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I believe I'm changing my travel plans.......

Well, I haven't said much about travel in several weeks even though I think about it all the time. My last trip to Italy, two weeks in Rome in January, is unfortunately a distant although pleasant memory. And it's pretty much all paid off now, so I can look ahead to September. I have two more weeks of vacation left, and I intend to blow it all on this trip.

My last reported plans involved the as-yet undiscovered Emilia-Romagna region. Undiscovered, that is, by me. I am interested in seeing Bologna, Ferrara, Parma and I also want to do day trips to Ravenna to see the mosaics and to Padua for the frescos. I really want to see all of these things.

But my heart is called back to Umbria. I just can't resist.

So, I think I'm going to have to cancel all of my plans for the E-R and give in to the lure of Perugia and Assisi and even Bevagna. I spent three great weeks in Umbria in June 2007 and I want to go back. I may even rent a car, for the first time after a half-dozen trips to Italy.

I admit to feeling some conflict about my destination, and so I haven't quite cut the ties (that is, all the hotel reservations) for the Emilia-Romagna region. Because it does sound splendid and the lure of the new is always powerful.

But I find something magical about Umbria, and even though I was there only a year ago I know that I missed so much. Last year, for example, I spent almost a full week just in Perugia, a wonderful city with a great deal of wonderful art, churches, a great passeggiata, lots of restaurants and bars. I only made one day trip outside of Perugia last year, even though I originally saw it as a base, not a place to roost.

This year, I'm thinking another week based in Perugia but I hope that this time, I'll actually make at least a couple of day trips from there. Last year, I took the bus from Perugia to Gubbio for a day. It was fantastic. This year, maybe I'll get out of town and take the train to Todi for one day; and up to Sansepolcro or Arezzo another day (I really want to see Piero della Francesco's Legend of The True Cross!)

Last year, I spent four days in Assisi, but a visit by the Pope at the same time really cramped my ability to see churches and generally get around. This year, I thought I'd stay three days and maybe do the town right.

Last year, I spent several days in Spoleto and did a day trip to Orvieto from there. This time, I've booked 3 nights in Bevagna and I think I might actually rent a car and from there, try to visit Spello and Montefalco, maybe Trevi. I chose Bevagna because I thought it might be fairly easy to park there, to drive in and out of for a couple of days. I had considered staying in Spello, but I've been convinced by Girasoli and others that it really might be too small to warrant more than a few hours. This makes sense to me, because even with a car I expect that by dinner time, I'll want to park at my hotel and then walk -- walk somewhere for dinner, have some wine with dinner, then walk around without concern that I need to drive somewhere.

So, that's the new plan: Assisi, Bevagna, Perugia. At least, that's the plan for now......

Comments (10)

We will miss meeting you in Bologna, but, of course Umbria is magical! You can see Spello in a half a day, and also Montefalco (our favorites). Bevagna is a great base!

Keep us posted on the plan! You can't go wrong in either area!

Kim:

Sounds like a plan! Just make sure the Pope doesn't cramp your style again.

I can relate to this - early last year, I had big plans to go to new places but when it came time to actually buy the plane ticket, my heart just wanted to go to Venice and nowhere else, and so I did. I say, follow your heart!

Sandra:

Palma, you're so right! Each time I catch myself overplanning, I'll remind myself that no matter what I chose to do, it'll be great -- because I'll be in Italy.

Kim, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the Pope realizes when he's not wanted.

And thanks, Annie, for the support -- it really is best to follow your heart!

I think that sounds like a great plan! I agree...follow your heart. Bologna will still be there and one day it will feel right to visit there.

You do realize that trains do not go to Bevagna. I am not sure on the bus situation either. I know I could never figure it out when in Spello although there probably is some sort of transportation service. It might be easier to rent your car when leaving your previous base.

Yay!! Umbria for Sandra. What a great plan!

Sandra:

Thanks, Girasoli! I know what you mean about Bevagna -- I've decided I'm going to break down and rent a car for the couple of days that I'm there. It looks like parking is fairly easy in Bevagna, and I think I can drive from there to Montefalco and Spello without too much hassle (or burning a lot of gas!) Maybe even the Piano Grande. At least, that's the plan for now......

I've been reading "The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes of My Life" which is really a memoir with recipes. I thought you'd like this quote (I thought of you when I read it):

"You go to Tuscany because you must; you go to Umbria because you can. It is the province in Italy you travel to when you want the country to enter the pores of your skin...Umbria is Italy turned inward, its prayer to itself."

Sounds like a wonderful trip! I revisited a few of my Perugia photos today and may need to plan a future Umbria trip myself!

Sandra - the advice to follow your heart is good. I ahve to say though your E-R trip sounds AMAZING . . . perhaps we will take it for you!

Sandra:

Annie, that's a really lovely quote -- thanks for posting it!

Jerry, feel free to borrow my E-R plan; I think I'll be busy next year borrowing Girasoli's current plan for visiting Liguria!

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