The GoGlobal Blog

Tag: Umbria



This past weekend was our last bit of orientation to Italy with a trip to Umbria!

Friday morning started bright and early with a bus ride to Narni (the inspiration for Narnia) where we visited an underground monastery and torture room that dated back to the inquisition over 3000 years ago. As a new(ish) Catholic I have never learned about the inquisition and as my friend Christopher put it “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam means something totally different now than it did then.” Visiting this site really shook my perspective of the Catholic Church.

The tour of Narni was concluded by a lovely glass of wine and some snacks and followed by a rather strange lunch on a beautiful island.

Drinks with Francie and Christopher!

Saturday we toured le Cimate vineyard and had a lovely wine tasting and lunch! The rolling hills, sweet grapes and massive barrels are all etched in my mind forever (PC: Melissa C.). Not to mention the yummy rosé that I bought two bottles of….


A nice nap on the bus lead us to il Museo delle Mummie e la Chiesetta di S. Stefano where we saw perfectly preserved human remains from the 13th century and a beautiful mass at the ’Abbazia di San Pietro in Valle lead by Father Al (PC: Duncan C.).

Sunday was a bit of a bummer as we were rained out of our planned visit to the Partenza per Carsulae di epoca Romana (Archaeological Site). Instead we visited the (rather small) museum about the site and then made our way to lunch at La Taverna dell’Arco. Finally, we piled on the busses one last time to make our way back to campus and after a weekend of amazing conversations, views, and laughs we all passed out.

First Encounters and Adventures in Umbria

First Encounters and Adventures in Umbria

Tomorrow will mark the third week of being in Rome. My time here has been so packed thus far that it seems like I have been here much longer! At last everything is slowing down after a whirlwind of excitement following my arrival.

The strangest thing about my first encounters with the city is how distant and unreal each discover has been. Eager to see everything Rome is known for, my fellow classmates and I took to the town encountering many of the famous sites within the first days. Such encounters were so brief and often sudden (I think I’m better at finding monuments unintentionally than when I’m armed with a map) that I feel I can hardly check those sites off my Roman Bucket list. Now, slowly but surely, I feel myself starting to match the beat of the city, digesting its full brilliance.

The greatest event thus far was our orientation trip to the countryside of Umbria. The beauty of the mountains absolutely surrounded us everywhere we went. The first day was spent exploring the town of Bevagna. Strongly in touch with its medieval roots, Bevagna has many artisan craftsmen and women that practice and preserve the methods used generations before them. Along our way through the twisting and turning streets we stopped at the shops of a paper maker, silk maker, coin minter, and candlestick maker. The amount of time that goes into the old trades is remarkable! Silk especially takes patience, requiring 7 perfect strands to make a single thread!


The Roman Bridge in Spoleto
Spoleto is known for 3 beautiful things: La Montagna, La Chiesa, e Il Ponte.

My favorite of the four towns we visited was Spoleto. While still very connected to its ancient and medieval past like Bevagna, what stood out about Spoleto is its prevalent connection to art of all mediums and eras. Each summer Spoleto puts on a two month long festival in their 1st Century B.C. amphitheater, drawing performers and artists from all over the world. While excitement and pride stirred by the event can be felt yearlong, I only hope that I may be back one day to experience the festivities first hand! Art truly comes alive in Spoleto.

Our view of the Vineyard during our wine tasting
Our view of the Vineyard during our wine tasting.

Food was of course a great ordeal though out the weekend. One afternoon was spent wine tasting and exploring the orchards of Il Carapace Winery. The wine was great (red being the specialty of the region) but we were rather rushed and I hope to have a more thorough introduction to wine tasting in the future. We also had the pleasure of dining in an olive orchard! The meal incorporated traditional Umbrian bread (marked by its lack of salt), many types of spreads on toasted bread bruschetta style including an olive pate (must tomatoes be involved to call it bruschetta? I’ll have to find out), pesto (my favorite!), and the best sausage I have ever tasted. Many of the other meals on the trip were similar using traditional Umbrian dishes and seasonal ingredients. It was pork season (something that I never considered having a season but I suppose all things do in some sense of the term) so most meals involved pork. After my third meal of pork and potatoes I may have started to regret my decision not to eat vegetarian while aboard. Nonetheless the food was fantastic! I’m truly enjoying the pastas I have encountered and even more so the antipasti.

This past weekend was my first real weekend in Rome but since nothing terribly remarkable occurred and many other Rome adventures will happen in the near future I’ll wait to tell you more about the city some other time.

An Umbrian Getaway

An Umbrian Getaway

This past weekend, the JFRC facilitated a class-wide trip to Umbria, the literal heart of Italy.

image provided by Wikipedia Commons

Situated just west of Rome, Umbria is by far one of the most rustic and authentic Italian places I have been.   I’ll give a basic rundown of the trip because quite honestly, my words cannot describe the antiquity and beauty of it all.


Day One:

Built and created in Sberna
taken by Hannah Jarvis, in Deruta, Italy

First stop was a ceramic shop in Deruta. Sounds simple (and kind of odd) enough. But if you are like me and most of my other classmates, you would instantly recognize the beautiful and hand-painted designs that adorn all sorts of plates, vases, tables, candelabras and more.   Keep in mind that Saks and Nordstroms buy these goods and sell them for primo $$$.

After the shop we made our way over to lunch which was simply delicious.  A five course meal, served under a replication of a renaissance mansion, on a beautiful and luxurious estate.

taken by Hannah Jarvis
taken by Hannah Jarvis

Very full and happily buzzed from the delicious wine served with lunch, our next destination was Perugia.  Perugia is most famous for their chocolates (which are divine), but what I didn’t know until we got there was how breathtaking the landscape was.

Situated on rolling and very steep hills, the city offers views of Umbria that Bob Ross could only dream of painting.  We didn’t have very much time to in Perugia but it’s definitely worth a trip out to Umbria, should you be interested.

After Perugia we made it to our final destination (for the day), to our hotel in Spoleto.  After a glass of wine in a local but very friendly bar, I fell into a deep and lovely air-conditioned sleep.


Day Two:

taken by Hannah Jarvis

We started the day off with a tour of Spoleto.  The hilly but picturesque walk was led by a lovely Umbrian woman who told us all about the rich history of the small town.  She took us through some of the most beautiful areas, including crossing a bridge that would scare the hell out of anyone afraid of heights.

The walking tour was followed by a lovely lunch at Spirito Divino, a beautiful countryside hotel/restaurant, where we ate giant pizzas and drank delicious wine.

The day was concluded with another walking tour in the town of Bevagna, most famous for their medieval preservations and shoppes.  Not only was the town relatively flat (a major relief after having climbed around Spoleto and Perugia), it was charming and pretty educational.


Day Three:

The final day was focused around the town of Spello.   Another guided walking tour led us through the steepest but (arguably) the most quintessential Italian citta.  Prosperous in the Medieval era, Spello was also home to many gorgeous and very old churches, apartment buildings, gardens, and watch towers.

The trip was concluded with an intimate and low-key lunch in a olive grove, surrounded by the rolling hills of Umbria, olives you could pluck off the branch and pop in, and good people.


All in all, Umbria is a must if you are looking for the classic and non-touristy side of Italy.