I tried to shoot a good amount of video this year to give me a bunch of material for the blog, so I will have quite a few of the various cities we visited on our tours. Spoleto was a place that we visited fairly often, but I only shot video once while there for a few hours. Unfortunately, it was very early in the season, and I was still getting used to the new camera, so the shaking in this video is pretty obvious. Additionally, they were setting up for their world-famous jazz festival. That being the case, there is so much I didn't catch on camera.
Spoleto is one of the more beautiful cities in Umbria, but it is best known for its Jazz festival. The city dates back to the fifth century BC, and its vast history can still be seen at every corner. Some of the more interesting sights in Spoleto are the massive 14th century Rocca Albornoziana (The Albornozian Castle), which is full of beautiful frescoes and the 12th century cathedral (Duomo), both of which are shown in the video.
Interesting sights in Spoleto that are not shown in the video include: The Ancient Roman theater, the 1st century Ponte Sanguinario (The bloody bridge), Ponte delle Torri (the 13th century aqueduct), the 16th century Palazzo Racani-Anoni, the 14th century Palazzo della Signoria, and much more.
Many of our DiscoverSoriano.com itineraries feature a visit to this magnificent town, but for those that wish to go on their own, it can be found in the Perugia Province of Umbria, Italy; about 15 miles north of Terni, or about 75 miles north of Rome. It is about 30 miles north of our home base, Soriano nel Cimino.
7 months, 17 tours, 56 cooking classes, 144 guests and over 35,000 miles of Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio are behind us.That was the 2008 season for us at DiscoverSoriano.As with last year, after coming back to the US, I have gone into video mode.Here is the first video I have made since coming back, which essentially sums up the season:
What a wild ride it was.It was a lot of fun, and a lot of work…. but always very rewarding.Most of all, we made a ton of new friends and had the opportunity to share something we love with so many new people.
Let's face it... when I am in the US, this blog runs pretty dry. After all, a blog about Italy doesn't do too well when you are sitting at a computer in Florida. Well, that is soon to change.
On May 12, I'll be heading over again, and this time I will be there for 5 months straight. No back and forth this year like I have done the last few years. But the news gets a little better... I'm heading over there with some new high-tech toys for the blog (and the rest of the site).
I'll be bringing a new Canon Vixia HF-10 High Definition camera, as well as a new Gateway P-171XL FX with a full compliment of video editing software.
My intention is to get pretty serious with the videos this summer. I'll be doing very in depth video blogs for all of the towns we visit on tours, as well as all of the festivals and events. Considering that we already have 14 tours booked, there will be a great deal of material, so stay tuned.
This year wasn't my first time seeing the Chestnut Festival, but through the years, I have never made it to the Palio.
First things first, What on earth is a ‘Palio' ? Those who have heard the term generally know of it it in connection with the famous ‘Palio di Siena', which is a horse race. But Palio is really a term that can be used for any kind of competition in Italy. The word Palio itself refers to a large banner that acts as a trophy for the winner of whatever competion is being held. In other words, the Palio is the prize, not the contest.
Soriano's Palio, unlike that of Siena, is not a horse race. Instead it is a half-day event that is made up of an archery competition and a jousting competition. It is one of the main events in Soriano nel Cimino's Sagra delle Castagne (Chestnut Festival).
During the festival, the twon divides into 4 ‘contrade' districts, each with their cavalier and archer that will compete in the Palio.
I remember my mother telling me about her move to Southern California, and how excited she was the first time she picked an orange off a tree and ate it right there. I was thinking, like... ok, big deal... you need to get out more! But then again, she was from New York, and I had been born and raised in L.A. After all, I had never seen an apple tree... In fact, at 42 years, I still have never seen an apple tree. Maybe I'm the one that needs to get out more.
That said, if you are reading this from Napa Valley (Hi Jac and Ami), this post might have you thinking I've been locked in a cage most of my life. Well, that cage was walled by the confines of the 101, 405 and 118 freeways in the San Fernando Valley, and I can't stop saying to myself: ‘Dude! I, like, fully made WINE yesterday'.
OK, I'm going to admit that it wasn't my first time. The first time was about 13 years ago when I happened to be here in Soriano nel Cimino during the harvest, and I helped my father in law with his private yield.