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 | UNTO event in Assisi

UNTO stands for Unesco, Natura, Territorio, Olio and is an event in Assisi where the new DOP Umbrian olive oil is celebrated. UNTO is organised around the Frantoi Aperti from October 28 to November 26, 2017. In Umbria this is the period that the olives are picked and the new olive oil is being pressed. Olive oil mills open their doors and  many activities are being organised.

The first weekend of UNTO on the main square in Assisi, there was a large tent with market stalls where you could taste and buy many local specialties. I pleasantly strolled along the stalls and enjoyed the sight of all these local products.

Umbrian craft beer is a real delicacy for beer lovers. At the entrance of the huge tent in Assisi, I found Giovanni serving his locally brewed beer. Giovanni is the owner of the San Biagio brewery in Nocera Umbra, not far from Assisi.

A few years ago I had a beer tasting tour at the San Biagio brewery. We tasted all kinds of Umbrian craft beer. I was with friends from Belgium and when Belgians say that San Biagio craft beer is of high quality, you can trust it!

On the first day of the UNTO event there were a lot of visitors in Assisi. Italians, but also foreign tourists. During this event quite some activities are on the program, from exhibitions to tastings, from courses to music performances.

And again I discovered a great food event in Umbria where I will definitely return.

Umbria Blog | I Primi d’Italia in Foligno

Every year at the end of September the food festival I Primi D’Italia takes place in Foligno. A good reason to visit this often underrated town in the centre of Umbria. It was pretty crowded on Sunday afternoon, but very cozy. Throughout the city there are designated places to taste all kinds of primi (pasta or risotto), either from a particular region or from a famous chef. You pay at the counter €3 to €8 euro to have 1 to 3 different primi.

Are you in autumn in Umbria, then go to this festival for a less touristic experience, that is… few foreign tourists, a lot of Italians though.

Foligno itself is very much worth it. It is a small livable city in the plain between Assisi and Spoleto, easily accessible from the motorway or by train. We previously wrote about its Cathedral and Palazzo Trinci.

Near Foligno is the famous wine village of Montefalco where you can stay in modern apartments, ideal for two people and within walking distance of the village.

Every year in June and in September there also is a medieval festival not to be missed in Foligno: the quintana.