The most glorious tranquil and still of mornings was rudely interrupted by good friends who were planning a hill walk and lunch in a restaurant near Gubbio – no way could I refuse, great company, great scenery, and the promise of a great lunch, so off I drove down the back drive from Bellaugello Gay Guest House to meet them at the junction of the lower road through Valdichiascio from where I took the first photograph, showing Bellaugello Gay B&B on the top right hand corner of the photograph near the ridge, commanding views over the Chiascio valley.
We then proceeded through the medieval town of Gubbio and climbed up behind the ancient walled city through the pine woods to the summit of Monte d’Ansciano which commands fine views over Gubbio, the valley west towards Perugia and to the north and east the snow capped summits of the Appenines. We had all come dressed in thick winter gear, but within a few minutes were shedding layers and ended up in ‘T’ shirts as it was utterly beautiful and really quite warm.
The medieval town of Gubbio sitting at the foot of the hill with the ancient Roman Theatre visible in the large grassy park just above
Panorama of the Appenines from the summit of Monte d’Ansciano near Gubbio in Umbria
At the summit we came across a group of young priests who were soaking up the sun whilst on a retreat staying in the glorious San Gerolamo abbbey which clings magically to the hillside between the summit and Gubbio 500 metres below, what a beautiful tranquil place for a retreat…. Heading down we drove through the Bottaccione gorge where we stopped at the Osteria del Bottaccione (one of my favourite eating places) where we feasted on local Eugubine specialites of locally cured prosciutto, pecorino cheeses with home made orange and pear jams, crostini with mouth-watering liver pate, bruschette, and juicy salamis, followed by a spinach and truffle risotto, then tender milk fed pork roasted on a bed of lentils, enough food for a month, oh but so good…