Friends, Help, and Sunshine!

I couldn’t get out! there was no way the car would make it through a meter of snow up on the hill above Bellaugello Gay Guesthouse, here in snow bound Umbria, central Italy.  Although the snow is not particularly thick it has been wind-blown and as you can see from my last post the road has impassable.   A phone call to Francesco, a good friend and neighbour with a pioneering spirit and rugged tractor and he soon made away with the snow allowing me to head for the nearby town of Gubbio. I am so lucky here in Valdichiascio, I have wonderful friends who look out for me and in a crisis are always keen to help.

I hardly remember seeing the shops so devoid of produce, it was like late on Christmas eve, shelves empty, no choice whatsoever.  Hardly surprising when you consider Rome has experienced its biggest snowfall in 27 years, the capital is under a blanket of snow, temperatures in Torino and Trento reaching minus 30˚ autostrade and airports are closed, trains if running are all desperately behind schedule, it is an unbelievable amount of snow.  We have been putting crumbs and seeds out for the wild birds.  Unlike wild birds in Scotland they have not touched the string of peanuts, locals inform me that they are more used to being given dried pasta, so the windowsills each have a liberal sprinkling of grattini 113, the tiny pasta I sometimes use for broth, let’s see what happens.  I have been keeping the pumps running on the swimming pool, thin sheet of ice form, but is easily broken, and when the pumps run the water expels the ice, I have drained all the pipes in the garden, come the thaw it will be interesting to see which one I forgot!

But today I woke to blue sky and sunshine, yes there is still snow, and it is beautiful, very beautiful, and as it melts it will help us with our summer water supply, six months from now I will doubtless be writing about drought!


And it is still snowing!

Here at Bellaugello Gay Guesthouse in Umbria, Italy  the fires are lit, the heating is on, there is food in the larder, the sauna stove is burning merrily and there is yet more snow.

I did think to go shopping this afternoon, sort of planned to be one step ahead in case we got blocked in here over the weekend, well it seems I have left it too late, the road is buried under nearly a meter of drifting snow!

Jenny and Milo are having such fun, they simply adore the snow, as indeed do I, and let’s face it the wine cellar still has some decent bottles of Sagrantino di Montefalco, there is dry wood for the fires, so perhaps it is time to stay at home and diet, however I have called Francesco my neighbour who has a snow plough and he is on his way so I will be off to discover what if anything remains in the shops in Gubbio!

Neve – Snow – but not in Umbria!!

A couple of guys from Germany driving here to Bellaugello Gay Guest House told me on arrival that they had come through snow!

I really did not believe them, I know it has been turning cooler here in Umbria, however snow was the last thing on my mind.  Well it seems they were referring to the St Bernard Pass between Switzerland and Italy.  Aparently they stopped enroute just north of the pass and were told by the locals,  “you’d better not stop tonight there is to be snow”, well sure enough they awoke to discover there was and everything was white!

Well here near Gubbio in Umbria, there is no snow but it has turned decidedly cooler.  By cooler I mean 20 degrees, and now warmer than the swimming pool which this morning I decided to close, 19 degrees is just too cold.  Next year we hope to heat the swimming pool thus extending the season.

Last night we served dinner in the dining room lit by candlelight  and warmed by a blazing log fire.  It is the time for me to dig out my recipies for thick winter warming soups and stews, and hurry the sauna building along….


Ski-ing possibilities in Umbria, after a mega-dump of powdery snow last night.

Ecco la neve

The world is white……   Overnight there has been a light dusting of snow here in Valdichiascio, turning the valley into a scene worthy of the finest Christmas Card.

The dogs awoke early and have been gamboling, they just love playing in the snow.

Inside we have crackling log fires lit, it’s warm and cosy, breakfast is on the way, and then a good walk in a snowy valley, before returning home to cosy up with our loved ones….

It’s going to be aa magical Christmas here at Bellaugello gay b&b