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Tuscany & Umbria in Autumn 3Print
Well where else would you see grown men having ice cream for breakfast? Bevagna is just one of the charming and historic towns that populate the Umbrian countryside, and at €1.70 for a cone you can't go wrong. Ted's preference was for a pistachio and almond combo.
The view from the Spoleto castle was truly breathtaking and Ted saw his first green river - it's lush countryside around in the valley but clearly the heat of the summer has it's effect.
The castle contained some fabulous artworks, but Ted needed all his energies as it was one heck of a climb. Only on the way down did he discover the lift!!! So a welcome glass of chilled white was well deserved waiting hours for the Duomo to open. When did God take such long lunch breaks? The German visitors banged on the door, but still they had to wait! Spoleto was well worth a visit, with some great restaurants and Ponte delle Torri, a dramatic Roman aquaduct. The town holds an annual music festival 'Festival of the Two Worlds' that must indeed be spectacular to witness with performers from around the globe!
Ovieto the prettiest town
You will have guessed already that strong legs are required for touring Umbria, so it's best to seek out the fabulous lifts and funiculars - the Orvieto one is great fun and there are free buses to take you into the centre by the Duomo when you get your ticket. But if the facade of the Duomo is the finest you will ever see, wait until you get inside, it contains fine examples of the best of Italian art. Ted didn't stop over here, but it would be a good base as the shops, food and cultural atmosphere was truly wonderful.
Est! Est! Est!
The legend of this famous wine related to a cleric who got his man servant to travel ahead and mark up for him the places where he thought it was worthy for him to drink! There were reputedly so many that Est was posted on multiple doors and Ted found Montefiascone an hospitable a place too! Located by a large lake it's a working town but has a lovely centre, great views and the most beautifully melodic bells that Ted had ever heard.
The trip over to the final destination took in Grosetto, where the gelati were somewhat more expensive and included a parrot on a stick. Resembling a Disney set, the centre is typically Florentine in style and inspired Ted to do some planking. Unfortunatley he is a bear of little brain, and he managed to plank the wrong way round!
Finding a German friend
During a short stop on the coast near Follonica Ted did a spot of beach fishing with a fellow tourist who took a fancy to Ted's tweedy coat! Then it was onto Massa Marittima, the final resting place and yet another gem. Ted was nearing cultural overload but was able to appreciate the beauty of just one more place before he went crazy. On the last night Ted reflected on the beauty of his 2 weeks in Italy, basking in the setting sun of Costanza's delightful room located in an ancient building just off the main square.