If you were to ask what I love best about Italy (aside from its incredible food and climate) it would undoubtedly be its art and architecture; a highlight of my Italian degree, with unrivalled examples of both at every turn.
I cannot emphasize enough how beautiful Italy is.
I also have a yen to know more of central and northern Italy, being the reverse of most travellers who head first to Tuscany then develop a curiosity for the south.
So, a short while ago, I decided to travel to central Italy for the weekend with my trusty friend Anna.
Our first destination was the town of Assissi, in Umbria, last visited in childhood 1974 during an August heatwave.
On arrival, we had a generous cappuccino before visiting the splendid ‘Basilica di San Francesco’ with Giotto’s beautiful frescoes of ‘The Life of St Francis’ as well as frescoes by Simone Martini and Cimabue.
Assissi is a magical place which will captivate you with its sublime beauty whilst retaining a peaceful and spiritual ambience that stays with you.
The next day we travelled down to Orvieto with its volcanic slopes.
The town produces the crisp, white wine named ‘Orvieto’, which many of you will be familiar with.
The Piazza del Duomo is a gorgeous square with a stunning cathedral facade.
As it was made by a variety of architects and sculptors it really is a treat for the eyes.
Its interior zebra stripes remind me of Siena’s beautiful cathedral (a place I will be visiting soon again).
Then, along with a couple of bottles of crisp, white Orvieto, we headed for Todi, a hill-top town with breathtaking views of lush gardens.
A beautiful Duomo contains a fresco in the entrance wall.
Here you can also see ‘The Tempio di Santa Maria Della Consolazione’ bearing a resemblance to St. Peter’s in Rome; it creates an overall impression of light and balance.
There are so many beautiful towns to visit in Italy, it would take a lifetime, but my intention now is to steadily work my way through them and share them with you.