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My Umbria

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SIGHT: “THE GREEN VALLEY OF UMBRIA”
When visiting Umbria in 1872, Henry James made a notation in his journal in the form of advice to the Umbrian traveller: “His first care must be to ignore the very dream of haste, walking everywhere very slowly and very much at random, and to impute an esoteric sense to almost
anything his eye may happen to encounter.” (Italian Hours, first published in 1909). Indeed, everywhere you turn really is green.
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TOUCH: THE FABRIC OF ART
It is said that to travel in Umbria without ever letting your hands touch the soil would be a great sin, as much as it would be in limiting oneself simply to watch the “marbles” of the cathedral, or the tufa of an Etruscan city, when there will never be one summer the same as the next, nor a winter nor each hour of each day, when the sun cools the surface or when it gives back a warmth that is tangible and friable … Only in touch does the variable nature become apparent, only in the closeness of touch does one become aware of the life of a monument    or a city …
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SOUND:  LISTENING TO THE SILENCE. 
There is a particular sense of “hush” to be found not only in the glorious countryside but also in small towns and centres, that waken each morning to their own sense of life, especially in Spring, enhanced as it is in a harmony of birdsong. There is a kind of “mental gymnastics” that takes place often producing unforeseen, uplifting emotions in bringing to the surface lost feelings and sensibilities.

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SMELL:  THE FRAGRANCE OF THE SEASONS AND OF THE LAND. 
Umbria is a land of work and care. The smells and fragrances that waft through the air tell of industry and work and a genuine love of fresh skies and freshly turned earth, from the delicious aromas carried on the air of bread baked every day on every corner, to the pungent odours of wine bubbling in oak barrels and the peppery newness of the freshly bottled oils, to the kitchens that intrigue and call you forth to savour another day’s adventure.
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TASTE:  THE FLAVOURS OF THE REGIONAL KITCHEN, OF FEASTS AND FESTIVALS.
The Umbrian kitchen rivals that of Tuscany for the greater supremacy of tastes. Umbrian cuisine, fortunately, maintains a rich tradition in simple tastes that are deliberately held to long established customs and natural methods of production. The best evidence of this is in the flavours and processes that are popularly adhered to even today, in the bread made without salt, the fresh simplicity of the most amazing pork sausages, and the prevailing local produce of legumes and vegetables, oil and cheeses, meat rolex replicas and pork, wine and truffles.  Most of the larger festivals are centred on these traditional foods.  But there are many smaller communities and towns that focus their festivals or “sagre” around a single, typical food product in celebration of the long history of production that is embedded in their cultural lives. It is often the actual food and historical agricultural production of that food that gives rise to the culinary tradition and identity of the region. 

Known as the “Green Heart of Italy,” Umbria's rolling hills, olive groves and unspoiled natural beauty make it a must-visit destination!