Like most things in my crazy expat life, it all began with an email.
“Hello! I am an American who recently moved to Umbria with my husband, 3 children, and 2 cats. We are surprising my eldest son with a trip to Brussels for his birthday, and in researching the city, your blog came up several times (it helps that I’m looking for cheese! but even without, it kept popping up).”
Thus began my email friendship with Michelle. We bonded over expat life, our passion for travel, and the love of good cheese.
You may remember a while back, Michelle even wrote a guest post for us and, over the months, I followed her family’s adventure on her wonderful blog. I regretted the fact we were travelling when Michelle and her family visited Brussels so we never had the opportunity to meet in person.
Michelle urged us to come and visit them in Spello, but we could never quite find a time that made sense.
When we returned home from our Asian Adventure, an email was waiting for me. It ended with, “Before you respond, let me just remind you… an aperol spritz overlooking the most beautiful verdant and tranquil valley, walks among olive trees, gelato, lamb scottadito, cured meats, and quite a bit of fabulous wine…. Thoughts?”
After our incredible but hectic travels in Asia, it seemed like the perfect way to unwind. So exactly a month after returning from Hong Kong, we were winging our way to Perugia Airport.
As you probably know, we love road-trips, so a rental car to explore Umbria was a must. We took a short drive from Perugia, through some of the most picturesque countryside we’ve seen, past the UNESCO listed holy city of Assisi, to the picturesque hilltop town of Spello.
We met Michelle at the little parking lot, just outside the town centre. It was like meeting an old friend. She had secured a wonderful apartment in Spello for us, for a steal. In fact, we thought they had mixed up our reservation, as we had a whole house to ourselves. The view from our roof-terrace was incredible.
We spent five deliciously tranquil days exploring Spello, eating fabulous food, taking day-trips around Umbria and into Tuscany, eating fabulous food, sampling the region’s wines, getting to know Michelle and her gorgeous family, and eating fabulous food. Oh, did we mention the food?
I’ll have a few more posts on some of the specific places we visited, but for now, I’ll let the photos do the work for me.
A huge thanks to Michelle and the whole Damiani clan, for sharing this beautiful corner of the world with us and making us feel so welcome. We can’t wait to cross paths again on your next adventures!
- A Photo Tour of Spello in Umbria, Italy
- Norcia, Italy: Our Visit to ‘Pork Town’
- Wine, Food and a Castle Tour in Monteriggioni and Siena, Tuscany, Italy