Thursday, 2 August 2007

Umbria: Part 1

While we stayed in Perugia for 4 days, we hired a car for two of those to drive around Umbria. Naturally it is a big ask to see a whole region of Italy in two days, and a few hours in a town is certainly not long enough to give it a thumbs up or down verdict, but you have to make do with the time available and I think we did a pretty good job within those constraints.

The first day we headed out to see four towns: Spello, Montefalco, Spoleto and Trevi.

Spello is a very pretty little town with some artifacts of its Roman heritage still visible around its streets. Apart from its photogenic nature, however, there isn't an awful lot to do in Spello. We wandered around a bit, poking our heads into churches, sampling the gelato, and taking photos of the narrow medieval streets before returning to our car. In between Spello and Montefalco we stopped in a field of girasole (sun flowers) where we snapped some photos and I romantically uprooted a flower to give to Linda.

We traveled to Montefalco mostly because it is in the middle of some spectacular scenery on the way to Spoleto. Initially we were just going to stop there for a picnic (and in fact we had already bought some panini from Spello for that purpose), but we stayed to have a bit more of a poke around before moving on. Linda insisted on trying out the local wine and we ended up being served some nibbles to go with it. I expected a huge bill at the end of our little tasting session (and sat tensely awaiting the bill) but we escaped with only light damage to our budget and happily moved on.

Spoleto gets a great write-up in our guidebooks, but when we arrived we saw half the town was under scaffolding. Regardless of this fact it was a very interesting town to visit, not least due to its Roman aqueduct-come-bridge just outside the town. Unfortunately we couldn't walk across it because it, too, was under some scaffolding, but was nonetheless spectacular to look at while having a little picnic of Nutella and bread pilfered from our hostel.

By this stage it was getting quite late so we drove on to Trevi for dinner, and found ourselves a trattoria in a very pleasant piazza with a jazz festival going on outside. Some delicious food later (more pecorino e miele) and it was time to go home. By the time we managed to navigate (wrong way down unmarked one-way street) our way back into Perugia for the night it was quite late and we were exhausted after a big day of sightseeing.

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