Our latest guests, Steve and Shiromi have gone on to new adventures in Turkey. We very much enjoyed their stay. After our visit to Gubbio we decided the other big town to see would be Perugia. We did some shopping and explored what is left of the fortress built after the Salt war. It was commissioned by the Pope as a symbol of Papal power and was built in 1540. They rased an entire borgo (over 100 houses plus churches and monasteries) to include the houses of the Baglioni family whom the Pope hated. It is eerie to wander what were the streets of the borgo and see the remains of all the houses, which were built of stone as opposed to the brick of the fortress. Here are some photos. It is hard to show the scale of the place. the ceilings are very tall.
This is a street sign (!) underground.
We also visited the enormous Etruscan gate. It was built 2,400 years ago and used no mortar. Impressive.
When Cesar Augustus conquered the city he carved his name into the gate.
Relaxing in the main piazza. Note the little buzzer in the center of the table to call for service. I’d never seen this before.
We had a lovely lunch at Ristorante Antica trattoria san Lorenzo. We had been here before and enjoyed the very innovative cuisine. Steve and Shiromi enjoyed it too. We all had the lunch special. This first picture is the little “gift” from the chef before we got the appetizer.
We bid Steve and Shiromi goodbye on Thursday. Since then we have been relaxing a little. Right now Umbertide is having the week-long concert festival called Rassegna Bande Musicali Citta di Umbertide. The concert bands come from towns all around us and are very good, most performing excerpts that are very familiar like the march in Carmen. Sorry for the blur!
I also learned an interesting factoid. Here in Italy you are buried on a Friday, married on a Saturday, and christened on a Sunday! I enjoy watching the weddings from our window. Yesterday there were two that I noticed. The first had an impressive Lincoln stretch limo. The picture below is of the second wedding. This bride was really rocking it out! They had a very loud sound system set up and a DJ spinning the tunes. And note her red shoes!
Tomorrow we greet Ron and Linda, Americans who live in Florence. We met them in Virginia before they moved to Italy about 5 years ago. We were at that time just dreaming of moving here so we picked their brains about how they were accomplishing it. They don’t have a car and use the rails to travel. We’ll pick them up at the station and visit some places they can’t reach by train. I am looking forward to seeing them.