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MAY 2009 NEWSLETTER
Dear Newsletter Reader  

Welcome to the To Tuscany May newsletter.  

This month we are spotlighting Umbria, Tuscany's lesser known neighbour.  Located to the south east of Tuscany, and easily accessible for day trips, Umbria is growing in popularity with our guests who are looking for something a little different to Tuscany. 
As always, we welcome your comments and if you would like any further information on the Umbria region, please feel free to email me.

Dympna
dympna@to-tuscany.com
Umbria:

Perugia:
BB KingPerugia is the regions capital and July is when the medieval streets of this lovely town are transformed into a series of open-air concert venues.  2009 is the thirtieth year for the world-renowned Umbria Jazz festival, where musicians from all over Italy and the rest of the world gather together to perform every year.  The headline stars perform at the Santa Giuliana Arena in the town and this year BB King, George Benson, Simply Red, James Taylor and Burt Bacharach are just some of the artists performing.  The Teatro Morlacchi and Oratorio Santa Cecilia are the venues for afternoon and evening performances of more traditional jazz music, plus free open-air concerts for all the family take place throughout the town with a wide range of artists performing different styles of music.  For more information and to book tickets please click here.

Orvieto:
Orvieto DuomoA visit to the Umbrian hill-top town of Orvieto, famous for its ceramics, should definitely be included on everyone's itinerary.  The cathedral or Duomo of Orvieto is one of the most beautiful churches in Italy, visually stunning both inside and out.  For those of you sightseeing with children, the trade off could be a visit to the underground tunnels that riddle the rock beneath the town.  A guided tour will take you through the maze of underground passageways.  One of the more well known sights is Pozzo di san Patrizio (Saint Patrick's Well) which has a ramp once used by donkeys to travel down to collect the water, and carry it back up.  Many of the towns wealthy families had escape routes from their houses through the tunnels out of the city should it ever come under attack.  For tourist information on Orvieto please click here

Marmore Falls:
BB KingA trip the whole family will enjoy whatever their ages is a visit to the Marmore Falls; believed to be the highest waterfalls in Europe.  A series of canals built by the Romans channelled the water over the cliffs at Marmore.  These were built in order to divert stagnating water away from the town of Rieti where it was thought to be causing disease.  The surrounding park has four walks of varying difficulty, each walk has viewing areas over the falls which are switched on at certain times of the day and their power is used to generate hydro electricity.  More information on the Marmore Falls and its opening times can be found by clicking here.
For the more adventurous, you can even take a raft down the falls!  click here for details

Where to stay in Umbria:

To Tuscany now have a number of properties in Umbria from places for 2 people to luxurious country house retreats for up to 17 people.  All of our properties in Umbria can be viewed here:

One of the new properties to our portfolio is the Bellaluce estate near to Orvieto which has the flexibility to be rented as a complete private villa estate for 17 people or as 3 individual private apartments sleeping between 4-9 people which then share the swimming pool and facilities.

BellaluceThe original Bellaluce farmhouse was built on this plot around 1000 AD, although the current tradional stone buildings date from much later; the whole property was completely renovated in 2003. Bellaluce was also at one time a Benedictine Monastry which is why there is a beautiful chapel attached to the left side of the house which has lovely 16th century frescoes inside; the chapel itself dates back to the 13th Century.  The chapel is still consecrated and can be used as a wedding/christening venue.  At the end of July each year there is a service held to celebrate a local religious festival.  During the recent renovation work a Roman cistern was found in the grounds and this has now become a feature of the gardens.

Prices for September in the villa are from as little as 205 GBP per person for the entire villa for up to 17 people and if you are thinking of a Christmas break, then the prices are from as little as 183 GBP per person for the entire villa.
For details of and to book this beautiful villa, click here.
For details of and to book the Bellaluce apartments, click here
 
Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding travelling to Italy or anything within our newsletter. We can be reached at http://www.to-tuscany.com/contact-us
 
Sincerely
 
Dympna Docherty
To-Tuscany
dympna@to-tuscany.com