This trip unexpectedly turned into a fantastic food adventure. The best I can remember (outside Japan, that is). Ohhh… these black smoked gnocchi with truffel and asparagus were to die for and the gnocco fritto a surprising start into a great meal.
After going up the winding mountain road up to 1500m, this vast plain, Piano Grande (Great Plain), suddenly opened up in front of us. Breath-taking!
We could well imagine that this plain surrounded by the Sibillini mountain range and Mt. Vettore (2476m) used to be a lake a long, long time ago. Now it is a large pleateau bursting with wild flowers. No wonder many people came up to see this natural spectacle!
We could see a village perched on the rock at the far end which must be Castelluccio. Getting close there, we realized that the village was all rubble destroyed by the three earthquakes in 2016. The village is still in ruins guarded by the army and and an incredibly sad sight which made me almost cry…
A heavenly beautiful place and witness of nature’s uncontrollable forces.
Assisi is an amazing medieval town in terms of its sheer size and grandness. The town sits on the hill-top and one can see its fortress and its massive Basilica of St. Francis from very far.
Going up to the fortress of Rocca Maggiore which is located at the top of the town, spoiled us with fantastic views.
We wandered around small alleys, looked at beautifully maintained stone-wall houses, peaked into delightful gardens and were amazed about those impressive churches and their interiors full of intricate frescos.
We also ate wonderful gelati, frequented our favorite focaccia shop in the Piazza Rufino for lunch and discovered those fantastic black smoked gnocchi with parmesan, asparagus and truffle at the Osteria Piazzetta dell’Erba, a truly memorable dish, according to Philippe.
Armenzano – a very quaint and very small dwelling on the way from Assisi to our hotel (Le Silve di Armenzano). The UNESCO site is likely home to many more cats than humans (40) …
Umbertide is a small town close to Caroline’s castle.
In the rain we visited its open food market full of colorful, tasty and cheap fruits and had coffee at one of the oldest cafes in the main square where locals seem to hang out.
The town turned out to be charming with several medieval buildings and a beautiful walkway along the river under the square.
To our surprise, apparently many British have their vacation houses on the hills (many hills here!) nearby so we heard English at every corner.
We spent two nights at Caroline and Marius’s place in Umbria. The “place” is a piece of a marvellously renovated, beautifully lost and fantastically located, remote hamlet called “Borgo di Santa Giuliana” solely reachable through a 30 minutes gravel-road drive from Umbertide.
Marius joked, we thought, that they would close the gate to prevent wild boars from getting in. It wasn’t a joke. I sighted a small group of boars searching for food right down the castle walls.
One evening, we had a fantastic diner at beautiful Montone. This was the view from the restaurant:
Mit den Modellen Jedi Lift, Needle DSL und der Libelle auf dem Monte Catria bei bis zu 6 Windstärken in den Böen.