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 | Villa in Spello

The glorious hills of Umbria are slowly but surely changing to their green colour, the mimosa is blooming everywhere, Spring is in the air! March is still a period of very unstable weather, but the temperatures are pleasant and the days begin to get longer.

Many of you already know that we rent out villas in Umbria through our website and we always look for new holiday rentals. Last week we were invited by Massimo and Roberta for a visit to their cosy and modern villa in Spello. Massimo comes originally from Rome and Roberta is born in Foligno. They live on the property in their own separate house, and re-styled the villa they used to live in. We really loved the house! Also the swimming pool is particular with its black colour. From the garden and the upstairs windows you have a beautiful view towards Assisi and Spello. The house is set in the valley below Spello. There are three bedrooms and three bathrooms in the villa. The house sleeps 6+1 people. There’s a car park and flat garden with barbecue.

This villa has in ideal position to explore Umbria. Visiting places like Assisi, Spello, Montefalco, Bevagna and Spoleto is easy to do. There also is a cycle path nearby connecting Spoleto and Assisi.

We will soon add this villa to our website, this is just a preview. You’ll like it.

Roberta and Massimo are very kind and they hope to welcome you in Umbria. Already interested? Ask us!

Half marathon Invernalissima in Umbria

This was the second time I participated in the half marathon Invernalissima. Two years ago I participated and last weekend again. Inverno means winter, hence the name for this race.


Invernalissima is a half marathon which always takes place in Umbria before Christmas. It was cold during the race without any sunshine and lots of mist. There were about 1700 participants. The start was in Bastia Umbra, not far from Assisi.

InvernalissimaUmbriaRun5 InvernalissimaUmbriaRun4

I didn’t train very much the last few weeks, which means a new PR wasn’t realistic for me. But for the first time I decided to run with my music on, which I found quite pleasant and giving me more energy.

The route goes through Santa Maria degli Angeli and Assisi, back to Bastia Umbra, 21,097 km. I ran 4:26/km, which is not bad at all. My finishing time is 1:34,28. I was 5th of my category, 19th of the women and 493 of the total participants. As always I came home with some bottles of wine and pasta.


This is the route we ran Garmin Connect


Typical for a race like this (half) marathon in Italy are the many stands where you can taste and buy local products, like olive oil, wine, cold cuts and cheeses.


Invernalissima is a nice run, through the countryside, along walking trails and also over normal streets that are closed for the occasion, for the “santa” runners 🙂

-Post by Sylvia van der Male-