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