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.

Magical and misty

The garden is happy, rain today! It is one of those magical misty mornings that Umbria does so well

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Gentle rain, refreshing, cleansing

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And an excellent day for scrumptious hot freshly cooked pancakes for breakfast!

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As has been said “every cloud has a silver lining”

And those Valkyries rode again!

A halcyon day at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, sun shining, guys relaxing around the infinity pool, sunshine, light breeze, all good with the world.  Indeed when planning last night’s dinner we had thought to serve it outside on the terrace under the stars, that is our preferred way at Bellaugello.

However at five o’clock the storm clouds rolled in.  Bellaugello Gay Bed and Breakfast looks south a commanding position over the Chiascio valley towards Monte Subasio, the hill behind Assisi, and we get good notice of the approaching storms as they roll up the valley.

Two guests leaning against the railings on the upper terrace soon began to enact that famous scene from the movie ‘Titanic’ as Leo holds Kate and the wind ruffles their hair, the gentle breeze strengthening and the dark clouds approaching.  Then the skies opened, rain, lots of it, thunder, lightning, and hailstones – yes! hailstones.  The electricity flicked off, then on, the rain continued.

Dinner laid up in the dining room luckily I had made bread earlier and most of the meal was to be cooked stove top as the power went off…  Mad rush round the electric boards in torrential rain, no, it was not us, there was no current coming into the main supply, obviously an overhead cable had been hit.  Back to the kitchen soaking wet, a few candles guttering together with the emergency power fail light giving scant light to the cooking surface..Cooking by candle light at Bellaugello in Umbria

A tour round the suites, guys making the most of the power-cut 😉 and all ok.  Back to the kitchen, and dining room to light lots of candles, then quick dash upstairs to change into some dry clothes and down for aperitivo by candle-light.

Storm clouds in Umbria, italy as seen from Bellaugello Gay HotelAnd then as the storm rode to the Apennines, the most amazing beetroot coloured clouds,Thunder and lightning over the Apennines seen from Bellaugello luxury gay resorthuge flash of lightning seen from Bellaugello luxury gay hotel in umbria, italybeetroot storm clouds seen from Bellaugello Gay bed and breakfast luxury house rental in Umbria  A full house, great guys, all entering into the spirit of the evening.  An ‘amuse bouche’ of cappelacci stuffed with mozzarella di bufala and baby tomatoes served by guttering candles then by the time we were serving the black lentil salad from Viterbo the power was restored and stayed on for the reminder of the evening.  Where the rain had stopped the wine and conversation flowed, it was a most convivial of evenings, guys from all over the world, huge fun, swapping stories, relating tales, and generally having a great time.  We rounded off the evening with a glass of my home-made Limoncello…

This morning, peace, sunshine, mist lingering below in the valley,  Bellaugello back to normal,

Peace, perfect peace, Bellaugello Gay Guest House in Umbria, Italy revels in the early sunshine

It is as if last night did not happen!

Another engagement at Bellaugello

They kept it quiet, so quiet, even I did not know until this evening when I received a delightful email from a couple of fantastic guys who, a couple of weeks ago officially got engaged here in the delightful romantic setting of Bellaugello.

I am so chuffed they chose Bellaugello Gay Guest House to affirm their commitment to each other.  They are really splendidly lovely  guys. Together with all the team I wish them every happiness.  LOVE IS IN THE AIR

Missing the obvious

Really weird this evening.  Opening my emails I receive a newsletter from an America Gay lodging website where I have an advert.  The first thing that pops up is an advert for a tour company whose website has the following drivel and I quote direct from their website:

If you are gay and are planning a trip to Italy, how can you find the best places, enjoy an Italian adventure, and still be safe? This is why We started this company, “XXXXX”, back in 2012.  But We also wanted to create a full LGBT tour operator that would offer private tours for gay and lesbian travelers and couples, with a welcoming and pleasant travel environment. This is how “XXXXX” was created.  All the hotels, restaurants, guides and transportation companies we use are gay-friendly. We’re also members of IGLTA – the International Gay and Lebian, Tourism Association.  (what I ask myself is a ‘lebian’? and as to the grammar…well huh, and the further into their site the worse it gets!)

Oh really I ask myself how are such businesses contrived?

Delving deeper into their website I notice that they organise trips thorough Umbria, nice… Or is it, ‘cos they have not contacted me at Bellaugello Gay Guest House – the only Gay lodgings in Umbria, indeed one of the few proudly gay establishments in Italy, instead they are lodging at those places that call themselves ‘gay friendly’ – to me profiteers of the pink pound/euro, and at best to be avoided, and anyway under European rules is every place not required to be ‘gay friendly’?

For those of you in search of quality lodgings in a truly gay environment in the glorious Umbrian countryside Bellaugello Gay Guest House is THE only place to book 🙂

Good morning!

Awaking early for early breakfasts for a couple of guests with an early flight, this is the view that greets me.

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It’s going to be another great day at Bellaugello

The town of 200,000 olive trees

A mere hour and a half by car from Bellaugello Gay Guest House brings you to the Umbrian hill top town of Trevi. As with so many Umbrian towns the houses cling tightly in ever decreasing circles to the hill top, at time it seems as if like suckers of a tree they have actually sprouted from the hilltop. Some cling precariously, others more imperial sit happily in the midst of narrow streets and lanes.

20140129-135712.jpgWind your way up the hill through a myriad of olive trees, you are in DOC olive oil country

20140129-141508.jpgand enter the town. You find ample parking and easy access to the centro storico.

20140129-143146.jpgA short walk brings you to the town theatre, still very much operational with productions throughout the year, judging by a quick perouse of the programme some quite alarming and cutting edge.

20140129-143803.jpgAnd then through an arch and enter the main square, Piazza Mazzini, a large piazza framed by mis-matching buildings all softly intonacatoed in agreeable pastel shades, it seems Trevi is not only the town of olive oil but of magical gentle stuccoed buildings.

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20140129-143944.jpgWalk ever upward, why is it when visiting any town for the first time though I am not in the slightest bit even remotely religious, I make a bee line for the cathedral? Dunno, but I do, perhaps it’s the decadence, the technical feat of the long constructed architecture, I do wonder just how did they build that? Or maybe the speranza of incense from the thurible drifting lazily into lofty vaults, or better still an organ voluntary or Gregorian chant – I can’t remember when I last heard that. So up winding lanes, washing hanging from lines high above my head

20140130-060938.jpg And to the cathedral square, enter, each one is different. The duomo in Trevi is not to my taste, plain baroque, and lo! and behold! I have just missed the patron saint S Emiliano’s day by two days… He is still shining brightly.

20140130-061141.jpg Back down in the town I am reminded by the blue sign that as I have yet another set of forms to send in to some official office I need to go to the Tabacchaio to purchase two of those delightful little government taxes ‘Marca da Bollo’ the little stickers one needs to have for every official document. The helpful cheery guy behind the counter seemed like the right person to ask for advice on where to have lunch ‘cuccina casareccia’ local cooking please. He directed me to ristorante Maggiolini, and a great advice it was. A warm welcome, and great lunch. I learnt that Trevi farmers cultivate a special type of celery and ate a beef tagliata with Black Trevi Celery sauce, light fragrant and deliciously different. The photo does not do it justice..

20140130-062311.jpgThe restaurant owner saw me tapping on my iPad, I was starting this blog post and smilingly he offered me the wifi code, an all too rare gesture in rural Italy. A local desert of crushed amaretti soaked in rum and covered with chocolate finished my indulgent lunch

20140130-062545.jpgSatiated I walked back down through this enchanting town to the car, open doorways inviting me in to see some of the jewels within

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And so to the last and finest jewel of the day. As I wound my way down the hill I was astonished to see a flock of sheep grazing in one of the olive groves, I have always wondered how they manage to keep the grass so trim in the groves, now I know. I stopped the car and got into conversation with the elderly shepherd who turned out to be a farmer and a big one at that. Unlike so many itinerant shepherds here in Umbria he is not Sardinian he is Umbrian, living in a village just 5km south of Trevi under the shadow of Monte Serano, and has a flock of some two hundred and fifty sheep. He is carrying on a family tradition. He worked five dogs simultaneously and managed to keep all off the roads and firmly under the trees. He told me that he walks all the olive groves, as the title states that’s some 200,000 trees, a fine life, and I bet that his lamb tastes stupendous…

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A really beautiful day, filled with experiences that will stay with me for a long time, and a visit to be recommended to you guys staying at Bellaugello Gay Guest House

After pregnant nun dropping a baby now this….

One of the world’s largest multinationals seems to be having staffing problems at the moment here in Italy.
For some strange reason not reported here in italy but widely reported in the UK press and the BBC from where I learn of a nun in southern Umbria only discovering she was pregnant when out popped a baby, I now read of a young priest threatening to commit suicide “because my boyfriend has left me”
Click the link to read more:-
Gaiaspia blog – Giovane prete Mignacca il suicidio – ” il mio ragazzo mi ha lasciato”

And if the pictures are anything to go by he is just too cute! Maybe I can bring him to Bellaugello Gay Guest House and save him!!!

King (or queen?) of the road

Bellaugello farming treated me to a Christmas present. I am now the proud owner of an ancient but well-loved Ape 50. One of those legendary three wheelers that epitomise the Italian peasantry and Italian countryside

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It’s a bit bumpy to drive, an adventure, and why shouldn’t I have a new adventure or toy? Not that it will be a toy but a useful tool. I am thinking of extending the farm, maybe even a vineyard and for that every good contadino deserves an Ape!

Come fly with us….

It is so great having a neighbour who not only builds microlites, but is a qualified pilot and instructor and also a great photographer and real good friend. Why not treat yourself or your partner or husband to a flight or book a course of lessons to gain your pilot’s licence staying here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House in Umbria…..

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For further information about staying at Bellaugello and Polaris and their microlites and flying with Polaris Motors email me: book@bellaugello.com or contact them direct: polaris@polarismotor.it