Umbria | Rustic Perfection in the Sleepy Heart of Italy
Umbria completely stole my heart. In the sleepy heart of Italian wine country, I found everything I hoped for in an experience in Italy and fell into an almost dreamlike state of relaxed awe as we wandered the idyllic countryside.
Our stay at an ancient Umbrian farmhouse
Upon arrival in Umbria, we checked into a 14th century farmhouse atop a hill lined with ancient cypress and a magnificent view of the vinyards spilling down the hillside. We were ridiculously hungry, but being in an ancient village at 8 pm on a Monday didn't make finding food too likely. After stopping at a few open doors, a kind Italian family gave us directions to a tucked away agriturismo where we ordered pizza and pasta el funghi. There in that empty family dining room, we ate what may be one of our top two meals in the country (the other is coming soon). And much like France, Umbria identified with it's food. Hearty, welcoming, simple, and divinely beautiful.
Wandering in idyllic Umbria
For the next few days, we basked in the sunny vine laden hills, wandering through ancient cobbled villages like Spello, Orvieto, and Civita di Bagnoregio. There was just something so serene about this area. The simple lifestyle, sunshine, awe-inspiring history, and happy faces worked their ways into my soul and left me feeling supremely relaxed.
A garden lunch in Spello
One afternoon, as we wandered the streets of Spello, we stumbled upon a small, dark cafe. We ducked inside and grabbed a menu, hoping to eat a quick sandwich between stops. The owner gestured toward a hallway and told us there was a patio at the end. The hallway gave way to a garden oasis on the brow of a hill and we stood there for a minute and blinked, thinking we were definitely in paradise!
We chose a spot under a large tree, asked for a plate of local meats and cheeses, salt cakes (a local specialty) and ate. It was the most simple meal, but by far the most delicious. We enjoyed a sweeping view across a patchworked valley of vineyards, tried all kinds of cured meats and cheeses, held hands, talked about dreams and goals, and laughed until tears streamed down our faces as we listened to the loud chatter from an animated group of older ladies sharing their travel experiences.
All I want in life is real connection with caring people, great food, a relaxing pace, and a beautiful, sunny view. And Umbria delivered. I'm already wishing for a revisit.
Film scans by Carmencita Film Lab