Dawn breaks into sun..

How strange the weather can be, one moment hot hot sunshine and the next magical mist.  Here at Bellaugello Gay Country House we live in the most breath-takingly beautiful of valleys.  We look south commanding a huge view over the river Chiascio which meanders its way lazily towards the confluence with the river Tiber.

Our valley is peaceful, unspoilt, indeed so many of our guests return again and again to revel in the tranquillity and peace, they find a haven far away from the ‘madding crowd’.  Although not this morning I attach a photo taken recently as the mist which early morning dives low and then magically drifts skywards, a dawn of a new day bringing ever new surprises and joys, you can make out our infinity edge swimming pool already a brilliant azure in the morning light.

Sunlight filtering through the trees at Bellaugello Gay Country House in Umbria, Italy. #Bellaugello

Of course our infinity swimming pool enjoys the best of views,

Readying the pool - early morning at Bellaugello Gay Guest House in Umbria, Italy we swim overlooking the valley and way in the far far distance the Monte Sibylline the national park that is in the southern corner of Umbria and which borders the neighbouring region of Abruzzo,

Over the infinity pool at Bellaugello Gay Guest House in Umbria, looking towards the Monte Sibylline national parkthe national park is home to the famous Piano Grande that every July so generously gives of its tapestry of wild flowers

Piano Grande, Umbria, #Bellaugelloa trip well worth making in you can bear to tear yourselves away from the glorious poolside at Bellaugello 🙂


Hmmmm…. it’s been a bit of work in the making

Clearing through photos this morning at Bellaugello Gay Country House I came across this set which brought back memories of just how the house was and all the effort we put into restoring it to make what you see today.

The south elevation of Bellaugello 2009 – 2015 enjoy!

Let battle commence! demolish the lean-toBellaugello in 2009 before demolition of the illegal stallaMore progress, looking cleaner1Progress, we are definitely getting theretoday the south elevation and Giardino suite of Bellaugello gay Country House

As I look back

Two momentous events are about to happen in my life, and you will be witness to both, well that is one you will be fully witness to, the other I will do in private and then tell you about.  I now know that I have two not one huge announcements to make, they are exciting times here at Bellaugello in the green heart of Umbria, Italy.

So as to keep the suspense going I am going to keep you waiting just a little bit longer and post about something completely different.  I have been looking through photgraphs and have compiled this set of the East side of the house, here from what was the abandoned farm of Bellaugello, and is now Bellaugello Gay Guest House, arguably the best gay guest house in Italy.  I will let the photos tell the tale of our 15 x 5 metre salt-treated infinity swimming pool…  Have a nice day!

Podere Bellaugello

The start of the garden before the swimming pool at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, Umbria Italylet the dig commencepouring the floorThe salt-treated infinity pool at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, Umbria, ItalyBellaugello Gay Guest House, the infinity pool

Boudicca! Benvenuto!

A friend’s brother reportedly said “Boudicca – don’t let the Romans get near her!”

Last weekend a foal was born in the valley.  The mother a beautiful white Camargue  mare, both mother and daughter are doing well.  Boudicca was born early in the morning and spotted nestling on the edge of some bushes by my caring and diligent farmer neighbour.

Boudicca, the new foal in Valdichiascio

The photo is not the best, but it is a hugely happy one!  Why Boudicca I asked, “Why not?” came the reply, “This is the year that our horses names begin with the letter ‘B’  ”  and how great is that.

This afternoon as I type my blog at my kitchen window overlooking the roofs of Bellaugello Gay Guest House the sky is azure, cloudless, the sun is shining, soft week golds, the strength waning as sunset approaches, the shadows lengthening, not a breath of wind, all is still.

I am reminded that this morning I bundled the dogs into the cab and drove the Apetto down to the Chiascio river below the house where the dogs went for a swim.  In the warmth of the sun I dozed languidly on a huge bough of an uprooted tree that is stranded on the rocky shore, suspended in mid – air almost horizontal, large, substantial, but flexible enough to sway gently too relaxing.  The November floods have again changed the course of the river, our beach of last year is all but gone, now two huge new  beaches full of large stones have appeared up and down stream, the limpid pools have been washed away, new ones carved out, and new swimming holes appear to be formed, they will be perfect for summer skinny dipping…..


Out with the Old… IN with the NEW!

Hey guys! I’m back.  No, I have not been away, I spent the last week in the cosseted bliss of Bellaugello Gay Guest House, I have been working, and also at the same time thoroughly enjoying myself.

It was so splendid to have welcomed back guys who stayed here earlier in the year.  This time they were on a whistle-stop tour of the galleries of Umbria and with a specific mission to see the glorious exhibition at nearby Fabriano:da Giotto a Gentile Fabriano 2015which has been extended until 15th. of this month.  Needless to say the guys were overwhelmed.  We chatted and chatted, caught up on news and through the Bellaugello network made new contacts.

Snow came lots of it.. It was beautiful but meant that some guys did not make it here for our annual New Year’s Houseparty.  The guys that did make it here had a blast!  They soon made friends with the other guests and a real convivial atmosphere rang out.  We ate well, partied well and relaxed, the sauna was well used, utterly great heated by a log stove, the window looking out over a snow clad valley, and the icy shower fed by spring water…

We launched chinese wish lanterns into the inky black sky, opened the process and franciacorta, bubbles fizzed, the lanterns drifted higher and higher, wishes and kisses made…

So out with the old IN with the NEW

Time for me to make several changes in my life:  I changed the mobile phone contract, it seems the longer you have a mobile with a company the less they respect or appreciate or reward your loyalty, so out with Tim and onto C.Voce.  Only problem being that there is now a lag between the removal of one service and the commencement of the new, so I am phoneless.  It is a really odd feeling.  Nobody could accuse me of being a cell phone junkie, but I guess I have got used to carrying about the old iPhone and being in touch be it telephonically or internally.  So weird not to have to find my phone before going for a fog walk or out so meet friends.  It is like being naked but far less pleasurable.

And a stiff worded email to the internet providers.  I use that term lightly.  Not a change, but a continuation and change to more assertive tactics.  Last September I thought in my stupidity that if I requested a VOIP connection, and thus payed a higher monthly tariff, I would receive better service.  but NO! plus ça change!   The Agreement was that they would transfer the existing fixed line number to the new VOIP service “ten working days required”.  Now I know Italians are delighted to go on strike at any excuse, but really, I ask you have they not worked ten days since the first of November?  The old line is still connected, the VOIP has a ‘temporary’ number +39 075 781 6463, do try calling it is a giggle.  NO it is not, to be serious I need this change made and made now.  I wrote to “T A” informing them so, to be told ‘sei troppo esigente’ – I am too fussy…  Ha! now put that in your pipe and smoke it.  So an email to remind them that today on 5th. January they still have not provided me with the service which of course they have already long since billed me.

Then there is Finlayson.  A Finnish company.  I love Finland, and Finnish guys are adorably cute and handsome, but Finlayson takes the biscuit.  On ‘social network’ I discovered an advert for linens featuring the design of Tom of Finland.  Now I thought, great! just the kind of product that would look good in the luxury gay guest house in central Italy.  Initially I thought to a few items, maybe in my illusion I had thought in the future to also retail this range.  So I went online and completed an order.  I emailed requesting that they send me a tax invoice so I could charge my purchase to the business.  Italian tax law is quite defined and rules have to be obeyed.  A further few emails resulted in silence, then finally on day eleven came the reply:” Thank you for your mail. Unfortunately there is no space where to write the company name on the order.”  Aren’t both countries in the European Union?  I persevered.. but then gave up.  To cut a long story short the unopened package was collected and returned. I requested a refund.  On Friday they tell me that the money was credited to my card, funny my bank did not seem to know that, this morning it had not reappeared.  So another strongly worded email, and I daresay a resume on f/b.

British companies it seems, are not bound by the equal opportunities act.  Well, they are in some ways but not in others.  They must not discriminate on grounds of sexuality, but that relates only to a person, not to a business.  So it is that the travel guide “Alastair Sawday” is able to refuse my application for Bellaugello’s membership on the grounds that:  La ringrazio per averci mandato il Suo modulo di accettazione.  Lo abbiamo guardato attentamente e siamo spiacenti di comunicarLe che abbiamo deciso che la Sua attività non verrá inserita nella prossima edizione della nostra guida.  Non seguiamo dei criteri specifici nello scegliere i nostri alloggi ed i motivi che ci portano a decidere di non inserire un’attività possono essere svariati. Nell’interesse della guida, dobbiamo considerare attentamente ogni regione d’Italia e valutare che tipo di struttura offriamo ai nostri lettori.Per noi, non è giusto incominciare una partnership lavorativa se pensiamo di non riuscire a garantire un alto livello di clientela. Crediamo che sia importante che i proprietari siano contenti del numero degli ospiti che la nostra guida può assicurare. “So it is evident gay guys do not use their guides, the author of this email reply to me does not want them to either… what a missed opportunity, but one I can do thing about and quite frankly I advise any gay or lesbian or transgender user of the guides to desist at once.

And then there are the famous multi nationals, those names you see in the glossies, plying their wares.  British based, one specific sector of business, in London highly lucrative, and again refusing to work with Bellaugello Gay Guest House.  They know who they are, I will not name them now but in due course will blog extensively and campaign against them.  Their treatment of gay businesses is shabby and must be exposed. I have tried to work with them since August, initially they are charming and courteous obsequious even, but on learning my business is concentrated on the gay market, they filibuster, they blank me, and do not reply to emails or telephones, or pass me to other members of the team who seem not to exist.  Resolution – Revenge..  hehe!

And to the next item on my agenda of making 2015 work for me.  I have an Apetto, a cute dinky three wheeler which I use on the farm and for taking the trash to the bins.  The insurance ran out on 23rd. December. In Italy one has fifteen days in which to renew the policy. That takes me to today.  Now I am already in long discussions with he boss of my insurance brokers – apparently they can change the contents of an existing policy at their whim and not bother telling the insured.  They can and do also delay payments, to the extent that I am still waiting for payment of a claim that dates back to August 2013.  Foolishly I began to have faith in this director, who promised me a swift resolution, this was after all November when he came on the scene.  To date the mix up over the policy has not been resolved, the section of the policy which they removed has not been re-instated (at least I am on record as having written instructing its reinstatement) the Apetto insurance has run out so now I have to physically get to my local office in the town of Gubbio to process the payment.  I have to go to the motor authority for the ‘temporary document’ they issued expires today and the original has not been sent, and I will then return home and compose another email to the director requesting that he kindly prioritise my work.  Why is it all so frustrating, why oh why, and of course tomorrow is once again a public holiday.

To happier things, the sun is shining, the skies are blue, outside a great clean fresh light, 2015 is going to be a great year.  I feel good.  Bookings for this year are already coming in strongly, many repeat guests and many new and several on guys’ recommendations, it is all so very rewarding.  Guys, I suggest if you want to chose your suite that you book now, some weeks in high season are already booked out.

I am working on two huge new projects, one will be announced later in January, it is real exciting and will so increase the Bellaugello experience, the other is for later this year and for that you will definitely have to wait.  But I say that 2015 is my year.  I have been let down in so many ways in 2014, led up garden paths, blindly followed into dead ends, but now I am making changes, and they feel so good!


NOW RECRUITING!  Looking for enthusiastic dedicated guys to work here at Bellaugello Luxury Gay Guest House this year.  I have vacancies in all departments.  Guys must have a love of working with people, be enthusiastic, ‘solare’ adaptable, and highly professional.  I run the best gay guest house in Italy and I need only the best staff. You will be part of a small eclectic team working with great guests in a fabulous environment. 

Are you interested in Cooking? Waiting? Cleaning? Gardening? Are you a qualified Masseur?  You don’t need tone be gay, just be tolerant, fit, and open minded.  Send me your CV and a recent photo Skype “Bellaugello” or email: info@bellaugello.com


Buon anno a tutti!


Boy! life is good!


With morning views like these this morning at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, Life just has to be great!
October view from Bellaugello Gay Guest House, Umbria, Italy #bellaugello ,#infinityswimmingpool,

mist hangs low in the chiascio valley below Bellaugello Gay Hotel, Umbria,Italy, #gayhotel ,#gayguy

It is a delightful week, the weather is still warm, sun fills the azure sky, and there is a sense of peace and tranquillity as I spend delicious days doing autumnal tasks in the garden.  The logs are stacked away in the shed, ready for the cooler winter days when we light the fires, lawns have received what I guess (and hope) is their final cut for the year, and hedges are being clippered, tidied up for the winter.  Of course the trees are beginning to shed their leaves, colours turning magical ambers and golds and reds, most still clinging tightly to the branches, but just enough falling to make sweeping up a necessary chore.

Today I am off to town, I have an invite for a halloween party, and need to find a mask.. What a horror, I find the thought utterly intimidating.  What do I wear?  It is a party of a newly made friend, and I suspect will be rather smart and full of handsome men, I am more than a little bit anxious about the whole thing.

And next week sees the opening of the TRUFFLE FAIR in our local town of Gubbio.  This is the 33rd year of the event, held over four days in the centro storico of this beautiful medieval town.  There will be feasts of truffles, wild mushrooms and chestnuts.  Umbria is a delight at this time of year, so many towns holding food fayres, sheer indulgence..  and then all to soon we will be picking olives, a task I adore!


Bright pictures for a grey day

I woke this morning to a monochromatic sky.

After days of hot sunshine, and brilliant vivid colours the weather has changed, an interlude, it is forecast to return to sun tomorrow, but to his morning all is grey and misty.  I love the mist, it clothes the green hillsides and woodlands in a diaphanous wispy cloak, images are blurred and distant hills meld into the sky.  There is not a breath of wind, even birdsong is muted, it is a day for a long walk along the quiet country lanes from Bellaugello Gay Guest House.  Passing from chapel to abbey, past ruined houses, fields freshly ploughed ready for seeding next spring’s crop, on down to the Chiascio river, running limpidly and lethargically, through the farmyard and back up the hill to Bellaugello and curl up in front of the fire, a cup of tea and good book in hand, gently dozing, the book slipping out of your fingers and falling on the cotto floor.  An autumn holiday in Umbria at Bellaugello Gay Bed and Breakfast is the perfect solution, relax, unwind.

And whilst here you can delight in one of our comfortable suites.  Today I feature the kitchen/dining room and bathroom on the lower level of the Giardino Suite, our south facing duplex.  Like Apple iPhone 6 we do colours too… Brightness on a monochromatic day.

The dining/kitchen of the Giardino Suite at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, Umbria, ItalyThe bathroom of the Giardino Suite, Bellaugello Gay lodgings, Umbria, ItalyColours on a counter - the kitchen of the Giardino Suite , Bellaugello Gay bed and breakfast, near Florence, Italy

Tomorrow the bedroom…..

A long day…

For some reason today was somewhat emotional.   Maybe it was the call from my ex, maybe it was so many other things going on in my head, or maybe it was just that this morning I was woken up at six o’clock and seeing the sky was red, a glorious resplendent sunrise, I had to go down with the dogs to the infinity pool and take photographs.  Now in the quiet of the night as I sit out on my terrace the owls are calling to each other, the crickets humming and the only other sound is that of the river Chiascio down deep in the valley below Bellaugello Gay Guest House, it is peace, a contented peace.

Bobby surveying the sunrise over the infinity pool at Bellaugello Gay Guest House in Umbria, Italy

It has been a long day, I worked hard, and am pleased.  Tonight we hosted dinner on the terrace for a large group of people from our local town of Gubbio.  They had heard about Bellaugello, and were keen to come over for dinner.   Monica and I decided to offer them a menu of typical Bellaugello dishes, our produce, and our recipes, they went down very well.  The guests chose to eat outdoors and were granted a glorious warm evening, the stars twinkling above.  Conversation flowed, until the dishes were brought out, then silence, only contented eating.  Afterwards many thanks to Monica for the great dinner.

I am delighted to have hosted this evening, to have some of the local people experience just what delights Bellaugello has to offer, also to be able to sit and chat with them and host them here.  It may well be the first of many such events over the coming months.

And now a Brazilian Bellaugello Back

It took a bit of persuading but in the end under the hot Umbrian sun at Bellaugello Gay Hotel my nagging paid off and one of our guests from Brasil jumped into the infinity pool and happily participated in my Bellaugello Backs series. bravo!

He even agreed to a front!

Refreshingly beautiful!