Letters from Italy

The last in a BBC radio 4 series of shorts on life in current day Italy, this one written and broadcast today by London based journalist Annalisa Piras I found well worth a listen.

For those of you with smartphones the QR code will take you directly to the recording


Otherwise check out the BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01s687m

Burning blue

The second day in a row of blazing sunshine here in Umbria.  Azure sky, cloudless, very light breeze and a visiting friend was an excuse for me to be a tourist and visit the nearby city of Gubbio, firstly heading up monte Ingenio, the hill behind the city to take in the splendid views of the town below

The medieval town of Gubbio, Umbria, Italy seen from Monte Igenio

and visit the wonderful simple cloister of the church of St. Ubaldo the patron saint of Gubbio.  The XIV century cloister is one of my favourite in the region, utterly simple, classical and understated, but it just works and exudes perfectness.

DSCN3692.JPG DSCN3694.JPG  As we pulled up to the nearby Funivia restaurant, just opening for the season, the son of the owners, outside with his iPad photographing the view, pointed out the hills of the Monte Sibillini National Park completely blanketed in snow some 80 km from Gubbio in the extreme south east of the region of Umbria near to the food capital of Norcia.  The park is a wonderful place for trekking, mountain biking and hiking, and reachable for a day excursion from Bellaugello.

He told us the Sibillini are only ever seen when snow-capped and on the clearest of days.  I felt dis-inclined to tell him that I also see them from my bedroom window at Bellaugello Gay Guest House!  The Monte Sibillini are the snow covered hills in the photograph lurking in the background to the left of the high Apennine peaks.

Casteluccio di Norcia seen from monte Ingenio, GubbioWe lunched off a great platter of antipasto, prosciutto, capocollo, brustengo, divine cheeses and warm bread, and then a simple and divine plate of pasta liberally doused with white truffles, so strong the perfume I am certain it could be appreciated 80km away in the Sibillini National Park!

Then after a stroll in the sunshine down to the town itself, bathed in sunlight and totally quiet..A narrow street in the medieval Umbrian town of Gubbio, Italy

A magical day for March, a great time to stay at Bellaugello Gay guest House so close to so many treasures…