Saturday, November 18, 2017

First Tastes of Umbria

It's "Hockey Night in Canada" and raining cats and dogs,
which gives me a chance to slow down,
catch up on blogville and gather my thoughts and memories of our trip to Italy!
There is pizza baking in the oven and the wood stove is warming the living room as I type this.

After our 7 day cruise on the Mediterranean Sea which ended in Rome,
we took a quick tour of Rome by taxi, hitting all the highlight spots
such as the Coliseum, Pantheon, and of course Trevi Fountain.
We threw some coins into the fountain in 2006 and sure enough we returned to do it again!

This was a drive by shot! Traffic was horrid and we didn't stop.

A panoramic shot inside the Pantheon - what an amazing place!

Trevi Fountain - as beautiful as ever.

A quick stop at the Abbey of St. Paul on our way out of the city was well worth the time!
The unhurried hush and respectful atmosphere of this abbey was a welcome calm to the very busy
city of Rome!

The first night on our own in Italy was at Hotel Castrum Boccea.
A beautiful country resort, giving us our first tastes of Italian driving, dining, and resting!

Delicious Dinner in the resort's wine cellar - amazing! Great way to start our Italian adventure.

I loved the table centre piece - perfect for our first authentic Italian dinner!

Next morning we made our way North to Umbria.
Our castle "Castello Izzalini Todi Resort" awaited our arrival.
Can you believe it - we stayed for a whole week in this beautiful castle?
We were pinching ourselves ...

The farmer snapped this picture of me sitting in the window sill, sipping on our first home-brewed coffee from a moka pot! It was a delicious introduction to how to brew and enjoy Italian coffee!

A sweet gentleman at a little grocery store in Todi sign languaged me as to which was his favourite coffee and the resort maitre de showed us how to use the moka pot! A lesson well used throughout the rest of our vacation.

The view from this window, morning, noon or evening never grew old!
Castello Issalini was our home base for so many adventures in Umbria.

First destination from the Castle ...
Assisi - Home of St. Francis!

Steep climb to the top - this picture does not do justice to the incline! Why hadn't we done some physical training for this?

The climb was well worth the views and sounds of the Basilica Papale Dis San Francesco!

Downhill was much easier ... beautiful views along the way!

We were ready for a filling and delicious fresh roasted (before our eyes) meal before heading back to the castle - what a day ending with complimentary Limoncello!

Rosa dei Venti

So much more to share about this enchanting place ... stay tuned.

In the meantime, Toronto Maple Leafs are winning against Montreal Canadiens. The pizza was delicio and I am exhausted from a full week of helping with Theatre Wellesley's production of "Daddy's Girl" by Gary Stapp. One more performance to go tomorrow afternoon. Then it's buckle down time to get Christmas decorations started around this old farm house. How do they decorate in Italy I wonder?


Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all my American friends ... may you be blessed by family and friends as you gather together.


  1. What a lovely vacation you enjoyed even finding the quiet out of the way spots to include a wine cellar. ☺ Your castle didn't look very castle-y (in the British sense) on the outside, but it more than made up for it on the inside. (It really looked more like a prison. Yikes!) I remember Trevi Fountain from "Three Coins in the Fountain," which I sometimes was allowed to watch on Saturday afternoon movie times. Anyway, that's how I know that it is good luck to toss a coin in and that it means you will one day return. Guess you're going back someday!

    1. You are right Vee - the Italian "castles" are not like the British ones. None the less they are so charming and dot the countrysides at every corner and curve - especially on the hilltop towns of Tuscany and Umbria. We had the best views of the Umbria countryside from our windows ... would go back there in a minute (not sure I need to go back to Rome).

  2. So many beautiful and OLD things to see in this part of our world. I'm glad you were able to see it all and now to share it with us. Lovely photos. Thank you for your Thanksgiving wishes. Quiet nights are a great time to catch up with blogland. I am so so far behind because of our time at Dan, Jamie and Addy's! Blessings dear Rosella!

  3. What a wonderful way to end your holiday! That moka pot reminds me of my parents---they spent a number of summers in Tuscany and soon after brought one of those into my childhood home. You've really made me yearn for a return to Italy--what a fabulous trip!!! xo

  4. It looks like an amazing experience. That's the first I heard of Moka Pot coffee. I'm sure it was fabulous, and rich (judging by the teeny cup). Thanks for sharing your adventures.

  5. Wow - a week in a castle! Sounds so wonderful. Roger and I were in Italy many years ago but we didn't go to Rome. I'm less inclined to go there. I think I'd like to visit Tuscany - I like countryside better than cities. Less crowded.

  6. Your trip looks like a dream! I love the old winding stone paths and stairs, the architecture on the churches and castles, the food - that resort wine cellar is so unique and beautiful!


Hola Guayabitos!

Hola from Rincon de Guayabitos, Mexico 2019 We made it back to this "laid back" Mexican Fishing Town after 7 years! ...