Return To Umbria – May 2013


We have now been back in Umbria three weeks tomorrow and it has certainly been an interesting month. The weather has been unusually cold and wet with rain almost on a daily basis. Where last year we were running around in T-shirts in May, this year we are bundled up in layers with fleece.

The locals tell us this has been the worst May in many, many years as far as the weather goes, so we are just hoping June is much better. We have been busy getting everything opened up for the season, but with all this rain and cool temperatures we have not been able to plant much of our vegetable garden, and what we have planted simply isn’t growing. Umbria certainly is very, very green though with all this rain!

The weather hasn’t completely slowed us down, as we managed to visit Porchettiamo (Porchetta festival) and see the start of the 9th stage of the Giro d’Italia in Tuscany both held the weekend we arrived. My husband headed to Riccione the following weekend to take part in Novi Colle, (Nine Hills). He and 13,000 other cyclists tackled the course covering nine different hills in the area. The ride has to be completed in one day, and my husband finished all nine hills after an amazing almost 9 hours on his bike. Ouch!

This past weekend was Cantine Aperte, where cantinas or wineries across Italy open their doors to the public for tasting on the last Sunday of May. The night before many hold a winemaker’s dinner, and we attended one at Villa Selva, a country inn close by that was hosted by our friend Filippo Peppucci (vintner of Peppucci wines), and Giuseppe Siragusa (chef of Villa Selva).

It was a great evening spent with friends celebrating wonderful wines and amazing food. Though we were worried the weather would hinder the success of Cantine Aperte on Sunday, the rain head off and in fact there was even some sunshine by late afternoon. We visited a few wineries ourselves, buying some local wines for our collection.

We will have family visiting us soon which we are really looking forward to, and after that we have a very busy season of guests ahead of us. It is great to be back in Umbria, although I certainly would be enjoying it more if the weather improved, we could get outside more, and get our garden planted!

Some Recent Photos




Giro d’Italia in Sansepolcro, Tuscany


Daily Rainbows Seen From Our Property


Henrietta, Rosie, Lucie & Penelope Are Back Home And Gifting Us With Eggs Every Day


Vintner’s Dinner @ Villa Selva


Cantine Aperte @ Arnoldo Caprai Cantina


View Of The Grapes With Trevi In The Background Up On The Hill


Unusual Snow On The Mountain Tops End of May – Photo by Giselle Stafford

Deborah Mele
May 2013


  1. Hi Debra,
    I recently sent you an email with respect to the Italian Market mentioned in your report with respect to the tubetoni & garbanzo recipe. You responded I should email them and let them know my problem. I don’t have their email address. Do you by any chance have it. Thanks Sal Dinolfo

    PS cant wait to try the Chicken Thigh recipe.

  2. What lovely pics in spite of the weather! Herein Oregon march and April were gorgeous and May has been…well, look out your window and you will see! It makes me feel a little better that it is even raining in Italy right now.

  3. Love the picture of Louie with the porchetta. Nicholas can’t stop talking about how much he loved the taste. When we were in Lucca last year we searched for a stand and finally found one. Thanks for introducing this delicious panino to us.

  4. We feel your pain with the weather. The UK is experiencing its wettest/coldest year in 30 years as well. Hopefully the sun will appear before the summer is over! Thank you for the lovely pictures.

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