It’s really beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

It might not be snowing, indeed it has been sunny all day here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, but the mood in Umbria is decidedly Christmassy.

The roadside houses are  festooned with multicoloured lights, the ancient narrow streets in the Umbrian hill top villages and towns are decorated with lights, shops filled with colourful seasonal displays  and talk of who is doing what for the holidays.

One of the delights of Italy are the traditions, the wonderful winter markets, where you find an abundance of craft items and of course excellent local foods and produce.  Down narrow lanes old creaking garage doors normally firmly shut and bolted are now open revealing extensive nativity scenes.

In Gubbio our local town they really get into the Christmas spirit.  A whole ‘quartiere’ of the city has been taken back in time several centuries and the streets are re-created as they were many many years ago, it is eerily like stepping back in H G Wells’s Time Machine, lifesize figures hug the walls,stoop over cooking pots or shepherd animals,  and of course the “World’s Largest Christmas Tree’ burns brightly on the hillside dominating the town.  Prime Minister Monti turned it on, let us hope that he or someone economically sensible is still here to do the same thing next year!

Gubbio, the 'World's Largest Christmas Tree'Here at Bellaugello I have been cooking madly, and of course ‘feeding’ the Christmas cake with liberal doses of whisky.  In between times I have been taking advantage of our wood fired Finnish dry Sauna and working up a real sweat.  Tomorrow I am off to find Christmas trees and start decorating the house ready for the festive season. I brought several decorations back from my travels to Sweden, they look great here and with my already extensive collection of decorations the house will look superb.

What fun we are going to have! [subscribe2]


Last Night in Gubbio

Christmas is on the way here in Umbria, Italy, and last night we drove the few kilometres from Bellaugello Gay Guest House into Gubbio to witness the ‘switching on’ ceremony of this marvellous tree that gaily rises almost 400 metres – yes almost four hundred metres, to the summit of Monte Ingino behind the town.

Gubbio claims this as the ‘Largest Christmas Tree in the World

Here is a link showing the event, we did have cameras, but alas were too busy enjoying ourselves to have taken any good pictures!     Daily Telegraph Video report of the lighting of the Gubbio Christmas Tree …….and the prosecco went down a treat during the fab firework display!!

Valdichiascio – Gubbio

Back in misty magical Umbria late last night, oh it feels real good!

Sitting on my desk an invitation to the party to watch the turning on of the lights in Gubbio of the World’s Largest Christmas Tree on 7th. December,  count me in.definitely not to be missed!

This picture from a couple of years ago gives an idea of the scale of the tree…


Here at Bellaugello we are in the final stages of planning our Christmas and New Year Houseparties.

For both Christmas and the New Year celebrations we will be offering a four night half board packages, including celebration dinners on Christmas day and New Year’s Eve.  Bellaugello is our home in rural Umbria where we welcome guests.  Our packages run on houseparty lines with everyone dining together at one table,  and include an evening of local culinary specialities and local wines, a trip into Gubbio to visit the ‘World’s Largest Christmas Tree‘ a chance to soak up the local atmosphere, visit the markets and nativity scenes, and a murder mystery dinner, and of course our Finnish Sauna will be hot!

In order to have everything run smoothly we are looking for a couple of guys to come and work alongside us for the holidays.  Some previous experience in the hospitality industry is an advantage, work will be in all areas of our operation and whilst it will be hard work, from waiting at table to lighting fires, cleaning, and kitchen duties,  you will be expected to join with the guests at the festivities whilst at the same time helping ensure all our guests enjoy warm houseparty hospitality and excellent service.

It may well suit guys on university break or someone looking for a change of scene and a challenge.  The universal language here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House seems to be English, although we have guests from all over the world, and of course a rudimentary knowledge of Italian is a great advantage.

If you think you might be interested and would like to find out more then please drop me an email with a bit of background about yourself also stating why you would like to join our team and we can take it from there…  Bellaugello e-mail Link click here