Food glorious food…..

One of our ‘Get Started Hampers’  crammed full with local delicacies perched on a terrace table in the sunshine awaiting the arrival of new guests at Bellaugello Gay Guest House in Beautiful Italy

Bellaugello Gay Guest House, Umbria a Welcome Hamper

Space to fill at Easter

I had tried to write a catchy header to this post, but my brain is away somewhere else and for once I cannot link the two themes of this post with the correct heading…

Firstly owing to a cancellation I have two suites available for the Easter weekend, that is the last weekend of this month, come when you want, but do stay for Easter Sunday when we will be rolling Easter Eggs and having much silly fun.

With many traditional festivals and processions Easter is a great time here in Umbria.  In out nearby city of Gubbio the weekend starts with the procession of  “Christo Morto” an ancient procession throughout the town centre, with chanting, singing and participants dressed in strange attire.  It is an eerily spooky and deeply mystical procession, that entrances me every year.

In nearby Assisi there are of course many Easter processions, and services on the Sunday.  Assisi is especially worth visiting this year now that the new Pope has been elected and he has chosen the humble name of Francis.  From his Wikipedia biography I feel certain that he has chosen the name after St Francis of Assisi, who led a simple and honest life, and walked from Assisi to Gubbio to tame the wolf, I hear the new Pope prefers public transport to limousines, there are lots of great walks here in Umbria.  Last weekend I made contact with a guide called Mauro who will take guests into the fabulous Monte Cucco regional park, where he was born and grew up, for hiking, cycling, and even fly fishing- he is a qualified instructor, and down into the depths of the caves on Monte Cucco.  If that appeals do drop me a line for further details.

It absolutely staggered me this evening whilst checking Facebook (incidentally do please “LIKE” our facebook page “Bellaugello Gay Guest House”) that all the comments posted about the white smoke rising from the Sistine Chapel roof, and the likely choice of new Pope, then the heightened tension whilst waiting to the red curtains to be drawn dramatically back, were posted save one exception from a loving and proud mum… ‘Mum is it true that Berlusconi has just been named the new Pope?!’ by gay guys!  Now get that girlfriend!!  Not that any of them are religious, maybe closet religious, but not openly professing religion.  With hardly one exception neither are they pro-Catholic, or intend to be, so why the slavish interest and lavish comments?

Anyway Religion or no religion, belief or no belief, the last weekend of March is a splendid time to come and stay at Bellaugello Gay Bed and Breakfast, where you will always be assured of a warm welcome, cozy underfloor heating in the suites, a cheery fire in the dining room, and the warmth of the log burning sauna stove…  (oh dear does that last sentence sound a bit Dante ish?)

Email your booking request now to:   book@bellaugello.com

 

Magical misty morning…….

One of the delights of my life here in Umbria at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, rather surprisingly for those who know me well, are, early mornings.  I just love waking up and seeing misty rolling clouds hanging in the valley below.  To me it is like having slept on a magic carpet, or in the cosseted first class cabin of a Zeppelin, the sun shines, the skies above are clear, bright, clean, azure and below, fluffy billowy clouds cling to the treelined valley slopes

Here at Bellaugello we are busy preparing for Easter weekend. As always a mix of tradition and modern.

This friday evening, in time honoured tradition at sundown in the beautiful nearby medieval city of Gubbio a mysterious chanting is to be heard, heralding the “Procession of the dead Christ”

I find the procession which is a veritable spectacle, both enthralling and at the same time somewhat sinister.  By the presence of so many good citizens from Gubbio it is undoubtedly one of the most important festivals for the city.

The city of Assisi, a delightful 40 minutes scenic drive from Bellaugello, made famous by S Francesco or St Francis, the good man who befriended animals and together with Assisi’s other but less famous saint, S Chiara or St Claire led and avowed simple pure life, is now a bustling high end international tourist destination.  Not only for the clergy, priests are a plenty in Assisi, but also pilgrims and visitors from all over the world who come to share the Easter message and marvel at the Giotto frescoes in the Basilica.

All around in Umbria there is a festive feeling and we at Bellaugello join in another tradition started in more recent times by good neighbours of our here in the valley, who as always, invite us, and all of our guests to a family lunch party and painted Easter Egg rolling.

Lunch is always a large affair, with family, and lots of friends. Guys staying at Bellaugello are asked to bring a dish or item from their home region to go along with our hosts’ organic produce, and so commences a wonderful friendly and utterly delicious international lunch party..

No April Fool’s day joke

I had planned to post some photos of the traditional procession that takes place in the beautiful Umbrian city of Gubbio on the Friday before Easter.  However today being April the first I am unable to post any pictures from my computer.

This may be an April Fool’s day joke, but to me it is real annoying and probably due to my last night having updated – not at my volition my computer software to the inanely titled ‘ os x snow leopard’ .  This is ‘cos Apple want me to move to the cloud……..

So instead of some photographs of the traditional “Procession of the Dead Christ”  I am sitting here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House having a rant about  conspiracy….. well I see a link,  mystery – procession  – cloud – easter

Have a nice Sunday!

Signs of spring

The sun is shining, here today in Umbria in the shade it may still be cool, but in the sun at Bellaugello Gay Guest House it is wonderfully warm, and as the picture of Edo’s almond tree shows the blossom on the fruit trees is just beginning to burst forth.

We still have a few suites available for the Easter weekend, so why not come and join us at Bellaugello Gay B&B  and participate in the festivities here in Valdichiascio, our local valley.

 

Easter with friends in Valdichiascio, Umbria

Some of us from Bellaugello Gay Guest House journeyed over to the other side of the valley to my good friends Etain and Martin at Pratale farm for Easter Sunday lunch, Easter-egg rolling and general fun.  Etain and Martin had invited lots of friends and also everybody staying at Bellaugello Gay B&B

The sun came out, as we all gathered under the shade of the mulberry tree in the courtyard, food was home cooked, plentiful and delicous, and the company and hospitality as ever, exceptional

Thanks Mart and Etain…

Happy Easter – Buona Pasqua

A very Happy Easter to all from us here at Bellaugello.  Last night I noticed the video selection was raided as guys settled in for lazy evenings with silly film.

Today Umbria is misty and magical, I so adore it this way, the greens become more alive and verdant, clouds hang low and mist shrouds the Chiascio valley, clinging to the woodlands and swirling across the fields to rest as puffs of cotton wool on the hilltops, the quiet punctuated by birdsong.  Here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House we seem to be on top of the world.  Umbria once called the ‘land of saints and hermits’, certainly seems that way this morning,   a day of rest and relaxation

I have just readied breakfast, laid out on our old family table in our dining room; For Easter our usual selection of home-made  jams and preserves, honey form the farm, local pecorino cheese and cold meats, together with home-made bread and cakes, we celebrate Easter with a ‘Colomba’ the delightful rich sweet sugary almondy cake traditional to Italy at Eastertime, this one from the finest bakery in Gubbio.  Also on the table is a ‘Crescia di Pasqua’ a local speciality bread baked in the shape of a Panettone but instead filled with cheese, it is so scrummy when toasted….

And of course there are chocolate Easter eggs and hard-boiled eggs with a selection of coloured pencils ready to be coloured by the guys ready to take to Pratale for the traditional egg-rolling games prior to lunch of new season organic lamb and potatoes roasted in their wood fired oven.

Tonight Beau and I are cooking dinner here at Bellaugello.  We have wonderful large leaved sage plants in the garden, so will coat them with a light batter and fry them until crispy, a good appetiser prior to our truffled lasagne, which will be followed by roast quails, and home-made apple pie, undoubtedly with some good grappa…

Indeed a day of celebration and feasting…

Easter

Firstly a Happy if somewhat belated Happy Easter to you all.

We had a splendidly international day yesterday.  Lunch with friends in the valley included guests from Switzerland, Japan, Holland, England, Scotland, Iran, and of course several points in Italy.  It was a great gathering infront of a roaring fire, with a groaning table laden with scrumptious food with the added delight of multi-lingual conversation

Having had several days of sunshine, hot enough for a spot of sunbathing yesterday turned wet and rainy, so a day of eating and socialising was ideal.

Last night we were joined at Bellaugello Gay Guest House by a couple of friends from the valley who brought friends of theirs from Calabria.  It too was a multi-cultural event, we were greatly entertained by Ale and his rendition of a Neapolitan dialect, of which I must confess I understood nothing!

Yes, Easter was celebrated in style and companionship here at Bellaugello Gay B&B, and all rounded off by a spectacular storm with lightening and thunder at midnight,  no need for fireworks here in Valdichiascio just good times!

Shopping

I was in Gubbio this morning, mistakenly thinking I would beat the crowds, but alas no!  The town was very busy and the supermarket full of people mis-steering overfilled trolleys.

Just what is going on?  Do these people only shop once a year , do they fast for 51 weeks and then gorge themselves in one week, and if so why do they have to shop before Easter when I need to get in and out in a minimum time?

Then the check-out.  I hate the check outs, why can they not have self check out here? The shortesest queue is always the slowest, and today that was true, the couple infront of me had some coupon dispute that involved calling all the supervisors and eventually the manager, all for €1.00 discount.

They looked neither rich or poor, obviously nothing better to do, but boy was it irritating to the rest of us.

Chain Gang

Day two of the tidy up prior to Easter and I feel like I have been pressganged into hard labour for some crime I am yet to commit.

It is good to get some heavy manual labouring, afterall I want to look good and fit when the swimming pool is ready and open, however I am not sure if shovelling barrow-loads of sand, moving pallets of coppi (terracotta roof tiles for the anexxe)  and transporting crazy paving slabs from the main car park to what is now the builders space is the best way of going about it.  But it does need to be done I want the place looking as good as possible for Easter guests.

It is satisfying to see Bellaugello gay bed and breakfast taking shape, and finally to have the car park free of materials and neat and tidy, it just remains for the grass to get a cut.  We have also been tidying in the garden, ready for seeding the lawns to the west of the house.  The dreadful winter weather has meant that the seeding is later than I would have wished, but if done earler all seed would have been washed away or frozen.

Martin my neighbour is planting his potatoes so there is another job waiting for me to find a spare moment, I would also like to get some more seeds in soon.

Next week the majority of the large hay bales leave here I have sold them to a farmer near Perugia, thus freeing up valuable storage space in the barn.  I have decided this year to make bales instead of the giant rolls as they are easier to handle, and give a better return.  The remainder of the hay is being used by my neighbour Francesco to feed his cattle.  The hay is organic so all the better for the cattle.

The builders are back on monday to work on the floor of the dining room and kitchen, windows are on order, the permission finally having arrived, so we are on target to have the next two suites, and the dining room ready for May and the summer season, hurrah!