Sunday, June 4, 2017

Come to Umbria

In the past 18 months, tourism here in Umbria has take a devastating hit, even the big tourist attractions, like Assisi have seen dwindling hotel bookings, and tour guides have seen their incomes drop.  Most say that it is because of the earthquakes that have devastated places miles away from central Umbria.  Granted, Italy is a country with seismic activity, but Umbria has suffered from a bit of 'fake news'. When the earthquake in Amatrice first hit, the news claimed that the epicenter was Perugia, when in fact it was hundred of miles south of Umbria in a different region.
I have called Umbria the road less traveled.  With glorious vistas, wine, food, truffles, and friendly locals, it is a hidden gem beside it's more famous border neighbor Tuscany.  Tuscany, unfortunately, is overrun with 50 passenger tourist buses, and hordes pushing to see Frances Mayes house in Cortona, or drinking their weight in Chianti.  So let me tell you a little Frances Mayes tidbit, her property is located in Umbria and Tuscany (the borders go through the property) but Under the Umbrian Sun was not a title that would sell; the rest is history.
Here in Umbria, the pace is slower, far less tourist buses, and tourists, and a history that goes back to the Etruscans.
So what's so great about Umbria?  The food is exceptional.  Home to tiny lentils in Castelucchio, strangozzi pasta, truffles, DOP (denomination of protected origin) celery from Trevi,onions from Cannara, salame from Norcia, chocolate from Perugina, and grapes from Montefalco and Orvieto.

Salumi from Norcia
Truffles at Enoteca Properzio

Strangozzi pasta
Truffled risotto
Exquisite wines from organic growers
Porchetta, the best thing you will ever put in your mouth

The scenery and history of Umbria is also another reason to come.  Etruscan tablets are housed in the Palazzo dei Consoli in Gubbio, ancient Roman and Etruscan ruins dot the landscape, as well as gorgeous cathedrals, and more hill towns than you can count, each with its own character and vibe. Want to escape from the tour buses? Come to Umbria.

Gubbio Corso dei Cieri

Rooms with a View

Gorgeous flowers

Something new around every corner

Dining al fresco

Vineyards as far as the eye can see


Beautiful nights

Uncrowded lanes

Exquisite architecture
The last reason to come is the locals.  They are waiting to welcome you with open arms, as family. Each hotel, B&B, enoteca and ristorante is anxious for you to come and sample their hospitality. Hospitality for the Italians is in their DNA.  A warm welcome awaits you in Umbria.
Our friend of over 17 years Anne Robichaud
Pranzo with friends
Umbria is all smiles
So, andiamo! There really is no excuse now that Norwegian air has released their incredible fares for flights to Rome.  Umbria is 2 1/2 hours by car from Rome, and 1 1/2 by train, so come enjoy this beautiful countryside, where a wealth of pleasures awaiting you.  Ciao for now.

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