A Message from “Down-Under”

Summer Concert in Piazza di Spagna

Very Gratifying Message

This’s what makes me proud

Dear Gabriele,

We arrived back in Australia on Friday after 5 wonderful weeks in Europe. I have not been near a computer (I wanted to have a real holiday!) to let you know how things went until now.

So…it all worked out perfectly!!

We arrived in Rome and as you suggested caught the train to Fiumicino and then straight to Orvieto. The Hotel Aquila Bianca was just lovely and the staff very accommodating. We loved Orvieto – beautiful duomo – and really had wished that we could stay another day but as planned we collected the car next morning and drove to Malvarina, stopping as you suggested at Todi on the way where we had lunch.

We were pleased that we had a GPS with the car as Malvarina was quite difficult to find. However, we arrived safely and met the crew there my site. Claudio told us that sadly Maria was in hospital but Patrizia his wife would do our cooking lesson. We enjoyed Malvarina very much. We had a lovely cottage there. The food was wonderful – so much too!! We enjoyed the cooking class – lots of fun. We were lucky to watch Georgio make pecorino and ricotta, especially interesting for us as we had fairly recently done a cheese making course here in Orange.

We visited Spello, Bevagna and Montefalco where we indulged in the sagrantino wine. We went to Assisi but we were somewhat disappointed with so many rather tacky souvenir shops. Also the square had seating scaffolding erected, maybe for Easter or the beatification – not sure – but it obscured a lot of the beautiful buildings. We went to Gubbio which we loved – the trip there very scenic and the city wonderful – also the rabbit and white truffle pasta we had for lunch!!! Sadly we did not have time to see Perugia – we shall have to go again. On reflection it would have been better to spend time in Perugia rather than Asissi.

We took the car back to Orvieto and caught the train to Rome again. Goodness, how we loved Rome!!! What an amazing city. Neither of us had been there before and we were flabbergasted!! Our unit in the centro storico was wonderful as was the one in Venice – we had chosen them on the internet from Sleep in Italy – so pleased they worked out so well. We shall definitely go back one day – and to Umbria again and then further south.

Our night at the ballet was beautiful – thank you for organising such good seats for us!

Our cooking class with Fabio was very special. Peter and I were joined by a very nice New Zealand girl – so there was just the three of us. We were very lucky to be just three. Fabio taught us some really nice dishes and his house in Calcata, Mazzano is a real eye-opener!! Just beautiful. So that day worked out really well too.

So after our 7 days in Rome caught the train to Venice – just as beautiful as I remember but very crowded – much more than in 1965!!! After that we went to Vienna to our friend’s 70th birthday, to amazingly beautiful Prague for 2 days then to Switzerland to Peter’s sisters for a week. A wonderful holiday!!!

So thank you so much Gabriele for organising the Rome and Umbria part of our holiday – it was all wonderful and worked out so well. I must admit I was a little concerned at organising everything over the internet but luckily, things could not have been better. I shall definitely mention you to anyone I know who may be wanting to visit Italy.

Best regards and thank you from Peter and me

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