6 reasons why it is better to be broke – or, why I love Umbria

That you need a village, if only for the pleasure of leaving it. Your own village means that you’re not alone, that you know there’s something of you in the people and the plants and the soil, that even when you are not there it waits to welcome you”.

C. Pavese, The moon and the bonfire, 1950

The Washington Post has referred to Umbria as “the poor man’s Tuscany” but eventually admitted that if that is the case, “maybe it’s better to be broke”. The worldwide renowned photographer Steve Mc Curry defined it “sensational” and depicted it in a collection of outstanding pictures.

We all love where we come from, and if you come from Umbria it is very easy to do that. As a modern nomad, I have spent quite some time abroad. During the I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-my-life periods, being at home has been a way to reflect on which direction to follow (and a way to save money for my next adventure, whatever that would have turned out to be).

Here follows some of the reasons why I love living in Umbria:

  1. Nature
    Nature is everywhere, you just need to look around you to be dazzled by the greenness of the area.

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Le strade del profumo: Viaggio da Pisa ad Assisi andata e ritorno

 

 

2. Mystical atmosphere
Umbria is the birthplace of St Francis and St Benedict, patron saint of Italy and Europe respectively. Whether you are a believer or not, the mystical atmosphere manifests itself in a broad religious feeling, an inner search. The Umbrian hills and landscape allow for long walks in which the only sounds you hear are those of nature.

 

 

 

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3. Medieval towns
Medieval towns are scattered all across the area: Assisi, Perugia, Spoleto, Orvieto, Gubbio are the most famous ones. Every town has its own historical reenactment festival during the year.

 

 

 

 

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4. Umbria Jazz
Umbria Jazz is a jazz festival which takes place in Perugia in July. Artists from all over the world come and contribute in creating a great atmosphere.

 

 

 

 

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5. Wine
Hills mean vineyards which in turn mean wine. There is no need to add anything else.

 

 

 

 

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6. Food
Last but not least, the local products are delicious. Vegetables come from grandparents’ vegetable plots, meat from uncles’ hunting trips, and so on. Homemade, healthy, fresh, local: I love it. Enjoy a picture of my favourite type of mushroom, the porcino (such a shame you can’t smell it):

 

 

 

 

[Italiano]

 

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