Last week I received an invite to visit a friend near Siena.  Let’s face it Siena is a beautiful town and only just over two hours driving from Bellaugello Gay Guest House, my friend has a charming house in deepest ‘Chiantishire’ with views over rolling hills to the towers of San Gimignano, a house full of dogs meaning Bobby and Jenny were also welcome, a very well stocked wine cellar and an abundance of warm hospitality, so it was an invite I could not and would not refuse.  Car packed, dogs beds, food and towels more luggage than for me, off we all set.

It is funny how I am so used to a simple country life that on reaching the raccordo – the bypass that skirts Perugia and discovered a traffic queue because they are doing major repairs to the many tunnels that no longer meet modern safety standards, I got frustrated and racked my brain to think of alternate routes.  Yes, the traffic delay was in reality less than five minutes but I am used to hopping into my car and just driving uninterrupted to where I want to go.  I have long ago forgotten the habit of sitting for an hour in standing or slowly crawling traffic or having to plan journeys around office, football match and school hours.  Many things I miss but traffic jams are definitely not one of them.

A great few days away, lazy, spoilt and a day trip into Florence.  Now Firenze is a city I love, I was wrapped up warm grey skies and a breeze, and yet it was mild and happily rather tourist free so I got to see some of my favourite sights without having to elbow my way through madding crowds.

#Giambologna rape of the sabinesViale in #Firenze#Arno#Firenze #Giambologna

I went off to hunt for trays to discover that since I was last in Florence many changes have taken place including the total pedestrianisation of the piazza Duomo and the removal of large stretches of the street market.  Now I used to love the open market, stalls overflowing with leather goods, textiles, and the decorated trays I was searching for.  The stalls used to be peopled by traditional Florentine craftsmen, the slang bartering part of the joy, but over recent years I have noticed that they are being replaced by foreign traders, so I guess the resistance for change was no longer there and the stalls are retreating to the area immediately surrounding the covered market.  Lunch upstairs in the covered market, mostly Florentines and a wide choice of fresh cooked food.  A juicy beefburger with Chianina ground beef and Tuscan pecorino accompanied by a rich glass of Chianti classico, deliscious!  On the way out I noticed a new cooking school, very stainless steel and inviting:

Firenze Scuola di cucina

indeed tempting! These days Florence has so much to offer.  So guys follow my lead and enjoy a day out in Firenze whilst staying at Bellaugello.  Driving is easy, by the summer the tunnels will be finished and access to car parking in the city is well signed.

 

This week the English speaking Italian newspaper ‘The Local’ featured an article on “Five crazy Italian festivals nobody should miss” and our local town of Gubbio with its annual “Festa dei Ceri” or race of the candles is up there with the best in the video:

….and to my mind the Calcio Fiorentino looks like another good reason to be staying at Bellaugello Gay Guest House in late June.

By popular request between 4th and 7th of June we return with our “Weekend for Single Guys”.

Are you single? Are you fed up with travelling alone in the midst of happy couples?  Here’s your chance to spend a fun weekend in the company of other single travellers.  We have a guide onboard and he will be taking you to the hills to hunt for truffles with a ‘Tartuffaio’ and ensuring you get your hands dirty in a cooking class at a castle and vineyard, and of course there will be plenty of time for you to enjoy our clothing optional infinity pool.  Prices for the fun packed three night weekend from € 624,00 This time we have added to the single occupancy suite a possibility of a ‘Suite Share’, I think I will ask for photos and a brief bio before accepting any share requests….

Weekend for Single Guys June 2016

Explore the programme by clicking on this link: Click here to open in PDF and hey you single guys get booking!

This May join us on our adventure through Umbria as we discover some of the many jewels this region has to offer.  We have a private guide lined up and with him will be going to a castle for a cooking class, tasting Umbrian wines, discovering a remote monastery, watching a medieval festival, hunting for truffles, lunching on an island in a lake, visiting proud cities and seeing amazing frescoes and renaissance paintings.

A Taste of Umbria 21 - 28 May 2016 #Bellaugello

The dates for your diary are 21st to 28th and this amazing week can be booked online by entering “GASTR7” in the promotion box. Click here to discover the full programme