I have been fortunate, despite the news of the August earthquake being centred on Perugia – IT WAS NOT, the major damage was in the neighbouring region of Lazio, and presumably because both Rome and the Vatican are situated in Lazio the authorities decided to sacrifice Umbria announce to the world the problem was in Perugia, so saving tourism in the ‘eternal city’, Bellaugello has been really busy both with new and returning guests so magically captured by a guest on his recent first visit here;
The same has not been true for many of my colleagues, several agriturismi and hotels in Umbria have been inundated with cancellations, it is a huge problem and we are all pulling together to try and restore confidence. Many of my colleagues are reporting that people cancelling bookings were even angry! Wow! my only anger is aimed at the Provincia of Perugia who even now have not circulated a press release for us tourist operators to post on our websites or email to future and past guests confirming them that life here in central and northern Umbria goes on as always, a delightful slow, relaxed and peaceful way.
Of course the weather has been great, hot sun continues even now into September and Bellaugello remains the place to relax and unwind from ever busy lives. Lots of gorgeous guys in our infinity pool
and many just quietly enjoying the peace and seemingly never ending views…
We have hosted many dinners, as ever on the terrace under the stars. So much these evenings play a part in making of new friendships, friendships that delightfully continue across continents. It has been a great year for me in the kitchen with Isabella bringing new and innovative dishes and super scrummy deserts to our repertoire.
Oh and we had a guest chef, the most divine Kugelhopf made for us and shared by all;
Daily life continues all around us, guests exploring the many beautiful towns and hilltop villages, returning to Bellaugello with stories of magnificent cathedrals adorned with sumptiously homo-erotic Signorelli paintings, wild visits to vineyards tasting marvellous robust wines, quiet country roads and wayside osteria offering simple delicious lunches, traditional pageants, and the restored village of Solomeo with its Cuccinelli outlet shop… cashmere darhling, darhling cashmere shopping….
My life is interesting, but at times frustrating and hard, and recently I was reminded that other’s lives are not that simple. Tito one of my neighbours passed away. He had been unwell for some time and in some ways his passing was a relief, but to his family a hard sad event. The funeral for this former factor of the neighbouring estate was well attended, his life had touched so many others and his passing was yet another sign of the changing times, agriculture even here is highly mechanised and the fattore is no longer the most important person in the countryside. Even without the presence of the fattore tradition still reigns strong here in the Umbrian countryside, a funeral being an opportunity for our spread out community to be together. After the funeral I received an invite for lunch, and guiltily stealing a few hours away from Bellaugello enjoyed a simply and beautiful lunch of delicious vegetables freshly brought in from their bountiful vegetable garden. Easy conversation, a snooze in a hammock, sometimes as I well know the simplest things are the most honest and valuable.
Bobby my rescue English Setter has been suffering the heat, staggering and wobbly on his legs and almost refusing to eat, but loyally following me as a shadow. The first free moment in my work schedule and we headed down to the vet to be given a good report and a few pills for him to take, I feel dear Melania the vet also wanted to give me some pills…
A notice on Facebook and I read of my youngest nephew being involved in a bad road accident. Speaking with his mother I learn that he had been travelling on his moped down a country lane and cut a corner ending up going into a car travelling in the opposite direction. As many readers know I do get frustrated with the many inefficiencies of Italian life, but I need to temper that frustration with the utter lack of service experienced by my nephew and sister. Having seen my nephew fly over their windscreen the car driver called an ambulance and my sister who was some ten miles away. The story unfolds with my nephew lying on the road for over fifty minutes, the ambulance had gone to a town of the same name in another country…… how is this possible? One calls an emergency ambulance in Scotland to learn much later that it has been sent to Cumbria in England, two towns with the same name, all be it spelt differently.. Then to the hospital, poor lad traumatised and having to wait several hours before being seen. The following day a five hour operation, what a horrible ordeal. From my limited experience here in Italy, the service is much more efficient. Yes some years ago I too was hit by a car and ended up on its roof. That time I was on foot, the ambulance came speedily to Gubbio and I was examined straight away upon arrival at pronto soccorso. What world are we now living in?