Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Norcia Umbria Italy

For anyone who enjoys good food, the little town of Norcia, Umbria, Italy, is worth a visit. Norcia has been famous for centuries for its pork-based foods, including sausages, capocollo, salumi and hams. The best black truffles in Italy (the same species as Perigord truffles) are found in the area around Norcia and the countryside produces an excellent variety of lentil. In fact, even if you're in Norcia for only half a day, don't miss trying a plate of pork sausages and lentils for lunch or dinner.

Norcia, Italy, was also the birthplace of Saint Benedict and has the architecture appropriate to celebrate this important event. And, unusually for Umbria, Norcia lies on flat ground, despite its high elevation, which makes it a pleasure to stroll around its main sights. The air is fresh and clean, and excursions into the villages of surrounding Sybelline hills add to the pleasure of visiting this area of Umbria, Italy.
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Sunday, 6 February 2011

What to see in Perugia Italy

Perugia Italy sometimes has its reputation as one of the great cultural centres of Italy obscured by its more recent reputation as "party central" for American and European students abroad. Either way, Perugia should be at the top of the list of sights for any visitor to Umbria. Here we provide some links on what to see in Perugia, Italy.

The frescoes of the Palazzo dei Priori and the Sala dei Notari alone are sufficient reason to spend a day in Perugia. Add to this a myriad of exquisite churches, one of them, the Tempio di San Michele Arcangelo, dating from Roman times, plus the charming ambience of Perugia's piazzas.

Useful information on the sights of Perugia and Lake Trasimeno is provided on the following web sites:

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Sunday, 23 January 2011

Deruta Italy Ceramics

The attractive little town of Deruta Italy is famous for ceramics, meaning, in this case, Italian majolica. Deruta is located on a hillside above the Tiber valley (the Valtiberina) in Umbria, not far from Perugia, and its economy is dominated by production of hand-made and hand-painted ceramics.

Much of the work is literally a "cottage industry" with potters bringing in their work to be fired, taking it away to paint it and bringing it back again to be glazed. These plates, bowls, vases etc are then sold in the outlets within the town and on the valley floor below. The style is extremely characteristic, being dominated by symbolic decorations depicting dragons, mythical animals and highly stylised flowers. Very good copies, labelled as such, of antique vases and other vessels are also available. For anyone interested in Italian pottery, Deruta is worth a full day visit both to buy and to visit the ceramics museum to admire the antique output of this Umbrian town.

More about Deruta, Italy.

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