket, which includes the entire museum and the Il Perugino exhibition is good value at €10

Now the steady climb, past the council chambers, you are walking a broad staircase with well-worn marble steps.  Climb to the third floor, the signage is not the best, and you are greeted by different spaces, some light, some dark, hand over your ticket and enter the room which commences with paintings by contemporaries of Perugino.

...and on to the Perugino s

The exhibition is brilliantly curated by Marco Pierini and Veruska Picchiarelli and includes at the end a video display showing the skills and attention to detail and huge amount of work of some of the extensive team behind the exhibition.

A picture tells a thousand words, so here are a selection of  some of the paintings that hit my eye.

and This is the Man himself

So, many more paintings some from The National Galleries of UK France and Germany the exhibition continues.  

I all to briefly continued through the extensive galleries in the remainder of the museum, learning about paintings architecture and furniture.  A few pictures follow, and of course no blog post on paintings would be complete without a painting by a follower of Caravaggio.

detail of the Polyptych of Saint Anthony by Piero della Francesca
in the style of Caravaggio by Orazio Gentileschi - detail

The Perugino exhibition runs until 11th June, tickets including the entire gallery complex is €10.

To learn more:

 Click here for the website of the National Gallery of Umbria

When you leave, cross the Corso and head to Sandri, the most traditional café in Perugia, glorious painted ceiling, elegant staff, superb coffee and sublime cakes and exquisite homemade chocolates

A couple of hike suggestions in the Monte Cucco Regional Park

If you can tear yourself away from our infinity swimming pool within an hour’s drive you can be on top of the Apennines, in the Monte Cucco Regional Park, you can drive much of the way up the hill, leaving a few hundred metres to climb to the summit where you have views both westwards to Monte Amiata in Tuscany and eastwards to the Adriatic sea north of Ancona.  This is a great starting point for a good hike.

Trails are well marked, and varying in degree of difficulty and steepness and length.  Several are circular, and for the more adventurous some require leaving a car in a different spot to where you begin.

Oh, and yes, there are also many good mountain bike trails.  We now have an agreement with an Bike rental in our local town of Gubbio.  For €35 a day you can rent a mountain Bike with suspension so you have no need to bring your own.

The main vehicular access point to Monte Cucco is from the village of Sigillo, one of those villages nestling in the foothills.  In years gone by Sigillo and its neighbouring villages including Costacciaro, Purello and Villa col dei Canali were alive with mills, all powered by water from the Apennines which tower above them.  From grain to wood, to paper production, the mills were busy. Today there is only one water mill still in working order.

Anyway I digress.  Take the narrow winding road SP244 that leads up and out of the village and after couple of km there is a car park on the right.  Park there and put on decent pair of waterproof hiking boots.   The route is easy, not steep, but at some point I will have you walking through a stream.  The open woodland narrows, you follow the stream, at one point climbing with the aid of a metal ladder and handrail further into the gorge.  You will walk in the stream for a few metres, before the gorge opens out and you find the source of the water, actually spouting out of a cleft in the rock.  Those with lots of energy can continue, and climb up to the road above, returning by the road.  I like to retrace myself steps back to the car.

The start of the trail, you will be walking along the stream to the right in the woods and into the hills in the background
The waterfall is approx 4 metres in height

If you drive on up the road shortly before you reach the summit car park you pass the observatory and IT masts, to me always so sinister looking, but I’m sure innocent..  I do however, maybe even hopefully, expect to see a character out of a James Bond movie fly out.

From the car park you have several hiking options.  Climb to the summit and return to the east passing the entrance to the Grotto of Monte Cucco, an extensive, deep cavern system which can be visited by guided tours.  The views to the north and east over the neighbouring region of Le Marche are large and dominant.

Or head directly eastwards and into scrunchy Beechwoods in the Val di Ranco.  You can then either continue down towards the remote village of Pascelupo (where you have arranged to have a car meet you!) or turn southwards and head into the restaurant at Tobia, where they cook great rustic food over a wood fire.  Very welcome on chillier spring or autumn days,

From near the summit of Monte Cucco, looking eastwards over Le Marche towards the Gran Sasso
Bracciole, salsicce, bistecca & crescia cooked over wood at this mountain refuge, spring, summer, autumn and winter

A successive post will take me to the other side of the park, to Isola Fossara and Pascelupo, two villages deep in the Apennines that time has forgot, and to two remote abbeys.  There is just so much to explore when staying Bellaugello

Simply Good Times

The Vikings have arrived!

One of the greatest joys for me is seeing just how guys love their time at Bellaugello.  Often arriving stressed and tired, guys soon remember how to relax and restore a sense of sanity.  We are situated in a magical valley, you have space, quiet, a stress-free environment where you will be in the company of like minded men to simply enjoy your vacation.

I am so lucky in having so many fabulous men staying at Bellaugello.  I’m so happy to have made all the friends I have made in the years I have been opening my home to guys from all over the world.  So, so many of you guys have become firm friends.  I see familiar names in the reservation book and am already looking forward to meeting again, catching up on news and gossip and a glass or two of local wine.  

The guys in the photo are from Scandinavia and took this pic during a stay in April. Next thing I  knew was they were in the pool…..






…and of course between dips in the pool, there was a quick dash to our Finnish Sauna

And so Bellaugello awakes, the season begins, guests arrive and yet further friendships are made.

Oh! and don’t worry if you are a single guy, not all of us are partnered, not all of us holiday with our partners.  As a single man you will be warmly welcomed at Bellaugello.  Many single guys stay Bellaugello, and many return again and again, soo good.

 Maybe you are a thruple, we have beds large enough to comfortably accommodate you.  During the booking process simply change the number of guests as appropriate.  If you are coming as a thruple, please let me know you wish to share a bed, or are simply three friends preferring separate beds.

You are all equally welcome

Getting ready for April opening

Mark the date in your calendars; Bellaugello opens on April 5

It’s been a funny winter.  November and December were very mild.  Later December and January it rained a lot, now in mid February it has turned cold and I understand the rain is blanketing the north of Europe.  Certainly we have big grey skies here these days, but also intense orange sunrises and magnificent ruddy sunsets.

Hear and I got away for a break, enjoying long walks and, for me, time to make a start on some of the books I have been piling up ever promising to read.  My winter is time to plan for the upcoming season and catch up with friends and keep thinking that I must diet but as ever not doing so.  So many clothes just do not fit anymore.  We have been several times to Il Panaro, the osteria at the end of the road.  Elio has sourced so many great new small scale suppliers.  The other evening I ate a delicious cured guanciale, the indulgent gand generous fat just melted the moment it hit my tongue.  Delicious ravioli generously stuffed with burrata finished with lightly sauteéd Pachino tomatoes, whilst my dining companion tucked in to handmade tagliatelle doused with truffle butter and shavings of truffle, all rather delicious. The food is even better that it already was, and Calogero (Carlo) is as funny, hospitable and eccentric as ever.

Sunrise over the infinity pool at Bellaugello Gay GuestHouse, Italy

But magnificent sunrises and sunsets do not make up for the absence of guests in the house.  Even after all these years it is so very strange to be here at Bellaugello without you guys.  I am so used to, and love the sound of laughter, of splashing in the pool, the merriment in the Jacuzzi, woodsmoke wafting lazily up from the chimney of the sauna and the buzz of conversation.  I miss the house being busy, of sharing a bottle of wine at aperitivo time,  time to chat whilst working in the garden, of picking vegetables to share with you, of being infront of the barbecue and sitting at dinners on the terrace under the stars surrounded by great guys.  The season cannot come back soon enough.

Bookings are now open So please come join me

Bellaugello days

Spring reawakening

It’s just good to be alive and here

I’m sitting at my kitchen window, the sun streaming in from an azure sky, there is not a cloud in sight.  

It’s one of those glorious late winter, just about spring mornings.  Snow dusts the tops of the Apennines, hazy shadows emerge from the woodland,  the river below is glistening in the crisp sunlight and birds are singing.  I put nuts and feed out for them, but they are hesitant, there is food aplenty this spring.

The first deep pink buds are showing on one of the apricot trees, go slow I say there is still the chance of another snow or frost.

The honey bees are venturing forth to stretch their wings in search of early spring nectar.  A warming sight, I’m so glad they have survived the winter.

I’m getting busy with bookings, and chatting with lots and lots of guys.  Many are friends, some are new to me.  We discuss everything from when Bellaugello is opening for the 2023 season – 5th April in time for Easter, to how best to get to Bellaugello – airports of Perugia, our local one with flights from Heathrow, Barcelona, Vienna Rotterdam, Palermo and Brussels.  Great for a two centre holiday. Just over one hour away is Ancona airport with daily Lufthansa flights from Munich connections worldwide.  A bit further Florence or Rome.  Why not combine a city break with nights in the peace and freedom of Bellaugello.

Oh yes, on the subject of freedom, we often discuss nudity.  I’m asked if guys can be naked on the property, yes you can.  Whilst Bellaugello is not a naturist location, clothing is optional so feel free to swim, soak up the sun be in the garden and sip cocktails sun kissed and totally naked.

I’m asked about erections in public, that is a much asked subject and  I would like to hear your thoughts.  The world is becoming more free, how should Bellaugello react?  Some erections just occur naturally whilst dozing poolside or under the outdoor showers.   Are comfortable with guys wandering round the gardens fully hard?  |I’d love to know.  Bear in mind, I might not agree with your point of view, but i’m keen to hear it.

I’ve been posting frequently on Instagram Do take a look.  Of course Insta does not allow much in the way of nudity, so my posts tend to be ‘reserved’.  I sense the need for guys to express themselves more freely and am considering some blog posts with full nudity.  How would you as a reader feel about this?  Guys see each other naked whilst staying here, so maybe those photographed could be part of a future blog post.  Maybe I want to publish such articles, I definitely don’t mean porno, but artistic.  I don’t know… but am keen to find out.

Next post I will discuss my art project that I started in 2021. It involves you the guest and is very personal to both you and the room you stay in.

I leave you with two pictures of our amazing infinity pool.

Ciao for now

Stay tuned.

Summer at the infinity pool @Bellaugello Gay Guest House, Umbria, Italy
Italian Gay Guest House

Summer falls toward Autumn

It is an amazing season here at Bellaugello.  Easing of travel restrictions has meant we have welcomed many returning guests, happily including guys from far overseas, guys who have been counting the days until they were able to once again stay Bellaugello.  

We have also welcomed and made friends with many ‘first timers’, and ‘Covid Bubblers’ it is always a joy to make new acquaintances and have them share our corner of paradise.

Saying Hello at Bellaugello

I have loved the buzz and vibe this season.  Despite the lingering shadow of Covid there is a very positive atmosphere.  Guys so happy to be relaxing with like minded guys in the delicious Umbrian countryside.  Stories are told, jokes cracked and laughter burbles along.  Suntans worked on, the occasional laptop is opened to reluctantly read business emails.  You had better not let me see you do that, you are supposed to be on holiday.  Holiday is a time for relaxing, as my dog shows so clearly.

Relax Bellaugello

We have cooked pizzas in the wood fired oven, baked Birthday Penis cakes, grilled sausages and meat on the barbecue and served dinners on old family china.  Guys have bubbled in the Jacuzzi and rented Bikes to cycle the quiet byways around our gay guest house, and of course they have just lazed away the days at our infinity pool.  

Bellaugello days
Every guy likes a sausage

Yes, we are having fun and would love you to come and join us.  Pick up your phone, open a travel app and get yourself over here.  We have availability in mid-September.  Click here to book your Autumn break We look forward to welcoming YOU!

Summer Truffles

Truffles – Tartufi

Two guys from overseas staying with us for the first time wanted to make the most of their precious time here at Bellaugello and had enquired ahead of the possibility of a truffle hunt.  So it was early one morning this week, early because it is hot and best to be outside before the fierce heat starts, that they met up with a local ‘Tartufaio’ or truffle hunter.

As the cars left Bellaugello I hoped that they would return with at least one small piece of this black gold, for even with the best truffle hunter and his dog there are no guarantees that the elusive tuber will be found.

They were taken to a local Oak wood and the search commenced.  A good bit of walking, a good bit of encouragement to the dog, and soon the first small truffle was unearthed.  Followed by some others and a good big truffle, the morning was a success.

Later in the day I passed by their terrace and spied that they were eating fresh pasta with slices of freshly discovered fragrant truffle.  Sheer ambrosia.  As we know here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House in Umbria, the simple  things in life are often the very best. 😊

Umbrian gay home office

A Room with a View

This afternoon I am writing not as it says, at my kitchen table, but outdoors on my terrace.  I am sitting in the shade.  The breeze, gently cooling, rustles the leaves in the Oak trees.  Birds sing, their conversations loud and merry.  I am distracted by their song, and by the many butterflies and insects on the lavender, the perfume intense and heady.  Oh yes, I am also distracted by the huge huge view.  I look down from my table to the distant Apeninnes, all the way to the Sibylline mountains some 70km away. It is serene and calming and utterly delicious.

Below I hear the noise of the guys splashing and having fun in the infinity pool.  The water is toasty warm, and the air temperature of 32˚c is just perfectly delightful.

This morning I was in town, routine shopping, but nevertheless a pleasure.  I shop in small stores, the storekeepers always (mostly always)  cheery and happy for a chat.  Today the subject everywhere in town seemed to be Post-Covid changes.

We were in agreement that 2022 has brought about many changes in peoples’ attitudes and mental well-being.  Much is detrimental, people have suffered two years of isolation, and I guess have had time to think and maybe re-evaluate their life and life ambitions.  Many are depressed and frightened, some even with the world in such a horrid place, are optimistic.  Whilst people are clearly happy to once again be free, I see a huge wariness in having to re-learn social skills and a greater frustration in acceptance of trivial failings or errors, both their own or in others.  There is also a great lack of patience and forgiveness, and the war in Ukraine is unsettling so many of us.

Here at Bellaugello with all the space and freedom to be yourself my guests are soon relaxed and re-charging.  The atmosphere is fabulous, P-C strains melt away.

I, on the other hand, swing from utter cheerfulness to deep annoyance.  My current rant is the sheer outrageousness of some of the requests I receive online. Ok, I understand that we are not all 100% computer literate, but it seems many are not even capable of reading.  The current trend of writing to me asking if I have accommodation, for me to reply either in the affirmative – yes we have some dates in early July and plenty of space still in the middle of September – get booking guys,

Click here to book Bellaugello

or the negative, we have very very few nights available in much of July and all of August.    Join our waitlist:

So, as quickly as possible, we don’t like to be kept waiting do we guys,  I send the enquirer the information he seeks.  If in the affirmative I write in detail about what is available.  I include the link to the website and link to book online.  I carefully state that  they can check descriptions, photos, prices, availability and if they wish to, they can make a booking, simple you would think, but no.  Yet, so many guys then ask me prices and can they telephone me to make the booking.  No, I will not take bookings over the phone, the risk of me loosing a contact or even forgetting a booking is too risky. 

Anyway I digress from my rant.  The photo to the right is a semi typical enquiry from the contact form on my website.  The last sentence may be slightly unusual, actually, no, it isn’t, years of experience reminds me I’m often asked that question, so I have the reply ready.

However in this case, the enquirer’s reply and follow up question left me angry and speechless.  See below:

I am many things, P-C has also changed me big time, but I’m still sensitive and curious, a pimp I am not.

So do not ask me to be one

Back to BBQing

After and absence of too long, I was back at the BBQ cooking for a delightful evening with lovely guys.  

I use an unusual type of barbecue, to me it is peculiar to our town of Gubbio.  Wood, which we use for the fuel is cut from our estate and is fed  into the raised part at the rear, the firebox.  The resulting ash created is pulled forward under the cooking grill to cook the meats.  Last night sizzling sausages from Gianluca, our butcher, succulent braciole and turkey breasts marinated in wild fennel and orange.

Temperature is regulated both by the amount of ash that is pulled forward and pulling the cooking surface away from the firebox.  It is genius and authentic.

As I cook outdoors, Daniela is busy in the kitchen putting the finishing touches to an array of salads, this evening including grilled vegetables from our garden, local mozzarella and hand cut prosciutto from a whole ham I bought from Norcia.

The evening was complemented by a splendid full moon which slowly rose to illuminate the valley.  All around us were fireflies, June is the month when they dance merrily in the deeper recesses of the garden, sheer magic.

midnight at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, Umbria, Italy

At the end of the day charged with a stiff whisky and soda I headed to my terrace to relax and reflect of another wonderful evening here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House in Umbria, Italy.

The company at dinner was great, a lovely mix of nationalities always brings new topics and humour.

 The conversations were varied, some funny, others serious – but not too serious, and some were downright outrageous, just as I like it.  I am so lucky to live in such a special place, to love my ‘job’ (can it really be called a job when it is so much fun?) and to have the company of such delightful beautiful guys.