By Thomas Morrone, CFP®, CPA
In route from Orvieto to Assissi, which was our home base for 4 nights, we stopped for lunch at another walled village named Todi. I could not think of any other way to spend a day, driving through the countryside of Umbria and stopping at a walled village to walk around and have some lunch. There are some common themes to every village in Umbria we have visited thus far. Besides the villages being protected by being encircled within a wall, there was a sense of simpleness. The locals were not in a hurry and were merely enjoying the day. We the tourists were the ones with the quick pace in our step. Another similarity in all these villages, there are countless steps and walkways that meander up and down through alleys, by bistros and shops, with another piazza around every other corner. All the villages had a central church that were one more beautiful than the next. Also, there were numerous times we would stumble upon a church that from the outside was very non-descript, until you looked inside, and the beauty was amazing. After some lunch and wine of course in Todi, on to Assissi.
Our hotel exceeded our expectations, and this property was within the walled village which made it that much more charming. It was a family-owned boutique property with olive and fruit trees and was meticulously maintained by the owner himself. The views were breathtaking and every day we made sure to spend time late in the afternoon relaxing at the property with a bottle of wine and some fruit, cheese, and olives to capture the sunset. Of course, we ventured into the village and toured the Basilica of Saint Francis. To say it was amazing is an understatement. The details, the paintings, the history, the marble, the carved statues, the altars and so on. You did not have to be a Catholic to appreciate the beauty and splendor of the massive structure. All that walking and absorbing that history required a nice lunch with some wine. We spent the rest of the day strolling around the village enjoying the beauty that surrounded us.
The next day we drove to another nearby village called Spello. There were all the characteristics in this village that the other villages had that I previously mentioned. Spello had something a little different from all the villages we visited. The flowers. Every home that lined the alley ways had window boxes in their windows with flowers of very style and color. Flowering plants and trees in large pots lined the walkways. Every little porch, patio or balcony had something of color. The entrances to the restaurants and shops were accented with flowers. The assorted colors from all the flowers made Spello that much more special and unique. The food and wine did not disappoint either.
After a momentous day in Spello, we made our way back to Assissi to relax and enjoy the sunset before going to dinner. Our dinner that night was unique in that all that food was cooked on the coals from a wood fire inside the restaurant. Once again, our dinner was fabulous and was complimented by a carafe of the local red wine (vino rosso).
All good things must end, and I hope you enjoyed hearing about our Italian adventure as much as we enjoyed the experience. At this point, we have no trips planned but you certainly will hear about where and when we go. Life is Good!
Until the Next Tom’s take.......................................