March 30, 2008


How many Californians have lived thirty nine years in Umbria? I doubt if there are very many, but I was lucky enough to meet a very interesting woman who fit that description. We had met online during a discussion about only sharing one language with a family member. Her husband does not speak English and I do not speak much Spanish and if you do not share all the same languages with someone, you miss some things.

We had both taken paths less traveled and fate brought us together to find out that we had some things in common. She invited me to visit them when we were in Italy and to stay at their brand new rural B&B high on hill in Umbria near Bevagna. (

She had come to Italy to study art history and fell in love with an Italian boy from a good family in Umbria. She raised two bilingual kids who spent summers on California beaches and the school year in Italy and both went to Universities in the States. Her daughter now teaches musicology at one and spends her summers in Italy. We talked about these things, raising kids and travel.

After fourteen months of a world tour and seven months straight of constant movement we were ready for a rest and a little luxury. Her families’ country inn, “Genius Loci” was the perfect place to do that as it was the epitome of a heavenly Umbrian dream, especially dressed in the rich colors of fall. One could see to Assisi and  Perugia in the distant hills and the brightly colored quilt patterns of the fall vineyards with olive trees, cypress, mountains and blue sky, nourished the senses. It was a magical place and her son Michael was a handsome, helpful and charming host.

We got there just in time before they closed for the season and we had the place to ourselves for the first night. Michael had spent months touring and camping in Australia, so was perfectly comfortable with us parking our RV next to the Inn. We were just going to stay one night, but it felt so right, we added on.

We could have rushed around and seen a lot of sights, but we were not up to that and mostly just allowed the beauty of the place to nurture and replenish. It happened that we were there on Halloween, which is not a holiday that is celebrated in Europe, like it is at home. None the less, Mozart remembers the proper way to celebrate Halloween and had picked her outfit out back in Turkey. She was going to be a belly dancer!

Remember that store that allowed us to make the call to this place in Sienna? Well, they also had some candy, so we picked up a little for Halloween before we left. At seven with limitless imagination and enthusiasm, holidays are easy to celebrate. Mozart dressed up when it got dark and she went “Trick or Treating”  just outside our room door and we would take turns pretending we were different people giving her the treats. Halloween accomplished and one happy little girl was satisfied!

One of the things we enjoyed most was just walking on the land here and Mozart ran around the vineyard like she used to do at home. I am glad that she has been able to keep that up in Europe, just like at home. She also picked some wild flowers, while her father and I tried to capture the exquisite countryside in photos. If you are going to Umbria, I can highly recommend this peaceful haven!













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Wow, wow, wow! These photos are truly joy for the eyes - thank you for sharing!

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