Yesterday was a rest day for the couriers and for us. We spent the time reading and sitting under a shady canopy, near the pool, taking in the breath-taking Umbrian scenery. Perfect.
Today (perhaps because we were so well rested) was a bit of a marathon. We visited three hill-top towns and finished off with a wine tasting at a local producer’s property.
The city of escalators! The car park is at “ground level”. The old town is a hill-top town. Escalators are provided for transit. We expected a few. What we encountered were seven escalators (yes, 7) to take you to the hill top. A journey time of fifteen (yes, 15) minutes.
It’s a very pretty place with stunning views across the Umbrian Countryside. We really enjoyed our time exploring the alleyways and piazzi. And, of course, there was the pleasure of looking forward to the return downward escalator experience.
Here we were in for a great surprise. By chance of date and time, our designated car park had become the venue for a competitive “sport” we’d never before encountered. This was the National Final.
Teams of flag throwers (I’m sure there’s a technical name) juggled and threw flags around in the most incredible way. We were fascinated, regretting we’d arrived late in the proceedings. When they’d finished we approached a team and found an incredibly enthusiastic young lady who spoke perfect (absolutely perfect) English. She explained that this was a Northern Italian passion. The flag throwers were being judged this morning on their skills and during the afternoon, the bands were to be put to the test in the town square. What a shame we were leaving before that took place. Absolutely captivating.
The town itself was delightful, but somewhat hillier than the last. Enjoyable to look at, tiring to explore.
Another beautiful town, but, sad to say, a bridge (hill) too far. Each town was steeper than the one before. This one probably made the north face of the Eiger seem a gentle incline. After a shortish sortie, we gave up, returned to ground level and spent time enjoying drinks and cakes at a pavement café. For the young, fit & able, well worth a visit. For everyone else….
To round off the day, we were taken to a local wine producer to sample his products after a short tour of the property. Nothing exceptional, but very drinkable. He also served up a delicious plate of Umbrian appetisers to help it go down. I think this is a part of Italy’s Turismo Agricola project where small producers receive government support (hand outs) if they open their doors to tourists and provide information on their industry. A good way to end the day - a very busy, tiring, but rewarding tour.