Saturday, June 23, 2018

Unlocking Umbria: 5 Ways How I Dream Of Discovering This Region Someday!

Recently someone mentioned Umbria in one of my conversations over email. The conversation ended and we both went our separate ways but the name stuck with me.

Umbria!


Curious, I googled to see and read more about this place and before I knew, I was busy oohing and aahing over a heap of jaw-dropping images.


Mystical Umbria, Italy
Aha, so there it was: Umbria was in Italy!

I closed my eyes for a second as my heart skipped a beat and my mind raced across time zones playing tricks with my imagination.

Arti, how would it be if you were to rent a house in Umbria and go about exploring this part of the world?

I heard a tiny voice within.

Immediately, my lips parted in a wide smile and my eyes opened again to devour all the beauty that remained, this time with a renewed vigor, a heightened sense of enthusiasm and wonder!


Countryside Umbria, Green heart of Italy

How picturesque everything was: the lush green landscape, the pristine hills, woods and valleys of the countryside, the historical towns winding across the highways, untouched and untainted with not a person in sight, crammed with the bountiful treasures of centuries old architecture, art, culture and traditions preserved from the past … the montage of sights that played before my eyes on the computer screen were endless sending my dream liner flight of fantasy in a delightful tizzy!

Umbria Speaks in Silences!


Umbria was clearly rich in her visual appeal, very very rich, in fact. But it was the tangible feeling of peace and tranquility washing me ever so subtly that drew me even more closely to the region.


Peaceful landscape at lake Traismeno, Umbria, Italy

Perhaps, the balming peace was the result of the fact that Umbria was also the birthplace of several saints like St Benedict and St Francis of Assisi being the most famous, and for religious traditions that earned the region such names as Umbra santa, Umbra mistica and la terra dei santi (the land of saints).

Perhaps, the secret to the balming peace lay in the fact that Umbria never believed in beating her own trumpet, even happily letting herself be sidelined, almost ignored, by Irish tourists which for centuries had put more spotlight and popularity on her glamorous neighbors – Tuscany, Rome, Florence and Venice – aptly justifying the name Umbria which is associated with the word Ombria meaning shadow in Italian.

Or perhaps, it was simply another one of those secrets that Umbria oh-so-neatly tucked beneath her surface, for the seriously discerning, classy and inquisitive visitors who were willing to get past the sparkle and the glam and step in the shadows, beyond the glitz of the canals and bridges and other things known, to discover all the exciting, veiled and deeper things, unknown!

Whatever the reason of Umbria’s beguiling appeal, one glimpse of the region left me bewitched enough to sit up and take notice, and I couldn’t help but take my wide-eyed-dream further by jotting down a small list of things that I would love to experience if I ever got an opportunity to actually discover Umbria someday!

Taking the pilgrim trail to Assisi.


High up on my list comes taking the pilgrim trail to this town of roman origin, Assisi, best known as the birthplace as also the burial place of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and nature. I remember being introduced to his prayer as a student of my Catholic school:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.


St Francis Di Assisi Chapel, Umbria, Italy

With his words already ringing in my heart, I would love to be enthralled by his profound legacy in person through the imposing Basilica di San Francesco d'Assisi. Walking beneath the immense cathedral brimming with innovative and beautiful frescoes depicting his life scenes by the likes of Giotto, Cimabue, Simone Martini and bathing in the quiet tranquility would be quite an enlightening experience for sure!

Watching the Sunset in Piazza


In Perugia, the capital of Umbria, I would love to walk over and into the historic maze of narrow cobbled streets leading to the widely celebrated Piazza IV Novembre, once the meeting point for the ancient Etruscan and Roman civilizations. Framed by aesthetically pleasing tiled roofs stretching over the hills and tastefully done Italian architecture, the Piazza is the place where I fascinate standing in the center and ending my day.


ask how?

Piazza in Perugia, Umbria, Italy

By simply gaping at the last bits of the setting sun; the rose-petaled hues in the sky above juxtaposed with the jewel toned hues of the monuments below, and me standing in the midst of such colorful intensity! Me thinks, it would make for a fine landscape treat after having spent hours discovering the historical riches of the region, what say?

Immersing in Nature’s Solitude at Lake Trasimeno


Umbria’s largest lake Lake Trasimeno has 3 islands, 2 of which have ferry services to them. Surrounded by pretty old villages unaltered by the passage of time, isolated castles, low ring of mountains and cities perched on panoramic hilltops, the lake is touted as the blue heart of a green Umbria!

Solitude is the only word that came to my mind as I savored the sights of Lake Trasimeno sitting in my armchair.


Peaceful landscape at lake Traismeno, Umbria, Italy

The lake looked enticing, like a poem waiting to be written by a poet… a song waiting to be sung, a painting waiting to be painted. Not sure if I am capable to do justice to any of these things, but I would definitely love to explore more of the charming beauty, wander in the woods, go off beat, discover a perfect spot to sit and simply immerse myself in the quiet thrill of nature’s solitude.

And oh! As an afterthought, there is indeed one thing that I can do apart from the creatives mentioned above: After coming back, I promise to write a blog on it!

Exploring the hillside starting from Marmore waterfalls To ValNerina beyond.


Ever heard of a MAN-MADE waterfall?

Fret not if your answer is no. You are not alone!


Man made Marmore waterfalls, Umbria, Italy

Wrapped up in a green forest, is an incomparable beauty constructed almost 2000 years ago called Marmore Falls. Jumping down from an impressive height of 165 m, with two rivers merging together like long lost lovers, the sight of the cascading man made waterfall, the largest in the world was not only novel but also awe-inspiring to say the least. I wondered what it would be to get up to and into the balcony of lovers, a small terrace at the end of a tunnel excavated in the rock, and actually soak myself in this divine spectacle. Who knows, I could even try my hand at a few extreme sports activities!

Getting lost in Valnerina and finding a Gelato!


From the divinity of the Marmore waterfalls, where next?


Villages of Valnerina, Umbria Italy

Driving to the lovely valley of Valnerina, passing through a string of beautiful villages, halting when I feel like it, sniffing the air of freedom and taking my time to explore the enchanting wooded hillsides, poplar trees or photogenic bridges would be a great delight. I would be ending my day breaking ice with people over guess what?! ICE-CREAMS! I’d be so excited to try their gelatos (apparently also the world's best!), and I read they have one such parlour under the beautiful village of Arrone.

See this picture!


Gelato Ice cream, Umbria, Italy

Can’t wait to unlock the key to my Italian dream called Umbria because I know, how much more colorful and vibrant dreams can look when they jump out from the screen in your life for real... and why not? Yes, someday!



----------------------------- ************ -----------------------------


Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life.
– Anna Akhmatova. 




----------------------------- ************ -----------------------------

Been to Umbria or dream of being someday?
I’d love to hear about your favourites:
the towns and villages and experiences that you'd like to have –
leave a comment below and share your dreams!

----------------------------- ************ -----------------------------

Disclosure: This post contains a sponsored link but all the opinions, as always, are my own. All images from Pixabay!


Would you like to share this article with your friends?



5 comments:

  1. Wow amazing place Umbria.
    Great to read.
    Best wishes.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Precisely what I wаs looking fоr, thanks foг posting.

    ReplyDelete
  3. hmm..i also never heard Umbria before, but from the pics it look more interesting and adventurous :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Such a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wish you visit the place soon.

    ReplyDelete

Delighted you stopped by... Your suggestions, feedback are really appreciated. Thanks a lot :) Hope you visit again!

If you have asked a question, please give me at least 2 days to reply back. Thank you :)