Today is grey, damp, miserable and I am feeling hellish.  I was away for a few days, up in the Dolomites in the sun, invited to join two guests from Bellaugello Gay Guest House for a couple of days of hiking.  I drove and stopped the night at Trento, that elegant city nestling in the foothills just below Alto Adige.  I have friends there and the kindly invited me to dinner, delicious it was too.  After dinner we played the most politically incorrect card game I have ever seen, and what a blast it was!

“Cards against Humanity” is hysterical, for those of you like me who have never even heard of it, the crux of the game is to pick a card, read out the sentences and for the other players to fill in the blanks with the most inappropriate words or phrases from their selection.  And Boy oh Boy are there some hugely politically incorrect possibilities, We played until late, laughed and laughed and as a result I have a set of cards on order for the guys here, I think it will be an after dinner winner at Bellaugello.

So on to Mals, a small town in Venosta that remote corner of Italy that should be Austrian or Swiss but for some reason is Italian.  The climb from Bolzano is scenic winding through alpine villages and kilometre after kilometre of apple orchards, until finally I reached the hotel perching on the snowline.  Two glorious days and then home through the snow and rain to a grey evening yesterday and I brought back a souvenir, the ‘flu or something equally hideous.

So I have spent most of the day hibernating, lolling in bed feeling lousy and taking doses of hot honey and lemon laced with ‘fluifort’, but I am in love so all is not lost…

So you might well say this is his big news, the announcement supposedly to have been made in January, but no! I hate to disappoint you it is not what you think, that big piece of news is still to come and huge news it is, so well worth waiting for.  Rather I am in love with a box of rather splendid decadent and delicious chocolates…

Peter Beier Chocolates, Copenhagen

These delights have kept me going through what has been a hideous day, a bad depressing and black day.  I’ve eaten nothing else so can feel no guilt at their high sugar content and tomorrow health permitting will be back in the garden or out pruning olive trees, if not then more of Peter Beier’s chocolates will be consumed!

 

Dunno if it is Skype or Apple, but frustratingly for some time I have been unable to upload these stunning photos sent from two splendid guys from the Canary Isles.

Bellaugello Backs D&J Bellaugello Backs D&J

Having seen my post of yesterday they re-sent me the photos, this time by email, if only to prove that we do have hot hot days here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House!  Thanks to D & J

Anyone else with a pool pic do feel free to send it and I will post on the blog  😉

The other evening we had the privilege of serving a romantic ‘dinner a deux’ for two guys celebrating twenty years together. It was an excuse for us to set a table on the terrace deep in the garden, fill it with candles in lanterns and for the couple to enjoy the privacy and intimacy of a private dinner.

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Soft music, candles, and good Umbrian food…

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For your booking email us at book@bellaugello.com and we will make your day rather special.

It is a strange thing weather…. I moved to italy for several reasons, the obvious one to own and run a gay guest house, another obvious one the great people, food and wines, and then there is e weather.
Weather has never been a subject of conversation of import at Bellaugello Gay Guest House until this year. When guys make bookings for their holidays here I am often asked what the weather will be like in September, will it be too hot in July, is May a good time to travel, but this year I can give no guidance as to what the weather will be doing tomorrow let alone in several months’ time.

We have had our share of wet and miserable weather, but fortunately nothing like in Calgary or eastern Germany from where guests send me photos of catastrophic flooding and summer snow. All this rain has stunted the fruit trees here at Bellaugello my usually juicy plump sensuous figs are falling from the tree, unripe, the apricots are non existent, but as a neighbour remarked yesterday the olive trees are bursting with flowers, if they turn into fruit the olive branches will all need supports, it looks possible to be a once in 50 years bountiful harvest.

Today is utterly glorious, a dreamy Umbrian morning, the verdant hillsides warmed by an invite se sun, lingering wisps of mist, the air punctuated by birdsong and the noise of insects collecting nectar.

I am sitting on my terrace just finishing a croissant with orange marmalade made by a guest from England and kindly given to me, ambrosia in this place of paradise

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In amongst our house hunting foray yesterday from Bellaugello Gay Guest House we called in to see a delightful rural house on the outskirts of the village of Pietralunga some 15kms from our local town of Gubbio.  The house nestles on flat land on the hills below the Apennines and has views over the surrounding well cultivated fields towards the town of Gubbio,

The vendor is a real countryman.  Having lived his life on this hillside, he is an enthusiastic and knowledgable gardener, and although not in the spring of life, still cultivating a few fields around his house with a very smart shiny new Landini tractor.  In the vegetable garden are  five large rows of potatoes, well manured, many seeds just sprouting, and still winter salad.  Next to the vegetables are rows of vines, yes, as we were to find out he makes his own delicious wine too…

home made wine on and Umbrian hillsideAs evidenced by the cellar under the house amongst this fantastic guy’s other talents are curing prosciutto and making salamis. His wife bottles fruit and puts vegetables in jars under oil.   The cellar is a veritable treasure trove

Prosciutto and lardo home cured in UmbriaSo welcoming was the hospitality, we could have stayed and listened all day, and so many fascinating stories still to be told.  Tales from boyhood wartime experiences, seeing the conflict first hand, and the tough life as a son of a large family working for the landowners on the estate.  Ploughing adjacent fields with ox plough, reaping by hand, the scent of fresh baked bread in the outside wood oven, and foraging for wild porcini mushrooms in the oak woods that run down to the stream below the house to name but a few.

His passion stirred our interest and we just had to go and visit the old manor house just along the road, incidentally also for sale.  It is approached by an ancient once elegant and imposing avenue of mature trees, now with primroses and wild violets strewn along the pathsides.  The house once home to several families is now abandoned, magically overgrown, covered in old man’s beard right up to the rafters resembling a sleeping beauty waiting to be awoken..An ancient Umbrian estate house waiting to be restored What a wonderful potential in this ancient implement shed on the side of a large house in Umbria, waiting to be restored Restoration project anyone?  A house for sale in Umbria, central Italy