Umbria Blog | Christmas in Paciano and Panicale

On December 8 is the yearly Feast of the Immaculate Conception in Italy. The day before in every small town or city the Italian people prepare the Christmas tree. Many activities and festivities are held around the Christmas season. The squares are transformed into a mix of lights and stalls where vendors sell their handmade gifts.

Yearly I visit the Christmas markets in Assisi and Perugia, but this time I wanted to go to the market in Paciano. Paciano is a small and calm hamlet with a few inhabitants.

Maybe I didn’t come at the right time in Paciano, but there weren’t many market stalls and visitors. I have asked a local for the program but neither he couldn’t inform me.

After a good espresso in the bar I decided to take a walk through the centre just to be sure that I didn’t miss anything. Maybe there were only three market stalls hidden in local shops. This Christmas market wasn’t really what I was looking for, unfortunately. Nevertheless, I took some pictures and I went to Panicale, a lovely village not far form Paciano.

Before arriving in Panicale I knew I could not expect more Christmas market than in Paciano, but on the other hand Panicale is lovely and always worth a visit. Even if you decide to take a drink or just a stroll in the historical centre.

On the square in Panicale was a huge Christmas tree. Also the bars and restaurants were full with Christmas decorations.

To be honest this all wasn’t really what I expected before visiting Paciano and Panicale. Both villages seemed to be a bit lost. But I must admit, Panicale and Paciano remain idyllic even though in winter time there are less things to see and to do.

Umbria Blog | a yearly market in Todi “San Martino”

The medieval town of Todi is situated on top of a hill overlooking the surrounding green hills.  Except for the 16th Century Church of Santa Maria della Consolazione, the musea, the cosy squares and the old houses are almost all inside the antique city walls.

Todi Umbria

Quite a few activities and events are organised in Todi, like the yearly market on November 11th, Saint Martin’s day. From the Piazzale della Consolazione up to the Piazza del Popolo there are more than 200 market stalls with porchetta sandwiches, dried ham, sheep cheeses, kitchen utensils, shoes, clothes, garlic, unions and much more. The atmosphere is very relaxed and cosy.

Todi Umbria

Todi Umbria

Todi Umbria

Todi Umbria

The terraces are full with locals enjoying the autumn sun accompanied by a glass of red wine or a Spritz. Families come together and stroll along the market stalls and shops.

Todi Umbria

This market is only once a year on the 11th of November, the day of San Martino. I have asked people what San Martino means and why it is celebrated on that day, thinking it was linked to the start of the Carnival season. San Martino is one of the patron saints of the town of Todi.

Saint Martin lived in the 4th century and after having been a soldier for many years he turned to Christianity and founded an abbey in France where he became the bishop of Tours. He was buried on November the 11th in the year 397.

All over Italy on this day there are local activities celebrating the last days of relative warmth before the start of winter, it is the end of the harvest season, the new wine is celebrated, as well as the new olive oil.

November may not be your first choice to travel to Italy but autumn does have its unique charms. It is the period of the new olive oil, wine, chestnuts, dried fruit and clementines. On every corner of the street one finds somebody selling warm chestnuts often with the new ‘novello’ wine. With the warm autumn sun that gives the landscape unique colours it is great to enjoy all these local delicacies.

Todi Umbria

Umbria Blog | Bike trail Passignano sul Trasimeno

This Friday morning I thought the weekly market was in Passignano sul Trasimeno. From Castiglione del Lago, the small hamlet where I live, Passignano is only 20 km away. The bike tour along the lake also is an ideal track if you like running longer distances. I decided to take my bike and go to Passignano.

Bike Trail Trasimeno

The road is very easy and flat. Now that Autumn has started the temperatures are quite pleasant to bike or run.

In the beginning I thought I’d be alone along the Trasimeno Lake, but I did meet some other fellow bikers. I have a mountainbike which is easy cycling on mud and sandy trails, but these people passed by with normal bicycles.

It is a wonderful track from Castiglione del Lago to Passignano sul Trasimeno. Almost the whole way you’re driving along the lake. Now and than you find some obstacles, but you can avoid easily drive around it. First you pass Borghetto, and than Tuoro sul Trasimeno with a cosy picknick area to enjoy the views.

Bike Trail Trasimeno

Arriving in Passignano sul Trasimeno I hunkered for the market stalls with fresh fruit and vegetables to take home for my lunch. But I had been dreaming… on Friday there is no market, it is on Saturday morning! I made a small walk through the historical centre and I bought some bread. Passignano sul Trasimeno is a lovey village. One finds many terraces, shops, a butcher, a bakery and a fresh pasta shop.

Pasta shop in Passignano sul Trasimeno

Majolica shop in Passignano sul Trasimeno

Trasimeno Lake Umbria

On my way back I have recorded the track and the km counting with my navigation watch. The bike trail is fine both for trained and un-trained cyclists. You really do not need a mountainbike, you can also use a normal bike. A helmet is not required. You can follow the signs easily. The trail is surely recommended for bike lovers!

Bike Trail Trasimeno

Bike Trail Trasimeno

Bike Trail Trasimeno