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Today, I’m thankful for every single moment that I’ve had in Italy.  For every sunset that I’ve seen, all over the world.  Especially for this one:

Canvas 11

Umbrian Castle

This is the castle.  After an unsuccessful find of the ideal B&B between Norcia and Spoleto (okay, actually, we found a lot of them, but they were either full or just a tad bit outside of our road trip budget), I decided that I’d be perfectly happy staying at an old, symbolic castle.  So, we did just that.

Il Castello di Poreta is an old castle on the trail of San Francesco, a little bit outside of Spoleto and close to several vineyards and olive fields.  It is nestled into the hillside (mountainside?), overlooking a vast plain before another layer of mountains on the horizon.  I was a little bit disillusioned with Umbria, but as we walked into the castle courtyard with our bags, and the sun began to set, and everything glowed golden and the mountains in the distance turned violet, I felt like I found another snippet of my utopia.  Umbria, you did not disappoint.

There was a restaurant at the castle, on the patio.  I’ve had a ton of good food in Italy, but this menu might have just been my favorite, anywhere.  Between all of the truffle dishes and egg pastas and red wines, I was more than content to sit there and marvel at how utterly beautiful everything is, out in the middle of the countryside, under the stars, in an old castle, with someone you really care about, and an assortment of smells wafting all around you.

Something that made this even more special:  it was a really hot, really dry summer.  So, the mountainside next to ours was covered with trees and just started burning.  I was a tad bit uncomfortable at first, seeing as it was a stone throw away from our castle, but everyone else just kinda sat there and observed and noted that the wind was blowing in the other direction, so we should be fine.  A little bit reassured, I spend the night with the window open and watched the fire burn in the night.  Three days later, while at the Cascata delle Marmore, I finally noted some helicopters carrying buckets of water in that direction.  Weekend over, firemen in Italy can resume work, eh?