“I just returned from Italy, still jet-lagged, but happy and relaxed. Italy seems to bring out the best in most people, the picturesque hilltowns we walked to each day and lovely hotels at night, with good food and fine wines to enjoy. Francesco, our local guide, truly thrives in the outdoors, and loves explaining Italian landscape, culture and history to his new friends.
Walking always at a good pace, we explored the Umbrian countryside. Highlights included Silvana taking us into her farm and pointing out the intricacies of the fine art of making olive oil. She made the best bruschetta in her fireplace with fresh simple ingredients. Then we met Anselmo, a regular on our hiking route who wanted to share with us his new wine and celebrate his 80th birthday. Further down the hill, Gianni had a lovely spread for our group to enjoy.
In one of the monasteries, we met a 32 year old American priest who lived alone for many years in a newly refurbished old building and ministered to the Italian towns in the region.
We tasted wine, sumptuous food, and on our last day enjoyed some spa services in a lovely new hotel in Norcia. Cooking classes were a hit, and the chef made a special wild boar meal for our farewell dinner !
I will remember these moments, but most of all, I will think fondly of the laughter, the talks, words of encouragement we gave each other, the new friends we made.”
Written by Lisa Didus about her ‘Umbria Hiking and Cooking’ trip in October.