Postcards from Umbria

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The first time we rented a villa was on a vacation we took with another couple to Positano, on Italy’s beautiful Amalfi Coast. The view from this 2-bedroom / 2-bathroom apartment was just as spectacular as advertised. Breathtaking, really. Very, very romantic. Everything was perfect … except for the tiny detail that the second bedroom could be accessed only by going through the first bedroom. We had rented a beautiful two bedroom apartment… Read More

It started raining hard on Sunday.  By Monday morning, pockets of Northern and Central Italy had been devastated by floods.  Photos of what this 200-year storm did to Venice filled the Internet, but the big news in our part of the country was what it did to the area around Orvieto. Orvieto has something of a split personality.  The glamorous and famous part sits on a plateau atop a huge tufa rock…. Read More

We landed yesterday morning in Rome and took the train to Orvieto, arriving just after 10:00 a.m.  I loved seeing our neighbors in Benano again, and my Italian teachers will be happy to know that our hard work is paying off:  I had actual conversations, simple though they were, with two of my favorite neighbors.  I was thrilled.  (Complimenti, Alessandra, Mariateresa e Michele!) My Italian didn’t work quite as well in the meeting with our architect and… Read More

Here are a few photos as the work to renovate the lower level of the house begins. Once we’re finished, we’ll have better access to the terrace, a new bedroom and bathroom, and a new living space.

According to local lore, the entire village once baked bread in the forno (oven) that now sits in disrepair in our ground floor.  The forno is no longer useable because of impossible-to-ignore ventilation issues.  And I’ll try to say this kindly, but there is really nothing attractive about it except the communal life it represents.  So with mixed emotions, we are about to dismantle one of the most evocative and interesting historic features… Read More