View of the castle walls

 

Last week we were officially on vacation.    Through the website http://www.agriturismo.it/IlCastellodiMigliano/enindex.asp , Luca found an agriturismo in the Umbria region.  Umbria is rightly known as the “green heart of Italy”.  The castle is perched on the top of hill.   There are lovely views of the surrounding green valleys and hills and other castles.   

We stayed in a small apartment owned by a charming couple, Elisabetta and Francesco.   They were gracious hosts suggesting the places to see including a tour of a nearby cantina (winery).   They joined us that evening which made the experience even more special.  

There are two vacation apartments and several other apartments with permanent residents.  The wing in which we stayed was restored well with careful attention to historic details.   The apartment made you feel like you were stepping back in time.    Portions of the original towers survive.  Elisabetta said they will continue to restore other portions of the castle.   You can also see where they have excavated and found further sections of the castle in what was previously a garden.   Elisabetta also mentioned a legend about a treasure somewhere in the castle.  They suspect in the parking lot.  She hopes they won’t dig that whole thing up, too!

Francesco & Elisabetta with Russell and Duilio

Francesco & Elisabetta with Russell and Duilio

The castle is really like a small village.  In the late afternoon, the ladies sit knitting or working on other crafts in the courtyard.    As the week went on, we discovered more details about the residents.   While I thought they were knitting or crafting for pleasure, they were actually working on cashmere for a well known designer.  I had remarked to a young woman that the sweater she was working on was “molto bella”.  She replied in Italian that it cost un mille euro.  I thought I misunderstood or my extremely limited Italian was failing me but later on I was able to confirm the figure.  Wow! 

View of Castle from below

There was also a restaurant in the castle which had simple, typical dishes.   Of course, the young woman I mentioned above also worked as a waitress at the restaurant.  We were lucky because the restaurant had activities planned for San Lorenzo’s night (night of the shooting stars) and a concert on our last night there.  It was a tribute band to the famous Italian singer who died tragically as a result of a car accident, Rino Gaetano, http://www.rinogaetano.it/.  The concert was right outside our door.   We really enjoyed it!

Nearby Cities

The castle has great access (all within 1 hour) to many cities in Umbria.  We were able to visit a few in our week there including Assisi, Bevagna, Deruta, Spello and Perugia.  There are others we didn’t have time to visit.  The vineyard we visited was at Monte Vibiano…excellent wine. 

Activities

We’d also like to return to take advantage of the outdoor activities.  There is excellent cycling and hiking in the region. 

For a definition of an Agriturismo, see:

http://goitaly.about.com/od/italytravelglossary/g/agriturismo.htm.  We also learned of a new classification called “country houses”.  From what I understand, they are more luxurious than agriturismo and do not have to produce anything.

Mystical Evening Sunset

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