Category Archives: Umbertide

Corona virus 4

Things are heating up in Italy, as everyone knows. Thanks for the comments and well wishes from all my friends!

Here in Umbria, as of yesterday, we have 24 cases a jump from 16 the day before. The schools are closed until April and all gatherings and events are canceled. This includes weddings, funerals and masses! We went grocery shopping yesterday and all seemed normal. No crazy panic buying. There did seem to be more people than usual but it was Saturday so… and Otherwise the bars are open. Restaurants open. The poor parents are going crazy I’m sure with the kids home.
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As for the national news. Italy has formally locked down more than a quarter of its population.

More than 5,800 cases have been confirmed in Italy, after an increase of more than 1,200 in a single 24-hour period. Two hundred and thirty-three people have died.

Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte signed a decree enacting forced quarantine for the region of Lombardy – home to more than 10 million people and the financial capital, Milan – and multiple other provinces, totalling around 16 million residents.

Affected provinces include Venice, Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Rimini, Pesaro and Urbino, Alessandria, Asti, Novara, Verbano Cusio Ossola, Vercelli, Padua, and Treviso.
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And on the US front I hear my native Virginia has a case. Washington DC, and Maryland all have cases. As I suspected the strategy of the government was to pretend it wasn’t there. What you don’t know can’t be counted. Therefore it looks like the US is safe. But like a little kid, hiding behind his hand, because if he can’t see it, it isn’t there, the US plan is dangerously flawed.
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Strange days for us all. Stay safe everyone!
Stay tuned for updates.

Corona virus 3

We had to visit the big Perugia hospital today. Luther needed some stitches removed. While we were waiting the entire hospital went on lock down. We were in a waiting room but all the internal doors were auto-locked. Turns out there was a hospital wide meeting to explain all the new corona virus protocols to the staff. After 3 hours Luther got his stitches out. I admit, as the waiting room got more and more crowded I got more and more uncomfortable. So I left Luther to wait and I went to the car. I was so glad to get outside in the cold crisp air. I breathed deep. I’m sure it was all in my mind but I couldn’t wait to get out of there!

New notices.
Things change quickly. Today they closed all schools in all of Italy until March 15 at the earliest. All soccer games and sports matches, concerts, conventions, gatherings of any sort are cancelled until further notice.

Other news
On the radio we heard them suggest all elderly people (in the north this means over 65) remain in their homes. Also in the north (in the areas with large outbreaks) they are mandating one meter distance between customers in bars and stores. Also they have a four person limit in stores. So people line up outside keeping one or two meters between each other. And worst of all…no double kissing, hugging, or handshaking. This is darn near impossible for Italians! Un disastro.

Still, life goes on here in Umbria. Now, no gatherings, no school, but here it’s business as usual in Bar Mary downstairs. 🙂

Stay safe.

Corona Virus 2

We now have a few cases of the Virus here in Umbria. A family self quarantining itself in Città della Pieve on the far west side near Tuscany, one in Todi, to the south, one in Foligno, and two others in small towns south of Perugia. I do not personally know of any closures.

We are starting to feel it here in other ways. The Questura is not processing the Permessi di Soggiorno that we need to stay here. Supposedly we will get extensions. This is impacting the fact we were going to try for the long term permits. Not sure what we will do now.

Airlines are not flying into the northern airports near the red zones but Rome and Naples are fine. The people who are flying places, so far are not hitting any problems. But many people are canceling their trips here. It will have a devastating impact on the Italian economy 😢. The news from the US makes me think it will be no safer there than here as this thing runs its course.

Stay safe everyone!

Springtime walk and Kilometer zero market – late February

I’ve been taking advantage of the beautiful weather we’ve been having by going on walks and (of course) visiting our little Saturday market. It has been brisk but sunny and blue skies. Late afternoons feel like spring. Too early but I shouldn’t complain. I snapped a few photos. First the walk.

Sky is so blue with stark branches.

Reflections. Our little town – Umbertide.

A small road heads along The Tiber river. It was the ancient Roman road through this valley. This is a quintessential Umbrian view. Umbrella pines, cypress’, brilliant green winter wheat in the fields.

And the kilometer zero market today.

Apples.

We have a baker who comes every week from Panicale. It’s a sweet hill town south of Lago Trasimeno. They love the whole grains and lots of seeds! I struck up a conversation with the woman, who is German.

The winter greens abound.

There are two local cheese makers. This one makes fresh ricotta and yogurt.

Primroses.

Winter salad. I bought some. We’ll see how it is.

March is usually when the spring flowers really pop out here. I’m looking forward to it!

Permesso di soggiorno UE per soggiornanti di lungo periodo – part 3

So… this week we did several things in pursuit of our Cartas.

Monday we visited the Agencia il Corriere. It is advertised as an auto and boat agency to facilitate all things legal, like titles and registration. It also helps with drivers licenses and we could have probably used them to convert ours had we known about them. We had thought we’d need to go to Perugia for this Police report. But the nice Policeman we visited last week told us about this agency and that they also do things like help get police reports! Who would’ve known that!? So we initiated that process. I’d pay just about anything to avoid going to the madhouse that is Perugia. We should get them next Monday.

Then Luther wrote to our Commercialista to get proof of our having paid our taxes since we’ve been here. That arrived in an email on Wednesday.

Today, we went to the Anagrafe in our Comune to get the CERTIFICATO CONTESTUALE, or family status certification. That was super easy and cost two €16 tax stamps or Marche da Bolla. Plus €1.04.

Since we were there we decided to convert our old style Carta d’Identite to the new electronic cards. This cost €27 each plus photos, fingerprints etc. We should get them in the mail.

So that’s three out of four things we need. The last thing is a Housing Certification or a certificate of habitability. We had thought this “could” be the long pole in the tent as they say. We noticed our deed mentions we do not have this certification. And it says, due to the age of the building. (!) Uh oh. So I decided to write our realtor, who knows just about everything real estate related, and ask him. Well, he replied that this is true, our house is in the Centro Storico, or historical center of town. This part of town is ancient and because of this it gets a pass. I guess we will highlight this passage on our deed and hope they accept it.

Stay tuned!

Permesso di soggiorno UE per soggiornanti di lungo periodo – part 2

So yesterday we went to the polizia here in Umbertide to enquire about how to get the certificates we need. Sadly we have to go to Perugia. We have vague directions. Sigh.

Then we met with our avvocato. Sr. Rossi seems nice and speaks good English which helps some. He explained we should just apply on our own as normal and if we are turned down we will file in the Administrative Court Of Umbria (TAR UMBRIA) to contest the decision. It will cost around €1500 plus court costs and take around 1 1/2 years or so. Sigh.

On the bright side we managed to get our health care renewed. Always problematic as we must wait for the US Embassy to send our stamped social security statements before we can pay the fee to renew. All done. And we chose a new doctor. Dottoressa Lorenza Medici. Good name!
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To catch up with a few things from the last week or two…

Lunch at Calagrana with a bunch of friends. Picture of little Pelegrino, a twin whose mother rejected him. He is being bottle fed and is cute as can be.

And today is February 1! We got past the long cold month of January. Look what I saw on my trip to the grocery store!

Winter market

Very cold here. When we woke it was -3C. That’s about 26F. The fields were frosted white. The sky bright and sunny. I love winter days like this. We had planned a couple of mundane errands. We had to go pay our tax lady who is about 25 minutes away, a peaceful drive to the small town of Mercatale at the head of the beautiful Niccone valley, where the road splits. One fork goes over the mountains to Lago Trasimeno, the other goes over the mountains to Cortona. That chore done we headed back to another valley just north of that to where we buy our pellets for our stufa.

Back in Umbertide we unloaded half the pellets at our house and I parked. The Saturday Kilometer Zero market is going today. I really felt like buying some of that beautiful, locally grown winter produce. Since it is all from right around here, it is limited to the beautiful winter greens, root vegetables like carrots and potatoes, the big zucca or winter squash, etc. I bought 3 big leeks (I see potato leek soup in my future) 3 turnips, a big dark green cabbage, 2 heads of my favorite garlic (big heads with spaced out big cloves and very firm), carrots, a big head of cauliflower and some spring onions (don’t ask how that happened! I never see those here). All for €6. local and healthy. No pesticides. Gotta love it.

Take a look at the bounty!
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Buon Anno a tutti!


Cold and incredibly clear here now. Night temperatures are getting down in the mid-twenties Fahrenheit. Brrrr. My lemon tree is inside for the duration.

New Years Eve saw big celebrations and dancing into the wee hours in the piazza. I guess they had to dance to keep warm. Italians don’t really dance…they hop. Up and down, up and down. Really quite amusing to watch.

For New Years dinner we made a trek on New Years Eve to Bosco, a town south of us, to buy a good steak from Etrusco macellaio. They have the BEST beef. We always stock up while there. I built a fire and warmed myself waiting for it to get good and hot. Meanwhile I made Hoppin’ John for luck. I bring dried black-eyed peas from the US. Here in Italy the dish to serve is sausages and lentils. Lentils are shaped like coins and will make you rich in the new year.
Anyway you do it, Happy New Year to us all! Hoping for a transitional year ahead.