Hiking in Umbria

As promised… What a great day! With the sun in the sky and girls in their packs, we set out to hike the hill — leading to an abandoned ancient city– across from the abbey. Our receptionist assured us that it was a one-hour hike, which sounded perfect, particularly considering the obvious incline involved. But as is often the case with communication between people who barely speak each other’s language, there was a mix up. The trail was indeed an hour’s worth of steps and vistas; getting to the trail would require an hour of its own.

It may have been sunny but early spring wind made the air quite cool. Paul and I certainly heated up by the time we reached the top though. Even Phoebe shed a few layers, including my blue scarf.

Viva spring!

Approaching Umbriana, the abandoned city across the valley. Apparently people lived there until only six years ago!?

The view from the top…you can see the abbey where we stayed.

Enjoying a picnic lunch before heading back down, where I had a massage waiting for me. Paul took the kiddies so I could enjoy an hour of total bliss.

Even with sweeping views, the most fascinating part of the hike came at the end. We were walking up the road toward the abbey when our passageway was blocked…

Three huge, unattended draft horses were just milling about. Reluctant to pass behind them, I suggested we wait a second to see if these guys had anyone with them. The next thing we see is a man…with four more loose horses. When he caught up to this group, all SEVEN of them followed his directions implicitly. Stopping, going, at the sound of his voice alone. Amazing. Our kids don’t seem to understand us this well and we all speak English. Pretty much.

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