The geographical centre of Italy is Narni near Terni and perhaps the best way to visit the region is when one of the many annual gastronomic appointments are taking place.

Gubbio and the Ceri Race

Published in Umbria Itineraries

For us, Gubbio is very much the iron fist inside Umbria's velvet glove. If you like suits of armour, maces and two handed swords, then this is the place for you.

Old Iguvium sits looking down the wide valley and ever since the Eugubini created their '7 bronze tables' in the 300BC, depicting life at the time, the town has retained an architectural and cultural style.

The tables were found in 1444 in the area where the original Umbrian population lived and where the historical center is now located.

Interestingly, the Romans preferred the open land of the valley. Look out or the well preserved ampitheater and Mausoleum of Pomponio Grecino in the fields.

Last modified on 26 May 2013

Valnerina Valley

Published in Umbria Itineraries

The Valnerina towards the Monti Sibillini in Le Marche is one of the Appennine's most beautiful valleys in Umbria.

Still covered in thick forests the zone touches 2500 metres in altitude.

The narrow, harsh upper areas are dotted with castles, bridges, forts and monasteries and was a tough track for travellers until very recently.

Even today there are parts of the road which must be taken with great care, especially in winter.

In fact, if you find yourself in Ferentillo (below) just outside Terni in January with the whole valley before you and your destination seemingly blocked by the snowy peaks of the Monti Sibillini, you might think twice before setting off.

Last modified on 22 May 2013

The plot of Castle Magione

Written by Published in Umbria Itineraries

The scene of the plot against Cesare Borgia

This is a unique opportunity to experience the magic of the ancient castle and dive into bloody history. The event is organized by the Theatre Company Magione.

 

In the picturesque setting of the Castle of the Knights of Malta from July 27 to August 1, the Theatre Company Magione offers representation historical costume "Conspiracy at the castle: the Orsini plot against Cesare Borgia."

Among the courtyards and ancient halls of the castle, the story unfolds in a traveling show that brings viewers back five centuries. In 1502 Cardinal Orsini rallied in the castle some of the major leaders and nobles of the time, including the Perugia Gian Paolo Baglioni, groped for an end to the expansionist ambitions of Cesare Borgia. But the attempt will fail.

This is a unique opportunity to experience the magic of the ancient castle and immerse themselves in the bloody history immortalized by Niccolo Machiavelli in "The Prince".

The event is organized by the Theatre Company Magione, with the support of the City of Magione, Umbria Region, sponsors Vpm-Consortium Valley Plain Mugnano and Pharmacy Calcaterra of Magione.

The organizers are grateful for the hospitality of the Order of Malta and the Tourism Association Pro Magione for their cooperation.

The first show is at 21:00, the second at 22.30. 50 places are available in the representation.

Booking is recommended.

 

It recounts what happened dramatically between 1500 and 1502, when the military operations undertaken by Cesare Borgia, who had enabled him to take possession of the whole of the Romagna and Marche, had led to a number of other armed conflicts outside the territory of Romagna. With regard to the case concerning the conspiracy took place, "the Mansion" is necessary to point out how the new political reality that had been configuring saw the clear hegemony of the Borgia on all the territories of the Church. It is true that some folks continued to exercise their power over the major cities of Umbria and Marche regions, but it is also true that the exercise of this sovereignty was not characterized by the autonomy that they claimed.

 

Everything was tied to the power of the Pope and his son. If you add to this the precarious political position in which it was to be the powerful Orsini family after the collapse of Aragon which was allied, collapse that gave a green light to take action against the Borgia family Roman, the overall picture is outlined in its essential and we readily understand the reasons that led these and other noble northern and central Italy to conspire against Valentino.

 

At the end of September 1502, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Orsini was already in Magione, at the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem of which he was commendatory. With him there was another member of the family, Paul, and to them was added the third, Francis, Duke - or Count - Gravina. Orsini joined other nobles and found themselves in the hospital Magione Gian Paolo Baglioni, lord of Perugia, Antonio da Venafro, a confidant of Pandolfo Petrucci, Lord of Siena, Hermes Bentivoglio, son of John lord of Bologna, Vitellozzo Vitelli ladies Città di Castello and Oliverotto Eufreducci Lord of Fermo. In the meeting that followed the defendants settled their arrival to set up a strong army of 700 spears, 400 crossbowmen and 5,000 infantry, declaring war on Valentine's Day. Armed with this army would recover the duchy of Urbino and the Montefeltro, after this operation, Hermes Bentivoglio and his father John would have continued hostilities in the Imola area, while the others in the Pesaro and nell'urbinate.

 

That was it established in what has gone down in history as the diet - conspiracy - held at the mansion, in Perugia. The news of the conspiracy and the subsequent riots of Urbino and Camerino came unexpected to Valentino, however, knew how to react, he succeeded the first to divide the conspirators and then, one by one to make friends. Four of these Oliverotto da Fermo, Vitellozzo Vitelli and Orsini and Francesco Paolo accepted a meeting with Valentino in Senigallia towards the end of December 1502. Seated in a room decorated for the party, Cesare Borgia walked away with an excuse giving the signal to his henchmen who immediately strangled Oliverotto and Vitellozzo while other soldiers captured the Orsini, conducted as prisoners in Città della Pieve, suffered the same treatment here . Gian Paolo Baglioni, at the beginning of 1503, he was forced to abandon Perugia, but the death of Alexander VI, in August of that year, he decreed the fall of the fortunes of Valentino, who was forced to flee for refuge in Navarre. Gian Paolo could thus return to his city.

Last modified on 28 April 2013

Crescia, Umbria Easter Cheese Bread Recipe

Published in Umbria Recipes

Now available all year, crescia al formaggio belongs to the family of Easter cheese breads found across south Umbria, although we believe crescia is particular to Gubbio.

It is similar to the piadina romagnola and other versions of regional focaccia found along the Via Flaminia as it links the Adriatic coast to Umbria passing through Le Marche.

View the video above to see how the Gubbio version is a lot thicker than the familiar piadina.

ingredients

500gr flour, 50g butter, 25g lard, 30 beer yeast, 150g grated parmigiano reggiano cheese, 50g fresh pecorino cheese, 1 glass of milk, 3 eggs, 1 spoon of sugar, salt and pepper to taste.

Last modified on 26 March 2013

Umbria Easter Breakfast

Published in Umbria Food

The end of Lent used to be celebrated in Italy with the devouring of many special Easter dishes which had been prepared throughout the previous month.

A collective ritual which involved cheesecakes and typical sweet Easter cakes all made from excessive amounts of eggs.

Today, the tradition is less dramatic but the eggy cakes still play a big part, but 'cheese cake' is still traditionally eaten for breakfast on Easter Day, especially in Umbria.

This is not the dessert cheesecake, but a bread made more savoury with the addition of local cheeses.

Known as 'pizza' in Terni, 'crescia' in Gubbio (image below) and 'ciaccia' in the zone of Città di Castello, it consists of flour, eggs and grated pecorino cheese all flavored with plenty of pepper.

Last modified on 26 March 2013

Guide to Assisi

Published in Umbria Itineraries

Assisi in central Umbria is truly a special place and the tranquil atmosphere of the town relaxes everyone.

It is really easy to get there by train. Once at the station just wait for the shuttle bus to take you to the old medieval gates.

The birthplace of Saint Francis was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2000, just after the major earthquake made serious ruins of several medieval masterpieces.

Painstakingly pieced back together, much is now as it was before. Although who like us saw them before the disaster can only leave with a sense of loss.

Nevertheless, it is one of the great Italian places to visit and we try and go once a year just to soak up the relaxation.

Last modified on 12 March 2013

Saint Valentine's Events in Terni

Published in Umbria Itineraries

Saint Valentine is the patron of the city of Terni, Umbria. He was born here at the end of the second century and is buried on a hill outside the city walls where today you will find the Basilica of St. Valentine.

The name Valentine comes from the latin 'valere' which means 'feel good' and the Saint was famous among his contemporaries its healing powers through faith.

For the origin of Valentine's Day you have to go back to the ancient Romans and Greeks.

They used to celebrate rites in honor of their gods Fauno e Luperco on the 15th of February to auspicate prosperity and fertility during the year to come.

The town of Terni still celebrates its patron with a calendar of events called 'Eventi Valentiniani' which include music, art, exhibitions and more.

Last modified on 09 February 2013

Saint Valentine's Day pigeon recipe

Published in Umbria Recipes

This recipe forms part of a 'Saint Valentine's Day' meal kindly provided by the The Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts in Perugia.

 

ingredients

2 pigeons, perfectly cleaned, 1 clove garlic, 1/2 onion, 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 fresh sage leaves, 2 sprigs rosemary, 1/2 glass white wine vinegar, 1 glass white wine, Rind of 1/2 a lemon, 100 gr chicken livers, 2 tspn capers, Salt, pepper.

Last modified on 06 February 2013

Saint Valentine's Day ricotta recipe

Published in Umbria Recipes

This recipe forms part of a 'Saint Valentine's Day' meal kindly provided by the The Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts in Perugia.

 

ingredients

2 eggs, 100 gr flour, 100 gr sugar, 1/4 tsp baking soda For the filling: 350 gr fresh ricotta cheese, 200 gr powdered sugar, 70 gr bittersweet chocolate grated, 70 gr ground almonds, 70 gr candied fruit, 30 gr raisins, 1 vanilla bean split, 2 tspns maraschino cherry juice, 1 tbsp Alchermes liquor.

Last modified on 06 February 2013

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