Saturday, 27th of July: wake-up call at 5.00 am, sitting in a taxi by 5.45 and taking off at 7.30. Destination: Rome’s Leonardo Da Vinci airport. HOLIDAYS!
After an hour of waiting to pick up the car I rented, off we were to Terni, Umbria. Back to the roots.

Umbria is the only Italian region to be completely landlocked. Its main city, or capoluogo, is Perugia, however the whole area prides itself with many historical towns, including Assisi, to mention only the most famous. Follow me, I’ll be your guide.

Now, just to give you an idea of the whole concept of this vacation, I’d say that my holiday revolved around the holy trinity of Fs: Family, Food & Farniente.
An hour and a half of driving later (thankfully, my brother was there to keep me company), we had reached our family pad, or casale. A big yellow house nested in between vineyards, sunflower and olive tree fields. That alone was enough for me to fall in love with the place. First thing I did: switch from the Brussels-clothes to my bikini.

We all chilled for a couple of days in the house, resting, sunbathing, swimming, spending quality time together. My dad was very proud to take us to my late grand-father’s native place, and he really wanted to show us the beauties of it. That’s how we began our little pilgrimage in the area.

This ravishing ancient city is located at the head of a broad valley and surrounded by mountains. We started our visit by taking a walk along the Ponte delle Torri, a 13th century aqueduct. The view you get from there is simply breathtaking. 

Continuing on our path to the city centre, we passed by the Roman theatre and wandered in the charming pedestrian streets.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get more graceful, it did. We reached the Cathedral of Santa Maria dell’Assunta. On a personal note, I’m not the kind to be obsessed with churches and the likes, however, I must admit they generally are astonishing from an aesthetical point of view.

Are you feeling hungry? With all that walking up and down, we sure did! Spoleto is a relatively small city, the choice for restaurant is quite limited. Then again, considering the country we are talking about, it’s not a problem at all: food is just good. Basically everywhere. Here’s a sneak peak at what we had (warning! highly mouthwatering pictures ahead!):

Top left: Antipasto made of regional specialities
Top right: Paccheri with mozzarella di bufala and cherry tomatoes
Bottom: Ravioli with pistacchio

The next day, back at our casale, my aunt invited some very good friends of hers over for dinner. Actually, they joined us for dinner, but they were the ones taking care of the cooking. And the entertainment. That is one hell of a deal, right?

While the men, Stefano and Fabrizio, were getting the bruschette ready (which we later topped with garlic, olive oil, tomatoes and truffle = YUM), the table was already all set. Buon appetito! 

Enjoyed it? Good news is: there’s more to come…