It has been an incredible summer here in Italy, the world may be in turmoil, but here at Bellaugello we offer a chance for guys to escape and relax, “an island of tranquillity in a sea of chaos”.  A lack of rain and high temperatures meant that whilst the gardens suffered somewhat, and whilst for me and the team it was hot to work in, the sunshine drew guys to our infinity pool, a chance to deepen that all over tan and cool off in the delicious salt-treated water with if you can tear your eyes away from the guys huge southerly facing views over glorious countryside!

Gay Boys on the swimming pool

With the advent of smart phones with decent cameras guys managed to take many ‘selfies‘ and also a few videos, one including myself that I post here, to give you just a taste of the fun and friendships that are made here at our gay guest house.

But, if you think Bellaugello is just a delicious pool, as a video clip from a recent guest shows, you are wrong.  We have great rooms, large bathrooms, and huge views…

Add to that our daily breakfasts with home made bread, cakes, pancakes, yogurts and jams, which in summer like our dinners are served outside on the terrace with everyone sitting at the same table.  Bellaugello is a place for friendships.

Terrace

As the summer draws to a close we remain open until the end of October, I still have some availability, and now with cooler mornings we are serving breakfasts inside at my old family table in front of the fire, partake and you are set up for your day of exploring this beautiful region.  This is the month of the vendemmia and “cantine aperte”, come and see the process of wine making, and imbibe many fine wines in one of the many open vineyard wine tasting weekends that are held in the region.   If your tastes are more inclined to history, October is a great time to slowly wend your way along the ancient Roman Via Flaminia stopping off at the Fonte di Clitunno and not forgetting the ancient Roman temple of Clitunno in the shadow of the Apeninnes.

Tempio

Of course there is music and concerts, classical and contemporary, the chocoholics delight of Eurochocolate in Perugia, and village markets each with their own local produce and hand crafts for sale.  Autumn and Fall bring on wonderous colours, the roads are quiet, walking and hiking trails take you up in the hills passing by ancient monastries and abbeys.  As we come into the season of winter truffles, there is barely need to make reservations for restaurants, they will always find you that last table, the hospitality here in Umbria is warm, and our log fired sauna at Bellaugello is hot!

Come join us in our autumn adventure,  Click this link to book Bellaugello online

I look forward to welcoming you to my beautiful Umbria.

 

Capodanno 2017-2018 gay party a Bellaugello.  Come sempre, apriamo le nostre porte venerdì 29 dicembre. Il camino sarà acceso, vi aspetta un tè di benvenuto prima di sistemarvi in suite, dove scoprirete una bottiglia di prosecco coi nostri auguri.

Change language, go to english

Disfate le valigie, rilassatevi,   magari raggiungete la sauna e “sudate via” le preoccupazioni o gli eccessi di Natale, o magari semplicemente godetevi il lusso della vostra suite. Raggiungeteci più tardi per un aperitivo e una cena a buffet con specialità umbre locali, occasione per conoscere gli altri ospiti.

Programma

Sabato 30 dicembre
Dopo la colazione servita al nostro antico tavolo di famiglia, siete liberi di fare ciò che più vi aggrada. Siate attivi o pigri, come preferite. Magari una passeggiata in uno dei tanti sentieri della valle, una sudata in sauna o semplicemente comodi davanti al camino con un buon libro insieme  agli altri. Le nostre suites hanno il riscaldamento a pavimento, rendendole deliziosamente calde per camminarci a piedi nudi. Nel tardo pomeriggio arriveranno i taxi per portarci a Gubbio.  Avremo tempo per scoprire questa bellissima città medievale, i vicoli stretti di San Martino con le loro scene di strada medievale, e cantine in case di pietra antica costellate di scene natalizie, bar e negozi, illuminati dall’albero di Natale più grande del mondo, che svetta sulla città. Andremo al nostro bar preferito, Martintempo, per un aperitivo prima di cena con vini in un ristorante locale. Dopo cena i taxi ci riporteranno a Bellaugello.

Domenica 31 dicembre
Unitevi agli altri ospiti per la colazione, dopodiché avrete tempo per rilassarvi. Se preferite restare a Bellaugello o andare a Perugia o Assisi, dipende da voi. Un tè caldo vi aspetterà al ritorno nel tardo pomeriggio e ovviamente la sauna sarà accesa. In serata inizieremo con dei cocktail e il nostro tradizionale cenone italo-scozzese della vigilia, inclusi abbinamenti di vini. Vi chiediamo di indossare abiti formali o fetish o il vostro costume nazionale per la serata, ovviamente indosserò il mio kilt. Poco prima di mezzanotte, andremo fuori in terrazza per accendere le lanterne cinesi volanti e riscaldare il nuovo anno con del Franciacorta mentre guardiamo i fuochi d’artificio dei paesi vicini che illuminano i cieli della valle

Lunedì 1 gennaio
Restate a letto fino a tardi, ogni suite ha una macchina per il caffè, quindi raggiungeteci per il brunch di capodanno. Per vari anni, meraviglioso come può sembrare, lo abbiamo servito fuori in terrazza. Per il pomeriggio e la sera siete liberi di fare ciò che preferite.

Martedì 2 gennaio
Dopo la colazione nel salone, è tempo di scambiarci i contatti e salutarci con la speranza di rivederci ancora una volta a Bellaugello nel 2018

Ora vi chiederete il costo…

Per la nostra festa, offriamo tutte le suites allo stesso prezzo, scegliete la vostra suite preferita, moderna, tradizionale, contemporanea, e semplicemente prenotatevi. I prezzi sono di 660 euro a persona per una stanza doppia e di 980 per uso singolo.

Per prenotare online, clicca su questo link e inserisci le date di check-in 29/12/17 e check-out 02/01/2018.

Prenotatevi Ora.

Capodanno 2017-2018 in Umbria a Bellaugello residenza Gay

Termini e condizioni di prenotazione on-line: il saldo è richiesto al momento della prenotazione. Cancellazioni o soggiorni modificati non verranno restituiti  o rimborsati. Tassa turistica locale di 1,60 € a persona per notte è dovuta al momento della partenza. Si consiglia di disdire l’assicurazione di annullamento per le vacanze.

This morning at breakfast whilst I was chatting and laughing about the cake I had baked last night for them, I discovered two of our guests were thinking of going for a trek, and being ever curious I just happened to ask them where they were thinking of walking.  “We have got this route map from the tourist office and thought to check out some of the old chapels and walk to Gubbio.”

Dick-shape cake at Bellaugello gay guest house

The map they showed me is the guide for the Sentiero Francescano which starts in the north of Italy and leads to Rome.  The route takes pilgrims and walkers from southern Tuscany into Umbria, through our beautiful medieval city of Gubbio, and on through our beautiful valley to Assisi and continuing southwards.  They asked me where exactly the route starts in Gubbio, because from the plan there is not location, no clear starting point.  Casting a glance at the brochure I suggested because the three chapels they were looking to visit are actually in Gubbio itself, and as the route to Valdichiascio is mostly along the main road, that they might be better to head south from Bellaugello Gay Guest House and walk the valley route.

This tract of the sentiero passes close by Bellaugello, ambling long the quiet dirt roads the scenery is fantastic and there is a small chapel enroute before reaching the abbey of San Pietro in Vignetto, and thence the abbey of Biscina from where I believed they could take a bus to bring them back to our part of the valley.

My checking the bus timetable came up with remarkably few busses, I found that hard to believe, so asked Mauro my assistant to check.  He concurred, a confusing timetable and  few busses, but we were not to be defeated.  Near the abandoned abbey of Biscina is an agriturismo, this agriturismo features on all the walking and pilgrimage guides, it is recommended as one of the major stopping points on the pilgrimage route, is some 15km from here a nice distance for a walk so to us seemed a logical place to call and enquire as to bus timetable and the possibility of lunch – although they had only just finished a hearty breakfast.

There was me thinking of my stomach again thinking my guests might just be in need of refreshment after a walk in this morning’s damp conditions…

So I asked Mauro to call them for the information.  He was reluctant to do so but I suggested he call as, being Italian he was more likely to ask the questions in the appropriate way, ha!

To summarise the call:

M: We are walking south from Gubbio and see your agriturismo is on the pilgrimage route, are you open for lunch?

AB: No

M: (a bit stunned) I see your place recommended in the guide books as a place to pause and seek refreshments.  Is that not the case?  Can we not get a snack?

AB: No

M: (me listening now very upset and shocked, bugger lunch ask them about the bus)  I understand that there are busses that pass by Biscina heading to Gubbio are you able to give me the times?

AB: No, look on the internet or call the bus company or tourist office.

M:  Grazie tanto

I am left gobsmacked, service, welcome, hospitality? where are they?  This place features in the guide books, is promoted by the church, the tourist office, the region and guiding organisations but just does not seem to care, so typical of the laissez faire attitude of some operators in the tourism sector.  I am so ashamed and embarrassed to have to tell my guests that we have drawn no luck.

To make an interesting walk I put on my thinking cap and as the day is a bit grey I suggest that they leave their car a couple of km away at the top of the hill, it will be safe there. I give them a route to follow and point out some things that I think they might like to stop and admire and although their route is not circular, I know they will not get lost.

Later this afternoon as I am heading down to check on the stove in the sauna which I have lit and am tending, we stop and chat.  They have walked 15kms, had a very enjoyable, interesting if slightly muddy day and are now heading to the sauna for a sweat before a plunge in our infinity pool.

Sauna at Bellaugello gay guest house

Just a few minutes of my time is all it took, for me a pleasure to do, that is what hospitality is all about, small details, a huge welcome, that is Bellaugello.

It was kind of spooky when the other day I received an email from neighbours in the valley here in Umbria letting me know that today they would be heading down to their vineyard to start the grape harvest and as ever inviting me over to help.  Why was it spooky? Only because I had been thinking over the past few days that it must be time for the vendemmia, which is never a fixed date but dependent on the ripeness of the grapes, and the prevailing weather. As I read the reply to my email delightedly accepting the invitation, it is an event I so look forward to, a huge smile came over my face, ” Dear Alec, You are tuned in to the grapes! “, I felt I have arrived, the ‘imprenditore agricolo‘ profession of my Italian identity card is now finally correct!

Early departures to catch obscenely early flights meant I was up at 06:15 to give departing guests coffee and a light breakfast, so important to me that every departure gets a fine send off and especially those leaving especially early that they do not have to search for a coffee and cornetto enroute to the airport be it in Assisi, Umbria or nearby Ancona in the neighbouring region of Le Marche.  Other departures after breakfast, lovely guys who had stayed ten nights and were last night after dinner which we served for the first time since the spring in the dining room, dancing and partying until 2am meant that I spent little time in bed and was a bit sleepy as I headed off in glorious sunshine to help with the harvest.

Tumbling down the lane, as a proud cock strutted by I passed a new mother, a donkey with her new born foal basking in the September sun, a time of both gathering and re-birth.

Cock in a farm house in Umbria

Asses in a farm-house in Umbria

By the time of my late arrival a couple of lines were already picked, the grapes dark, ruby red and small, plucking one and putting it in my mouth it was sweet, the baking summer sun intensified the sweetness. As we later discovered, the grape juice is already over 12˚ alcohol. Secateurs at the ready I headed down the row, and joined in the snipping of bunches of grapes from the vines and casting them into crates.  After only an hour or so we were finished. Papu the horse had carried several crates of grapes up from the vineyard through the olive grove to the cantina where they were hand fed into the hopper to go through the torchio, an old wooden one made by, and for many years used by a neighbouring farmer which crushes the grapes and so begins the first fermentation.

Grapes in Umbria

grape-press

Up in the courtyard smoke was curling lazily from the wood stove, a huge pan of spaghetti was on the boil, mushroom sauce gently simmering on the back of the stove.  A tomato and basil salad and fresh baked bread made up lunch on a lovely table set under the shade of the nowhere near ripe strawberry vine, it will be a late harvest for them this year.  We were seven at lunch, myself, the family and visitors, one from Estonia, and two from the UK one of whom is a dog trainer, need to remember that for when I get my next English Setter, I am just not assertive enough!

Table ready for lunch in Umbria

As only yesterday I mentioned to some of my guests here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House who are, as so very many, mesmerised by the beauty of the location and tranquillity and peace of the valley, I am very fortunate for whilst none of us living here is financially wealthy, we are all exceedingly wealthy in quality of life.  To live by the seasons, be attuned to nature, to have a real community, and to be able to still pick grapes and share food, experiences and conversation in the dappled shade of a courtyard with people from all over the world is in today’s mad city dwelling world a very important special part of life that is denied to so very many and which I treasure so very much and am fortunate to be able to share with many guys.

Already guys are enquiring for information about our New Year’s Eve Houseparty at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, so I thought it about time to finalise the details and let all of you know that we are open over the new year and once again planning a leisurely weekend of celebrations to the high standards of hospitality and welcome that you have experienced in your summer holidays here.

Cambia lingua, vai alla versione in Italiano

As ever we open our doors on Friday 29th December the fireplace in the dining room will be lit, a welcoming tea awaits before settling into your suite where you will discover a bottle of chilled prosecco with our compliments.  Unpack, unwind, maybe head down to the Sauna and sweat away those cares and Christmas excesses, maybe just rejoice in the luxury of your suite.  Later on join us for an aperitivo and buffet supper of local Umbrian specialities, a chance to meet your fellow houseparty guests.

Happy new Year 2017-2018 gay party at Bellaugello

PRICES AND DETAILS

Saturday 30th December

Following a breakfast served around our antique family table the day is your to do with as you please.  Be as active or lazy as you wish.  Maybe a walk on one of the many trails in the valley, a sweat in the sauna, or just cozying up in front of the fire with a good book.  Our suites have underfloor heating, making them toasty warm and delightful to walk around barefoot.  Late afternoon the taxis arrive to take us into our local town of Gubbio.  We have time to discover this beautiful medieval town, the narrow lanes of S Martino with their medieval street scenes, and cantinas in ancient stone town houses filled with Christmas scenes, bars and shops, all lit by the “World’s Largest Christmas Tree” which towers from the hillside above the town.  We head to our favourite bar, MartinTempo for an aperitivo before dinner with wines in a local restaurant.  After dinner the taxis return to bring us back to Bellaugello Gay Guest House.

Sunday 31st December

Join your fellow guests for breakfast, and then time to relax.  Maybe you wish to stay at Bellaugello or maybe head to Perugia or Assisi, the choice is yours.  Tea will be waiting your return late afternoon and of course the sauna will be lit.  In the evening we commence with cocktails and out traditional Italian Scottish New Year’s Eve Dinner including wine pairings.  We ask you to wear black tie or national costume for the evening, of course I will be wearing my kilt.  Shortly before midnight we head out onto the terrace to light our Chinese Wish lanterns and toast the new year with Franciacorta as we watch the fireworks from neighbouring village lighting up the sky.

Monday 1st January 2018

Laze late in bed, each suite has an expresso machine, then come join us for our New Year’s Day Brunch.  Many years amazing as it may seem we have served this outside on the terrace.  The afternoon and evening we leave free for you to do as you wish.

Tuesday 2nd January

After breakfast in the dining room it’s time to swap addresses and say our goodbyes with the hope that we will meet again at Bellaugello later in 2018.

And you will be asking the cost…

For our houseparty we offer all of our suites at the same price, you choose your preferred suite, modern, traditional, or contemporary, and simply make the booking.  Prices are €660,00 per person based on double occupancy of a suite or for single occupancy of a suite €980,00 and include all taxes.

To book online click on this link to our booking service and enter the dates check-in 29/12/17  and check-out 02/01/2018 Book Now  We request a deposit of 30% at time of booking and payment in full no later than 15 November 2017 failing which the booking will be considered cancelled and the accommodation re-let.  We strongly suggest you take out holiday cancellation insurance.

Click here to book: Book Now
Happy new year 2017-2018 in Umbria for gay