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October 14, 2011 / TAB

One foot in Umbria

Before meeting up with cousins in Milan, I took a few days to wander through a small part of Umbria. After lunch in Orvieto and dropping a friend in a nearby town, I headed for Gubbio. You are greeted by a small Roman theater outside the town near the parking lot.

The first order of exploration was a trip up the mountain standing in a swinging metal basket. At the top is the Church of St. Urbaldo, who is not looking too good in his glass casket but he has been there for a long time. On the way to the funivia, I stopped at the Church of San Agostino where they have a permanent presepe display. These are elaborate nativity scenes. This one takes up a good portion of a small room.

There were great views of the town as you come back down at what seems to be a vertical drop. Picking some streets at random, I found myself in a large square where a movie or TV show was being filmed. It featured a priest on a bicycle and I think I saw ads about it later.

The next day I found a new base on Lake Piediluco and had a great lakeside room. From there, it was convenient to drive to the impressive waterfalls at Cascata delle Marmone. You have to time your visit just right to be there when they release the water from the dam and the falls swell to an greater volume. At the base vantage point, the air is filled with the mist from the falls.

Also in the area where the ruins of Carsulae. I wandered on the old Roman roads and amongst the stones that were once great buildings until I lost the light and had to leave.

One day’s travel took me to Ferentillo, to view their mummies. This display (no photos allowed) showed about 30 preserved bodies that came from a special burial place. It is thought that the mineral composition in this place allowed the bodies to mummify. Included in the exhibition are plague victims, a murder victim and his murderer, children, priests, and regular citizens.

Next stop was the Abbey of San Pietro in Valle. The church is still available to view but the cloisters and convent are now a hotel and the grounds are limited to the guests. The church contains amazing frescoes,  Norman altar, and a pilgrimage altar with a small passageway to enter and a larger passageway to exit signifying the rebirth of the pilgrim.

The Abbey of St. Eutizio runs along a high ridge and was the home of several hermits. You can visit their simple mountain caves. Last stop of the day was Visso for a look at more impressive frescoes including a giant St. Christopher. The church treasures were closely watched over by the guard cat. I had to kill some time until the church opened for the afternoon and happened to wander into the bar owned by an amazing chocolate maker. I had to sample some of the freshly made that day items. The day came to an end and as I drove home in the rain through Mount Sibillini National Park, I saw the first beginning colors of fall although the temperature did not reflect it yet.



Leave a Comment
  1. ytaba36 / Oct 14 2011 2:53 pm

    Oooh, you probably saw an episode of Don Matteo being shot! 🙂

  2. Jeannette Vivere / Jul 31 2014 8:08 am

    cute guard cat !!!!

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