Testimonials (More here...)

  • “We had a wonderful stay at Annie’s farm and country apartments this past summer! The setting is beautiful, and the kids absolutely adored all the animals of the farm, including the kitties and dogs, numerous goats, chickens and their signature donkeys. What a great place for a family with children of any age to stay!… View Article

    Shannon G., Denver, CO., July 2017 – Casa Nuova
  • “This is a great apartment and a wonderful experience: so much more than some silly hotel! We loved hearing the animals nearby too.” Linda Diberczak, PA, USA

    Linda Diberczak, PA, USA – Casa Nuova
  • “Grazie molto for a wonderful stay. We so enjoyed meeting your family and friends and experiencing your local Umbrian ways. Your hospitality was so wonderful and made us all feel like we were right at home here for a week! You were awesome to share your world and take us in and welcome us with… View Article

    Kendrick, Holly, Satori and Bodlin, Breckenridge Colorado, USA – Casa Dell’Arco
  • “We were welcomed with a wonderful dinner and treated better than guests. Our tour was not only informative, but also from a local perspective…only wish we were here longer, but you helped us take advantage of our time. Many best wishes.” Phil & Stephanie Hill East Stroudsburg, PA

    Phil & Stephanie Hill, East Stroudsburg, PA – Casa Dell’Arco
  • “Dear Anne, Thank you very much for your warm hospitality and kind words the night of our arrival. Umbria has been a beautiful and historically rich interlude in our time between Rome and Venice……. Thank you also for the world tour. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to witness firsthand a way of… View Article

    Jacob Watkins-Strand, Toronto, Canada – Casa Dell’Arco
  • “Dear Anne, Thank you for our wonderful tour of the ‘rural life’ – we enjoyed the stories, visit with your neighbors and the lovely lunch. Our stay on your form was a peaceful respite and we are sorry to go. Thank you for your hospitality and our delicious meal with you on the first evening-we… View Article

    Deborah and Robert + Jacob, Toronto, Canada – Casa Dell’Arco
  • “Dear Annie and Pino, Thank you so much for hosting us in your wonderful home. Everything was beautiful and we enjoyed interacting with all your animals. Your restaurant and tourist recommendations were so helpful!….” Alissa Doberczak, Bethelehem, PA

    Alissa Doberczak, Bethelehem, PA – Casa Nuova
  • “Dear Anne and Pino, Thank you so much for your welcoming hospitality and the knowledge and love you shared of your beautiful Assisi and Umbria. We were especially touched meeting Peppe and his family and your stories of how you shared in Umbria rural life. The effort you all experienced together made not only experiences… View Article

    Fred and Ann Cochlin, Grant, FL, USA – Casa Nuova
  • “Dear Anne, There are truly no words that can explain your hospitality! Your stories…….. are so very precious. Chiarina & Rosanna are darling and their food and welcome with us, unbelievable! (The laughs, tears shed over special “sheep” that will never be sold!). Thank you for offering us the Basilica as well. That was one… View Article

    Star & Jodi, Wisconsin, USA – Casa Nuova
  • “Anne and Pino, Thank you for sharing your space and knowledge with us. We feel so lucky to have met you. The memories we take with us carry the humor, beauty and love of your friends, family, neighbors and community. We will carry the small piece of Assisi with us always and look forward to… View Article

    Robyn & Susan, Wisconsin, USA – Casa Nuova
Availabilty, Prices - Il Nido Tranquillo Availabilty, Prices - Assisi 3 Countryside Apartments Latest "insider" tips from Anne

Live Assisi in our apartments: in Assisi’s medieval center or in the Assisi countryside

My husband Pino and I have lived on the land in Umbria since the mid-1970’s and we now welcome guests into three countryside apartments near our Assisi farmhouse. And for “urban souls”, we also rent a small apartment for two in the heart of Assisi. For those guests wishing an unforgettable Assisi apartment stay, joining in an Annesitaly “Inside Umbria” Celebration guarantees that.


Our Apartments

Assisi Medieval Center Apartment

Welcome to il Nido Tranquillo

Our Assisi in-town apartment, il Nido Tranquillo (“Tranquil Nest”), blends modern amenities with Umbrian artisan traditions, from the artworks on the walls by local artists to the textiles in the bedroom. The one bedroom apartment, located in a restored medieval building, is a three minute walk to Assisi’s main piazza. Creating “the nest” was a joy – and now, time spent with our guests brings even more joy.

Assisi 3 Countryside Apartments

Welcome to Assisi Casa Campagna

Our 3 countryside apartments (perfect for hosting groups up to 14), show off the fine artisan work of my husband Pino and his building team. Our countryside guests, too are more than guests: for those staying, countryside pleasures surround and yet, hill-town wonders are nearby.


Why stay here

Assisi, birthplace of San Francesco in the late twelfth century and “crown jewel” of Umbria, is a perfect base for exploration of all the Umbrian hilltowns as well as those of southern Tuscany, northern Latium and the less-explored nearby Marches and Abruzzo regions.

I’ll help you get started exploring: since 1997, I’ve been sharing the wonders of Umbria as the only American authorized Regional Umbrian tour guide. The stays of all our guests – whether at Il Nido Tranquillo, our Assisi apartment, or in our Assisi countryside apartmentsare highlighted with unforgettable additions – and I’ll share innumerable insights. Let our guests tell you! Read about their adventures.


What to see


What Our Guests Say

An unforgettable Umbria stay promised to each of our apartment guests. Read about the adventures of past guests.


When to stay

Every month of the year in Umbria offers enticements!
Starting with January… Read more


Where we are

Contact us

Have any questions? Click here – and do contact us with other queries.”











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Anne’s Most Recent Insights

Why Arezzo Enchants

Why Arezzo Enchants

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Winter Squash Recipe for a November Day

Winter Squash Recipe for a November Day

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In Spello, Medieval Tower Restored

In Spello, Medieval Tower Restored

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Near Orvieto, Good Eating

Don’t miss eating here if you’re in the Orvieto area.
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Recipes: Winter Squash/<em>Ricotta</em>  Pasta

Recipes: Winter Squash/Ricotta  Pasta

If you’re here in November, do try this tasty recipe.
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Cooking in Umbria: a Vacation Highlight

Cooking in Umbria: a Vacation Highlight

Why not highlight your Umbria vacation cooking with us in our Umbria farmhouse?
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Umbrian Goodness: Recipe for <em>Borlotti/Farro</em>  Soup

Umbrian Goodness: Recipe for Borlotti/Farro  Soup

When in Umbria, don’t miss the goodness of borlotti beans and farro.
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The Singing Washerwomen: a Tradition Lives On

The Singing Washerwomen: a Tradition Lives On

If you’re lucky, you might see - and hear!- those “singing washerwomen” when you’re in central Italy.
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Marches Region Good Eating

Marches Region Good Eating

If you’re wandering the bellissimo region, don’t miss a stop to eat at Ristorante la Marchigiana.
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From Colorado Cooking to an Assisi Farmhouse Stay

From Colorado Cooking to an Assisi Farmhouse Stay

What joy recently to link up with Colorado friends staying in our Assisi countryside apartments. Good time and happy reminiscing of
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Recipe for a November Day

Recipe for a November Day

If you’re in Umbria in November and see winter squash at the daiy market, you might wish to try this
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In Norcia, Black Truffles…and Not Only

In Norcia, Black Truffles…and Not Only

When you’re in Umbria, don’t miss feasting on black truffles in Norcia.
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In the Marches Region, Astounding Restoration

In the Marches Region, Astounding Restoration

Pino’s team took on an immense two-year project: the restoration of a 19th-c monastery in the Marches region. Complimenti,
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Rural Connections: an Umbria Highlight

When you stay in our Assisi countryside apartments, a highlight will be meeting our rural friends.
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From Wisconsin to Umbria, Rural Connections

From Wisconsin to Umbria, Rural Connections

Read here about the adventures of four women from Wisconsin, linking up with our rural friends.
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Rome to Umbria Links Relived

Rome to Umbria Links Relived

How good recently to relive my first links to Italy with old friends.
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Giuseppa in Deruta: a Warm Welcome to Italy

Giuseppa in Deruta: a Warm Welcome to Italy

Mike and Celinda, quite sure our lunch today with Giuseppa convinced you that living in Italy is the right choice!
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An Auction Prize: a Stay in Our Assisi Apartment

An Auction Prize: a Stay in Our Assisi Apartment

Always a delight to share Umbria with our apartment guests!
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Live Italy, Live Assisi Rural Life

Live Italy, Live Assisi Rural Life

You can’t truly take home Italy without contact with our rural friends: national treasures.
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Tenth Century Abruzzo Marvels

Tenth Century Abruzzo Marvels

Southeast of Umbria, the region of Abruzzo hides many a wondrous treasure.
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Reggello, Hidden Tuscan Gem

Reggello, Hidden Tuscan Gem

When in Italy, you’ll find that you never stop discovering the wonders. Like Reggello.
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Peaches, Peppers, Potatoes and More: Cooking Umbria

Peaches, Peppers, Potatoes and More: Cooking Umbria

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Near Deruta: Home Cooking and Pasta-Making

Near Deruta: Home Cooking and Pasta-Making

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Cook Up Umbria on a Rainy Day

Cook Up Umbria on a Rainy Day

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A Sicilian Summer Recipe

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When eggplants are in your summer garden, serve them up the Sicilian way.
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Pisa: Much More Than a Tower

Pisa: Much More Than a Tower

Going to Pisa? Remember that it offers far more than that Leaning Tower.
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Piombino, Second Time Around

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The Island of Elba: Sea Splendor

The Island of Elba: Sea Splendor

When in central Italy, do take time for a few days on the island of Elba. Be sure to
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Before the Ferry to Elba, Piombino Seafood Goodness

Before the Ferry to Elba, Piombino Seafood Goodness

We knew we’d be enjoying savory seafood on Elba - but we even had it at the port city of
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On the Island of Elba, Octopus and Not Only

On the Island of Elba, Octopus and Not Only

Off the coast of Tuscany, the island of Elba offers scenic majesty and seafood enticements.
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Snails Entice Near Bevagna

Snails Entice Near Bevagna

Don’t miss joining the locals in eating at a sagra while here. And if snails intrigue, don’t miss this one
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Macerata for Opera..and More

Macerata for Opera..and More

If you are opera-lovers, don’t miss the Macerata Opera Festival in July and August. And we know where you can
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A Recipe: Pesto with a New Twist

A Recipe: Pesto with a New Twist

Pino’s goat cheese gives a new twist to this summertime pesto recipe.
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<em>La Bandiera:</em>  the Edible “Flag” of Umbria

La Bandiera:  the Edible “Flag” of Umbria

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<em>Sagra:</em>  a Highlight of Your Umbrian Stay

Sagra:  a Highlight of Your Umbrian Stay

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A Sicilian Recipe: <em>La Peperonata</em>

A Sicilian Recipe: La Peperonata

Thanks always to PIno’s mother for having taught me to make la peperonata.
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Taste Umbria, Taste Umbrian Salads

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Liguria Enticement: Sublime Seafood in La Spezia

There's a place you can't miss if in the region of Liguria.
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Ah, That Simple Goodness of <em>Bruschetta</em>

Ah, That Simple Goodness of Bruschetta

When in Italy, don't miss the many variations of bruschetta.
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Assisi’s “Gardens”: All Around You

Stroll Assisi from spring to fall and enjoy those "gardens" all around you.
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Near Perugia, a “Hot” Festival

Head to Pila, small town near Perugia, if you're here in July. Take in their "hot" festival.
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Bolsena, Not to Miss

Bolsena, Not to Miss

While I'm Umbria, you simply can't miss Lake Bolsena.
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Peach Note

Peach Note

If you're in Umbria in July, savor that peach goodness.
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Calendimaggio, Apex of Umbria in May

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The Joy of Apartment Guests

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Cheese, Please, on My Pasta

…and not just one type but four in pasta ai quattro formaggi. Enjoy the recipe. Buon appetito!
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<em>La Panzanella:</em>  Summer Salad Starring Bread

La Panzanella:  Summer Salad Starring Bread

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Join Us for 10 Unforgettable Festive May Days

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Fave  Bean Goodness with Peppa

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Spello in Full Bloom

Not to miss: the dazzling floral tapestries created for the Feast of Corpus Domini (sixty days after Easter).
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Spello’s Floral Masterpieces

If you’re here for the Feast of Corpus Domini (sixty days after Easter), do join me in Spello to see
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Good Eating in Italy: Mediterranean Diet

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To Peppa’s for a Culinary Lesson

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A Recipe: Summer Fresh Tomato Goodness

Enjoy this summertime recipe.
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Perugia: Finding the Hidden Pleasures

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Living that Gubbio Passione

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A Recipe: Onions on Stage

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Gubbio’s Glorious Mad Race: Who Wins?

Find out the winner for the May 15th Corsa dei Ceri in Gubbio.
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Montefalco “in the Pink”

Montefalco “in the Pink”

Don’t miss medieval gem, Montefalco… even it if’s NOT "In the pink!"
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Cooking Up Umbria!

The best way to live Umbria? Cook it up with me!
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Pino’s Gost Cheese: Umbria Goodness

While you’re in Umbria, be sure to taste the good flavors of Umbria. Like goat cheese! Come to our house
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Know Rural Umbria

Find out why my mantra remains “know the rural people to know Umbria.”
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Bevagna: Food in Art…and Not Only

Read here about why you cannot miss visiting Bevagna when in Umbria.
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Giro d’Italia  Puts Italy “in the Pink”

.......and read here to know why
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Montefalco: Always “in the Pink”

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Good Friday Assisi Links to World War II

A stunning Good Friday Assisi tradition links to past history. Click here to read more.
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Assisi Rural Festival Feast

Assisi Rural Festival Feast

What's the best way to start off a 10 - day Assisi May festival tour? Click here to find out.
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Tuscan Gem, Anghiari, Shows Off the Artisans

Head up to southern Tuscany to Anghiari if you’re here in springtime - a gem of a town. And you might
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Cannara, Where <em>Vernaccia</em>  Reigns

Cannara, Where Vernaccia  Reigns

If you enjoy superb local cooking, good wine - and Italian euphoria all around - head to Cannara for the
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Rural Goodness Entices to Deruta

Rural Goodness Entices to Deruta

You’re missing a highlight of Umbria, if you miss a rural feast with Giuseppa at her farm near Deruta.
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A Tasty Recipe: Wild Asparagus Stars

A Tasty Recipe: Wild Asparagus Stars

Springtime in Umbria brings us wild asparagus goodness.
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Assisi’s Calendimaggio: Medieval May Splendor

Assisi’s Calendimaggio: Medieval May Splendor

If you can be here in early May, Calendimaggio is not to miss.
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Norcia in March: the Feast of St. Benedict

Norcia in March: the Feast of St. Benedict

Late March in Norcia is magical.
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In Spello, Feasting on Wild Greens

In Spello, Feasting on Wild Greens

If you’re in Umbria in early springtime, don’t miss a most special food festival in that medieval hilltown gem, Spello.
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An Assisi Treasure: the Rural People

An Assisi Treasure: the Rural People

No visit to Umbria can be complete without an encounter with our rural neighbors: an Assisi treasure.
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Calendimaggio…..But No Gina

Calendimaggio…..But No Gina

If you’re in Assisi in May, don’t miss Calendimaggio: our stunning medieval festival….though we miss Gina.
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Strawberry Tiramisu: a Recipe to Entice

June means the goodness of strawberries - and no better way to enjoy them than in strawberry tiramisu.
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Easter Goodness in Umbria

Easter Goodness in Umbria

If you’re in Umbria Easter week, do not miss the local cheese breads bakings and blessings in the Assisi countryside.
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Near Deruta, More Than a Feast with Giuseppa

Near Deruta, More Than a Feast with Giuseppa

Read why lunch with farm friend Giuseppa is more than a rural feast.
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An Assisi Find: <em>Pasticceria/Bar Sensi</em>

An Assisi Find: Pasticceria/Bar Sensi

Whether you’re here at Carnevale time (Mardi Gras) or not, you won’t want to miss the tasty goodness at Pasticceria/Bar
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Those Carnevale Temptations of Umbria

Those Carnevale Temptations of Umbria

If you’re here at Carnevale (Mardi Gras), don’t miss those Carnevale sweets.
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Peppone: Not to Miss in L’Aquila

Peppone: Not to Miss in L’Aquila

If you head to L’Aquila in Abruzzo, do not miss a stop at Peppone’s for the tasting of local goodness
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For 19 Euro, Lunch for Two in L’Aquila

For 19 Euro, Lunch for Two in L’Aquila

Good eating does not have to be costly in Italy, as we recently discovered in L’Aquila.
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A Gripping Memorial in Bologna

A Gripping Memorial in Bologna

If you’re in Bologna, do not miss a visit to the very moving Sacrario monument.
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A Snails’ Feast in Cantalupo

A Snails’ Feast in Cantalupo

If you are in Umbria during the celebration of snails in Cantalupo near Bevagna, don’t miss feasting with the locals!
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Rivotorto, Small Village with a Big Heart

Rivotorto, Small Village with a Big Heart

Not far from Assisi, the villagers of tiny Rivotorto often come together for BIG events: earthquake benefits.
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Assisi’s Outdoor Market

Assisi’s Outdoor Market

If you’re staying in Assisi, where to head for fruits and vegetables? Piazzetta dell’Erba near the main square, where Novella
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Bologna: <em>Tortellini</em>  and Not Only

Bologna: Tortellini  and Not Only

If you’re in the region of Emilia Romagna, do spend a couple days in Bologna,” city of good-eating.” And don’t
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Near Rieti, a Favorite Spot

Near Rieti, a Favorite Spot

One of our favorite eating spots? Find the goodness in a little roadside hut near Rieti.
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Ferrara: From Castles to <em>Cappellacci</em>

Ferrara: From Castles to Cappellacci

If your wanders take you north to the region of Emilia Romagna, do not miss Ferrara, “land of castles and
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Bagnocavallo: Emilia Romagna Culinary Tempationas

Bagnocavallo: Emilia Romagna Culinary Tempationas

If you’re in the region of Emilia Romagna, you might wish to enjoy a tasty lunch here.
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A Hearty Umbrian Dish: <em>Spezzatino</em>

A Hearty Umbrian Dish: Spezzatino

Enjoy this recipe for a hearty Umbrian dish.
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Todi to Orvieto: Good Eating Enroute

If you’re headed to Orvieto from Todi, you’ll want to eat here.
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Assisi, an Earthquake and Jewish History

Read here about an earthquake, Assisi, Jewish history….and recipricocity.
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“Cheese, Please” in Santa Maria degli Angeli

“Cheese, Please” in Santa Maria degli Angeli

While you’re enjoying the wonders of Assisi and area, be sure you stop in at the Caseificio Broccatelli in Santa
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<em>Cacio Pepe</em>

Cacio Pepe

During your explorations of central Italy, be sure you enjoy cacio pepe!
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A Recipe of Umbrian Rural Goodness

A Recipe of Umbrian Rural Goodness

Enjoy tasting the goodness of rural Umbria.
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Near Deruta, a Not-to-Miss Umbria Treasure

Near Deruta, a Not-to-Miss Umbria Treasure

No stay in Umbria is complete without a visit to Giuseppa and Paolo, near Deruta.
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Near Bevagna, Snails Reign

Near Bevagna, Snails Reign

If you’re a fan of snails - like Pino - you’ll want to head to a tiny town near Bevagna
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Peppa: Not to Miss in Umbria!

Peppa: Not to Miss in Umbria!

While you’re enjoying the many wonders of Umbria, why not come with me to meet an Umbrian “treasure,” Peppa?
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Tasting Emilia Romagna

Tasting Emilia Romagna

If your travels include a jaunt north to the region of Emilia Romagna, spend a week-end at Agriturismo La Sabbiona. Enjoy
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Madonna dei Bagni: <em>Maiolica</em>  Folk Art Near Deruta

Madonna dei Bagni: Maiolica  Folk Art Near Deruta

When in Umbria, you’ll probably head over to Deruta to see the wondrous maiolica. While there, do not miss the
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Christmas Musical Splendor in Assisi

Christmas Musical Splendor in Assisi

The Christmas concert in Assisi’s Basilica di San Francesco brings in the joy of the season. Not to miss if
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Near Norcia, a Missing Christmas Link

Near Norcia, a Missing Christmas Link

This year, a beloved Umbrian Christmas tradition will be missing in a small town near Norcia. Read about it here.
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Orvieto: December Winter Jazz Splendor

Orvieto: December Winter Jazz Splendor

We’re never anywhere but in Orvieto for Umbria Jazz Winter at the end of December. Not to miss!
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Norcia, Resurrecting from an Earthquake

Norcia, Resurrecting from an Earthquake

It will take years to restored the Basilica di San Benedetto of Norcia, devastated in the October 20, 2016 earthquake.
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Fava Bean Goodness on a Snowy Assisi Day

Fava Bean Goodness on a Snowy Assisi Day

Icy weather these days calls for a hot, nourishing dish. Like pasta con le fave.
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Near Rieti, Simple Goodness

Near Rieti, Simple Goodness

If you head towards Rieti in northern Latium, don’t miss a lunch stop at La Baita.
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Assisi Christmas: Norcia Solidarity

Assisi Christmas: Norcia Solidarity

If you’re in Assisi at Christmastime, do stop to see the towering Tree near the Basilica di San Francesco. Every
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A Recipe of Umbrian Fall Goodness

A Recipe of Umbrian Fall Goodness

If you’re in Umbria in the fall, you might want to try this recipe with Umbrian winter squash.
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<em>La Cucina Genuina</em>  of Abruzzo

La Cucina Genuina  of Abruzzo

While you’re in Umbria, take a few days to discover the many wonders of Abruzzo, bordering Umbria on the southeast.
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Assisi’s Singing Friar

Assisi’s Singing Friar

If you’re in Assisi when Frate Alessandro is performing, don’t miss a concert starring our “singing friar.”
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Late November: Truffles Reign in Valtopina

Late November: Truffles Reign in Valtopina

If you’re staying in Umbria in November, be sure to take in the Valtopina Truffle Festival.
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Antrodoco:  Latium History and Good Eating

Antrodoco: Latium History and Good Eating

If you head towards L’Aquila in Abruzzo from Umbria, you’ll pass the region of Latium mountaintop hilltown of Antrodoco. History
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San Marcello Culinary Secret

San Marcello Culinary Secret

It’s worth a trip to San Marcello (near Iesi, in the Marches region) just to the feast Ciro cooks up.
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Tolentino, a Gem of the Marches Region

Tolentino, a Gem of the Marches Region

Bordering Umbria on the east, the Marches region merits exploration. And when you’re there, don’t miss Tolentino.
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Meet the Rural People, Taste That Rural Goodness

Meet the Rural People, Taste That Rural Goodness

While you’re staying in Umbria, you cannot miss a visit to our rural friends. Click here to see why.
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Piedipaterno in the Valnerina: On a Rainy Sunday

Piedipaterno in the Valnerina: On a Rainy Sunday

In early November, Pino and headed into the Valnerina and enjoyed a tasty lunch in the small town of Piedipaterno. And
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<em>Espresso:</em>  Solidarity for Norcia

Espresso:  Solidarity for Norcia

When we knew three cafes were open in Norcia following the October 2016 earthquake, Pino and I headed there for
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Cascia: Back to the Roses

Cascia: Back to the Roses

You can’t miss May 22nd in Cascia….if you’re here in Umbria at that time. Near Norcia and October, 2016 earthquake
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A Norcia <em>Norcineria:</em>  Not to Miss

A Norcia Norcineria:  Not to Miss

Don’t miss a visit to Norcia in mountainous southeastern Umbria when here. And whey you head to Norcia, taste the goodness
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Lentils of Castelluccio di Norcia: <em>Buonissime!</em>

Lentils of Castelluccio di Norcia: Buonissime!

When you’re in Umbria, don’t miss feasting on the lentils of Castelluccio near Norcia. And don’t miss seeing the flowering wonders
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Almost Worth the Drive to Abruzzo….

Almost Worth the Drive to Abruzzo….

Almost Worth the Drive to Abruzzo… ….to eat here!
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San Benedetto di Norcia: No, Art is Not Eternal

San Benedetto di Norcia: No, Art is Not Eternal

No, art is not eternal. We’ve learned the lesson. The devastation of the 2016 earthquake - and destruction to the Basilica
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San Salvatore a Campi: Loss of a Gem

San Salvatore a Campi: Loss of a Gem

No, art is not eternal. Get out and see as much as you can of our rich artistic treasures. The devastation
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Italian Cemeteries on November 2nd

Italian Cemeteries on November 2nd

Why are cemeteries so important on November 2nd? Read here.
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Recipe! <em>Pasta alla Norcina</em>

Recipe! Pasta alla Norcina

Feel like cooking up the flavors of Umbria? Try this dish.
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Visso, Marches Region Gem

Visso, Marches Region Gem

Visso, not far from Norcia, merits a visit. Read why. Restoration will be needed following the 2016 earthquakes.
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Preci: Resurrection Needed

Preci: Resurrection Needed

If you’re exploring the Valnerina area, do stop in Preci and learn about its curious history. Damaged in the 2016 earthquake,
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Castelluccio: Earthquake Ravages of a Hilltown Gem

Castelluccio: Earthquake Ravages of a Hilltown Gem

Hopefully, Castelluccio will be restored in time for the extraordinary summertime flowerings. Earthquake damage in 2016 ravaged this gem.
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Assisi’s Olive Mill: Pressing Time

Assisi’s Olive Mill: Pressing Time

If you’re here just as we’re harvesting olives, you might want to come with us to the olive mill...
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Olive Harvest Time

Olive Harvest Time

If you’re in Umbria in late October or early November, perhaps you can help us pick our olives….
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Tasting Green Tomatoes: a Recipe

Tasting Green Tomatoes: a Recipe

October is always “green-tomato time” for me. Every year, I experiment with sauces for all the unripened tomatoes in our
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Join in a Farmhouse Dinner

Join in a Farmhouse Dinner

Sooner or later, most of our apartment guests join in a dinner in our Assisi farmhouse. But not all guests pay
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In October, Try Pino’s Wine

In October, Try Pino’s Wine

If you’re ever here in late October/November, come to our house and try Pino’s wine, just made. See Pino’s wine-making here.
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Near Assisi, Live the Passion

Near Assisi, Live the Passion

I hope that all of our apartment guests will feel - and live - the passion I have for Umbria. Loi,
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Stay in the Assisi Countryside to LIVE Umbria

Stay in the Assisi Countryside to LIVE Umbria

A stay in our Assisi countryside apartments means connecting with "the locals" and truly LIVING Umbria. Read about - and see
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Tasting Umbrian Goodness

Tasting Umbrian Goodness

If you’re in Umbrian in the spring, you’ll want to savor fava bean goodness.
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<em>PITTORE NINO</em>

PITTORE NINO

You simply cannot miss a visit to the studio of artist Nino when in Assisi. Read about his colorful and whimsical
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Porcini?  Find the Goodness in Southern Tuscany

Porcini? Find the Goodness in Southern Tuscany

Food festivals - sagre - take place all over central Italy from spring to late fall. One of our favorites?
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Tiny Tuscan Treasure, Santa Fiora

Tiny Tuscan Treasure, Santa Fiora

While you’re in Umbria, take time to explore some of the “hidden gems” of southern Tuscany: like Santa Fiora. Read about
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Ventotene: That Wondrous “Literary Island”

Ventotene: That Wondrous “Literary Island”

When you’re ready for a seaside vacation, head for the island of Ventotene, not far south of Rome. Read about
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OCT 4TH / splendor in Assisi

OCT 4TH / splendor in Assisi

There is no greater moment of national unity here in Italy than on the Feast of St. Francis in Assisi,
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A Palermo “Symphony” of Tastes and Colors

A Palermo “Symphony” of Tastes and Colors

if you’re ever in Palermo, treat yourself to colorful - and buonissimo! - goodness at Bar Gardenia.
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Jazz in Assisi: Musical Solidarity

Jazz in Assisi: Musical Solidarity

What a joyous early fall event in Assisi: jazz as solidarity for the earthquake homeless of central Italy. Read about -
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Lubriano : <em>Alta Tuscia</em> Goodness

Lubriano : Alta Tuscia Goodness

While staying in Assisi, why not take a week-end for a jaunt to Lake Bolsena? On the way, stop for lunch
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Assisi to Amatrice: Feasting with Friends

Assisi to Amatrice: Feasting with Friends

Solidarity for the August 24th earthquake homeless united family, friends and our apartment guests for a benefit feast in our
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In Assisi, Eat and Cook, Too!

In Assisi, Eat and Cook, Too!

When you’re staying in Assisi, enjoy the good flavors of Umbria as well as the art and history. Come to our
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Amatrice: Earthquakes and Spaghetti

Amatrice: Earthquakes and Spaghetti

The August 24, 2016 devastated Amatrice, mountain town of the region of Latium. Read how spaghetti dinners helped restoration.
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Ventotene: Seaside Pleasures, Palate Pleasures

Ventotene: Seaside Pleasures, Palate Pleasures

If you’re headed to the seaside after an Umbria stay, don’t miss the island of Ventotene. Seaside pleasures and palate pleasures.
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San Pellegrino di Norcia:  No Longer……

San Pellegrino di Norcia: No Longer……

As of this writing (late August, 2016), San Pellegrino, tiny hill town outside Norcia has crumbled due to the earthquake
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That Ventotene “Scooter Truck”

That Ventotene “Scooter Truck”

Once you spend a vacation on the island of Ventotene (south of Rome), like us, you’ll be back again and
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<em>Farro</em> recipe

Farro recipe

If you’re staying in one of our Assisi apartments in July or August, just ask us for tomatoes from our
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Bolsena:  “Saintly” <em>Gelati</em> in a Lakeside Town of Saints

Bolsena: “Saintly” Gelati in a Lakeside Town of Saints

Head west from Assisi, passing Orvieto and as you enter the region of Latium, you’ll come to Lake Bolsena. Stay
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Nancy Pelosi’s Visit to Assisi

Nancy Pelosi’s Visit to Assisi

“Just call me ‘Nancy,” Leader Pelosi told me as we shook hands at the entrance to the Basilica di San
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A Ventotene Highlight: the Bakery

A Ventotene Highlight: the Bakery

If you’re looking for a memorable seaside vacation not far from Rome, head to the island of Ventotene. And when
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Bolsena: “Saintly” Gelati in a Lakeside Town of Saints

Bolsena: “Saintly” Gelati in a Lakeside Town of Saints

Head west from Assisi, passing Orvieto and as you enter the region of Latium, you’ll come to Lake Bolsena. Stay
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The Many Enticements of Magical Ventotene

The Many Enticements of Magical Ventotene

For us, a magical spot for a summer vacation? The island of Ventotene. Read why.
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An Island “Home”: Ventotene

An Island “Home”: Ventotene

Read why our summer vacations on the island of Ventotene are always so memorable. See the splendors below.
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Near Deruta, a Rural Treasure

Near Deruta, a Rural Treasure

While you’re in Umbria, be sure to take in Deruta and maiolica wonders. But not only: you won’t want to
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Gualdo Tadino: Worth the Trip

Gualdo Tadino: Worth the Trip

Even if you miss the Antonio Ligabue show, you’d still enjoy a trip to “off-the-beaten-track” Gualdo Tadino while in Umbria.
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Summer Goodness of Umbria

Summer Goodness of Umbria

If you’re staying in our apartments in the summertime, hope you’ll be tastings zucchini, eggplants, and tomatoes from our garden. And
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Reggio Emilia’s Tempting Flavors

Reggio Emilia’s Tempting Flavors

If you head to the region of Emilia Romagna, don’t miss a stop in Reggio Emilia. Regal architecture, regal flavors. Nothing
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Sperlonga: Seaside Pleasures

Sperlonga: Seaside Pleasures

After your stay in Umbria, why not head to the seaside for a few days? A favorite spot of mine, Sperlonga,
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In Umbria, a Royal Welcome

In Umbria, a Royal Welcome

You might not associate Umbria with “royalty.” But let me tell you, the welcome of our Umbrian rural neighbors to
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When in Umbria, Do Not Miss a Sagra!

When in Umbria, Do Not Miss a Sagra!

Sagras are food festivals in small villages all over central Italy, running about 10 days. Locals cook up the goodness
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Near Deruta, Wild Boar Goodness

Near Deruta, Wild Boar Goodness

You won’t want to miss a rural banquet with Giuseppa (near Deruta) when you’re here in Umbria:
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Not to Miss in Umbria!

Not to Miss in Umbria!

When you’re in Umbria, don’t miss visits to our rural friends, tastes of their wines, olive oils ….and more!
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Abruzzo Monastery California Mission

Abruzzo Monastery California Mission

Ever been to San Juan Capistrano in southern California? Did you know that the 18th-century Franciscan mission has links to
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Near Deruta, Flutes Trill “Wild Boar”

Near Deruta, Flutes Trill “Wild Boar”

No trip to Umbria is a “lifetime experience” without a “Giuseppa experience.” And what a rural banquet at her farmhouse
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Pino’s Gifts to L’Aquila

Pino’s Gifts to L’Aquila

The mountainous region of Abruzzo borders the region of Umbria on the southeast - and we headed to capital L'Aquila
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Collemancio Good Times

Collemancio Good Times

If you’re in Umbria in July, you won’t want to miss the food/wine festival of Collemancio, tiny castle-village not far
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Castelluccio, Spello, Assisi: Linked to Fresno, California?!

Castelluccio, Spello, Assisi: Linked to Fresno, California?!

Castelluccio (near Norcia), Assisi and Spello: all linked to Fresno! Si! Read how.
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Stay in Our Apartments, LIVE Umbria’s Wonders

Stay in Our Apartments, LIVE Umbria’s Wonders

May is the time of festivals and the time of celebration: a celebration of Umbria. Join us!
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By Jove, Giove is Resurrected!

By Jove, Giove is Resurrected!

In Italian, “Jove” (“Jupiter”) is “Giove” (pronounced “Joe-vay”) and by Jove, the village of Giove is resurrected now: thanks to
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Valtopina: Worth the Trip, Just to Eat There!

Valtopina: Worth the Trip, Just to Eat There!

In the non-descript mountain town of Valtopina (near Foligno), Umbrian rural goodness stars. Worth the trip there just to feast. Have
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Castelluccio, near Norcia: Floral Majesty

Castelluccio, near Norcia: Floral Majesty

If you’re in Umbria in late June, early July, you won’t want to miss the stunning "flowerings” of the Piano
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Camerano: Marches Region’s “Hidden” Underground

Camerano: Marches Region’s “Hidden” Underground

If you’e on the Adriatic coast and gray skies discourage taking in the seaside glory of the Sirolo area, head
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An Explosion of Floral Passione in Spello

An Explosion of Floral Passione in Spello

Every year for the Feast of Corpus Domini, floral passione takes over Assisi - and what a “floral explosion” in
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Two Months After Easter, Floral Wonders in Assisi

Two Months After Easter, Floral Wonders in Assisi

If you’re in Assisi two months after Easter - that is, for the Feast of Corpus Domini - you won’t
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Bucolic Peace in Our Apartments

Bucolic Peace in Our Apartments

No better place to enjoy an Umbria sojourn than in our countryside apartments. Find out why here. And enjoy the photos of
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Early April in Cannara: Vernaccia Time

Early April in Cannara: Vernaccia Time

If you’re here late March/early April, don’t miss the vernaccia wine festival in Cannara, gem of a walled medieval town
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Gubbio’s May 15th Festival: Not to Miss

Gubbio’s May 15th Festival: Not to Miss

If you are in Umbria for May 15th, there is nowhere else to be but in Gubbio, rain or shine! Read
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A May “Inside Umbria” Celebration: Unforgettable!

A May “Inside Umbria” Celebration: Unforgettable!

My husband Pino and I have lived on the land in Umbria since the mid-1970’s and we now welcome guests
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Labro, Latium Wonder

Labro, Latium Wonder

While in Assisi, you’ll want to spend a week-end in Labro, medieval gem in the bordering region of Latium. Why
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Madonnas Arriving From the Sea

Madonnas Arriving From the Sea

I’ve been trying to uncover the endless secrets of Italy for over forty years. An impossible tasks. What wonders, what
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Umbria Sauces, Right from Our Garden

Umbria Sauces, Right from Our Garden

While you’re staying in our apartments, we hope you’ll come for dinner. They’ll probably be an antipasto or a main
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<em>La Baita</em>: Worth the Trip

La Baita: Worth the Trip

Rieti might be an hour south of Assisi, but worth the trip - even just for lunch at La Baita,
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You’re Invited for Salad…and…

You’re Invited for Salad…and…

Join us for dinner when in Umbria. There’ll be salad from our garden……and more! Read about the goodness of other wild
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How to Save Our Wine?

How to Save Our Wine?

When you’re in Umbria, come to our house for dinner. Have a sip of our wine….well, our wine and Peppa’s. Click here
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Abruzzo Wine Country

Abruzzo Wine Country

While you’re in Umbria, do visit nearby Abruzzo - and enjoy the mountain splendors while sipping the robust red Abruzzo
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Giuseppa’s Umbrian Goodness

Giuseppa’s Umbrian Goodness

Highlight your Umbria stay with a visit to Giuseppa (near Deruta), who’ll cook up Umbrian goodness you’ll never forget. The only
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Come Taste Our Olive Oil!

Come Taste Our Olive Oil!

We enjoy inviting our apartment guests to dinner in our farmhouse - and those in the apartments in November are
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Good Time for ALL Our Guests – Always

Good Time for ALL Our Guests – Always

Whether you stay in our Assisi in-town apartment. Il Nido Tranquillo (“Tranquil Nest”) or in one of our three countryside
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Note on Claire’s <em>Casa Nuova</em> Stay

Note on Claire’s Casa Nuova Stay

Little Claire, we miss you - and so do the donkeys, goats, dogs, cats and chickens! So good to have
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Our <em>Casa Campagna</em> Guests Live Umbria

Our Casa Campagna Guests Live Umbria

From our countryside apartment to Assisi to Spello to Perugia to Deruta, Ed and Sid lived Umbria. Fully. That’s always
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From Perth, Australia to Assisi

From Perth, Australia to Assisi

What a pleasure to share Umbria with people from all over. Kaye, you’re back in Perth now but please come
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Know the Rural People, Know Umbria

Know the Rural People, Know Umbria

You owe it to yourself to meet the people while in Umbria, “Italy’s green heart.” And no better way to
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Arcidosso’s October Chestnut Celebration

Arcidosso’s October Chestnut Celebration

If you’re in Umbria in the fall, plan a late-October week-end in Arcidosso on Mount Amiata in southern Tuscany. Here’s why. And
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Touring the Wonders, Then an Apartment Retreat

Touring the Wonders, Then an Apartment Retreat

Roast chicken, raised by Giuseppa, then cooked in her wood oven - enjoyed with a good robust homemade vino rosso. Just
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Hanging Assisi Street Art

Hanging Assisi Street Art

Not just towels, clothes and patterned sheets hang out to dry in Assisi’s stunning medieval backstreets: nowadays, portraits on white
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Castiglione del Lago: Worth the Trip!

Castiglione del Lago: Worth the Trip!

On the western side of Lake Trasimeno, Castiglione is worth a jaunt from Assisi (and trains head there, too, if
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You Can’t Miss Sperlonga

You Can’t Miss Sperlonga

Dante had Virgil by his side and I had Rocco during my three-day unforgettable Speronga stay. I can thank him for
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Our Sicily Adventures

Our Sicily Adventures

Sometimes, I am asked my favorite places in Italy by apartment guests and tour guests. Hard to say. Every single
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Savoring Calabrian Goodness

Savoring Calabrian Goodness

Our trips to Sucily from Umbria always include a stop in a special place.
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A bit of memories

A bit of memories

From working the land in the late 1970’s to welcoming apartment guests now…..ah, the good life!
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Tolentino, Porticoed Marches Gem

Tolentino, Porticoed Marches Gem

The Region of the Marches borders Umbria and if you’re heading there, do make a stop in porticoed town, Tolentino.
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San Ginesio, a Marches Gem

San Ginesio, a Marches Gem

If you decide to explore the bordering region of the Marches (Le Marche) while in Umbria, do take in San Ginesio,    
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Marches Region Magic

Marches Region Magic

Bordering Umbria on the southeast is the Marches region - and you won’t want to miss discovering the “magic of
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Summertime Goodness

Summertime Goodness

Feel like cooking up summertime goodness? Why not try the real Genovese pesto? …and if you don’t feel like making pesto, enjoy
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Make that Milestone Moment Memorable!

Make that Milestone Moment Memorable!

Absolutely no better way to celebrate a milestone event - an anniversary, retirement, milestone birthday - than with a stay
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Umbrian Hot-day Goodness

Umbrian Hot-day Goodness

If you’re staying in our Assisi apartment during a hot summer, come to our house for some cool eating.              
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Lake Bolsena Has An Eden

Lake Bolsena Has An Eden

If you’re staying in Umbria and a heat wave moves in, just head to nearby Lake Bolsena.                
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Wherever You Stay, an Unforgettable Sojourn Promised

Wherever You Stay, an Unforgettable Sojourn Promised

Wish to stay at il Nido Tranquillo but your desired dates are booked? Why not stay in our Assisi countryside guesthouse? A
Read More
Umbrian Stay Not Complete…without Peppa

Umbrian Stay Not Complete…without Peppa

  An Umbrian stay is incomplete without a visit to Peppa. And tasting her cooking means reaching the peak. Just ask Jeannie
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From Il Nido Tranquillo….to Our Kitchen

From Il Nido Tranquillo….to Our Kitchen

Judy, good to have you for the month of May in our Nido Tranquillo Assisi apartment and I enjoyed sharing
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Lake Bolsena: a Touch of Eden

Lake Bolsena: a Touch of Eden

Just about twenty minutes west of Orvieto, Lake Bolsena - and the town of Bolsena - entice. If staying in
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Castelluccio’s Floral Explosion

Castelluccio’s Floral Explosion

In late June, early July, an explosion of colors carpets the “Great Plain” near the tiny medieval village of Castelluccio.
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An Umbria Highlight: Rural Life

An Umbria Highlight: Rural Life

To put it quite simply: no Umbria stay is complete without an experience of our rural friends, a “national treasure."                                    
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June Lavender Celebration

June Lavender Celebration

You don’t want to miss the lavender festival in the lavender fields near Assisi if you’re in the area at
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In June, Umbrian Rural Flavors Near Perugia

In June, Umbrian Rural Flavors Near Perugia

A highlight of your Umbria stay should be participation in a sagra, enjoying the goodness of Umbrian rural cuisine cooked
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Behind the (Floral) Scenes in Spello

Behind the (Floral) Scenes in Spello

If you’re in Umbria for the Feast of Corpus Domini (60 days after Easter), you simply cannot miss the astounding
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June Feasting

June Feasting

If you're in Umbria in June, you won't want to miss feasting with "the locals" at the food festivals of
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Spello’s <em>Passione Floreale</em>

Spello’s Passione Floreale

La passione can be almost tasted in every Italian festival, just as you taste the basil in a good tomato
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Late May: Open Doors at Umbria’s Wine Cellars

Late May: Open Doors at Umbria’s Wine Cellars

In late May in Umbria, wine cellars all over the region open their doors and vineyards to guests, offering tastes
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Ascoli PIceno’s Springtime Food Festival

Ascoli PIceno’s Springtime Food Festival

After you’ve explored the Umbrian hill town wonders, do head for the nearby Marches region where medieval hilltop towns entice,
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Sinalunga: Tuscan Cooking and Wisdom

Sinalunga: Tuscan Cooking and Wisdom

If you’re in the southern Tuscany area, it’s worth a detour to a nondescript, rather modern town - Sinalunga- JUST
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Gubbio May Magic

Gubbio May Magic

Will you be here in Assisi on May 15th? If you are, you cannot MISS la Corsa dei Ceri in
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Bucchianico’s Floral Passion Astounds

Bucchianico’s Floral Passion Astounds

I always stress it in my Umbrian hill town tours and I often underscore the concept in my many notes
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May Passion Takes Over Assisi

May Passion Takes Over Assisi

La passione takes over Assisi in early May as all celebrate the arrival of spring with euphoria during Calendimaggio. Strongly rooted
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April Umbrian Goodness

April Umbrian Goodness

Don’t miss a sagra while visiting Umbria: these ten-day village food festivals offer the best in local cuisine from April
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Mark Your Calendar!

Mark Your Calendar!

“Save the date” is now a common catch-phrase in English, a reminder to set aside a date for a milestone
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Just a Few Days in Assisi – But Full Ones!

Just a Few Days in Assisi – But Full Ones!

“It is a rare travel experience when you don’t feel like an outsider just passing through,” wrote Diane to me
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Our Guests Are More Than Guests

Our Guests Are More Than Guests

Whether staying in our Nido Tranquillo apartment for two in the Assisi backstreets or in our countryside guesthouse, our guests
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Umbria’s “Open Wine Cellars”

Umbria’s “Open Wine Cellars”

In early May, the region of Umbria opens its vineyards and wine cellars to visitors. Join “the locals” and enjoy
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Crossbows: Calendimaggio Preview

Crossbows: Calendimaggio Preview

You know that our Calendimaggio festival is days away when you see the Assisi crossbowers taking aim at their targets
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Peppa, an Assisi-Countryside Treasure

Peppa, an Assisi-Countryside Treasure

When you stay at our Assisi apartment, we hope you ‘ll join us for dinner at Peppa’s, dear rural friend. If
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Orvieto in December : What Magic!

Orvieto in December : What Magic!

If you’re in Umbria in December, head to Orvieto to rock out with the locals at Umbria Jazz Winter.
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Montone’s Woodland Flavors – and More

Montone’s Woodland Flavors – and More

If you’re in Umbria in late October, early November, head to the charming walled medieval town of Montone for their
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Returning to a L’Aquila Favorite

Returning to a L’Aquila Favorite

Bordering Umbria on the southeastern side is the mountainous region of  Abruzzo. If you take time for exploration of the
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Sinalunga: Connecting over Tuscan Flavors

Sinalunga: Connecting over Tuscan Flavors

Sinalunga is not far from Umbria, just over the border in southern Tuscany. It’s worth a trip there just to
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Torta-making…..and Far More!

Torta-making…..and Far More!

If you’re staying in Umbria, you won’t want to miss meeting Peppa - and if you’re lucky, maybe she’ll teach
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NO, A Truffle is NOT Forever..

NO, A Truffle is NOT Forever..

…but, do enjoy them while they’re around. And if you’re in Umbria in November, don’t miss the celebration of truffles
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Easter Monday in Montone: Magical

Easter Monday in Montone: Magical

If you’re on Assisi for Easter week, you’ll want to head to Montone. Read why. Click here for more on charming Montone
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In September, <em>La Passione</em> Reigns in Gualdo Tadino

In September, La Passione Reigns in Gualdo Tadino

North of Assisi on the road to Gubbio, Gualdo Tadino is perched on a hillock. If you stroll the town,
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Near Gorga, “Pre-Industrial” Goodnes

Near Gorga, “Pre-Industrial” Goodnes

Push back the plastic strips hanging like colorful spaghetti (or fettuccine!) on the doorway entrance - but they do the
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Scheggino “Dew”

Scheggino “Dew”

Guazza is best translated as “dew”, those droplets of moisture condensed from the atmosphere at night, so what better word
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Near Perugia, a <em>Picantissimo</em> Festival

Near Perugia, a Picantissimo Festival

Some scholars affirm that the late Etruscan life-sized bronze sculptural masterpiece, “the Orator” (now in the Museo Nazionale Aracaelogico di
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Castelluccio Floral Majesty

Castelluccio Floral Majesty

Floral wonders take the stage in many an Umbrian festival: in the medieval street theater of Assiisi’ medieval May festival
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Assisi’s Floral Passion: Ageless

Assisi’s Floral Passion: Ageless

  For the Feast of Corpus Domini (or Corpus Cristi), astounding floral tapestries carpet medieval alleyways of Spello, Cannara, Bolsena and
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Cara Comes Home – to <em>il Nido Tranquillo</em>

Cara Comes Home – to il Nido Tranquillo

  Assisi’s been home for me for almost forty years and it’s magical draw is not easy to put into words.
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Collepino Goodness

Collepino Goodness

  Only about ten people live in Collepino today, “including le badanti (the caregivers),” Daniele told me as he served up
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Finding Peace at <em>Il Nido Tranquillo</em>

Finding Peace at Il Nido Tranquillo

  It’s good to know that il Nido Tranquillo (“tranquil nest”) truly offers the peace and tranquillity which many seek -
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Foraging for Wild Asparagus

Foraging for Wild Asparagus

Abundant rain this spring has meant abundant wild asparagus. Had a good hunt this morning, coming home with an armful
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Gubbio’s <em>Corsa dei Ceri</em>: Once in  a Lifetime?

Gubbio’s Corsa dei Ceri: Once in a Lifetime?

You’ll understand why the people of Gubbio (eugubini) are affectionately called “i matti dell’Italia” (“the mad ones of Italy”) if
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Assisi’s <em>Calendimaggio</em>:  Where Young <em>Passione</em> Reigns

Assisi’s Calendimaggio: Where Young Passione Reigns

Calendimaggio, 2014 is over and la Magnifica Parte de Sotto won. The young teens of la Nobilissima Parte de Sopra
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Gubbio’s Passione  for the <em>Ceri</em>

Gubbio’s Passione for the Ceri

It’s really very simple: it you don’t experience la passione, you can’t know Italy. In Assisi, la passione for the Calendimaggio,
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Peggy’s Late Fall Stay in <em>il Nido Tranquillo</em>

Peggy’s Late Fall Stay in il Nido Tranquillo

Peggy stayed in our Assisi apartment for two months and she joined us for dinner at our farm friend’s
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Valerie’s July Stay in <em>il Nido Tranquillo</em>

Valerie’s July Stay in il Nido Tranquillo

I had to ask Valerie recently how we first met: "My mother has long been a 'fan' of your Italian
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Our Assisi Apartment Connects to “the Locals”…and not only

Our Assisi Apartment Connects to “the Locals”…and not only

Kevin (from Massachusetts) just left for home after nearly a month in our Assisi rental apartment Il Nido Tranquillo
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From Divinities to Saints to…Newspapers

From Divinities to Saints to…Newspapers

While scrambling around Roman temple ruins in Jordan on a recent trip, I reflected on the long reach of l'edicola. Le edicole - small niches holding images of divinities - flanked temple entrances or splendid city gates in the ancient world.
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Peace and Goodwill in Assisi

Peace and Goodwill in Assisi

"Pax et bonum" ("peace and goodwill"), San Francesco to the townspeople as he wandered the labyrinthine Assisi backstreets preaching in the early 13th- century. His greeting lives on in the town.
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Assisi Celebrates Olive Oil

Assisi Celebrates Olive Oil

Here in Assisi, we certainly hope that the November UNTO festival will not in any way be the final or last oil (as in "Extreme Unction"); after all, for Catholics, Extreme Unction has a finality. The final anointing for those in danger of death takes its name from the Latin, unguere (“to anoint”) - and one nearing death here in Italy is "in extremis".
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Assisi Roofs Topped with Sculptures?

Assisi Roofs Topped with Sculptures?

Yes, those chimneys! It takes skill to build a fireplace which draws well, sending the smoke up the chimney, rather than into the living room. Just imagine: the chimneys standing proudly on Assisi rooftops are outlets for well-built fireplaces in the houses below - yet each one is a mini-architectural masterpiece in its own right.
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The Sign of an Umbrian November?  Chestnuts!

The Sign of an Umbrian November? Chestnuts!

"Nel tempo delle castagne il porco ride e la pecora piange" ("At chestnut time, the pig laughs and the sheep weeps"), says an Italian proverb. Yes, the pigs relish the earthy goodness of chestnuts, but the flavor is not enticing to a sheep. For me, the rich taste of roasted chestnuts is a sign of autumn about to slip away, winter creeping in. When the weather chills in Umbria, the rural people gather around their woodstoves at night.
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Assisi Ceramic Wonders of Enrico Marrani

Assisi Ceramic Wonders of Enrico Marrani

As you head up from the Basilica di San Francesco in Via San Francesco, you'll probably still have visions in
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Get Lost: in the Assisi Backstreets

Get Lost: in the Assisi Backstreets

I'm not sure that just a few days suffice for all the artistic wonders of Assisi: the Basilica di San Francesco with over 10,000 sq. m of the greatest frescoes in the world of the late 13th-century, early 14th-century certainly merits more than one visit and the Romanesque (1144 AD) cathedral of San Rufino and the pink and white limestone Gothic Basllica di Santa Chiara astound as well.
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Creating a Nest: <em>il Nido Tranquillo</em>

Creating a Nest: il Nido Tranquillo

The idea to look for an Assisi apartment to rent came to me last fall. I did not look long. I knew that I wanted something small and in the quiet backstreets of the centro storico of Assisi. The apartment was furnished but not in a way that appealed to me.
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San Francesco’s Gestures

San Francesco’s Gestures

San Francesco di Assisi was certainly Italian. No doubt about it: just note how he gestures in various frescoes
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La Fontanella, Eating <em>“Kilometro Zero”</em>

La Fontanella, Eating “Kilometro Zero”

Called in English, "eating farm-to-table", the Italians call the savoring of fresh foods grown as locally as possible "mangiare kilometro zero". Franca at La Fontanella ("the little fountain" - you can see it on the wall just to left of the wooden doors opening to this garden/eating spot)
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Holding All the Cards…

Holding All the Cards…

Briscola, scopa, tresette, centocinquantuno: the names of Italian card games are as intriguing as the motifs on the cards. Every
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<em>“Santo Terremoto”?</em>  Earthquake in Assisi, 1997:  a Saint or a Devil?

“Santo Terremoto”? Earthquake in Assisi, 1997: a Saint or a Devil?

Saint or devil? Certainly, nothing "saintly: about an earthquake, though the term "Santo Terremoto" - utttered sadly, soberly here in Italy
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The Assisi Printer

The Assisi Printer

Over eighty years old, Gastone Vignati is a retired printer now doing what he loves: lineoleum-block prints of "the city
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<em>Pan Caciato</em>

Pan Caciato

You know fall is in the air, when the Pasticerria Sensi on Corso Mazzini in Assisi has pan caciato in the window. "Cacio" means "cheese" in Umbrian dialect ("formaggio" is the word in Italian) and this tasty fall bread is made with pecorino (sheep's milk cheese") and walnuts.
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Gina, an Assisi Treasure

Gina, an Assisi Treasure

As you walk Assisi, especially, "Assisi di Sopra" (or "upper Assisi", ie, the area round the Cathedral of San Rufino), you might be lucky enough to run into Gina, perhaps just back from a foraging trip in the mountainside fields just outside of the town.
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