Bellaugello - The Blog

At home, On the land

At last…

After years of waiting patiently the pink wisteria which I planted alongside the violet one has decided to flower generously, and both are in bloom at the same time, a real delight

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The garden here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House is looking lush and verdant. Today we turfed the bad bits of lawn by the man steps, hopefully this will result in green throughout the summer. Last winter as per usual I sowed grass seed, and then watched as the pheasants congregated for Babette’s Feast, the banquet was all consumed, so drastic measures and turf was the solution, I wait to see how it holds up.

Birdsong fills the air, it seems that this year more than ever the birds have found every nook and cranny to build their nests, everywhere I work there is evidence of nesting, except in the designer nest box I both for myself as a Christmas present, ho hum! Of course the owl is back, she calls nightly to her mate for food, and I find feathers down by the sauna terrace, I guess they have a tryst there. As I type the sun has come out the pool is getting warmer, if this weather continues soon we will be swimming. hurrah!

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At home

The magical misty hills of Umbria

The rain is light today, mist hangs in the Chiascio valley below Bellaugello Gay Guest House in Umbria.
It is utterly magical, to the east a huge double rainbow, to the west golden sunlight of the setting sun, and in between to the south the mist that makes this part of Italy so very special. The green fields and fresh new growth of the trees, casting shadows in the mist. Ancient houses and monasteries appear then slink back into the mist, it is an ever changing landscape.

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The fire is lit in the dining room and we are about to sit down to dinner. A small parmigiana, truffled lasagna and a main course of ossobuco finished off with a rich chocolate mousse with lavender cream. Guys from across the world here relaxing and sharing… Happy Easter to all

Out and about - Things to do

Venerdì Santo a Gubbio

Last night the guys and I headed out from Bellaugello Gay Guest House into the local town of Gubbio to watch the Processione di Cristo Morto, the procession of the dead Christ.
Easter is late this year and for a change it was a bright clear evening, last year we got decidedly wet. This year wet inside as we stood in the piazza and quaffed prosecco and nibbled on tiny pizzas waiting for the procession to pass by. A huge fire high in a brazier belly smoke and ash across the piazza as the chanting got louder and louder, the procession is very atmospheric and special.

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At home

Just a little bit more luxury

Last autumn I spent a few days in Alto Adige in northern Italy, enjoying walks in the high pastures and woodland that cover the Dolomites.
It was there that I came across a small artisan company manufacturing soaps and shampoos and gels using fragrances extracted from the local plants. There is a fabulous picture on their publicity material of bottles suspended over stems of freshly pruned vines, collecting the liquid sap that runs from the newly cut wood. I really liked their genuine and ethical approach to their products.
Trehs products feature in high end spas and hotels in Alto Adige, but I liked them so much I though it worth a try to see if they would supply to Umbria, a region where they have not yet supplied.
Their answer was a resounding yes! So this year guests at Bellaugello Gay Guest House will discover Trehs products in the bathrooms of the suites.
The fragrance I chose is Pino Sarentensis made with resin extracted from the pine trees that grow above 1,600 meters and cloak the upper slopes of the Dolomites. The fragrance transports me back to those pine woods, masculine, fragrant and musky…

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I am delighted to be stocking Trehs products here in Bellaugello Gay Resort in Umbria.

At home

Back in contact

Boy, it has been busy here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House. What with preparations for Easter, cooking, making marmalade, and trying to keep on top of the grass cutting and gardening, I do not seem to have had a moment to spare.
Tuesday and Wednesday for some inexplicable reason we were without our internet connection. This time the internet service provider was completely innocent, it was the server for all of Bellaugello’s website, blog and emails.
It was surreal being without this means of communication. I had been in th middle of taking a booking for a week in July (very few suites still available for late June through July and August, if you want a summer holiday in italy then book now) when the domain host crashed out. I was left with parts of some emails on my iPhone others on my iPad and bits and pieces on my computer, none enough for me to be 100% secure that I had all the correct information so I was unable to confirm the booking! it made me feel right stupid, and incompetent…
Luckily the guys wishing to book were real nice and they accepted my email from my personal account and were happy to wait until today for confirmation.
Like the television used to do in times of olde when they had no programmes to broadcast I post a picture of the ‘test card’

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It’s a dogs life!

At home

The Valkyries rode last night

It is almost seven years since the British Airways plane touched down at Pisa airport carrying with it 50kg of my baggage, what were to be my worldly possessions for the next several months, and I stumbled in the dark across the uneven surfaces trying to find the rental car, parked somewhere in the depths of an extensive car park on the edge of the airport.
That same morning had been emotional. A rushed cup of tea, ginormous hugs to the three dogs, squashing the baggage into the ridiculously small but chic and sporty car, being driven along empty streets in a bright sunny dawn to the departures section of Glasgow airport.
Checked in, we shared breakfast, an obscenely huge fry-up, after all it would be my last traditional British Breakfast, I was a Italy bound. Lots of holding of hands, smiles and tears across the table, how in wished we could hug and kiss, but we could not, two guys doing so in public even then in the Uk would have been frowned upon and caused problems. So much did I need to feel the touch of my then man. Queues to go through security, me looking back, he waving anxiously and tearfully, and so to the plane.
Touch down at London, grey, miserable, and one of those horrid long lay-overs, not enough time to do anything but too much time to do nothing. iPod on, and people watch.
Finally having used up all my UK phone minutes in tearful exchanges, the announcement came to board the plane for my Italian adventure. My then boyfriend/partner was staying behind to clear up things, to ensure a smooth transition of his business, close everything up in Glasgow, before selling the tiny flat he was, together with our three dogs relegated to, and then we would drive over here together to start our new lives together.
this is your captain, there is a large electrical storm over Pisa which means we are unable to land, we will have to circle the airport until the storm moves, and we need to burn the excess fuel to be allowed to land. So the plane flew in circles over the crashing waves of the Mediterranean, the light began to fade. For an hour circling in madding contortions, before touchdown. My Italian adventure, like the plane, no going back.
It was raining, torrential, heavy, wet, the kind of rain that goes through your bones, and it was May, late May, this was italy and it was supposed to be sunny. I thought I could speak Italian, I had holidayed here since forever, we had done evening classes in conversational Italian, but no I could not speak the language….. I was tired and missing my partner and the dogs….. And I had kms to drive. Jump into the black Fiat Punto, soggy, wet, no drenched, did I think to bring an umbrella? Certainly not, this is sunny italy.
Find out where all the controls are, long gone the days when some impossibly cute guy from the rental company would accompany you to the car, and with you in the driver’s seat reach over ones lap and twiddle the various joysticks, guiding your hand to the controls, I had to do it myself. Radio? No.. iPod dead, phone, no SIM card… It was going to be a long journey, tears welled up in my eyes as I set off, why was I here what was I doing, a dream? Why did I need a dream? and why was the steering wheel on the wrong side and why are the Italian road signs so impossible to decipher?
Hesitantly I set off, managed to find my way to the superstrada and head for Umbria. I had booked a few nights on familiar territory, a delightful country house hotel where we had stayed on so many occasions, the owner, now one of my very best and dearest friends had told me that lights would be left on to await my late arrival.
Down the now autostrada, thunder crashing everywhere, loud, real loud, lightening desiccating the skies, the Valkyries were flying. No traffic at all, no white lines on the road, it seems that in Italy the white lines are painted with water based paint and at the first hint of rain they wash away. Kilometre after kilometre I drove, no lights except the huge crashing Valkyries flying with the car, a sign, “Autogrill” so pull off the road, into the truckstop, nobody but a depressingly unwelcoming person behind the counter. A stale panini re fortifying coffee and back to the Valkyries.
And so it was yesterday. After a spell of balmy sunny weather the clouds came and the skies emptied. Thunder crashed, lightning scratched the skies above Bellaugello a Gay Guest House. Jenny the last remaining Scottish dog is terrified of the thunder, she was whimpering under the bed, the pore went off reminiscent of last august the power went off, I thought another burnt out electric meter, (still waiting on the insurance payout) luckily not just tripped fuses.
Bellaugello sits in a very commanding position on a south facing ridge looking down the Chiascio valley towards monte Subasio, the hill behind Assisi, so the views are huge, and yesterday’s storm was also huge. It brought back memories of that first day here in Umbria. So much has changed, the then abandoned house is now one of the foremost gay resorts in italy, I can now speak Italian, and have learnt to drive through the torrential rain without the assistance of white lines. Then partner is now long time an ex, the Scottish Setters have passed away, their last years in the halcyon bliss of the Umbrian countryside, and I am firmly planted to the soil here, the new Setter, Abandonnato is settling in well, Jenny is still the boss and I have a wonderful job and get to welcome fabulous guys from all over the world…. But every time there is a huge storm, my mind wanders back to that first day here when I could have so easily turned back. I’m glad I didn’t.

Development progress

Fatto!

Look dad what I have just done all by myself!

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Abbandonato shows off the new driveway at Bellaugello Gay Guest House in Umbria, Italy. Huge thanks to the builders for a splendid job.
just to prove he was helping Abbandonato did leave his paw prints in the wet cement

Development progress

Progress day 1

Abbandonato to the fore…. We managed a little work today!

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Development progress

Yes, the timing is ideal…..

I has been said that I’ve taken leave of my senses, but want to make the Bellaugello experience better for you guys. Both my builders and I waited until the weather turned indifferent and then we dug up the drive here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House and are now softening the curve and paving the entrance driveway, it’s going to look ever so smart.

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We have a gap of a few days Before our next guests arrive to complete the work, I have a dream, but sometimes I think I must be mad!

At home

We’re Open!

It is simply a stunning opening to the season here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House.

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It has been a long slog to get the garden tidy, I between heavy rain showers and high winds, but all turned good in time for our first guests. There is real warmth in the sun, and the spring bulbs are at their best.

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The April singles weekend is now fully booked, but we still have spaces for our Easter Weekend. Do come and join us at the historic and mystical Processione of Cristo Morto held on Friday evening 25 April in our beautiful medieval town of Gubbio. Saturday take time to explore the countryside or sweat in our sauna, we will be serving dinner with all guests seated together around our antique family table. Easter Sunday time for eggs, chocolates, and a special lunch here at Bellaugello Prices for three nights accommodation and breakfast from 450€ a couple
And for you energetic guys don’t forget to book for our hiking week 3-10 May. A chance to climb the splendid hills of the nearby Apennines guided by a fully experienced and qualified guide. Priced at 895€ per person for seven nights accommodation meals and qualified guide we still have limited availability for this week of adventure. Full details and itinerary are on an earlier blog post do check it out and join us

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Bellaugello Gay Guest House in Umbria, Italy, is THE place to travel to and be seen this year

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