Anne's Blog

Annesitaly “Inside Umbria” Celebration: Join Us!

Date: January 2, 2016 - categories: - 28 Comments

This first “Inside Umbria” adventure for ten persons simply has to be called “a celebration”: we’re celebrating husband Pino’s superb restoration work on our Assisi farmhouse apartments, Assisi Casa Campagna, with an Umbria adventure for ten persons, centered on an astounding medieval “celebration”, the early May Assisi Calendimaggio festival.
With four days of stunning medieval pageantry, the assisani joyously celebrate the arrival of spring. No words – nor photos – can adequately describe the wonders. Live it to feel la passione.

Here’s the itinerary for
Annesitaly “Inside Umbria” Celebration, May 2016:

Our memorable celebratory event starts on May 2nd with a welcome Umbrian rural dinner in our Assisi farmhouse, near the apartments hosting our guests. Before dinner, I will give an introductory talk on Calendimaggio, which takes over Assisi from May 3rd – 7th and is the heart of this unforgettable (I promise!) adventure.

May 3 – Depart at 10 a.m. for Assisi and enjoy a guided tour of the Assisi treasures with me, meeting the “locals” wherever we go, followed by a lunch of Umbrian specialties in a gem of a local trattoria. Afternoon on your own to explore more of Assisi. Van transport back to Assisi Casa Campagna at 5 pm. My talk, “Italians, HANDS ON!” – on Italian lifestyles illustrated through Italian gestures – will conclude our day and open your eyes to Italian lifestyles.
(Note: no dinner planned as lunch is such a filling banquet but on free time in Assisi, those who wish can purchase foods for a late snack prepared on own in our Assisi Casa Campagna apartment kitchens.)

Assisi, “crown jewel” of Umbria’s medieval hilltowns:

Assisi, “crown jewel” of Umbria’s medieval hilltowns




May 4 – In the morning, we’ll head to the nearby medieval hill town gem, Spello. Our walk through the artistic treasures of Spello will also include visits to local artisans: a ceramicist, painter, weavers and sculptors. After a banquet wine-tastings, olive-oil tastings, truffles-highlighted lunch in a famous medieval wine cellar in Spello, we’ll head back to Assisi for the first day of the astounding Calendimaggio festival. Light snack on own (in town or at our countryside apartments – as lunch is so abundant, many will skip an evening snack!)

Spello, che bello!

Spello, che bello!



Calendimaggio: medieval May passione reigns in Assisi:

Calendimaggio: medieval May passione reigns in Assisi




May 5th – Off to Bevagna in the morning to explore Roman and medieval wonders, including a visit to the studio (in a frescoed 17th-c palazzo) of a famous artist. We’ll feast on a lunch of Umbrian specialties in a tiny trattoria before returning to Assisi for Calendimaggio afternoon pageantry.

Bevagna, “undiscovered” medieval splendor, Roman treasures:

Bevagna, “undiscovered”  medieval splendor, Roman treasures


Assisi’s Calendimaggio: breath-taking pageantry:

Assisi’s Calendimaggio: breath-taking pageantry



May 6th – Our morning guided tour of Perugia takes in the exquisite medieval sculptural masterpiece, the Great Fountain, as well as frescoed Renaissance guildhalls and the massive 16th- c Papal fortress. And you’ll meet Umberto, too, a “national treasure.” We’ll head back to Assisi in time for a most special lunch in a private garden, prior to the afternoon Calendimaggio festivities.

Perugia, “city of the infinite view”:



Calendimaggio magnificence: more astounding each day:

Calendimaggio magnificence:  more astounding each day






May 7th – As the astounding Caldendimaggio gran finale events fill the afternoon and evening, all will have a free morning to explore more in Assisi (endless wonders!) or simply rest at our Casa Campagna.

After a festa lunch together in Assisi, we’ll head to our reserved seats in the stands to share in the excitement with “the locals.”




Calendimaggio, gran finale: not to be believed

Calendimaggio, gran finale: not to be believed





May 8th – FREE DAY

May 9th – Morning visit to an astounding folk art shrine near Deruta, famous for maiolica since the 13th century. We’ll then visit a small family-run production to learn about this treasured Italian artisan form. Welcoming rural friend, Giuseppa, will cook us a feast at her farm near Deruta. Afternoon on your own: to rest at Assisi Casa Campagna – or to explore Assisi.

Deruta, famous for the art of maiolica:


Meet Giuseppa, an Umbrian highlight:




May 10th – We’ll enjoy a restful last day at our farmhouse, cooking together Umbrian rural goodness.
Afterwards, time for those who wish to head into Assisi or off to other Umbrian hill towns.

Let’s cook together the flavors of Umbria!





We’ll cook up Umbrian goodness together in our farmhouse kitchen – and then feast!


May 11th – Morning free for individual explorations. Lunch on own – but just a sandwich will do! In the afternoon, join me in visits to our rural friends who taught us about how to work the land – and not only – when Pino and I moved to our Umbria farmhouse forty years ago. Our rural visits will conclude with a banquet gran finale farm feast at the home of friends, Marino andChiarina.

Meet our rural friends, “national treasures”:








May 12th – Departure. Buon viaggio… e torna presto! (…and come back soon!)

Click here to read about – and see! – the adventures of our Assisi apartment guests

Read what guests think about staying in our apartments

All trip logistics and arrangements have been arranged in collaboration with my colleague Ashley Turney at L’Esperta. Ashley will be your contact in the States and would be happy to assist with any additional travel arrangements for your stay in Italy.

Do contact me for rates for this Umbria celebration and detailed information. Selling out!


  • Sally O'Neil says:

    I am very interested in this ten day tour of Umbria and so are a couple of my friends. Please give me more information about it, including the cost of the tour.

    Thank you,
    Sally O’Neil

  • Mary Jo McDonald says:

    Ann, I enjoyed your talk about Italy in 2008, we were staying in Assisi with Elder Hostel. This looks like a great vacation.
    Please let me know the price.

  • Joanne Bent says:

    I met you on a Don Bruggink tour in 2014. I am interested in your 10 day tour of Umbria. Please forward information on the cost for a single.

    Thank you,

  • Anne Robichaud says:

    To all / have mtg tomorrow with drivers/travel agent assisting for all fees for transport..and very close to price finalization which will be sent to you shortly.
    Joanne, all rooms are doubles..5 rooms
    Dble occupancy can decide if fee fine considering double occupancy..or might you come with a friend?

  • Ann Maginnis says:

    Dear Anne,
    I am very interested in your Annesitaly “Inside Umbria” Celebration, May 2016 tour. Would you please keep me informed as your plans unfold?
    Thank you,
    Ann Maginnis
    1315 Evergreen Way
    Orrtanna, PA 17353

  • Anne Robichaud says:

    I know all eager for info on rates…working hard on this but sooooo many details to take into account.
    Hang on!

  • janey says:

    To all interested: DO IT!! I had the pleasure of staying in Anne’s in-town apt for 4 weeks a few yrs ago. I participated in all of these adventures with her and had the time of my life!! I traveled alone for 8 weeks thru Italy and my time in Assisi stands out as one of the best memories of my life!
    You will never regret hanging out with this fun, crazy lady!!

  • Anne Robichaud says:

    Prices set..anyone need info?

  • Sally O'Neil says:

    What are the prices, please?


  • Donna Brandt says:

    Please let me know the cost of the May trip. Grazie!

  • Catherine Classey says:

    Please send me pricing and info if you still have availability for this tour.

  • Eileen Leonhardt says:

    I would love to be on you list for the upcoming Umbria trip. Thank you in advance.

  • Jenny Hannan says:

    Gosh Annie, no-one makes all this wonderful history, food and tradition come alive as you do. Honestly, I just want to be there as the light, the people and the celebration – constant – of life pulls me back to the Northern Hemisphere. Jen xx

  • Anne Anne says:

    Thanks to all! The trip is set: fees ready, detailed itinerary. Spots for 14 only.
    Do contact me for all details at

  • Mary Tursi OMalley says:

    Very interested in visiting Umbria . Especially during Calendimaggio celebration time. Spring 2016.
    Please send info, prices, availability, details, or let me know where on the web I can find them. Graduation!

  • Anne robichaud says:

    Mary..glad to have you with us…and please email me for all details, rates…grazie mille

  • Sandy Aarons says:

    Would love to join you all in May, 2016 and will be coming from a tour in Budapest but need your dates and prices to add to it . Thank you, Sandy

  • Anne Robichaud says:

    SAndy..hope you can join us!
    Will be memorable..and have now sent you all info..

  • Angela Sopranzi says:

    Buongiorno Anne, I just read about your Umbrian adventure in May this morning and am wondering what the cost would be? Please forward the details if you would and whether or not, at this late date, there are even any openings available.
    Over the years, I have truly enjoyed your writings on the Italian Notebook and your latest contribution is especially nice.

  • Maria Oliveri says:

    I just became aware of this website, and your Umbrian adventure in May is a trip that I would be so very interested in experiencing. It is too late for me to tie-in with this May’s trip; however, if you could send me information and an idea of costs, I would certainly plan this for next year. Also, if there are any other trips throughout Italy of such interest, please send me the information. Thank you for your kind response.

  • Sara Debono says:

    Probably too late now for both of us, but I am very curious as to price should I learn about this earlier next year. Thanks.

  • Anne Robichaud says: have a couple spots open to join in our tours on May 3, 4, 5 and 6 if you wish.are you here in Italy now?
    Please do email me at
    Mille grazie!

  • Mimi Haggerty says:

    Would love to have as much information on your 2017 Umbrian tour as you can give me. How do we get to Assissi from Rome(?). Rent a car in your town? What are the rough costs for a couple??
    Hoping to see you in person next May!

  • Christine marello says:

    I’m interested in any tours you will provide next year. Please email me any details. Thank you

  • Donna Conklin says:

    Please tell me more about cost, etc. Will the recent earthquake impact this tour at all?

  • Angela Sopranzi says:

    Ciao Anne, I sent an email to you earlier this evening, but not sure if it went through. I would love to know the cost of your May 2017 tour. It sounds very wonderful.

  • Donna, no, quake damage here in Assisi..
    and pls send me an email..glad to send all rates.

    Angela, hope you received my email?

  • Stephanie W says:

    I have had the amazingly wonderful pleasure of touring many of these beautiful gems with you on more than one occasion and your tours are ALWAYS the highlight of my Italian adventures. You share the best local people and culinary fare, artists and festivals….you’re the best!

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Agenzia Viaggi Stoppini in Assisi handles all technical support for my guided visits (bus transportation, organization of meals, etc)