Our friends couldn’t have asked for nicer weather. Autumn in Umbria is spectacular in an entirely different way from the brilliant greens of springtime.
The visit was with two friends. Eunice, one of my besties from my Book Group, and her husband Mark. Eunice was unable to come with the initial group of Book Group friends a few years ago. We had to make that right! So we experienced it again, with some new adventures thrown in so she has some experiences unique to her.
Our first outing was to Todi, one of my favorite towns in Umbria. Very high on a hill, it is fairly large and completely medieval. The heart of town is the Piazza del Popolo and here you find many gorgeous buildings to include the People’s Palace and the Captain’s Palace. The latter houses the Civic Museum and Gallery. We also found, for the first time, the funicular from a nice parking lot up to the top of town. It eliminates any arduous hill climbing.
Interesting door knob on our walk from the funicular to the Piazza.
One of the prettiest buildings and one of the only green areas is San Fortunato. Built originally by the Romans and converted to a church in the 1100s.
Also in the Piazza is the Todi Cathedral which features a rose window.
The Captain’s Palace. Very Venetian looking I think.
We had a nice lunch in one of our favorite restaurants, Ristorante Umbria.
The view from the walls which was also enjoyed by our restaurant.
Next up, a visit to Tom and Maximus. This will take a little explaining. Mark and Eunice are big Bernese Mountain dog fans. They have had several over the time I’ve known them. Their latest is Quinn who is 3 years old. When they heard Tom and Carol had a puppy named Max they wanted to meet him. So I asked Tom if we could come up. Well he’s a fine fellow and decided on a BBQ lunch for us all. It was a beautiful, clear day and we drove high up into the mountains to his house. Unfortunately Carol was in the UK because her father was ill so our friend , Joanne, who is Tom’s neighbor came up to join us.
We sat outside where it was breezy and much cooler than I had expected. I brought my World Famous Ribs for our contribution. Tom must have spent hours preparing all the food we had. We had an excellent time and the time flew. When I looked at my watch it was 6PM!! That’s what happens with a lunch here in Umbria with friends. Thanks Tom!
Pretty planter at Tom’s house.
Basil makes a nice arrangement on the set-up table.
The table and view.
The dessert was spectacular. And not too heavy.
Maximus (7 months old) was quite shy and took a long time to warm up to us. Everyone took time sitting on the floor with him. When we rose to leave he suddenly became very friendly! Funny pup. He also likes men more than women.
Our last real outing was to a vineyard in Bevagna, a small town in the wine growing area of the famous Sagrantino grape. It was another spectacular day. The winery Luther chose was Villa Mongalli. We had visited it 2 times before. A family operation consisting of the semi-retired father, two brothers, and their wives and small children. The last visits we had were with one of the brothers, Pierrepaolo. This time his wife, Natasha, conducted the tasting. We tasted a spectacular Rosato, a white Grechetto, a Rosso, two Sagrantini reds and one more, super smooth Montefalco Rosso. We, of course, bought several cases, and Eunice bought one for her planned soiree on the terrace of their rented house.
Sagrantino di Montefalco
Array of our bottles in the sun.
The vines are loaded. This is Sagrantino. They said it won’t be ready to harvest until late October.
We tasted a couple of theses. They are unbelievably sweet!
View across the acreage with grapes and olive groves. Pretty patchwork. I think Bavagna and Montefalco hills are the prettiest scenery in Umbria.
Natasha sent us up the road about a kilometer to a church with picnic tables. It was a lovely place. Way up high with excellent views. And the temperature was perfect!
Our picnic tavola. Prosciutto cotto and crudo, a nice pecorino and two flat breads. We drank a bottle of the Villa Mongalli Rosato. Prefect way to have lunch and not over eat too much.
Eunice and Luther.
View from the table of the medieval town of Bevagna. One of my favorites.
We drove on down to Bevagna after our lunch and strolled the town. Pretty streets.
I loved the sparkling sun on the fountain water.
After a two day break we joined up on their last night in Umbria at their rented house. We had a nice evening snack table outside on the spectacular terrace. It has perfect sundowners view as my British friends would say.
We really enjoyed Eunice and Mark’s visit in Umbria. It is always fun to show people around and it got us out of the house and into the beauty of our region!