I’m in love…

Today is grey, damp, miserable and I am feeling hellish.  I was away for a few days, up in the Dolomites in the sun, invited to join two guests from Bellaugello Gay Guest House for a couple of days of hiking.  I drove and stopped the night at Trento, that elegant city nestling in the foothills just below Alto Adige.  I have friends there and the kindly invited me to dinner, delicious it was too.  After dinner we played the most politically incorrect card game I have ever seen, and what a blast it was!

“Cards against Humanity” is hysterical, for those of you like me who have never even heard of it, the crux of the game is to pick a card, read out the sentences and for the other players to fill in the blanks with the most inappropriate words or phrases from their selection.  And Boy oh Boy are there some hugely politically incorrect possibilities, We played until late, laughed and laughed and as a result I have a set of cards on order for the guys here, I think it will be an after dinner winner at Bellaugello.

So on to Mals, a small town in Venosta that remote corner of Italy that should be Austrian or Swiss but for some reason is Italian.  The climb from Bolzano is scenic winding through alpine villages and kilometre after kilometre of apple orchards, until finally I reached the hotel perching on the snowline.  Two glorious days and then home through the snow and rain to a grey evening yesterday and I brought back a souvenir, the ‘flu or something equally hideous.

So I have spent most of the day hibernating, lolling in bed feeling lousy and taking doses of hot honey and lemon laced with ‘fluifort’, but I am in love so all is not lost…

So you might well say this is his big news, the announcement supposedly to have been made in January, but no! I hate to disappoint you it is not what you think, that big piece of news is still to come and huge news it is, so well worth waiting for.  Rather I am in love with a box of rather splendid decadent and delicious chocolates…

Peter Beier Chocolates, Copenhagen

These delights have kept me going through what has been a hideous day, a bad depressing and black day.  I’ve eaten nothing else so can feel no guilt at their high sugar content and tomorrow health permitting will be back in the garden or out pruning olive trees, if not then more of Peter Beier’s chocolates will be consumed!

 

And more…

Dunno if it is Skype or Apple, but frustratingly for some time I have been unable to upload these stunning photos sent from two splendid guys from the Canary Isles.

Bellaugello Backs D&J Bellaugello Backs D&J

Having seen my post of yesterday they re-sent me the photos, this time by email, if only to prove that we do have hot hot days here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House!  Thanks to D & J

Anyone else with a pool pic do feel free to send it and I will post on the blog  😉

Have you something to celebrate? Then Bellaugello is the place

The other evening we had the privilege of serving a romantic ‘dinner a deux’ for two guys celebrating twenty years together. It was an excuse for us to set a table on the terrace deep in the garden, fill it with candles in lanterns and for the couple to enjoy the privacy and intimacy of a private dinner.

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Soft music, candles, and good Umbrian food…

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For your booking email us at book@bellaugello.com and we will make your day rather special.

Dreamy Sunday morning

It is a strange thing weather…. I moved to italy for several reasons, the obvious one to own and run a gay guest house, another obvious one the great people, food and wines, and then there is e weather.
Weather has never been a subject of conversation of import at Bellaugello Gay Guest House until this year. When guys make bookings for their holidays here I am often asked what the weather will be like in September, will it be too hot in July, is May a good time to travel, but this year I can give no guidance as to what the weather will be doing tomorrow let alone in several months’ time.

We have had our share of wet and miserable weather, but fortunately nothing like in Calgary or eastern Germany from where guests send me photos of catastrophic flooding and summer snow. All this rain has stunted the fruit trees here at Bellaugello my usually juicy plump sensuous figs are falling from the tree, unripe, the apricots are non existent, but as a neighbour remarked yesterday the olive trees are bursting with flowers, if they turn into fruit the olive branches will all need supports, it looks possible to be a once in 50 years bountiful harvest.

Today is utterly glorious, a dreamy Umbrian morning, the verdant hillsides warmed by an invite se sun, lingering wisps of mist, the air punctuated by birdsong and the noise of insects collecting nectar.

I am sitting on my terrace just finishing a croissant with orange marmalade made by a guest from England and kindly given to me, ambrosia in this place of paradise

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A real gem. Life on the land in Umbria, past and present

In amongst our house hunting foray yesterday from Bellaugello Gay Guest House we called in to see a delightful rural house on the outskirts of the village of Pietralunga some 15kms from our local town of Gubbio.  The house nestles on flat land on the hills below the Apennines and has views over the surrounding well cultivated fields towards the town of Gubbio,

The vendor is a real countryman.  Having lived his life on this hillside, he is an enthusiastic and knowledgable gardener, and although not in the spring of life, still cultivating a few fields around his house with a very smart shiny new Landini tractor.  In the vegetable garden are  five large rows of potatoes, well manured, many seeds just sprouting, and still winter salad.  Next to the vegetables are rows of vines, yes, as we were to find out he makes his own delicious wine too…

home made wine on and Umbrian hillsideAs evidenced by the cellar under the house amongst this fantastic guy’s other talents are curing prosciutto and making salamis. His wife bottles fruit and puts vegetables in jars under oil.   The cellar is a veritable treasure trove

Prosciutto and lardo home cured in UmbriaSo welcoming was the hospitality, we could have stayed and listened all day, and so many fascinating stories still to be told.  Tales from boyhood wartime experiences, seeing the conflict first hand, and the tough life as a son of a large family working for the landowners on the estate.  Ploughing adjacent fields with ox plough, reaping by hand, the scent of fresh baked bread in the outside wood oven, and foraging for wild porcini mushrooms in the oak woods that run down to the stream below the house to name but a few.

His passion stirred our interest and we just had to go and visit the old manor house just along the road, incidentally also for sale.  It is approached by an ancient once elegant and imposing avenue of mature trees, now with primroses and wild violets strewn along the pathsides.  The house once home to several families is now abandoned, magically overgrown, covered in old man’s beard right up to the rafters resembling a sleeping beauty waiting to be awoken..An ancient Umbrian estate house waiting to be restored What a wonderful potential in this ancient implement shed on the side of a large house in Umbria, waiting to be restored Restoration project anyone?  A house for sale in Umbria, central Italy

 

Summer in the SUN – Work at Bellaugello

Fancy a summer job in the great Italian Sunshine?

At Bellaugello Gay Guest House we are looking to recruit a young enthusiastic dynamic conscientious cheerful (and cute!) guy who loves working with people for our busy summer season.

This post of GENERAL ASSISTANT would ideally suit a guy who has an interest in the hospitality business, maybe a student or recent graduate of a college or university course of hospitality or related field.  In exchange for board and lodgings and some financial remuneration we are looking for a guy happy to take on flexible working pattern whose duties include helping at breakfasts and dinners, pool maintenance, cleaning, gardening/watering plants, and kitchen help.  Of course the successful applicant will be working in a friendly environment, Bellaugello is run along the lines of a home, and be able to make use of the infinity pool and facilities at Bellaugello.

Post dates: Mid May to Mid October – Do you yourself or do you know someone who might like to take up this opportunity – even for a couple of months in the summer,   Email Alec for a job description with some details about yourself and current photo to: info@bellaugello.com

…………………………..

Are you a MASSEUR?   Do you know of a masseur who would enjoy a summer in the sun?  At Bellaugello we are frequently asked for a massage service.  Masseuse there are plenty, and great ones at that, but the guests want a masseur.  If you fit the above job criterion and would like to do the above GA job and in your free time as a qualified masseur work on your own account as a masseur then drop Alec an email.  info@bellaugello.com

If you would simply like to offer a massage service at Bellaugello get in touch all the same by email: info@bellaugello.com  Please note we are a small guest house and unable to guarantee a minimum number of massages, but will gladly put you in touch with other hospitality business in the area.

Previous applicants need not apply

Temporale

Looking out the window today I really cannot believe it is less than two weeks to Easter.

Ok, I know I shouldn’t really be posting this, after all my blog is supposed to be full of joys and delights, tra lah!  The daffodils are indeed coming up, all should be cheery and positive and written to encourage you all to come and see Bellaugello for yourselves, but my blog is also a record of daily life running a gay guest house in Umbria, Italy so here goes;

Today in Umbria it is blowing a gale, torrential rain, grey and utterly miserable.  It is not especially cold, the wind is coming up from the south, but it is soggy and real wet.   The Chiascio river below the house is running fast a muddy café au lait colour and has once again burst its banks.

Here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House over the past month in amongst other tasks I have been endeavouring to get to work in the garden. It has been frosty every morning, sunny days, but no good for pruning or chopping.  Now all is waterlogged and very sad, and plants  like frenetic semaphore signallers are blowing about madly in the high winds.  I feel like I am on the bridge of an ocean liner in a storm.

Grey rain from the safety of the porch at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, Umbria, Italie

Because we have had some warm weather recently the grass is growing madly and of course the weeds even more so.  The fine oak tree on the east side of the house which has held onto its golden dry brittle leaves until just now has finally decided to shed them, and guess where they are all ending up…. in the swimming pool of course!

I guess the easter bunnies will just have to frolic and gambol in the long grass 😉

Sunshine and snow, you have to see the funny side

As we prepare for the upcoming season at Bellaugello Gay Guest House we are confronted by snow and sunshine simultaneously.  It is a glorious day, the sun is hot, the wind bitter, and both make life just a little bit more fun.

New purchases for the suites need to be taken round, unwrapped, and put in place, ever so exciting.  I have ordered some fabulous brightly coloured retro chairs and sunloungers for some of the terraces, and am swithering on bright acid coloured sunshades for around our infinity swimming pool, I think they will be ok, I love the colours, the idea, they will go with the modern pool, but must not clash with the terracotta and honey coloured stone of the buildings. Hence I am slightly unsure so have not hit the ‘order now’ button.  You will have to wait and see if I have gone ahead with one or all of  lime green, cerise and azure sunshades!  I still have to find little tables to go next to our sleek black pool sun loungers, why is it that I cannot find a simple small low metal table that I like that is not ridiculously unstable, fragile or over-priced?  All I want is somewhere for guys to be able to put their iPads, books, suncream and bits and bobs.  I have searched and searched to no avail.

As previous guests here will be aware, as every suite has its own private entrance and terrace, so going round every suite involves accessing all parts of the building from the outside.  Today that involves putting on a winter jacket and trudging through driving snowflakes that because of the sun refuse to settle, but instead make lots of mud, the dining room previously sparkly clean is now less so. huh!

And talking of mud there is lots of it, and in all the places t hat I do not want it.  Last year in the summer drought the lawns suffered here, they look very bald in patches and require re-seeding, a job that I did a great deal of last year, all seemingly to no avail.  The spring last year saw verdant lawns, then came the drought and we just did not have enough water to spare so the lawns had to be given low priority.  So the compost has once again been delivered, the lawn seed is here, the fertiliser too all I need is a dry wind free day – why oh why does lawnseed blow so readily into newly weeded flowerbeds, and the promise of no more frosts or snow.

As we settle into and try and acclimatise the many changes in Rome, I learn that there are also changes in the administration of our local lovely town of Gubbio.  It seems the chief of the infrastructure  department has been ousted, there is now a new person in post, someone did refer to her as Cruella DeVille, I hope not! who will she round up?  To me this change must be an improvement, maybe finally we will see some real action on addressing many of the infrastructure and environmental problems in the commune, that have been summarily ignored.  I also learn that the young Mayor sadly whilst driving his car ran into and killed a local lady.  It seems his time at the top of the tree is numbered.  I wonder who now one of the powers behind the throne has gone they will find to replace him.  It is rumoured that there are to be elections for the local administration, maybe another comedian will be found, after all they seem to be the fashion right now.

Life here in Umbria is certainly interesting