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Under the Umbrian Sun

Everyone asked where I was going. “Paciano,” I said. “Where is that?!?” Paciano is in Umbria— the heart of Italy. What a perfect description for this place!

Even when it rains, it's GORGEOUS! 

Last year, we landed in Rome and stayed there for a couple of weeks. We hit the ground running, enjoying the hustle and bustle of city life. We were often exhausted at the end of each day (and my husband admits this was not a relaxing way to begin our vacation). This time, we decided to start off in the countryside and take it slow. After the rough year we've had, this was the perfect choice. Upon arriving, I instantly felt relaxed without a care in the world. I often have a hard time sleeping because my mind never stops racing, but the first night here, I slept ELEVEN HOURS straight!!! I met a lady from Boston yesterday who said her blood pressure has gone down significantly since arriving- I haven't checked mine, but I can feel a sense of inner peace and calm. We're surrounded by green rolling hills and the wonderful sounds of nature. Here, I don’t know what time it is and I don’t care (except when I want gelato and everything is closed for siesta).

Paciano is close to so many charming, medieval towns, each celebrating their own festivals with food and flowers and cultural performances. We have not come across one touristic restaurant with bad food (which is very common in the bigger cities). 

(Castiglione del Lago - do you see us?)

(Cittá della Pieve - my kids blending right in with the locals)

(My husband liked this street LOL)

If you want to truly experience Italy like a local, you must come here. We stayed at Fonte Girasole- a farmhouse villa built in the 1800's and restored, still keeping it's old world charm with the modern conveniences of air conditioning and an eco saltwater pool. There are breathtaking views from every window. My 6 year old said it feels like a slice of heaven and every time we leave to go somewhere, my 4 year old makes sure it’s only for a little while and that we’re coming back.

Some people come to Umbria for the wine, some come for the olive oil, some come for the scenery. For me, the experience is all about the people (ok, ok, it's partially about the food, let's be honest)— Alina, Lucia, and Stella (master baby chef) have been so wonderful and attentive. We could not have asked for better hostesses. I feel like we are a part of their family now and they, a part of ours. Everyone we've met in the area has been so kind (and patient, especially with our poor Italian language skills). 

They also run a cooking school and an olive oil farm/mill with *WOW* the most amazing olive oil I've ever tasted (let me tell you... we've been duped by Whole Foods or wherever it is you're getting your "Italian" olive oil from).  

If you're traveling to Italy, Umbria is not to be missed. Our family at Il Fontanaro will take great care of you and will become your family as well. 


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