This last time that I was in Italy, I was ready to explore a new region. And since
(a) I am an avid food fan, especially of mushrooms and ‘rustic peasant food’,
(b) I had always wanted to tread in the footsteps of Saint Francesco,
(c) it was conveniently located on a road trip from Ancona to Rome,
(d) it was very, very hot this summer in Italy and I had always envisioned it to be a thick-wooded, gnome-inhabited Narnia-esque region,
I picked Umbria.
Surprise: Umbria doesn’t actually have gnomes or snow or pines trees- it is not the Schwarzwald of Italy. Nor is it all mountains. Rather, it is one big, flat, dry plain surrounded by mediocre-forrested giant hills.
It does, however, have some of the most delicious (and surprisingly cheap) food that I have ever tasted in Italy, commendable sangria, and castles (I’ll save that story for another canvas). And really lovely B&B’s. Italian Friend and I did not stay in one (though we did stay in the castle for a couple of nights), but I did fall in love with the classical red of one.