Umbria Blog | Archery tournament in Todi

During the weekend of March 25-26 there was an Archery Tournament in Todi: Todi la Città degli Arcieri. Now you wonder what’s so special about that? It is very special: all archers are in medieval outfit!

It is a serious tournament with archers from all over Italy and all come rigorously dressed in a medieval outfit, to the smallest detail. Throughout the small town there are several stands where the archers have to shoot at different goals, also moving goals.

Todi, like many towns in Umbria, has been very prosperous during the 13th and 14th century and this is still easily recognizable looking at the buildings and infrastructure. Hence, why it was very special to see these archers all dressed up, they fitted perfectly well in the surrounding decor.

During the tournament there are several activities being organized: historical flag wavers, medieval dances, special guided tours and a market with typical local products. The weather was great and the atmosphere very relaxed.

Read more about Todi on our blog “Visiting Todi“.

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).

Visit La Badia in S. Arcangelo

On a cloudy day we visited an ancient monastery dating back to the year 1000 overlooking Lake Trasimeno in Umbria. This restored abby “La Badia” has 16 apartments of which two are unused: these are made where once the wine cellars were. As you can imagine nobody wants to live in a dark and damp apartment, not even on hot summer days and despite the amazing ceilings. We don’t understand what the developer at the time had in mind, but nobody ever bought these two apartments. One of the two apartments is even called “the crypt”!

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The convent is in S. Arcangelo, Magione and surrounded by age old olive trees. S. Arcangelo is a small village along the Trasimeno Lake. From the abby you have wonderful views.  You can see Castiglione del Lago, where I live, at the other side of the lake.

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The apartment we visited is from a friendly owner living in Rome. It is the only apartment with a small balcony that overlooks the Trasimeno Lake to enjoy amazing sunsets. The living room has an extra open floor and going up here we discovered a real antique fresco of Maria with child. At sunset the sun enters the apartment shining exactly against the spot on the wall where the Maria with Child is. The monks have given this some serious thought before making the fresco!

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