This weekend it seems that all of Italy and points beyond are in Gubbio for the annual festival of truffles.  For the first time there is a red carpet to guide visitors through the centro storico from displays of truffles, sales of truffles, meals of truffles, and the history of truffles.

Yesterday we had a wander round the beautiful medieval town which basked in warm sunshine, we deeply inhaled the perfume of the truffles, and more than a few purchases were made, of course followed by an aperitivo…

To work off the over indulgences of last night this morning some guys are off to the Grotte di Frasassi the huge subterranean caverns discovered in 1975 and now offering tours in the immense cave system check the link:  Grotte di Frassasi in English others are just forced to return to the truffles or snuggle up in front of the log fire here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House

Yesterday was yet another sunny day here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House in Umbria and with temperatures in the mid to high twenties heralded an afternoon of gardening which meant the beginning of autumn garden clearance.  Leaves are turning glorious golds, reds and yellows, but falling from the trees, and need to be raked up.  Summer pots require their bedding plants to be replaced, we chose winter pansies in a wonderful apricot colour, and the grass got what surely must be a final trim..

The dogs got a bath!  Milo, Edo and Jenny each took it in patient turns under the hose to get a shampoo and big wash.  Jenny our Cocker Spaniel, being a Spaniel loves water and delighted in the hose and attention, The boys, English Setters are normally not fond of too much water, but they too revelled in the bathtime fun, all three of them patiently standing whilst they were shampoo’ed and then rinsed off.  Result, three beautifully clean and softly fluffy dogs, all ready for those muddy winter walks!

Here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House we have scheduled for tonight our first trip of the autumn to the Terme at San Casciano.

It now seems an autumn ritual, the visits at sundown to the old roman thermal baths that sit quite simply below this beautiful Tuscan town.    The walk through the quiet town, across the piazza and down along the dark woodland path, the anticipation of who might be at the terme, how busy it will or will not be, putting rucksacks on the simple benches and the quick change into swimming trunks before entering the tepid waters of the ancient terme and delighting in its pleasures are all part of the ritual, which will last more than a couple of hours..

Evenings here in Umbria are now decidely cool, and a long soak in the warm thermal waters is just what is required…

Here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House in Umbria I woke up this morning to a misty magical world.  The house was enveloped in a fine cloud, fluffy like the softest velvet, swirling gently, whisps curling round the house, over the roof and past the chimneys and through the branches of the trees.  I lit the fire in the dining room and busied myself with serving breakfasts.

By ten o’clock the mist had lifted and the rest of the day the sun shone strongly in a bright blue cloudless sky, warm enough for a spot of sunbathing, and ended whilst I was waiting for my car to be serviced in Gubbio with a splendid scarlet red sunset.

It really has been a splendid day..

Here at Bellaugello Gay Guset House in the lovely corner of Umbria near Perugia I am still waiting for delivery of the long overdue sauna.  It was supposed to be here and operational the first week in October but as yet there is still no news of delivery date -hopefully mid November  sorry guys!

Don’t get me wrong I ADORE living here in Italy it is a wonderful country full of wonderful people, but can at times be frustratingly slow.

Recently I had to renew my driving licence and passport.  The procedure for renewing a driving licence here in Italy involves, visits to the doctor, form filling, two trips to the Automobile Club d’Italia after which they gave me a piece of paper in substitution for my licence and told me to come back in two weeks.  I returned after the two weeks to be given my old now out of date licence back together with another piece of paper that is a kind of licence – how overseas car rental companies will see the piece of paper I really do not know.  I asked ACI when I could expect my new licence, the reply – THREE MONTHS!!

My passport had to go to Paris, the British Government has closed the passport office in Rome and all southern europe is dealt with from Paris.  I pulled the forms off the internet, got a photograph, no smile, no grin, no open mouth, enclosed it with the completed application and a friend dropped it off at the office on a Thursday morning.  The following Tuesday I receive a call from a courier company wanting to deliver my new passport.  All done in FIVE DAYS!!

Ergo….