Monday, April 14, 2008

Alles gut zum geburtstag, Pippo

14 aprile
I am just getting back from a fact finding expedition in Umbria, probably my last until low season in late Fall. Never lacking in opinions, I must recommend for those who are making this region a priority. Be sure to visit Castiglione del Lago and Spello, two new towns to add to my list of favorites which also include Norcia, Spoleto, Orvieto and Assisi and Perugia in no apparent order. I now lack only a few must sees in Umbria including Terni and its nearby waterfall and Todi and Gubbio which are supposed to be special.
I really have to recommend Spello for americans who want to do a day trip to Assisi and have time to drive another 10 minutes east to Spello which is full of great views, things to see and cute shops.
Castiglione del Lago is on the other side of Umbria near Tuscany and has a nice castle with a theater inside and also nice shops and restaurants and one can take a ferry to islands in the middle of the lake, which is surrounded by olive groves.
For those with too much time, near the town of Montegiove is an architects dream of the perfect city called La Scazuola, but you need to hook up with a group of at least 10 total to visit.
We broke down and bought good equipment for the yardwork and having a Stihl weedeater in hand after the plastic piece of junk I was using is like a slice of heaven for a contadino!
The pool is lined inside and out and tomorrow they start planning the cement base and the final stair to enter the pool.
My knee is primed for a bit of exercise in the form of lawn and vineyard work; I am tired of its aching and complaining about long drives in the car.
Bacco has just suffered through a bout of GI upset which reminds me of on call nights as a surgeon. Instead of phones or beepers ringing, I have a dog whining in my ear which is no less an emergency if you don't want to mop at 5 AM!
The pix are of Castiglione and the castle, Spello, and my chick magnet dog who has learned to drink out of public fountains at Trevi.
I also visited Montefalco, Bevagna and Trevi, which I am not putting on my list of must sees for Umbria, but each with its little points of interest.
I now need to search out some other sites in the Northern Marche like Urbino and think I have a perfect excuse with a Mark Knopfler concert coming up in that town. More pix of Bacco and the pool progress tomorrow or day after.
Finally, the title is an attempt at Happy Birthday for Philip, our friend and classmate from the Unisg master's program

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