One of my resolutions after the A to Z Challenge in April was to “join the dots” where I’d only written about parts of a holiday. One of those was our Italian trip in 2003. We started off in R is for Rome, then took the train to Foligno in Umbria before setting out on a walking tour, Footsteps of St Francis, which ended at G is for Gubbio. This was organised through Headwater, a company which moves your luggage on while you walk from hotel to hotel, in this case every other day.
Headwater’s rep collected us from the station and took us to Il Poggia del Pettirossi, a hotel in the Bevagna hills overlooking the Umbria Valley – see the beautiful view above. I also like the shot through our window, left, though I remember the problem of having no curtains, just a blind which the photographer (ahem, not me) rolled right up out of the way so that it jammed and wouldn’t come back down! There was a terrace running outside the bedroom windows, so doing without wasn’t an option. Attempting to explain with minimal Italian on our side and minimal English on the staff side was tricky, but fortunately, with some difficulty and possibly swear words that we didn’t understand, it was fixed.
Our next stop was Assisi, 23km away – though the rep gave us a lift for the first part and we “only” did 18km on foot according to my diary. We walked down into Assisi – and then walked 3.5km, on a road, out the other side to our hotel. This was something I wasn’t happy with in general on this holiday – too many steep climbs on roads with the sun beating down on the tarmac. However, Assisi was lovely – we walked back down the next day, but took the sensible approach and got a taxi back.
Our next port of call was our favourite place to stay, because Paula at Agriturismo La Fontanella was such a welcoming host. More roads on the way though! Those are her cats – an additional plus point for us. On our day off, we walked to a place called Casa Castalda which had two pretty churches but not much else to detain us.
We had one more stop before we set off for Gubbio, but I have no good memories of that, so choose to draw a veil over it. We had holidayed with Headwater many times before this, in France, Spain and elsewhere in Italy, and the walking was much better. We’ve only used them once since (T for Tenerife), but I think that’s because it’s a type of holiday we’ve moved on from rather than from any dissatisfaction with the company. They still have Footsteps of St Francis in their brochure, but it’s completely different from the route we followed and probably much better for it.