Sunday…Spoleto and Spello day for the Boyds.

We have talked all week about getting to these two places of much art history, churches and middle ages streetscapes.   Patricia and Craig have gladly followed all of our whims, so it was their turn today.

First, the Borgo breakfast….a cavalcade of light snacks that add up to a wonderful feast…freshly squeezed orange juice, home made bakery croissants and muffins (both with fruit in them), cheeses and meats, whatever kind of coffee and tea all followed by a small plate of delicious scrambled eggs with pancetta.  Simple, ample and some ‘best ever’ type treats for all of us.  You know it’s good when people stop talking and just say, “yum” a lot.

Each time they seat you at your table, you are greeted by a new
Each time they seat you at your table, you are greeted by a new “charger” made by Riccardo’s friend in Gubbio.

Before breakfast, you get up and look out a window in your room – ours happens to be our bathroom window – and see what’s happening in the valley.  The sunlight or clouds play here all day and always make you smile that you are here in a place so far away from civilization and so in touch with nature’s beauty.

This is the view from our bathroom...our room is in the main
This is the view from our bathroom…our room is in the main “church” building on the 2nd floor. That’s another room below us with that great roof.

Our driver, Craig Boyd, has been such a good sport, since he was shocked about the Borgo drive yesterday, when he was following Gianni’s van down the Borgo road.  Here’s that same road facing us today and he’s ready to roll.

Looking from the church up the Borgo road.
Looking from the church up the Borgo road.
Chianina cattle are the best beef in Italy.  We see them as we emerge from the Borgo road.
Chianina cattle are the best beef in Italy. We see them as we emerge from the Borgo road.

So the day begins.  We are headed to Spoleto first; about a 90 minute drive south past Assisi.  It’s another hill town, but one with more hills than most.  We can see where we need to go, but it takes an uphill slalom-type walk to get there.

When we arrive in Spoleto, this is our view from the parking area just outside the gate.  You can see the steeple of the cathedral and the battlements of the fort at the top of the town.
When we arrive in Spoleto, this is our view from the parking area just outside the gate. You can see the steeple of the cathedral and the battlements of the fort at the top of the town.

Along the way we see a Roman theatre that is being excavated half way up the hill.  A little Italian men takes mercy on us confused and lost Americans and helps us to find the theater (which was right under our noses), the Roman aqueduct/bridge and the cathedral.

The Roman theater is big and almost completely un-earthed.
The Roman theater is big and almost completely un-earthed.
Our guide - let's call him Nono (the Italian word for grandfather) is getting really chummy with our Italian speaker.
Our guide – let’s call him Nono (the Italian word for grandfather) is getting really chummy with our Italian speaker.
Without Nono, we would have missed this Roman site completely.  We had seen it from the highway as we approached Spoleto, but it was hidden in the confusion of our roundabout route to the cathedral.
Without Nono, we would have missed this Roman site completely. We had seen it from the highway as we approached Spoleto, but it was hidden in the confusion of our roundabout route to the cathedral.
there's a huge set of steps going down to the square in front of the church.
there’s a huge set of steps going down to the square in front of the church.  See our little Nono is still with us on the right there.
It's magnificent looking.  Unfortunately, it's closed until 3PM and we have to be on our way without seeing the inside.
It’s magnificent looking. Unfortunately, it’s closed until 3PM and we have to be on our way without seeing the inside.
We find a more direct route down to the entry to Spoleto, but is turns out to be a daunting set of hundreds of steps almost straight down.
We find a more direct route down to the entry to Spoleto, but is turns out to be a daunting set of hundreds of steps almost straight down.
We are all kind of laboring over our
We are all kind of laboring over our “descent”, walking slowly…when, we are passed by a nun in her 70’s walking very smartly down past us like we were standing still.

We then headed to Spello to see the churches and have a late lunch…it’s already 2PM after our late start, long drive and slalom walking up to the top of Spoleto.

Spello is back toward the Borgo (south of Gubbio) and off the main highway.
Spello is back toward the Borgo (south of Gubbio) and off the main highway.

Spello is a delightful smaller hill town in Umbria.  Lots of very clean little side streets and all seemed to be filled with flowers.

They must come out and water these every day.
They must come out and water these every day.

We had a lunch here in town – Sundays are not easy and it took a few tries before we could find six seats open.  Our drive back to the Borgo was interesting in that we couldn’t find it on the GPS and went with the educated guesses of Butch to find the right turn for us.

Our day was full of fascinating clouds on the horizon as we drove; some black with rain and some promising fair weather to come soon.
Our day was full of fascinating clouds on the horizon as we drove; some black with rain and some promising fair weather to come soon.

The Borgo road was a bit daunting, but Craig negotiated it with professional aplomb.

It's mostly one lane, as you can see.  No one met us as we meandered down what seems like a long time; it's really only 9 minutes or so.
It’s mostly one lane, as you can see. No one met us as we meandered down what seems like a long time; it’s really only 9 minutes or so.

The beauty of the Borgo is that the peacefulness wipes out the miles we traveled with comfort and good food.

Here’s the night’s finest dish.

An Italian staple of risotto with asparagus and a soft-boiled, yet breaded egg on the top there.  What a symphony of flavors.
An Italian staple of risotto with asparagus and a soft-boiled, yet breaded egg on the top there. What a symphony of flavors.

Full tummies turn in for the night…eager to see what breakfast at the Borgo will hold for us in the AM.

Buona notte.

chiproach

Lifelong Philadelphia area Realtor. Now a 10-year citizen of Sanibel, Florida. Married to Nancy for 53 years. Three children (2 in Devon; 1 in Steamboat Springs, CO) and 5 grandkids. Helping with charities involving poverty, kids and education.

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