Subject: Umbria in May/June
Assuming you will make a stop in Assisi, the Eremo di San Francesco, St Francis's hermit home, is very well worth visiting. It is an miniscule drive or moderately challenging hike from Assisi. I myself preferred a ride there, ( a cab would be very inexpensive if you take one), and then hiking in the woods around the hermitage. It is very very lovely, and the sense of peace is palpable.

I would add that hiking around Assisi is a very nice way to spend a little time. There is a beautiful road that skirts the town to the northeast, and leads to the Rocca, where the views are magnificent. The walk back into town is quite easy, as there are a lot of steps and streets. The complete circuit can be made in an hour or two, and the only challenging part is up to the Rocca upon arriving there. When I speak of challenging, I am basing this upon my own hiking abilities. If you are young or strong, you will laugh at my idea of a challenge.

We also, on a completely different note, love the National Gallery of Umbria, or the Italian translation thereof, in Perugia. This is one of the best art museums I have been in, and I have been in quite a few. The thoughtful presentation of the art there really adds to the enjoyment of the great pieces on display. If you go to Perugia, don't miss the walk up into the town through the middle of the mountain it sits upon. Amazing.

La Cantina in Spello is an excellent place to eat. I had little bites of lamb and artichokes stir fried together with oil, garlic and other spices. It was an unforgettable dish. But the food was even better at Santa Maria degli Ancillotti, where we stayed for three nights outside of Assisi.

Debbie Pittsburgh