Saturday, June 28, 2014


The Orvieto Duomo is unique with the wow factor from it's great black and white striped walls to beautiful mosaics and biblical scenes at the front.
Often these colourful decorations are missing so it was marvellous to see their brilliance. Some columns around the side were quite plain without the mosaics.



These flags/banners are from Orvieto and as they were everywhere I could not help but take lots of photos. Summertime in Italy sees most cities gear up for a celebration or 2 and in the centres we visited in Umbria, the flags were out!

Friday, June 27, 2014


Spello is small but has interesting artists and galleries and this modern macramé caught my eye. I can remember knotting a pot plant holder in the 1970's but didn't go beyond that. Aldina makes the most beautiful pieces in a variety of fibres and sells them at her shop L'angelo del Macramé.
These are the pieces I saw in the glass display cabinet outside. The first day we visited her shop was closed, but luckily open on our return. I needed a bee for my flower prints.


Spello was celebrating the coming of it's flower festival and each small street had lots of floral displays. There is a competition each year for the best display.
This was a past winner on a number of occasions and the plaques list the years.
Liked the idea of this go cart from a wine barrel.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


We stayed at Agriturismo La Fonte, which had 4 self contained apartments and was set in olive fields. It was very peaceful and relaxing and just what we needed after the cityscapes.
Our apartment was on the ground floor, with a small kitchen and perfume filled, jasmine covered sitting area. The bees could be very loud!
Always pays to have a drop handy for relaxation purposes. Sagrantino is the wine variety in this area.



From the rolling sea to the rolling hills of Umbria, the green heart of Italy and a step back to Medieval times, with many of the towns south of Perugia having been established in the 13th and 14th centuries.
Needing a drop of oil, I think.
Torre del Colle, a restored small settlement, near Bevagna was interesting to wander through.
Arches, passageways and secret doors.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

From the sea

It's quite a different view of Cinque Terre from the sea. Lots of boats go up and down the coast, making it easy to get on and off at the various towns.
And we couldn't miss out on a fishy lunch. Here Bob finishes off his anchovies while I had the stuffed calamari, below.



Interesting to finally find a 'patchwork' shop- this one on the main street of Riomaggiore, but selling made up "country style" animals and small patched goods. I kept seeing the items in the tourist offices and various outlets in the other towns, so business must be good.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Our grotto

Our Cinque Terre accommodation was interesting to say the least! We had a cave for the shower area. Here Bob is checking the rock type.
The ceilings were old timbers and the lower floor situation of the apartment meant we had very bad damp/mould smells throughout it. The white paint had been painted over the mould but it still stank!


Coming from a land of wide sandy beaches we are constantly amazed at where people will perch or spread out for sun bathing. This is the Manarola boat ramp.
And this is the town from the rocky headland viewing point.

Monday, June 23, 2014


Got the train to Corniglia. This was an experience because it was a Sunday and every man and his dog were out to visit the 5 towns. We have never been packed so tightly into a train before!
Up the zigzag of steps to reach this village on the top of the hill. There is a small bus too. We had delicious gelati and watched the time pass in the small square. Then back down the steps to the train station.
The prickly pear cactus was flowering.