Instead of boring you with the usual Best of Umbria this or that, or random tips on Umbria, I will bore you with an award ceremony.
The Charlize Theron Award. Given to the most picturesque Town – Spello
We visited a number of towns and villages throughout Italy. Spello is not only the most picturesque town in Umbria, but one of the prettiest in the country. It helps if you visit during the Infiorate flower festival. But even at other times you got flowers, bunnies, chachkies of all kinds decorate every balcony. Some even proudly display the awards their balconies won.
The Tom Branson Award. Given to the most charming village – Scheggino
I’ve already written about this little fairy tale village near Spello that so many overlook. But it helps to see it like I did, without any preconceived notions. Have dinner at the excellent Osteria Baciafemmine, and visit the Urabni Truffle store. Pair it with Spello, and give it an hour or two of daylight prior to dinner.
The Leonard Hofstadter Award. Most atmospheric square – Montefalco
You get the sense that the squares of Umbria stick out more than other regions. Many towns feature interesting streets and alleys full of anticipation to what squares they lead to. Some, as the great Morrissey once said, are bigger than others. But few came close to the atmosphere of Montefalco in the evening.
The William H Macey Award. Given to the sleepiest village – Bevagna
Or did we catch her at the wrong time. June, midday, hot hot hot. This is not a full endorsement as we found it a little too sleepy perhaps, but there’s something to learn here. Avoid middle of the day. Come with an open mind. Dont compare them. And no matter what, have dinner at Antiche Sere.
The Rick Steves award. Given to the most important, but couldn’t wait to get out of there town – Assisi
Every time there’s a discussion about wearing shorts in churches, I think of Assisi and the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi. I havent seen so many bare legs since the last ZZ Top video. Some places are touristy for a reason, and Assisi is certainly no exception. Best advice is this: Take a guided tour to help with the focus and appreciate it better. We didnt, and that was a mistake
The Boar’s Head Award. Given to the best picnic spot – Piani Di Castelluccio
With the aid of Norcia Salami, made by some of the most respected butchers in the world. Even after the devastation of Norcia and Castelluccio after the 2016 earthquake, there’s just something surreal about being there. A trip to the stunning Piani compliments any Umbria itinerary well. But if this is a bit far from you, a picnic overlooking the spectacular Assisi from the vineyards off SAIO may do.
The Milton Snavely Hershey Award. Given to the best Chocolate – Urbani truffled truffles in the Urbani museum
Umbria is sort of a Chocolate lover paradise. You got Perugia and its famous tenant, Perugina, the maker of Baci kisses. In Norcia you can visit Cioccolateria Vetusta Nursia. We purchased so much chocolate, we are still eating them months later. But it was the marketing nightmare of the truffled truffles in Urbani that triggered a reaction like no other. A good reaction.
The rest of the awards given in a ceremony earlier…
Best Porchetta – Antica Salumeria Granieri Amato, Perugia
Best I can’t believe it’s not Porchetta – Rabbit Porchetta, Antiche Sere, Bevagna
Best Dish – Pigeon at Enoteca L’Alchimista, Montefalco
Best Meal – Enoteca L’Alchimist, Montefalco
Best Chef – Patrizia Moretti, Enoteca L’Alchimist, Montefalco
Best Chef South East – Patrizia Moretti, Enoteca L’Alchimist, Montefalco
Miss Congeniality – Giulia Rossi. Enoteca… Just kidding. Its Patrizia Moretti
Congratulations to the winners!