Nearly 5 weeks in Italy – Fantastico!

Old Nov 28th, 2019, 06:18 AM
  #101  
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After settling into the hotel, we took a lovely walk up to the top of the hill and took in the spectacular views...



The towers of the Porta Venere, entryway to the town


Walking up the hill


The glorious views in the changing light




Chiesa dei Cappuccini




Views wherever you go


Cafe overlooking the valley

Last edited by progol; Nov 28th, 2019 at 06:23 AM.
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Old Nov 28th, 2019, 07:39 AM
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After over a week of touring museums, churches and villas, we were ready for something a little different. And in my research, I read about a walk along the ancient aqueduct, which runs along Mount Subasio between Spello and Collepino.
Roman Aqueduct, trekking Collepino-Spello - Umbria

And that is what we did. And we loved it - a great walk along the ruins of the aqueduct, which is mostly flat walking and overlooks the valley. It was a spectacular walk of nearly 5 km and one of our favorite activities of our trip. But if you do it, DON'T do what we did, which is to walk from Spello to Collepino. Instead, take a cab to Collepino and walk back to Spello. We finished the walk along the aqueduct and behind some farms, only to discover that we were at a crossroads with a loooong walk up to the tiny hill town of Collepino. It's up there! I've since been told that there are backroads to the town, and we didn't need to walk along the main road...but even so, it was quite a hike! Once there, however, we met some other Americans and had a wonderful lunch in the restaurant there. We had a taxi called for us and, a few minutes later, arrived back in Spello. How quick the taxi ride was!
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Old Nov 28th, 2019, 07:39 AM
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Nice pictures! I am so looking forward to getting back to Spello. The bnb Ive booked has a terrace over looking the valley.
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Old Nov 28th, 2019, 08:10 AM
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Thanks, Dayle! I'm trying to upload the photos of our walk but they are too big, so I have to resize them. I'll get them up as soon as I can!
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Old Nov 28th, 2019, 08:44 AM
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Old Nov 28th, 2019, 09:36 AM
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Lovely photos, Progol. Thanks for bringing back happy memories!
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Old Nov 28th, 2019, 10:50 AM
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Oh, more lovely photos, sigh....

Even hubby is regularly checking your thread for updates, he never used to go on Fodor’s, lately he’s texting me at work...progol has posted more photos, LOL.
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Old Nov 28th, 2019, 10:52 AM
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That looks like a very nice walk! I think I will see if I can fit it in. My current plan is train to Spello from Rome on Sunday. Pick up rental at Foligno early and visit Bavegna for afternoon and lunch. I think I should have time for the walk Sunday afternoon. Did you visit Bavegna?
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Old Nov 28th, 2019, 11:44 AM
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Dayle,I doubt the car rental office in Foligno will be open on a Sunday. I’d double check that...

Bevagna is nice for a lunch, although we prefer Montefalco (and the restaurant l’Alchemisa). It’s a bit more lively.
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Old Nov 28th, 2019, 01:09 PM
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Oh, yes, I know the office isn't open. Thanks! I'm planning to take the train down to Foligno to pick up the car Monday morning when they open. Then do a half day to Bavegna. If it's not that great, maybe I will just head back to Spello to relax and enjoy. Spello follows 8 busy days in Rome so I won't mind just enjoying the scenery and wandering around town a bit. I have visited Montefalco previously, so don't think I will go again. Any other suggestions? I could also do a half day to Assisi because there were a couple main sites I missed on my 2005 trip. Not dying to go back though. Visited Gubbio and Cortona on that trip too.

Visiting Arezzo this time at the end of my "road trip" portion to Umbria and Le Marche.

Oops, I'm highjacking progol's TR. Enough.
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Old Nov 29th, 2019, 04:26 AM
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Hello again!
aideladean - thank you! That is really very touching to hear! I was wondering if I was putting up too many photos. I just haven't had the energy to write notes or detailed trip reports and the photos are my communication. So I'm glad that you and your hubby are enjoying them. And your photos are also so lovely that I'm especially appreciative that you like ours as well.

Dayle - we did visit Bevagna and Montefalco, although it was on a Sunday so many things were closed early in the day and M. was also starting to get sick, so while it was a pretty drive and the towns were interesting to see, it wasn't our most memorable day. I even noted where the restaurant, Enoteca L'Alchimista, was located and thought, "oh well, next time".

This is the second time we drove on a Sunday through charming towns only to be mildly disappointed...parking is always a pain and, as we left early in the day, we discovered that many of the shops that might give a town a vibrancy were closed. It was interesting though our least successful day, I think, of our entire trip.

Bevagna was the first town that we stopped to visit, and we parked in a lot outside of the walls. We first went to the teatro Romana which contains the remains of an ancient amphitheater and is situated in a small building with a medieval home set up on the second floor. The small tour was entirely in Italian, so our interest flagged, and the site itself just didn't grab us. The loveliest part of the town was the open Piazza San Silvestri, with several 16h C churches with its lovely fountain. This being Sunday, the churches were quite busy and we didn't go inside. And M. really wasn't feeling well, which became more apparent as the day wore on. Now Bevagna is said to be flat, but this term is relative, as there really are some ups and downs in the town! We were tired after our previous day's hike and definitely felt the walk, even in "flat" Bevagna! What was especially pleasant about the town is the sense of it being very much a lived-in town, and not as much about tourism as some of the prettier hill towns with stellar views.

After a bit more exploration, we continued our drive to Montefalco, driving through some lovely scenery as we we drove up and up and up! Montefalco is beautifully sited, and its central piazza, Piazza del Commune, sits at the center of the many streets radiating out and down the hill. It is beautiful -- and definitely another very popular tourist destination. Sitting opposite the very handsome town hall is the popular restaurant, L'Alchimista, and I was glad to find it, even if we weren't going to sample it today. Someday, maybe.... So after a brief walk through the pretty town, we decided to go back home (home to Spello!) and M would rest up.

Interestingly, we were slightly disappointed when we first arrived in Spello as it was so much more of a touristy destination in contrast to Vicenza or Bologna. But over the 3 days we were there, we grew very fond of the town. It's both a beautiful town and beautifully sited, and we were both glad that we were here, and truthfully, not in either Bevagna or Montefalco. There are so many delightful nooks and crannies in Spello, and while it's certainly a popular tourist destination, it's surprisingly easy to find corners of the town that are quiet. And Palazzo Bocci has its own quiet terrace and other corners of its own to enjoy a peaceful retreat.
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Old Nov 29th, 2019, 05:03 AM
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Bevagna wanderings...


















Piazza di San Silvestro








I didn't realize until later that I was taking a photo of someone taking a photo of a cat!


Last edited by progol; Nov 29th, 2019 at 05:11 AM.
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Old Nov 29th, 2019, 05:30 AM
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Montefalco
(only a few - by now, we were both too tired)



Piazza del Comune





L'Alchimista - next time!



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Old Nov 29th, 2019, 05:54 AM
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And back to Spello!



From the road - I love this!








The yellow Palazzo Bocci


The view from the window





Terrace decorations









Last edited by progol; Nov 29th, 2019 at 06:01 AM.
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Old Nov 29th, 2019, 05:56 AM
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Thanks for the Bevagna info progol. I may think about some other possibilities. I didnt even have Spoleto on my radar since last trip I had decided to skip it. Maybe this time.

I guess I am going to have to prepare myself for major changes in mainland Italy since my last trip was in 2005!
​​​​It seems tourism has increased everywhere and worldwide! When I stayed in Spello there were almost no other visitors.
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Old Nov 29th, 2019, 06:11 AM
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Dayle,
I don't want to dissuade you from Bevagna - I know there are others on the board who have stayed there and loved it. We were both tired and my husband was starting to get sick. We just didn't have the stamina to really explore Bevagna or Montefalco and Sunday is probably not the best day for touring small towns. Caveats aside, though, we were both really glad that we stayed in Spello.

Paule
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Old Nov 29th, 2019, 08:45 AM
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Progol, many of your impressions of Spello, Bevagna and Montefalco match my own. Timing is everything with many of these Umbrian towns. Arrive when things are closed or the weather inclement and the towns will feel mildly depressing. Arrive when the tourist bus does and you’ll find them overly touristed. We’ve had more than a few disappointments ourselves. In my experience, mid-morning to lunchtime and late-afternoon to dinner time are often the sweet spots.

And I agree that Spello has lots of secret corners to explore. I love that view from the road that you posted; it gets me every time.
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Old Nov 30th, 2019, 04:57 AM
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indyhiker,
Thanks so much for your comments - I’m glad to know that someone shares my impressions of the various hill towns! And I agree, so many factors contribute to those feelings.

I had also considered staying in one of the lovely agriturismo accommodations outside of town, but in the end, I was very glad we stayed in the town of Spello itself.
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Old Dec 4th, 2019, 06:57 AM
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Before leaving lovely Spello, there's one more must-see sight - the frescoes by the Renaissance painter, Pinturicchio, in the Baglioni chapel in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. This is a lovely set of paintings, relating the childhoods of Mary and of Jesus. The details are delightful! The fee to enter is minimal but the there are barricades set up between the small entryway and the frescoes in the chapel. But the frescoes are a treat!





The Adoration of the Shepherds (and no, you were not supposed to take photos! But M. did sneak a few as he was quite taken with this place)









The floor - gorgeous tiling!
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Old Mar 1st, 2021, 06:19 AM
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I’m looking at my old trip reports as there are no new trip reports to post! And we’ve been remembering our fantastic trip to Italy. I discovered that I never posted the continuation, so if you’re interested, here is the rest of the trip!

5 weeks in Italy, continued…Orvieto, Naples, Amalfi Coast, and back to Rome
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