Friday, July 6, 2007


We drove again to Perugia today as I wanted to catch up with Katia Mugnani who manages the guest house where Dannii and I stayed when we visited in 2000. We have had the odd correspondence since and I wanted to ask her advice about what the boys would enjoy doing while we were in the area. We would have stayed at her guest house, but because of the Jazz festival, her rooms were all booked out months in advance. I was confident I remembered the location but I failed to find it. Perugia was far more busy and large than my recollection and of course both times I have stayed in Perugia previously I was trvelling by bus from the railway station and the bus stops right outside her guest house - easy! I drove round and round and never found the street and the boys had had enough so we drove out of Perugia and towards Gubbio - which had been recommended by the Canadian tourists the previous day as resembling Minis Tirith - which was a bit misleading we thought.

Still, it is a very well-preserved medieval fortress town clinging to the hillside - which in Umbria still seem to be real towns with active agriculture and craft-based industries and not just tourist theme parks. The photo is of Gubbio. On our return to the cottage, rather than go back along the major roads we attempted to follow a minor road which should have led us back to the cottage without going through the middle of Assisi. Big mistake! It almost certainly did lead back but we must have taken a wrong turning somewhere. The road was extremely winding and narrow and like a lot of roads in Italy you get deceived by the signage, which will be good and reassuring for a stretch and then mysteriously be absent the next time you come to a fork in the road.

As usual I flaked after a late dinner while the boys stayed up. We have a longish tomorrow to Padua (well not long really but I am the only driver so I don't want to be sleepy). There is a pattern emerging where I drive during the day and they all nod off in the car so they are awake until the wee hours while I'm zonked. Then I get up early to chase sunrises which doesn't help either. I am going to have to give up this habit soon unless I can organise my life so that I have a siesta each day. It's all Mathieu's fault! It was good to have my own bedroom for 4 days. From now on we are all in one room.

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