Anne's Blog

Coronavirus Lockdown in Umbria: Noting the Beauty All Around

Date: March 18, 2020 - categories: , , - 3 Comments

Under our national lockdown, those in towns and cities are confined to their homes. Fortunanatamente, Pino and I are “confined” to the countryside around our farmhouse.

As permission is allowed to exit the home to procure food, the other day we headed to Peppa’s: she’d called to ask us to drop by for “poche cose da mangiare” (“a few things to eat”). And seeing Peppa – even if briefly and from behind a car window – always wards off CPA (Corona Virus Panic Attack).

Leaving our farmhouse…..

….we made a quick stop so that Pino could give a treat to his two donkeys, Pippo and Ciccio. They relish bread crusts (all our hard bread is saved for them):

Deciding on a more circuitous route than usual – a change of visuals uplifts the spirits during lockdown – we drove the road up towards the small church where we were married (1978).

Umbria bucolic splendor all around:

….and then we arrived at our small mountainside church:

In front of the church, a single post on the notice board indicated hygienic norms for all to follow during the coronavirus pandemic:

From the church, we headed downhill towards Peppa’s farmhouse

She met us outside her house, holding plastic bags of cose da mangiare:

Later at home, we opened the bags of Peppa’s “few things”: one held a pan of fave beans and potatoes, another bag was full of wild salad greens she’d picked and the last one was wrapped around a green plastic bowl holding dessert for us for a few days. Peppa had made castagnole:

I’d taken Peppa’s photo through the car window before we’d headed off…..

…passing her outdoor wood bread oven:

Not far from Peppa’s, we had passed a crumbling hay shed that we’ve passed countless times.

We stopped. I wanted a photo….

…..and was reminded of Van Gogh who had so often noted the beauty in the insignificant.

Coronavirus lockdown is teaching us all that the beauty is often right in front of us.

Read here about Peppa’s castagnole

Read about new life on our land during the coronavirus lockdown.

Read about how reflecting on Van Gogh helped me see the beauty all around – in simple, insignificant objects

Read here about an outdoor market visit to ward off a CPA (Coronavirus Panic Attack)

Click here to read about – and see! – a favorite Orvieto eating spot (to ward off CPA)

Click here for a recipe of Pino’s mamma, Signora Vincenza (also helps ward off CPA)

Read about – and see! – Assisi during coronavirus lockdown

Click here for another “coronavirus lockdown” recipe

Click here to read about Novella’s vegetable stand during the coronavirus lockdown

Read about a Pino feast on March 8th as coronavirus distraction 

Click here to read about March 8th – as a coronavirus antidote

Peppa is always perfect distraction from a CPA

Read about a stop for fresh pasta to ward off a CPA


  • Janet Eidem says:

    I love the corona on St. Peppa’s head! I’m sure you made her day stopping by.

  • Steven Campbell says:

    thank you so much for your photos and comments. They are very heartwarming. We first met you in October of 2005 when we were with my sister, Michelle Toohey. We still look at the pictures of that day. I am always excited every time I stumble across something you have written. We are still planning a trip to Piemonte this fall and look forward to it. Stay well!
    Steven Campbell

  • Dolores says:

    So very true Anne, we do just rush by the beauty thinking there will be time to look later. Being brought to a halt we can do and see the things we’ve put off. Peppa is certainly a jewel of a friend and cook.

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