Every year I’m pulled back to Italy. Why? Maybe it’s because Italians know the ropes, so to speak. They’ve been welcoming travellers to their beautiful land for centuries, and they’re proud of their culture. They know they have exquisite towns, their food is second to none, plus they can make a reasonable cup of coffee. In short, they have style & it’s this sense of style that pervades each day of our new holiday in Umbria – “Romantic Umbria”.
Every guide book will sing the praises of Gubbio, Assisi and Spoleto. But what they cannot capture is the excitement. Leaving our Gubbio hotel each morning; walking through age-old cobbled streets past the Ducal Palace as we set off for a grand walk in the surrounding hills, and returning with a sense of homecoming. Italians are warm people you feel each town is home after a couple of days. You have found a favourite bar & the best place to get a rum raisin & amaretto ice cream and you begin to experience a sensation of smugness when the day trippers finally depart!
I know the grade is D+ but I lead leisurely holidays (competitive walkers go elsewhere please)! As I see it, we walk as it’s the best & most natural way to move through the landscape and, knowing that you might not pass this way again, let’s pause awhile & enjoy what we are seeing.
Assisi, our second destination, might surprise you. Our hotel is in the centre of the buzzy town and of course we won’t be alone. But there are plenty of hidden parts, quiet corners and ancient chapels. Tourists flock to Assisi but in the main they are pilgrims and they always look so happy!
Although our three towns are close to each other, the walking from each centre varies greatly. But there are always views as all three are hilltop towns. If the weather is kind to us we’ll have the opportunity to walk in the Appenines and there we’ll see carpets of wild orchids.
On to Spolto which is really grand. A couple of our walks take us over the medieval aqauduct which links the town to the holy mountain. You cannot fail to be moved by the beauty of this scene. The food in our Spoleto hotel is so good and always served with style – the local butcher is a glamorous blond.
I love this holiday! Maybe you’ll join me at the end of April….