4/15/2014

Spring-Summer 2014 Fab Wine-Food Festivals in Umbria

Spring has finally arrived and  - again - this year we've put together our "traditional" post about our favourite Wine and Food Festivals (please notice that all the festivals listed below were personally inspected for a strict "food quality control" to guarantee only the best to the people traveling in our Umbria, ah ah).

Of course, this is a first draft of the events.
If you have your favourite sagra or you are involved in the organization of a  festival and you like promoting it on our blog, just let us know.



PIC NIC A TREVI 25-27 APRIL 2014 - TREVI
Trevi is a beautiful hill-top village known for its famous extra virgin olive oil produced by the thousand olive trees around the old town.
With a traditional sportina full of delicacies, you can enjoy tasty local food under the shadow of the olive trees few metres from the old town. I personally took part to one of the first editions (proved by my photo with the sportina on the left): full story here.


A very exclusive visit in a workshop last year
I GELATI D'ITALIA 1-4 MAY 2014 - ORVIETO
Second edition for this very nice event in the historical centre of Orvieto, visited last year by more than 40.000 visitors.
20 different gelato flavours for the 20 regions of Italy, in an amazing challenge involving the best Italian Maestri Gelatieri, ice-cream artisans.


PORCHETTIAMO 9-11 MAY 2014 - SAN TERENZIANO
Porchettiamo is "the" festival to celebrate one of the most famous Umbrian street food: porchetta, the traditional roast pork. San Terenziano and Grutti nice villages very close to Todi, are famous in the region for this pork production. This "typical and delicious food, rich in history, both noble and popular, has always been the street, square, fair and market-food". All the porchetta producers at Porchettiamo have been carefully selected by the organizers according to quality, craftsmanship and authenticity. This year served in paring with wine and Umbrian craft beers.

The funny hat I purchased last year during Cantine Aperte "Follower of Sangiovese"


CANTINE APERTE – "WINERIES OPEN DAY” MAY 25 2014 - All over UMBRIA
This is the most important wine event of the year , involving wine as the main protagonist together with the people who produce it and the territory where it is made. Since 1993, during the the last Sunday of May, the members of the association "Movimento Turismo del Vino" have opened their doors to the vast public establishing in this way an immediate and direct contact with all wine tourists and lovers.

MERCATO DELLE GAITE JUNE 19-29 2014 - BEVAGNA
Listing Mercato della Gaite as a food festival is definitely reducing. Mercato delle Gaite is the Medieval Festival par excellence. Inspired by the ancient division of Bevagna in four different quarters (gaita), the aim of the festival is recreating - paying attention to every detail - the authentic daily life of its citizens between 1250 and 1350. In Bevagna during these ten days it is possible to get into a time capsule, visiting ancient shops, experiencing medieval crafts, arts and games and tasting at night, in its piazzas and narrow streets, food and specialities prepared following original recipes from the XIII century 

Local cooks at work in Parrano (TR)
SAGRA - SUMMER FOOD FESTIVALS – JUNE TO SEPTEMBER - All over Umbria
Summer is the season of Sagra, the local food festivals that take place almost in every medium-little village in the region. Listing all the sagras is not simple, although there are some interesting websites (in Italian) like umbriasagre.com  where you can find updated information on the most important ones . However, if you are renting a country-house or you're booking an hotel stay, the best way to get to know about the sagras in the vicinity is asking your host. Sagras infact are organized mainly by and  for local people and advertised only locally.

ENOLOGICA MONTEFALCO SEPTEMBER 19-21 2014 - MONTEFALCO 
Among all the wine festivals in Umbria, Enologica Montefalco is definitely one of our favourite. Organized in the village who gives the name to the area of production of one of the most prestigious Umbrian wines Sagrantino, Enologica includes wine tasting of Montefalco doc/docg wines - tasting room located in the former monastery of Sant'Agostino in the centre of the town -  guided tours to some wineries, conferences and more: Festa della Vendemmia, grape harvest festa.
 

Too much food and wine?
Don't forget the other TOP Events in the region:

Steve McCurry exhibition in Perugia
INTERNATIONAL JOURNALISM FESTIVAL - PERUGIA 
30 APRIL - MAY 4 2014
SPOLETO FESTIVAL JUNE 27- JULY 13 2014 
UMBRIA JAZZ PERUGIA 11-20 JULY 2014 
SENSATIONAL UMBRIA - PERUGIA -  MARCH 29 - OCTOBER 5 2014 
100 shots on Umbria by the National Geographic Photographer Steve McCurry 



Web resources:
Please notice that some websites are not updated at the moment. Please check it later on, or contact us for more information.

Pic Nic a Trevi

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3/13/2014

Extra Virgin Resurrection

You've probably heard about all those rumors on the real quality of [some] extra virgin olive oils produced in our Country.

Today a very nice "reply" has been posted on the social media, 15 slides to put in a good word those who work every single day to offer us a top level product: Extra Virgin Resurrection.


At the moment the slides that you can find here Extra Virgin Resurrection are only in Italian, but we are sure that the friendly graphics can help you to understand the message that is basically the following:

"In Italy more than 500 different olive trees varieties are cultivated. These ones make the taste of regional cuisine so different and so special"

"Olive growers are the sentinels of this huge heritage"

"Biodiversity [our peninsula has the highest number and density of both animal and plant species in the European Union], amazing landscapes, special food is our Great Beauty, it is our power"

"Olive growers and oil mills specialists are another important heritage: they are able to put together ancient knowledge with new technologies"

"How the consumers can be protected by frauds? More controls, but the label itself is not a warranty. The answer is very easy: making a link (it could be a QR code for example,) between the producer and the consumer [like a video that shows all the process]:  the producer put his/her on face on his/her own product"

We strongly believe in this last sentence.
In our extra virgin olive oil tours you can taste high-end top quality olive oils, visit the olive grove and the oil press and, above all, meet directly the producers, purchasing your favourite oil at the farm.
Because the Discovering Umbria staff and all our partners at the olive oil farms are happy and proud to put our faces on on such amazing products!

We all are looking forward to your visit in our Umbria! 

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1/29/2014

Sagrantino wine and a perfect food pairing

Montefalco -  piazza by night - Christmas 2013
In this blog it's not unusual ending or beginning a new year with a post on...wine!

First of all, 2014 in Umbria started with great news: the American wine magazine Wine Enthusiast has included our region among the 10 best wine travel destinations 2014, together with well known areas like Sonoma, Barossa Valley, Languedoc, just for example.
Finally an important recognition for a little, but great region whose wine producers have centered their work and efforts only in making quality, high level wines for many years.

Secondly, we'd like informing you all about our last exciting wine and food experience that we had in the last days of 2013 in the beautiful scenery of Montefalco adorned for Christmas.


Merry Sagrantino 2013
The occasion came from an invitation by Consorzio Tutela Vini Montefalco, association of wine makers of Montefalco wine area, during the event Merry Sagrantino, organized by Consorzio for the promotion of the wines and food from the area.

It's not a secret that I love wine tasting and - although I know this area and its wineries, let's say... "quite" well, these events are always an opportunity to discover new wineries, wines and to learn more, especially on wine/food pairing.



The amazing local food
Guided by a collegue sommelier, we started with a Montefalco Bianco DOC, a blend of Trebbiano Spoletino, Grechetto and Malvasia, fresh and fruity, that we paired with a tasty ciauscolo, a kind of soft salame - originally from Le Marche region - spread on a slice of unsalty Umbrian bread.
Then, we moved to a Montefalco Rosso DOC, Sagrantino's "little brother", deep ruby red with its typical aromas of cherry, red fruits and hints of spices, in paring with an organic salame. An elegant Montefalco Rosso Riserva DOC (riserva means that the wine has been aged at least one year longer than the basic one), was our third wine, that we tried with coppa, a special cured meat made by the parts of the pork not used for salame and prosciutto. All these fantastic cold cuts were offered by Gastronomia Santa Croce, Foligno.

The Fab Five
Extremely happy of this first part of the "lesson", we went on tasting a Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG 2007 in its dry version (according to the last disciplinare, rules on production, this wine needs 37 months of aging period to be released), full-bodied and dark ruby red, with its aromas of ripe blackberries and blueberries, hints of spices and pleasant tannins. Its perfect companion was a mature pecorino cheese.
All the food/wine matches went very well with this typical Umbrian food products.

Regarding wine and food pairing, infact, one of the first rule that you learn at the wine school is:  "when you are afraid of making a mistake in wine and food pairing, choose always a dish or a speciality from the region the wine comes from".
Therefore, I was really very interested in going on and trying an usual pairing I've never experienced before: Lumache di Cantalupo, specifically a snail sauce, yes, s.n.a.i.l.s, from Cantalupo.

Salsa di Lumache from Cantalupo
Cantalupo is a small village, under the municipality of Bevagna, one of the five towns in the wine district of Montefalco DOC-DOCG.
This village is a famous for its typical dishes prepared with lumache.
Each August infact there's also a sagra, a food festival, when the local people, i Cantalupesi, celebrate their very special dishes.

The warm snail sauce, like a ragù, was spread on a slice of bread, in a sort of bruschetta, and it was unbelievable. The taste of the snails is similar to the one of the sea-food, but more intense and the sauce by tomato and vegetables from the orto, house garden, simply reminded me those old flavours that only a nonna could make.


Umbrian bread with warm Salsa di Lumache
We also tried the three red wines - we had before - with the salsa di lumache and all of them were perfect. Even Sagrantino 2007 was in a very good balance, especially when the sauce was warmer and could release all its flavours.

Of course, the wine tasting ended with a Montefalco Sagrantino Passito DOCG (sweet) with its charming notes of bluberries, blackberry jam and berries in alcohol. The wine was matched with two chocolates from an artisan factory, Perugia.

Although I am not a big fan of Sagrantino Passito with chocolate (I'd rather prefer it with cookies and traditional cakes, like blackberry jam crostata) the pairing was very pleasant, especially with the first one: a white cioccolata with caramel.

Artisan Chocolate, Perugia
Consorzio Tutela Vini Montefalco organizes many events to promote the wines and typical products of its wine area all year round.
The most famous and important one is Enologica Montefalco, wine festival, taking place in the third week of September. The event includes wine tasting, guided visits, workshops and the unforgettable Festa della Vendemmia in Montefalco main piazza.
Definitely not to be missed!


And...if you are interested in discovering more on Montefalco and Umbrian wines and the secrets of wine pairing...well...take a wine tour with us!


See you soon in Umbria!


Web resources:
Consorzio Tutela Vini Montefalco
Enologica Montefalco
Lumache di Cantalupo - on line shop
Umbria among the 10 Best Wine Travel Destination 2014 on Wine Enthusiast Magazine

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12/18/2013

Umbria on my mind Vol.2...best shots from 2013



Best shot on "Il Giornale dell'Umbria"


It's a couple of years that we've been completely hooked by Instagram...
Also in 2013 we have choosen 15 pictures among 404 new shots - taken only by iPad3 - that we have been collecting on Instagram since last January.
Like last year  the 15 pictures are the ones that received more "like-s" both on our Instagram and Facebook profile and re-tweeted through our Twitter account...while this one below, taken at Piano di Castelluccio, during one of our excursions, was the picture selected by the local newspaper Il Giornale dell'Umbria for its challenge #youmbria, among the best ones in September.





Thanks again for following our blog and our social media and....

here our way to wish you 
BUON NATALE  - FELICE ANNO NUOVO!



Sala dei Notari - Perugia
Going underground at Narni Sotterranea - Narni
Pic-nic in Piazza at Montecastello di Vibio during #IntimaUmbria


Local cooks at work in Parrano

Breathtaking Spring view of Assisi and the vines
Poppies and Todi
In a private villa in Todi
Orvieto adorned for Corpus Domini
Night in Perugia during Umbria Jazz
View from the Bishop's Palace - Todi
Travellers enjoying sunflowers
Sunny Montefalco
Autumn is coming
Amazing December light, no filter
Christmas decoration in a foggy day in Todi

Please feel free to share our pictures! We're really happy if you help us to promote our wonderful Umbria!

 

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9/24/2013

Barbanera - My Day of Happiness in Spello, Umbria

One of the most difficult facts of running a blog is probably  writing quite short posts, concentrating impressions and emotions in few lines, so that any reader, between a coffee break and a meeting, an invoice and an email to send, can take some minutes of his/her precious time to read it, hopefully.

Well, this is the situation I'm living right now: I should tell you about my recent full day at Fondazione Barbanera, in Spello, Umbria: a full day, begun as a press-blog tour, that immediately turned in an involving  visionary, hypnotic experience.
Like telling a wonderful dream to our best friend, my visit at Barbanera has induced so many reflections, perceptions, sensations, colours, aromas and perfumes,  memories from a remote past so well connected to modern times, that I really find my writing skills - and in this foreign language -  very limited for this occasion.


The orto at Fondazione Barbanera
Barbanera is the evocative name of a legendary astronomer and philosopher who lived in this part of Umbria in the half of 1700. Everybody ignores who he really was, where and when he exactly lived or if Blackbeard was just a mythological name like Homer is for the Odyssey. The fact we know for sure is that in 1762 the very first stamped Italian almanac was printed by Pompeo Campana in Foligno, town very famous for the skills of local engravers.
"An almanac is an annual publication that includes information such as weather forecasts, farmers' planting dates, tide tables, and tabular information often arranged according to the calendar. Astronomical data and various statistics are found in almanacs, such as the times of the rising and setting of the sun and moon, eclipses, hours of full tide, stated festivals of churches, and so on". (Wikipedia). A very important working tool for a region whose economy was based only on agriculture at that time.

The myth of Barbanera
Barbanera's charm, I was talking before, is exactly this one: this ancient and archaic knowledge, a simple world based only on something that in the last 60 years we have literally deleted from our lives: the infinite cycles of Nature.
Like in a sort of trance, these are the feelings, sensations, thoughts that pop up on your mind entering the fairy gates of Fondazione Barbanera 1762: walking in the beautiful organic and bio-dynamic orto (house garden) with more than 15 different grapes and 40 tomatoes varieties, together with thousands of plants and flowers, rare fruit trees almost disappeared. Talking to the charismatic people who work in this very special place, (re)discovering step by step, along an initiatic path, the only veritas, that we - modern-high-tech-always-online-weird-mammals -  are so frivolous to forget: we only belong to Nature.



  • Almanacco Barbanera - One Year of Happiness, is an annual publication. 
  • The event at Primi d'Italia next week
    Circulation: 2.5 million copies.
  • Barbanera is printed by Editoriale Campi (third generation), Spello, Umbria.
  • The building where Barbanera's editorial staff is located was a former bachificio, a factory where silkworms were hosted and raw silk produced.
  • The rich archive is full of ancient, modern and recent editions of Almanacchi from Italy and all over the world, an endless mine for anthropologists and sociologists.
  • Gabriele D'Annunzio, one of the most famous Italian poet of the last century was a fanatic of Barbanera, writing even a letter (preserved at Fondazione) where he declared that he always had a copy of the Almanac on his pillow.
  • The house garden is open to visitors on request (min. 20 people). The best periods to enjoy its beauty are Spring and early Autumn.
  • SAVE THE DATE: If you are in Umbria on September 26-29 during I Primi d'Italia food and pasta festival, Barbanera is organizing an exhibition at Palazzo Brunetti-Candiotti in Foligno, where you can learn more on this amazing and charming world.
Contacts:
Editoriale Campi S.r.l. - Via San Giuseppe, 1 - 06038 Spello (PG), Umbria, Italia
Website: http://www.barbanera.it/
Email: info@barbanera.it


A special thank to my great hosts: Monique Hemsi, Pia Fanciulli, Luca Baldini, Chef Luisa Scolastra for the unforgettable dinner at Villa Roncalli, Foligno, and to my old and new friends and travel mates Francesca BarbieriRebecca Winke, Andrea Riscassi.

Luca Baldini, Rebecca Winke, Francesca Barbieri, Andrea Riscassi, Alessandra Mallozzi








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8/21/2013

Wineries and Chefs in Tour: dining among the barrels in Orvieto

Have you ever had dinner in a winery with elegant sommeliers pouring wines, amazing food and great company?

This September it is possible in Orvieto wine area, famous all over the world for its white Orvieto Classico D.O.C and...much more.

From the 31st August until the 21st September 4 different wineries host 4 Chefs, from local restaurants, who will prepare tasty menu to find the perfect pairing with the wines.

Before each dinner, starting at 7PM, there is also the possibility to meet the wine-makers for a guided visit to the winery and the cellar.


Here the programme:

The tasty menu
August 31
Winery : Madonna del Latte - Loc. Sugano 1,  Orvieto
Chef: Locanda di Colle Ombroso

September 7
Winery: Tenuta Vitalonga - Località Montiano, Ficulle
Chef: Ristorante Paese Mio

September 14
Winery: Custodi, Loc. Canale, Orvieto
Chef: La Locanda di Montecchio

September 21
Winery: Castello di Corbara, Loc. Corbara 7, Orvieto
Chef: Ristorante Il Caio

The event is organized by our friends at Itinera in collaboration with the Federation of Sommeliers Fisar Orvieto, we proudly belong to :)

The dinners start at the wineries at 8.30PM
Cost per person (winery tour+dinner+wines) 30 EUR

For more information and reservation (necessary) contact:

Graziella (English speaking): 348 5801209
Lucia: 347 9125494
Itinera: 0763 393529

email: itinera.orvieto@tiscalinet.it


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8/07/2013

Escaping the heat on Martani Mountains

View on Martani Mountains from my window in Todi
For those who work to make your stay in Umbria your perfect unforgettable holiday, escaping Summer heat and spending some days at the seaside is... a sort of challenge. But. We are so lucky to live in a region that year by year has been chosen by more and more people for their vacation, a destination far from the sea, but full of beautiful places where it is possible to escape the heat - typical in August - of our beloved countryside and the red-hot ancient stones of our breathtaking art towns.
 
One of my favourite part is Martani Mountains located in the centre of Umbria, from the south to the north for about 45 km between the provinces of Perugia and Terni. 
Well...I have to say - like all the other people of my generation - that I love Monti Martani basically because they always bring to my mind my childhood.
In the early 80s, when going on vacation was still considered, at that time, a luxury, these close mountains offered young parents the opportunity for a day-off with their family or even a place to stay for a week. 
In that period infact "staycation" had not the fancy meaning that this new word has today....
Just imagine that my parents camped our tent in a camping in Giano dell'Umbria, that is less than 30 km from Todi and, my brother and I, we were used to spend there entire weeks with them or with our granny when they had to work.
Today, if I told my 8yr old niece that I went, at her age, on vacation here in Umbria, she would probably think that I'm a liar.... 
 
I've recently had the opportunity -at the beginning of Summer- to enjoy again I Martani thanks to a nice event organized by the local board of health and the association Verde Todi for the promotion of well being and healthy life-style.
When I was up there, walking among the cows, taking pictures of the beautiful wild flowers and... after the glorious lunch at Rifugio San Gaspare, I immediately realized that Martani Mountains have not changed at all since my childhood, an untouched piece of Umbria to protect and to love.
 
Same landscape, same old "friends"...nothing has changed
The hill of Todi in the distance looks like Lilliput

Flowers and Nature
The amazing traditional food at Rifugio San Gaspare
Info:
Rifugio San Gaspare Loc. Monti Martani- 06030 Giano dell’Umbria (PG)
website: rifugiosangaspare.it 
Tel. 0742 90189/ 347 2562775 (better reserving a table in advance)
 
For those who like walking and hiking Martani Montains offer a network of paths and trails. Here some itineraries (in Italian):
Martani Trekking from Massa Martana.

 
 
 


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7/03/2013

The fabulous tastes of Umbria in England: Cafe Umbria


Tabby Clegg and her partner Simon Kerwin are two professional musicians based in Yorkshire, England, who fell in love with Umbria last year. Now, they visit regularly owning a houseboat on Lake Trasimeno, giving them perfect opportunity to discover the wonderful tastes and traditions Umbria has to offer.
Personal life aside, the couple have their own events management and music business plus a wedding planning business.
They launch Cafe Umbria this month, recreating the fabulous tastes of Umbria in England.

What is Cafe Umbria?

Cafe Umbria  is a new, exciting food concept we have launched in England which recreates the fabulous recipes of Umbria using both Umbrian and local Yorkshire ingredients.

Tell us where are you from and why you “dropped” in Umbria.

I live in Yorkshire, England with my partner Simon, son Oliver, two cats and a horse and first visited Umbria in 2012. I instantly fell in love with the area, culture, food and people.
My partner Simon and I were looking to buy a property in Italy and had booked to stay in Abruzzo and look at some properties there when we decided to try and find a houseboat, as we have two boats in England. By chance there was a houseboat for sale on Lake Trasimeno, moored at the sailing club in Castiglione del Lago and we knew it was perfect!


What inspired you to start a food concept based on Umbrian recipes?

Since I was a little girl I had wanted to cook and I love great ingredients and real cooking.
Simon and I are both professional musicians and we have a business which supplies musicians for events and also organizes weddings and events. At the start of 2013 we decided to focus our wedding planning part of the business to be Italian themed events in the UK and it seemed a great opportunity to cook if we did all the catering elements ourselves. With our houseboat being in Umbria, and our passion for the fabulous ingredients and food available to us, it seemed such an easy and obvious thing for us to create Cafe Umbria!

How did you come up with the title?

Friccò di Agnello by Cafe Umbria
To be honest, the business named itself! All our food is based on Umbrian recipes and the ‘cafe’ part suggested a laid back, rustic feel. We don’t have a formal premises but are concentrating on ‘pop-up’ restaurants and catering, so it seems a great idea that we can create a Cafe Umbria wherever we go and take the fabulous taste of Umbria to people here in the UK.


What would you say would be the best qualities a “foreigner” should have to become not only a good connoisseur of Umbrian culinary traditions, but one whose cuisine could be appreciated by local people?

The best quality is Passion! I’m a firm believer that there is no such thing as ‘Italian’ food, but every region, city, town and village of Italy has its own style of cooking and recipe that must be loved and appreciated. People love our Umbrian recipes here in England because we are so passionate about them. Umbria offers such great ingredients and ideas for recipes and when we combine those with fabulous local, Yorkshire ingredients our clients acquire an instant love for Umbrian food.
I wouldn’t say I was a connoisseur yet, but both Simon and I know what we love and we love sharing that passion.


Are there any people that have helped you in your research?

Lots of people have helped us, especially the wonderful people of Castiglione del
Torta al Testo by Cafe Umbria
Lago and across Umbria in the restaurants and delish who explain the food to us, how it should be cooked and introduce us to wonderful ingredients. We are never afraid to ask questions and learn and this is what we do wherever we travel in Umbria.
I have also found some fabulous traditional cook books in shops in Umbria and found some great recipes in my on-line research too.


Is there anything you found particularly challenging in launching your business?

Launching any business is challenging, but because there is something so exciting and food, launching Cafe Umbria has been much more exciting than challenging and the opportunity to meet so many people and cook for them is fantastic!

Do you have any advice for other foreigners who want to visit or live in Umbria? 
 
Explore and enjoy. The region is full of such friendly people and the most beautiful countryside but most importantly explore and try the local food and delicacies.
As a “foreigner” in Italy, Umbria has been the most welcoming of regions and even with some very basic Italian language skills, you will always be welcomed and assisted by an Umbrian.


Chocolate, olive oil, balsamic & strawberry cakes 
using fabulous Umbrian olive oil and chocolate
by Cafe Umbria
If you had to cook a nice meal for your Umbrian friends in just 30 minutes, what would you cook?

It would have to be a fabulous and quick Torta al Testo, stuffed with fabulous Umbrian salami, or some Porchetta I already had cooked! Or a tasty dish of Friccò d’Agnello – which I sometimes put a twist on and make with pork instead of lamb.

What are your future business plans?

We are both very busy with all our businesses but over the next few years we hope to spend more time living and working in Umbria and look forward to extending our business to hosting events and acting as an agent for events in Italy as well as the UK from music festivals to weddings, including encouraging people in the UK to get married in Umbria, or even take a fabulous music, wine or cooking tour in the most beautiful region of Italy. I’d also like to collate all our recipes into a book.

For more information on Cafe Umbria:


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5/22/2013

Italy's hidden treasure: Umbria Rocks! Let Me Count the Ways...(But don't tell anyone)

Umbria made another victim: Penny Bell from Canada, we had the great pleasure to meet here in Todi during her stay in our town some weeks ago.
Here her impression we are so happy to post and to share on our blog, of course! 
Grazie mille Penny! 
 
Umbria - ph. credit Penny Bell
This spring, my husband and I ( from Toronto, Canada) wanted to rent a house in Italy with our four children and their spouses, somewhere where we had never been, somewhere not touristy, and somewhere we all would love (especially my husband who is an obsessive  and competitive photographer). 
 
We lucked into Umbria, and we are hooked for life. 
 
 Unlike Tuscany, which is gently rolling and cultivated, Umbria is wilder and has landscapes that take your breath away: lushly forested hills and mountains, gorgeous rolling valleys dotted with old farmhouses surrounded by small vineyards and olive orchards, beautiful ancient hilltop towns still very liveable and happening (like Todi!!), where Etruscan walls are piled on Roman walls that are piled on Medieval walls that are topped with apartments old and newly renovated by locals and people from all over the world who have fallen in love with Umbria...
 
 
Todi - ph. credit  Penny Bell
 ...locally grown and produced fresh food to die for (simple, seasonal, tasty, incredibly good)..some of my favourites:  truffles, fresh wild asparagus, pecorino cheese of endless variety, wonderful salamis, sausages, and cured meats, succulent tiny lamb chops like I've never eaten before, roasted wild boar stew, hearty bean soups, spring vegetable stew with delicious green round beans, the regional wines (like the Orvieto white from the Grechetto grape and the Sagrantino reds), and the famous Umbrian olive oil that sends me into ecstasies (and it has the highest amount of antioxidants of any olive oil, great for the skin!)...
 
Todi - ph. credit  Penny Bell
... very friendly and welcoming people, proud of their unique Umbrian culture, and really happy to share it with outsiders ( perhaps because Umbria is still off the beaten path, and you never see hordes of tourists here or tour buses clogging the roads); everything is less expensive here than in other parts of Italy (like Tuscany); and a slow pace of life, where each moment is treasured for what it has to offer, and Umbria has so much to offer. We can't wait to return and explore more of this wonderful place!
 
 
Read the passion and love for Umbria from our guest bloggers. Related posts and more tips click here 
 
 

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Oblo' sul Mondo s.n.c. © Incoming Tour Operator
P.I. 02855150542 - Region of Umbria License nr. 10096
TODI - UMBRIA - ITALIA
Tel. +39 0758948957 / mob. +39 3463602109
Email: info@discoveringumbria.it