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Tuscany, shmuscany! Come and Try Umbria Instead

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March 23, 2015 / Italian / By

I guess there are two kinds of tourists who pass through Italy. First-timers want to see it all, especially the high profile places and sights that are so familiar in film, literature and glossy foodie and travel mags.  So Rome, Florence, Venice, maybe the Amalfi Peninsula and short visit to a small Italian town. I’m not knocking it - this is exactly what The Tall Guy and I did on our first visit - a three week whip-around about thirteen years ago, with 4 days in Venice, a week in Tuscany, just on the outskirts of Lucca, which gave us the chance to visit Florence, Pisa, and Portofino. Then there was the 3 day finale in Rome, but before this, we stayed for 6 days in little town called Montefalco in the middle of Umbria.

And thirteen years later, here we are, living in the middle of Umbria, not in Montefalco, but in the even more delightful ancient town of Bevagna, some 7 kilometres away. Now, many of the Italian places where one can Eat The Globe that I have described are my local eateries. Local in the sense that almost all of them are within a 10 kilometre radius from where I live and a goodly number are right within the walls of the town, just a few minutes’ walk from my house.

It’s all very well and good to tell you about this fabulous little place and that wonderful little bar and so on, but if you never actually visit this part of the world, then it’s all just wasted words. I’m hoping, with this particular posting, to tempt a few of the return tourists. I want the ones who, having done the see-everything kind of visit that we started out with, to come back and base themselves within a specific area and experience a little piece of Italy in depth. Get to know people, like your local grocer, or café proprietor. And eat out at some of the places I’ve described on this site over the past months.

I know that Tuscany has the pole position for this kind of extended visit, but unfortunately, so does everyone else, so it can get kind of crowded, if you get my drift. This impacts on prices and facilities. Umbria, on the other hand, while just next door, is still relatively “undiscovered”. This is changing - thanks to Montefalco Sagrantino wine and the big “Sensational Umbria” photographic exhibition staged last year by renowned photographer Steve McCurry: he of the iconic Afghan Girl With The Faraway Green Eyes depicted in National Geographic some years ago.

So when you’re in my ‘hood, you might like to try eating these:

Bevagna’s Mercato Delle Gaite held in the last 10 days of June each year.

Montefalco’s incomparable L’Alchimista - every visitor’s favourite

Bevagna’s loss; Montefalco’s gain: Locanda del Teatro

La Bottega di Assu; still the coolest little spot in Bevagna

Just a five minute drive from Bevagna: Torre Del Colle’s Serpillo

Osteria del Matto in Spoleto - Filipo’s mother does it all; could home cooking be any homelier?

Spirito Divino pizzeria, not far from Montefalco. They do it BIG here.

And that, my Globe-Eating friends, is barely scratching the surface. Umbria is still showing me hitherto undiscovered places within that 10 kilometre radius that surprise and delight after living here for nearly 7 years. May it continue!


Country: Italy

Province/State: Umbria

City: N/A

Address: N/A

Zip/Post Code: N/A

Location Tips: Between Foligno and Spoleto

Phone: N/A


Price Guide:N/A (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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