Last Day in Umbria

Another beautiful day predicted, so we are going south from Spoleto to visit Mamore Cascada. It is only a short drive, we need tickets to get into the park and I notice they are also selling plastic ponchos. We get our jackets from the car and after a confirmatory reconnaissance by Tanya, we head to see the falls.

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These drop for 165m and are in-fact manmade, the result of damming and reclaiming some wetlands. The amount of water that comes cascading down is very impressive and so powerful. There are several viewing spots as we ascend the falls.

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It is also possible to raft and kayak the rapids at the bottom of the falls. We do get to see a screaming raft of 9 people being given rapid instructions on what to do, they all looked rather focused to say the least, clutching with all their might to the edge of the raft. Things were moving quickly!

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The falls are very pretty with several tiers all making different water formations and cascades.

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We do experience the rather thorough soaking from the spray but are well protected with the jackets. It’s such a warm day that really , it’s just refreshing.

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What we find really interesting is the number of people that bring their dogs. It again is a site with virtually all Italian tourists and Tanya manages to capture one of the visitors with his rain jacket on.

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The top tier of the waterfall is closed to hiking and we feel so disappointed ( well maybe not that much) and are happy  to settle for the middle layer.

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André gets one of his arty compositions in and by now it’s time for lunch. We utilize Google maps to recommend a restaurant near us, the first one turns out to be closed but the second is a hit and we have a lunch of truffle delicacies for which Umbria is famous.

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The area is filled with mountains and narrow valleys making it very picturesque and Tanya doesn’t even look towards a Travel Calm. There are in fact three different truffles that grow at different times of the year. Two black varieties are more common and than the elusive white truffle. The white truffle actually only grows for about 20 days of the year , between December and January and so are even more prized and expensive than the black.

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We are going to visit Todi, this town is off the tourist track and seems to be undergoing a significant downturn. The first half of the town is all for lease and since we were reading up about the plague a few nights before, I question whether some infectious disease has affected lower Todi?

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The top end of town is fun , bright and alive. We get a very good gelato and then look inside the Basilica which happens to be having a concert on,  right now. The acoustics are very beautiful and moving so we stay to listen for a number of chorales. The choir is from England.

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While we are listening a couple of tourists come in, one of them has incredibly squeaky shoes, so every step he takes, there is a loud squeak competing with the singing. He soon realizes this but keeps walking deeper and deeper into the Basilica, finally he sits down and listens. Unfortunately I don’t think the music is to his liking as he gets up and squeaks all the way out again 🙂

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The main Garibaldi Piazza looks out to the valley below our last panoramic view of Umbria. Todi has a very enticing , bright red Vespa which I try out for size.

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We decide that yesterday was such a success, that another dinner in is in order. To set the mood we get a beautiful sunset as well.

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André manages to capture the light of the setting colours. The pencil pines bid us farewell.

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Our little house in the Estate of Della Genga has been very sweet. It was built n 1634 and does not look it’s age.

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It is an early morning start for our transfer to Rome next morning where we will have our last two nights. Spoleto and it’s amazing fortress farewells us.

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The drive just reinforces the loose suggestions on traffic rules the Italian drivers must receive when they get their license. The car speeding at least 30km/ hour over the limit, overtaking us on a double uninterrupted line in a tunnel with a road sign emphasizing no overtaking permitted does take the cake! André is simply amazing but we feel very relieved when the car is dropped off without a scratch and we can all relax into a good croissant.

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