Blogs from Spoleto, Umbria, Italy, Europe


Europe » Italy » Umbria » Spoleto September 17th 2014

Time starts to slow down after a few weeks in the motorhome. It doesn't feel quite so urgent to rise. Breakfasts become more leisurely affairs. Croissants, real coffee and cereal and no need to hurry. There is no work today nor tomorrow nor the day after that . The weather had settled after the storm. The black clouds and the heavy rain had passed over. It was a muggy morning . The overnight rain had cleaned Suzys windscreen. It has not been a bad trip on the fly front. Not many had landed and sacrificed themselves on Suzys windscreen. In the past the screen had been splattered with the dead remains of blood splattered insects. This year not many had been flattened but we have struggled with mosquitoes which had munched their way happily through our ... read more
The church
You are not getting me over that thing

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Spoleto July 28th 2013

My great friend Tim beat the odds and made it to 40 years, having lived in 7 countries on four continents, had 28 girlfriends from 30 countries, one ex-wife, and no kids that he admits to. To celebrate this (or these) amazing feat(s), he hosted about 20 friends and relatives at Villa Piancianinear Spoleto, Italy. Awesome. The first four and a half days of the party were really, really boring. I arrived on the evening of the fifth. Then the party got going. Actually, judging by the dark circles under Loray and Ed's eyes, the party had been going pretty well even before I got there, with a little help from Luke's Limoncello. That's pretty much the extent of this blog entry. There wasn't a lot that we did there that we don't usually do when ... read more
Villa Pianciani

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Spoleto May 13th 2012

Geo: 42.7453, 12.7384We get to Spoleto to find many streets closed. They are running the equivalent of a bob-sled race down the cobble stone streets. Everyone is out to watch.We enjoy wandering around the town, viewing the race from different points. The competitors are all very serious in their Lycra, even if we think they look ridiculous and the event is crazy. We get back to Lugascello early evening after G has travelled some very narrow winding roads. She is doing a great job and hasn't driven on the wrong side of the road today.... read more

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Spoleto November 2nd 2010

Day 7 Spoleto Bill was still under the weather, so I went out to explore on my own. It was rainy with thunder and lightning in the distance. There were still crowds in the streets, however, and cafes and restaurants were packed. I decided to walk a loop down the hill to ruins of the Roman Amphitheater (not the theater near our hotel), along the river, and back up to our apartment. I started out by going to the costume and fabric Museum, which was closed….then on to a few churches (there must be over 50 in the area!) which were also closed. By this time I was the only one walking around in the rain. I came to a high wall, and went over to read the information plaque. (All the historical information here is ... read more
The Duomo
Floor of Duomo
Letter written by St Francis

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Spoleto October 31st 2010

Day Five, Spoleto, continued… We got up, breakfasted, packed , got cash, and moved into our apartment. It is very new, in a 17th century building, right in the middle of the old part of town. It is owned by a New Yorker/Italian who lives here now, on a farm outside the town. We then set off on a hike to the sacred wood at Monteluco, elevation of 804 meters (we started at about 400 meters) and about 5 kilometers round trip (not including the times we were lost). We walked through the town up to the Rocca Albomoziana, a 14th century papal fortress, turned prison, and now museum, and generally ugly edifice, to the Ponte delle Torre and across to the trail up the mountain. This area has been considered sacred since prehistoric times (the ... read more
fountain near the former prison
Start of our hike
Ponte delle Torre

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Spoleto October 29th 2010

Day Four Rome to Spoleto We had a relaxed departure from Rome late Friday morning and took the 1.5 hour train ride into the hills of Umbria to the town of Spoleto. We hadn't realized it was the Todi Sainti holiday on Monday (All Saints Day) and had quite of bit of trouble booking rooms here in a hotel. Our plan was to stay in the hotel for two nights and then find an apartment to rent for a week or so. The old town is beautiful and many places are now being renovated (I can imagine that in the 50's when there were two big prisons in town, that the real estate market wasn't exactly booming...). As usual, the Romans built on prehistoric sites, and then the Catholics built on the Roman sites. And now ... read more
Umbria from the train
Spoleto Street
View from our hotel

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Spoleto August 17th 2010

OK, so let's talk about all the things I will miss from Spoleto: 1. The food - especially the Penne alla Norcina (penne pasta with cream sauce and wild boar crumbles) and Flan with dark caramel sauce from Ristorante del Mercato 2. The people - the Spoletini are incredibly nice and helpful. They know we don't speak much Italian but they're happy when we try our hardest to converse. 3. - Laurie is hilarious; that dry British humor just doesn't get old. 4. The history - it's like walking in a really pretty history book when you're at the foot of La Rocca looking down at this ideal little village. 5. The colleagues - I've met some great people here and have gotten to network like never before. What I will not miss: 1. ... read more

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Spoleto July 25th 2010

Yesterday was one of those days without a plan. We started kind of late (singers don't sleep) in the morning and walked down to Piazza Garibaldi for a little shopping. However, everything closes at 1 or 1:30pm for pausa. We ate a little pizza, had a good conversation and walked outside of the cafe to closed shops. So we did what anyone in our situation would do: we had gelato on a shaded outdoor cafe and decided what to do next. Our next decision was one that took us to the top of a hill and to a beautiful castle: The Rocca Albornoziana. From Wikipedia, here's a quick overview: The majestic Rocca Albornoziana, built in 1359-1370 by the architect Matteo Gattapone of Gubbio for Cardinal Albornoz. It has six sturdy towers which formed two distinct inner ... read more

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Spoleto July 21st 2010

It dawned on me this morning: I am in Italy! Not just a tourist, but a real student who is learning the Italian culture and appreciating it! So, here are a few words you should know when you visit Italy. *Watch the endings of words that end in vowels. Americans have a tendency to add some weird southern/Texas twang and it messes with the sound of Italy. In no particular order: 1. sciopero (sho-pe-ro) strike. A strike is a bad thing and happens often with city workers. It happens all the time and not just for raises. Sometimes there's no reason at all, but there is a sciopero. The people who run the train go on sciopero. That means the trains go to their final destination and then you're stuck. The moving walkways-like the ones at ... read more

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Spoleto July 20th 2010

Most of the time, I talk about the weather (hot and sticky) and the sites. I still have to go to the Castle and the monastery and really spend time at the museums but I'm waiting for la famiglia (the family) to get here. Instead, this blog entry is dedicated to the breakthroughs I'm having with the music staff. I like how I sound and so do you (you're all family - if you didn't we'd have problems) but there are always things to learn to make everything even better. If I can make small changes to make a better sound, I'll grow and growing keeps me from getting a real job. First, I keep a lot of tension in my jaw. You know how you chew bread that has a thick crust and your jaw ... read more

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