I woke up still angry and wounded after yesterday’s debacle.

It was a spectacular sunrise, mist hanging in the Chiascio valley below the house, soft warm sunlight stirring the mist magical golds, ambers and yellows.   The trees casting dusty pale grey silhouettes, the campanile of Colpalombo church rising through the mist like a medieval spacecraft, and a Turneresque sky, all wonderfully healing.

The builders arrived at 6am and we achieved more in the past couple of hours than the bureaucrats achieve in a lifetime.   I hit the play button my iTunes and have been flooding the valley with an assortment of overly loud music from Sophie B Hawkins, through Faure and Dietrich (how gay) to Kepa Junkera, good good therapy.   Manual work sure is satisfying.

This afternoon continuing my manual labour theme I am off to help friends harvest their olives at nearby Santa Cristina.  A day out of the office, farming instead, Hurrah!

Bureaucracy here in this country sure is bewildering.  Yesterday I wasted virtually the whole day running from one office to another.

It seems the regulations require me to have physically been in possession of something, but at the same time preclude me from having it.  I am being thrown from pillar to post.  I have the signed document, they countersigned it, but at the same time say it is impossible.

Why do departments of the same organisation not speak to each other?  Why is the system here set up to fluster and confuse and to put more money into the hands of lawyers and advisors?

I simply do not understand!!

Caught on video at the kitchen window this morning a spider building its web. The insect has many advantages in common and over us humans……

1. It too lives in Italy.

2. It too works in a beautiful valley.


3. It builds its own house to its own design

4. It can start when it wants.

5. It can build where it wants.

6. It doesn’t require a concessione edilizia

7. It doesn’t require ‘agibilita’

Ho hum.


internet too slow to download vid so you will just have to imagine the action!

I just love Italy, but not all things Italian…

My internet and voip are provided by Telecom Italia who market their products as “Alta Velocita”  otherwise known as high speed

Recently the internet has been getting slower and slower, indeed the carrier pigeons I am breeding are nearly fully trained.  They will certainly fly faster than Telecom Italia’s service

Speed check just laughed at me   Download speed 0.59mb  upload 0.01mb  Now thats fast…….

Alta Velocita being relative to what?

No more than 20 kms from Gubbio lies an area known as Burano after the mass immigration some three hundred years ago from the Venetian island of the same name.

Close to Gubbio the area is utterly beautiful, surprisingly remote, and quite unspoilt, indeed as I first remember Umbria some twenty years ago.

The residents of Burano arrived to escape the plague, and stayed, and remain in the area to this day. Today Italians ‘in the know’ arrive to eat White Truffles at “Baffone” a second generation Sard family run restaurant.

White truffles, foiund in the area around Gubbio, including Valdichiascio are extremely prized and this year commanding a price of €1,000.00 a kilo, somewhat down on five years ago when the price rose to €4,500.00 per kilo.  Price is determined by supply.  One of my neighbours, a registed truffle hunter found a 100 gramme specimen recently, a lucratve dog walk!

And many Italians are ‘in the know’ the large restaurant was packed.  Luckily we had booked and our host is well known to the proprietor.

We dined on bruschetta and frittata of mixed truffle, followed by tagliatelle and gnocci smothered in white truffle shavings, and then a similarly dressed fonduta,  quite exceptional, indeed sublime…..

I meant to take the camera but forgot so you will just have to come to Bellaugello and invite me to take you there to see for yourselves!

The International Truffle Fair held in Gubbio runs from 30th. October until 2nd. November.