Colours in the sky

mtg_primaveraOur skies will be full of planes, balloons and kites this month! First up is the Meeting di Primavera being held from 24 to 26 April. Over the weekend, helicopters, ultra light planes, small cesnas and many other flying objects will hover above our lake and our old town. The following weekend (30 April – 3 May) it will be the Kite Festival known as Coloriamo i Cieli, another splendid event held at the Aeroporto Eleuteri, the airport in Castiglione del Lago that was used during the war and is now an airbase for small planes, and in this instance, everybody’s kites! Come and join in the fun!

Easter in Umbria

Gino Severino mosaics on the Via Crucis in CortonaIt’s Venerdi Santo tomorrow and the beginning of one of the most important weekends of the year here in Italy. If you are in the area, look out for Good Friday processions in Gubbio, Assisi or Orvieto and even in the smaller villages like Paciano that houses a church build solely to keep procession statues and that opens only at Easter every year. The Via Crucis processions, where the faithful stop to pray at points marking the life of Christ, are also very colourful. Try Cortona so you can admire Gino Severino’s stunning mosaics along the way.

A full lake

Tramonto al lago - Ferdinando MainoLake Trasimeno is still at a record high at the moment – the good side of a wet winter – and is looking absolutely stunning! We think that swimming, canoeing and exploring on a pedalo will be fabulous this summer. In the meantime, the kite surfers are making the most of the windy days and the water birds are having a field day.

It’s snowing!

ulivi_neve_maino

Ulivi secolari sotto la neve – Ferdinando Maino

Not only is it snowing in Umbria (quite a rare occurrence, at least in our part of the region), but Lake Trasimeno is brimming and reclaiming land around its boarders. As a result, we are in the news!

If you want to check out more pictures of what our lake looks like at the moment, I  would recommend checking out the “Trasimeno panorami e foto” group.

Celebrating Christmas and the upcoming year

auguriIn case you are in Umbria for Christmas, New Year and the Befana (6 of January) and need a few ideas of what to do, here are a few links to point you to the best Christmas markets, concerts, kids events with Father Christmas, art and exhibitions, culinary delights, and of course, lots of presepi (nativity scenes – both live and still) and castagnate (chestnut roastings). Enjoy and Buone Feste everybody!!

Around Lake Trasimeno: http://www.lagotrasimeno.net/documenti/natalealtrasimeno_2014definitivo.pdf

In Castiglione del Lago: http://www.comune.castiglione-del-lago.pg.it/files/active/0/programma%20natale%202014-2015.pdf

In Cortona: http://www.cortonaweb.net/it/tradizioni/presepi_cortona

Hunter’s moon

luna_c_lagoThis is a picture of the church in the old town with the full moon behind it, taken last night! The Church of Santa Maria Maddalena was built in the early 19th century on the ruins of a medieval church. It contains frescoes by Pier Mariano Vittori (1817-1888) with the collaboration of Alceste Ricci, as well as an alterpiece depicting the ‘Madonna and Child, St. Anthony Abbot and Saint Mary Magdalene’ produced in 1500 by Eusebio da San Giorgio (1470-1550), a pupil of Perugino (1450-1520). This painting was at the centre of a heated debate some years ago as some attributed it to Raphael (1483-1520)!

Harvesting grapes and celebrating wine

festa_uvaUmbria is famed internationally for its excellent wine and with Tuscany and its own phenomenal bottles just down the road, there is more than one reason to celebrate grape picking season. September is a month full of ‘sagre': festas and get togethers held in small villages. The latest is Pozzuolo’s Mostra Agricola Artigianale del Trasimeno, also know as the Festa dell’Uva. Stalls sell local produce and visitors are invited to join in wine tasting sessions, and sample local cheeses and cold cuts. The different parts of the village then compete in a number of races, wheelbarrows and giant wine corks are pushed up hills and on the last day, huge wine bottles carried by four runners go cantering across the green. A sight for all to enjoy before getting in line to order delicious food cooked by the locals – the pici sauce in Pozzuolo for instance is prepared by a great-grandmother who refuses to share her culinary secrets!

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