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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.


Umbrian Red