Sunday, June 28, 2015

Music in the North Woods

Just a quick post to share a really nice evening concert last night.  So much talent and in a great venue.  Here's a few of the bands at the event.  Summer is the best time of the year!

80's F, clear sky and great music!

The weekend was so nice, I'm grateful I had the good fortune of making a quick trip around the "Doughboy Loop"

One of my favorite places since childhood...

Messing around with shutter speeds for the "glassy" water effect.  I didn't have a tripod, so this is as slow as I could go without blur in a hand held shot...

AML NLO, JRO - happy B-Day this 3rd!, SEC AML

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Another explore.  This time to the ancient city of Montone.  Perched high on a hilltop and built inside an ancient fortification, Montone is a small village with some great restaurants.

Entering Montone

I parked the Fiat Chinquacento and walked up into the old fortress ruin and met this statue. It's another war memorial "To those fallen in war" with amazing details cast in bronze.

Looking over the fortress walls at the mountains and valley below.
I walked through the church and stopped to take this picture.  It's hard to see, but there is a portal with beautiful art work surrounding it.  This portal allows light to shine down on the alter.

Cool portal to the "romantic" rose garden seating...

Momma mia, more steps!  Well at least you could drive up these too.
A most delicious repast at the Erba Luna

The view from the outdoor dining area...

A phone booth!

Perhaps the most beautiful thing I've seen in a while... just off the statue courtyard and down some twisty spirally steps towards Erba Luna and I noticed this single red rose that reminded me of a lot of things!


Hiking Monte Acuto

Today at 8:30 this morning I headed up Monte Acuto in Umbria with a friend from the town of Umbertide. These pictures are do not accurately portray the beauty of this area.

Blaze on Italian hiking trails is white over red. This blaze is placed on rocks on the ground as well as trees, so placement of the trail blaze keeps hikers on a common path in the grass areas at the top of Monte Acuto.

Everywhere you look, there is beauty

The lower part of the trail routes through pine trees
The air was a little humid today, so the landscape is a bit muted.  This is the same sort of condition that gives the "Blue Ridge Mountains" their name.

Well marked, and delineated in hours of travel to your destination.

The Umbertide Valley

Typical brush or sage grass type of growth near the top of these mountains.

In real life this is simply awesome, all I can share though, is this picture.
Wild flowers along the path...

Wild Strawberry's grow along the trail

Very sweet - a delightful treat
Many colorful flowers are in bloom in June. 

The top of the mountain is covered in grass and rock

At 200mm zoom, this is a monastery on a nearby hill top as viewed from Mounte Acuto.
A commemorative cross was placed atop Monte Acuto by the people of Umbertide in 1933 it commemorates those lost to WW I. In an earlier post you can see this cross from afar.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Gubbio revisited!

My friend Carlo told me about the festival in Gubbio known as the race of the candles.  These very tall and very heavy "candles" are carried from the city center to the Basilica on top of the mountain by teams of athletic citizens of Gubbio.  He told me the changing in of rested runners is really fascinating to see.  I didn't doubt that and tried to imagine what that looked like.  I knew how big the candles were because I just stood next to them last weekend.  Well here are two absolutely amazing videos that show this event. If you look carefully you can see many of the places in my first Gubbio post.


I think this is what is being written in the text of the video.  Forgive my poor Italian if I have this translation wrong.  

"A devotion to the city made of stone and to this ancient land and its past glories -all now unite

Gubbio is reborn; everything paved, silent and dormant comes alive with the beating of a hidden force 

The shouting voices explode and awaken the old souls 

Run men, run the heavy lights up to where the Father rests!

Now past and present become one in a unique prayer"

Here are the "Candles" inside the Basilica

A beautiful window in the Basilica depicting scenes of the Saint

A little history of the Ceri Festival

Ciao NLO, JRO and SEC


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Beautiful Umbertide...

Long lost relative?

This evening I drove up the mountains just to explore the beautiful scenery that surrounds Umbertide.

This is a very interesting ancient ruin. The mountain in the background is Mount Acuto. The top is barren and the side slopes have scrub and grasses that horses, sheep, goats and cows graze on. The ruin on the lower hill dates back to 13th century BC.  Many artifacts have been recovered from this site... amazing.

Looking North West and across another ancient fortification.

Looking East, can you imagine sunrise on this landscape?
When I drove back to the Poggio, the sun was setting on another fine day in Umbria.

AML, NLO good luck on your exams, JRO and SEC AML

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The ancient city of Gubbio

This morning I visited Gubbio.  This is a Bronze Age city that has many beautiful vistas.  I first stopped at the ruins of a Roman theater.   Gubbio was a big factor in the Crusades, and where do you think the Gubbio Layer came from? 

There is also a very interesting indoor display at this site.  Imagine it's the first century BC, and you have a hankering to be entertained... well this is where you went.

Street of the best markets I have ever been to in Italy is the Mercato Centrale in Firenze.. I love it, maybe you will too - I'll be back this fall! 

So you walk through these doors, into a piazza, and YOUR IN! Inside the walls of the old city that is.
This is known as the "Madmen's Fountain." Yes there's a story but you can Google it.

Waaaay cool door knocker.  I'd like to have one.

Gubbio's old city is built into the side of a mountain.  The Basilica of St Ubaldo sits on top of that mountain. That is where I'm going today!  It's a long twisty turny slog up the side of the mountain and it's 33 C. Giddy-up.
The view from the trail on the way up is simply beautiful.

I took a bunch of pics of switchbacks and steep trails... that's just too boring to post.  So I arrived at the Basilica and wha... what's going on up ahead?

Why it's a beautiful bride and handsome groom walking down the steps to their limousine.  Yes, I have some rice throwing pics too, but those will be for another post about the dangers of slipping on rice while walking on ancient steps... I sure wish them well! This also made me think of the Ponte Vecchio...
When you walk through the doors in the last pic, this is what you find.  The courtyard of the Basilica.

Still adorned with wedding flowers and white "carpet" Yes I have a pic of the "Three Candles."

Hot, thirsty and trying to remember what street the gelato place was on...
But then I realized... the trail still goes on and it goes up too.  So I followed it up to an ancient defensive wall and now I can say...

That I hiked to the very top of  Mt. Ingino, a small mountain that is part of the Apennines.

The reward is a beautiful view and a cool breeze.  I didn't meet a single person on this last part of the trail. I don't know the vertical height, but if you see the village below, well that's where you start!
So many Ducati's!  There's nothing like the sound of a Duc with Termi's...  Maybe it's time to do something about this!

In the "Never seen that before" category... In a store window there was this pic of a potter making a pot while on a sideboard of a Fiat 500 as it was moving...  I have to wonder - where did the idea to do this come from?

I hope you all enjoy the pics.  Miss you NLO and JRO and of course SEC.

From Umbria,