Getting ready for the race

Sunshine, comfort, a swimming pool crystal clear and waiting….  Bellaugello is waiting peacefully for next week and the “Festa dei Ceri” the traditional “Race of the Candles” held in our local town of Gubbio every 15 May

The flag of S Ubaldo the patron saint of Gubbio hanging in the gardens at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, Umbria, Italy

We are ready, are you?  There are still some suites available for next week, come join in the fun.  Grab a flight to our local airport of Perugia S Francesco di Assisi which are are aplenty.  Quote “ceri 2015” for a 10% discount on a stay that includes 15 May 2015.  Email us at: book@bellaugello.com

So good

This past week Bellaugello Gay Country House has been graced with the presence of Theodore who has been busy helping out whilst soaking up the hot Umbrian sunshine.

Theodore at the infinity pool at Bellaugello Gay Country House in Umbria, Italy, #Bellaugello

Theodore is a very experienced and fully qualified yoga teacher and masseur, and it has been a delight to have him here at Bellaugello, we are getting such great guys here in 2015!

Overlooked

A glorious day here at Bellaugello Gay Country House, the sun shone brightly and temperatures reached 23˚c  the infinity swimming pool is glistening and beginning to heat up.  As I finished work we noticed Bobby casting a measured eye over the gardens and a photo was swiftly taken…

Bobby, surveying the gardens at Bellaugello Gay Guest House in Umbria, Italy. #BellaugelloI think the message was, “dad have you not finished yet, it really is time for a walk”.  So that is what we did!

A warm welcome

Sunshine, delicious warm sunshine today and with the grass cut on the lawns at Bellaugello Gay Country House I was in time to ready the Giardino Suite for a couple of friends who telephoned this morning and are travelling through Umbria on their way to Siena which is not that far away and asked if they could call in and stay the night with us.

A warm spring welcome!  The Giardino Suite at Bellaugello Gay Country House, Umbria, Italy #Bellaugello

Although we are not yet quite open, that delight is for the 2nd April in time for Easter it is a good excuse to air a suite and have it checked out before the season.

The bedroom of the duplex Giardino Suite at Bellaugello Luxury Gay Bed and Breakfast in Umbria, near Florence and Rome Italy,#Bellaugello,#Gay

I so love the Giardino Suite, it is our duplex, the upper level shown in the photographs is dreamily romantic, a four poster bed from a palace in Sicily, and huge views south over the Chiascio valley towards Assisi.  Stairs lead down to the dining kitchen which I have furnished in a retro style, matching the light fittings and paintings I brought from Scotland, and of course the retro bathroom,The Bathroom of the Giardino Suite at Bellaugello Gay Gueat House in Umbria, Italy

both of which lead onto the private terrace, space for a large dining table, a couple of sun loungers and an outdoor shower….

The south elevation of Bellaugello Gay hotel in Umbria, near Florence and Rome, Italyand a few steps away from our infinity pool…

The infinity pool, winter slumber at Bellaugello Gay Agriturismo, Gubbio near Assisi, Umbria, ItalyA pool with a view, the salt-treated 15m x 5m infinity swimming pool at Bellaugello gay gasthaus, Umbrie, ItalieThe pool might not yet be open but it is looking good, the views are huge and the peace surreal.  It has been a wonderful day here at Bellaugello, and now as our friends arrive we will cook roast local lamb and vegetables bought from the market in Gubbio.  Accompanied by a Sagrantino from the gorgeous vineyard of Adanti it is going to be a super evening.

Are you still searching that ideal Easter break?  We have a few suites still available.  Why not come and join us?  Friday 3rd April sees the ‘Processione di Cristo Morto’ in our local town of Gubbio, a mysterious tradition dating back centuries…

Processione di Cristo Morto, Gubbio, Umbria as seen by guests of Bellaugello Luxury Gay villa rentalWe will dine in Ristorante dei Consoli in Gubbio on the Friday evening and on Sunday 5th as has become tradition we are all invited to lunch on a neighbouring farm to roll eggs and join in the festivities of a large Umbrian pranzo.

Pranzo di Pasqua a Pratale, Valdichiascio, Gubbio, Umbria, Italia

All that is asked is that guests bring a dish of food or speciality from their home town.  The weekend is very relaxed, Bellaugello is the place to unwind and re-charge, afternoon tea in front of our fire, long leisurely walks in the beautiful Umbrian countryside, our sauna will be lit, sweat off the extra calories…

BELLAUGELLO Gubbio, Umbria,  the sauna #Bellaugello-Sauna

Prices from 250 euro a person for the three nights.  To be one of the lucky ones send us an email to: book@bellaugello.com we look forward to meeting you.

 

 

 

 

We are nearly Open!! 23 days to go

Time for cheery facts:  Here at Bellaugello Gay Country House all is good.

We are getting ready for the new season and will open for the  2015 season on Wednesday 1st. April.

Why not come and join us for Easter?  There are still some vacancies in our luxury suites.

Tulips on the terrace at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, Umbria, Italy #BellaugelloThe Azzurro Suite at Bellaugello Luxury gay resort in Umbria, Italy, europeThe weekend starts on 3rd. April with the ancient and deeply mystical “Processione del Cristo Morto” which takes place at sundown in the medieval city of Gubbio, our local town.  We have our favourite restaurant booked and will once again be there to witness this very special evening, as dignitaries and townsfolk process and chant throughout the centro storico.  Saturday is a day for exploring, the exhibition of Dinosaurs and the Gola del Bottaccione one of the few places in Europe where you can actually see the evidence of the meteorite that wiped out the dinosaurs,  If contemporary art is your pleasure then the unmissable exhibition of photographs by Steve McCurry runs until late April in Gubbio.  Return to Bellaugello Gay Country House and sweat a while in our sauna, before enjoying a dinner served around our family table.  Sunday and we are out for lunch in the valley.  Once again we will be rolling eggs and joining in the festivities, it has become a tradition here.  The quiet country lanes round Bellaugello give perfect possibilities for lazy walks and with the knowledge of returning to a blazing fire and afternoon tea at Bellaugello, your day or relax is almost complete.

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The primroses are in flower under the fig tree, we have been busy with our maintenance programme, kilos of orange marmalade are now bottled, the sauna is now looking resplendent with its new coats of wood preservative, the vegetable garden has been dug over, a few more days for the soil to dry out and we will be planting potatoes and beans, I am nearly done restyling one of the suites, and I have a great team of guys joining me for the season, all the vacancies are filled (more about the team in a future post)  and my two big pieces of news are imminent, one happening later today the other shortly…..  So much to do so little time to do it all!

 

On measurement

It is snowing here in Umbria.  I woke to flurries of snow that are still hours later flurrying but refusing to settle.  So strange when here at Bellaugello Gay Country House just two days ago it was hot and sunny like summer, so much so that I am convinced I have started my annual tan.

Outside is windy and wet and soggy looking, so a day to stay indoors and catch up on various tasks, some requiring serious concentration others less so.  The radio is streaming over the internet, I glance at the computer and google yesterdays news.  Buried half way down the pages, amongst the tragedy and woes is an article reporting a study by King’s College Hospital London into penile measurement.  It seems that they analysed the findings of surveys carried out on more than 1500 men and plotted their results.

Now despite what the female journalists would have us believe I am convinced every man will have surreptitiously clicked the link, read it and reached into his desk drawer for the ruler or measuring tape to see how he measures up.  For those of you who missed the article the research concludes:

Analysis of 17 studies involving more than 15,500 men revealed that the average length of an erect penis was 13.12 centimetres (5.16 inches).

The average length of a flaccid phallus was 9.16 cms (3.6 inches), while the average length of a flaccid stretched penis was 13.24 cms (5.21 inches), according to the research.

Zucchini

BELLAUGELLO gay guest house, zucchini in the ortoOne of the problems, if it can honestly be called a problem is the glut of zucchini that any conscientious vegetable garden tenderer amasses at the height of the summer.  Certainly here at Bellaugello Gay Country House, the hot Umbrian summer sun ensures that we have plenty of these delicious vegetables.  Recently I was reminded that this surfeit concerns me, and I discuss or rant with my guests here about such mundane things as the glut.  Oh! I do so sympathise with you guys…

So I learnt in a recent email from Alphons who reminded me that I was ranting on about the problem last summer and he kindly sent me his solution to the zucchini glut, a simple tasty soup:

  • 1 kilo of peeled courgettes
  • 2 spoons of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 500 ml Chicken bouillon
  • 175 ml cream (we call it whipped cream but don’t whip it)
  • Small bunch of basil, chopped
  • 1 bunch of parsley (the smooth one not the curly one), chopped
  • 120 gram Parmesan grated

 Cut the courgettes lengthwise in quarters, and then in 2,5 cm long pieces. Heat the oil in a sauce pan and fry the garlic and courgettes approximately 25 minutes, until the courgettes are brown and real soft.  Add salt, pepper and the bouillon and  let it simmer for a few minutes.

 Take the pan off the heater .

Puree ¾ of the courgettes in a food processor. Put all of the courgettes (puree and the pieces) back in the pan and add the cream, basil, parsley and parmesan.

Now you can cool it down and put in the freezer or just heat it up again

Sounds tasty indeed!  The regular and frequent contact with guests from Bellaugello that I have is such a delight to me, I am making so many friends and like the zucchini the Bellaugello network is ever growing….

Tempo per la marmelata!

Take twelve kilos of fragrant, juicy plump luscious unwaxed Sicilian oranges and lemons bought early in the market yesterday in our local town on Gubbio, wash them, search out the assistance of Vince, (to whom credit for the photos) who nobly spent the morning chopping shredding and juicing.

Cirtus fruit for marmalade at #Bellaugello

Place the prepared fruit into the jam pan and cover with sugar and set to simmer, reduce by 1/3rd.

Making marmelade at Bellaugello Gay Guest House in Umbria Italy

And so begins the process of our first marmalade of 2015, ambrosia for the guys breakfasts here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House in the rural tranquillity of Umbria, central Italy.  Tomorrow adding the Scotch Whisky and the bottling….

A delightful read

My dear friend Etain has just published the latest volume of her stories of Valdichiascio, “the life of the white horse” a part of her diary kept at her home, the idyllic organic farm of Pratale here in the valley.  Some of my guests have been fortunate enough to meet this wonderful person, and some to have visited her farm which she tends with her partner Martin, Ben her son, and lots of help from her extensive network of friends made through the “Wwoff” and the Sentiero Bioregionale networks, a bit of which she recounts in this latest edition.

La Vita della Guimenta Bianca - Etain Addey

The book, written in Italian (and easily read) is a perfect account of the changing seasons, people who touch on her life, and events both happy and sad.  There is even a chapter about Bellaugello Gay Guest House, I am so honoured, the first time I have been featured in a book.  Etain gives a synopsis below:

E per i miei lettori italiani…. Per ognuno di noi il viso familiare del cosmo è il luogo che conosciamo.
È attraverso le cose ordinarie del nostro quotidiano, nel luogo che chiamiamo casa, che il cosmo ci parla.

Raccontando delle pecore da governare, del letame da mettere sulla carriola, dei ladri nel pollaio, della legna da tagliare per il fuoco, della vita della giumenta bianca e di come morì alla vigilia del matrimonio di sua figlia Melissa, Etain Addey ci dice di fatto che le cose primarie della vita sono porte segrete di un mondo incantato, che la vita povera dischiude al mistero della natura e che uscendo dal sentiero battuto e avventurandosi per le stradine dimenticate e piene di rovi si entra davvero in un’altra dimensione. Per accedervi, però, sono indispensabili concretezza, rigorosità e il lavoro delle mani.
Le trame qui narrate testimoniano che la magia non è finzione e che l’avventura non richiede lunghi viaggi e molti soldi: è qui, sotto gli occhi, a portata di mano, in casa nostra, nascosta nelle piccole cose, nella cura del luogo amato, campagna o città che sia. Il segreto è nel silenzio che permette di fare le connessioni fra il mondo esterno e il mondo interiore, che sono un solo mondo, vivo e aperto a un dialogo con noi.
E l’interiorità del mondo – scrive l’autrice – aspetta con pazienza il ritorno a casa di noi tutti; aspetta che riprendiamo la conversazione interrotta. Se ci rivolgiamo al mondo, il mondo ci risponde nel suo linguaggio elegante e preciso, di corpi e di situazioni, e le sue comunicazioni sono sorprendenti e del tutto personali.

For those wanting to explore a beautiful life in Rural Italy I highly recommend the book.  Copies are €17 plus postage.  To order click the link which will take you to the publishers website: ORDER HERE – Link al publisher