Umbria Blog | photo exhibition Si Billino!

As most of you know the earthquake on October 30, 2016 caused a lot of damages in Norcia and many surrounding villages in the Sibillini mountains. One of these is Castelluccio di Norcia, a small mountain village at an altitude of 1400m at the foot of the Vettore mountain. At this moment Castelluccio cannot be reached anymore, one hopes to restore the infrastructure before summer.

Many people from this area are now living in temporary shelters, tents, hotels at the Adriatic coast and accommodations along the Trasimeno Lake in Umbria. The Prime Minister has promised that all homes will be restored. But how long will that take?

There is an enormous sense of solidarity among Italians who over the centuries have learned to live with earthquakes. The Italian government has promised millions to rebuild the affected areas.

One of the many initiatives to support the people of the Sibillini area was started by Umbria Lab and is called Si Billino!. Umbria Lab is a cultural association founded by Marco Angeletti and fellow artists and entrepreneurs. They organize initiatives to promote the Umbria region, but they also join events for fund raising. At this moment they raise money for the earthquake victims in collaboration with Ri-Fiorita.

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Si Billino! is a photo exhibition about Castelluccio di Norcia and the Sibillini Mountains. All pictures are taken by Italian photographers and show the wonderful nature of the Sibillini mountains, Castelluccio di Norcia, the Piano Grande and the Pilato Lake, all are impressive landscapes. The photos can be seen until February 3 in the cultural center of Terni, CAOS. Thereafter, the exhibition will be moved to Foligno.

We visited the exhibition in Terni where we also purchased lottery tickets for the project where Si Billino! and Ri-Fiorita stand for: the construction of a clubhouse in San Pellegrino di Norcia where residents can meet and organize all kinds of initiatives for the local population. San Pellegrino di Norcia is a small village 4 km from Norcia.

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Ri-Fiorita is a cooperative set up by Umbria Lab together with four other associations whilst Si Billino! is a project invented by Umbria Lab. “Fiorita” means literally “blooming” referring to the impressive flower fields of Castelluccio di Norcia in the months of June-July. Ri-fiorita means “re-blooming”: the cooperative stimulates all kinds of initiatives to support the communities in the area most hit by the earthquake.

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Si Billino! is a wonderful exhibition, and an honorable initiative at the same time.

Visit the website Sensazioni d’Arte for more information about this project Si Billino! (In Italian).

A good restaurant in Montone, Umbria

Montone maintains a typical medieval atmosfere. This wonderful hilltop village in the North of Umbria must be one of the most beautiful hamlets of Italy. From its ancient walls one can admire the green surroundings and wonderful nature. Montone is a small peace of heaven and for those who love walking, food and culture, this village is the place to be. Montone is 100% Umbria guaranteed.

Tipico Osteria dei Sensi Umbria

Montone Umbria

Close to Montone we rent elegant holiday houses with swimming pool and tennis court: Montone Rental. On a Sunday afternoon I decided to have lunch in Montone and Filippo, the owner of the property, suggested to eat in this typical Umbrian restaurant in the historical centre: Osteria dei Sensi – Tipico Montone. The regional products they offer are of high quality and the service is fantastic.

Tipico Osteria dei Sensi Umbria

I had a friendly welcome by the waitress. Inside the restaurant the atmosphere and decor are cosy and lovely. One finds a large selection of Umbrian wines, olive oils, different kinds of honey and a dried ham of Norcia ready to be cut in slices with a sharp knife. Very typical!

In general the Umbrian cuisine is similar everywhere, but still you will never eat the same pasta dish. The menu differs and a good cook is able to give its own flavour.

Paolo, the owner of this restaurant, helped me through the menu and brought me two different kinds of Umbrian olive oil to taste. He is 100% “umbro” and he explained each typical dish. It was not easy to make a decision but I always prefer to eat the daily dishes recommended by the chef, rather then choose from the menu myself.

As a starter I chose the Chianina carpaccio, and as main dish the bringoli with wild asperges from the area. Bringoli is a local pasta from North Umbria, comparable with thick spaghetti.

Tipico Osteria dei Sensi Umbria

Tipico Osteria dei Sensi Umbria

A good glass of red Umbrian wine was the best choice to combine with the meat and pasta. The wine came from Montefalco, it was a blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and an other type of grape from which I have forgotten the name. Very good!

The taste of the Chianina carpaccio was delicate, it melted in my mouth. The Chianina cow is typical from this area: Lake Trasimeno, Cortona, Montepulciano and North Umbria. The dressing was pure, only with salt, peper and Umbrian olive oil, the “Moraiolo”, which I love most. The pasta instead was cooked al dente and the asparagus sauce was delightful.

A very good choice in Montone; I enjoyed the dishes I ordered and the service was great. I would highly recommend this restaurant when you’re in Umbria.

To share this wonderful experience with our guests in Umbria, the owner Paolo is delighted to welcome you with a free glass of typical Umbrian spumante. During your lunch or dinner Paolo will be your host. What should you do? Make a reservation directly with Paolo by calling him on his mobile phone +393383608754 or by sending him an email: osteria@tipicomontone.it. He speaks English. Just let him know that you’re our guest.

Tipico Osteria dei Sensi Umbria

Enjoy the Umbrian cuisine at restaurant “Osteria dei Sensi”.

Tipico Osteria dei Sensi Umbria

Montone Rental, holiday rental near Montone: Elegantly furnished holiday apartments with tennis court and swimming pool close to the medieval village Montone. The views are breathtaking.

“We had a great week in Montone. The apartment is nice, wonderful garden and the owners (Filippo and parents) are friendly and helpful”.

Montone holiday Montone holiday

Tulip event in Castiglione del Lago

This year was the 50th edition of the Festa del Tulipano in Castiglione del Lago. The event always takes place in April and attracts many people year after year.

Festa del Tulipano

Festa del Tulipano

This year’s theme was Walt Disney: Winnie the Pooh, Cinderella, Dombo and The Little Mermaid were all adorned with tulip leaves. The floats are really well made and some even have moving parts.

Festa del Tulipano

Festa del Tulipano

I live in the centre of Castiglione del Lago which usually is a quiet little town, but during the tulip event Castiglione del Lago is really crowded with people. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is one of the most visited events in Castiglione during the year.

Outside the old town walls one can buy some really good street food. Bars, shops and restaurants are open from noon till dawn. A very well organized festival held in the historical centre of Castiglione del Lago, with live music, theatre and fun for everybody.

Festa del Tulipano

Restaurant tips in Castiglione del Lago

In Castiglione del Lago one find many nice restaurants and trattoria’s. I have tried so many of them! These are the two restaurants close to my house I’d really recommend:

Ristorante Pizzeria La Cantina

La Cantina is a restaurant in the centre of Castiglione del Lago. In Spring and Summer one can eat outside on the terrace with view over the Trasimeno Lake. The pizza’s, fish and dolci are delicious!
Ristorante La Cantina, Via Vittorio Emanuale 93 in Castiglione del Lago

La Cantina Castiglione del Lago

Castiglione del Lago

Ristorante Osteria Le Scalette

Another good restaurant in Castiglione del Lago is Le Scalette. This is a family restaurant just outside the walls. The grandparents of the family prepare the best and fresh traditional Umbrian cuisine for their guests. You will be licking your fingers after you’ve finished your dinner here. Very good. I have written a blog post about this restaurant.

Holiday houses near to Castiglione del Lago

If you would like to visit this yearly event in April, and you’re looking for a place to stay, have a look at these wonderful locations:

Casa Paciano: It is at walking distance from Paciano. A beautiful holiday house with apartments, private terraces and shared pool with view over the Umbrian hills.

The owners were always ready and willing to give some advice so we could make the most of our time in Umbria. Excellent location to combine relaxation with culture.”

casa paciano holiday umbria

Casa Valdichiana: Surrounded by sunflower fields, olive trees and vineyards. An idyllic holiday house with apartment and shared pool, new on our website. The views are breathtaking.

casa Valdichiana garden

Private villa’s

Trasimeno Bungalow: A private bungalow with swimming pool for max 4 persons. From this address you’re at walking distance from the Trasimeno Lake and 5 minutes drive from the road E45. A supermarket is almost literally at a stone’s throw.

A lovely and well equipped house. We’ve spent a lot of hours at the swimming pool.

trasimeno bungalow in Tuoro sul Trasimeno

Casa Lago Trasimeno: A modern private holiday home with pool sleeping 4 guests in Tuoro sul Trasimeno. From the balcony you have wonderful views over the lake.

Again we had a wonderful stay in a fantastic holiday home”.

Casa Lago Trasimeno