L'Orto Degli Angeli
Via Dante Alighieri, 1, Bevagna, Umbria, 06031, Italy
More about Bevagna
Bevagna's medieval town walls
A hidden corner
Bevagna at dawn
Travel Tips for Bevagna
Incredible reasonable coffee bar!!
Compared to Germany, any kind of coffee is much cheaper in Italy. Haha, while writing this I realise that I want to be back in Italy, just for the smell of caffè! Espresso/caffè is usually less than 1 € in most of the Umbrian villages and caffè latte/Latte Macchiato is around 1,50 € (maybe more in Assisi and Perugia, but as I wasn’t there I cannot judge). But the very best price for “my” caffé latte I found in Bevagna, where I only paid 1 €!! This was at the bar near Porta Todi, in Micceleotto Hostaria. They also have a nice terrace outside, with parasols in summer.
Out of this world light scenarios!
Retrospectively, this was one of the most permanent impressions why Umbria caught my heart and soul and makes me want to come back again and again and again. I already mentioned in my intro that the weather wasn’t “the best”, but then what is best and what would be worst? It was raining very often, but then it was April and we all didn’t have splendid Aprils here in Europe’s 2008. When I look at the photos now, I am still caught by these light scenarios Umbria presented to me.
Umbria is called the green heart of Italy. And it seems that it is so lush and green not without a reason – which is the rain.
I was a bit worn out anyhow before I started my April holidays, so the rain didn’t matter much to me, plus I had some very interesting books in my luggage. It was most fascinating to watch the weather. During the rainy days it was not grey at all, but the days started with shining sun but very soon some clouds popped up which were darkish and then very dark. As if someone would open the zippers, water fell out in streams and only a good raincoat could protect me. Or the car, although driving in this rain wasn’t fun at all, the wipers had to work hard but I still almost could not see the road.
But at a point in time during these rain days the sun would reappear behind these clouds, mostly in the late afternoons and these brilliant light scenarios started. So often I ran out to look for the rainbow and often found it. Very often I also found two, as in one of the photos. Most magic was this very strong low light which gave special illumination to the trees or the landscape. These were the moments for me when I started to understand why San Francesco had chosen this part of the world to inaugurate his Franciscan order.
Sometimes also some rays of sunshine found their way through the clouds and illuminated the landscape. When these rays did hit one of the villages, it almost looked as if God sends blessings to this village (photo 3 and 4).
What I want to say here is that it is not necessarily bad to experience rain in Umbria. In contrast – it is one of the most powerful things one can have there, and it is even free of charge and unavoidable off season. April is highly recommended :-)
The procession of Beata Giacomo
While at dinner in a restaurant on the Piazza Garibaldi on the Sunday evening of our stay we heard music and popped outside to see what was going on. It was a religious procession of the type quite common in Catholic countries – this one in honour of Beato Giacomo Bianconi.
Giacomo was born in Bevagna in 1220. At sixteen he was received into the Dominican order at Spoleto, and later founded a convent here in Bevagna. After a life of extreme austerity he died on 15 August, 1301, and his body is preserved here. His remains have been exposed on three occasions in the past and found to be incorrupt. Numerous miracles have been attributed to him and Pope Boniface IX granted indulgences to all those who visit his relics during the first three days of May. As this procession took place on the first Sunday in May I am sure that is related to that and that the people we saw following the statue were seeking indulgences.
We had seen this statue earlier in the church of San Domenico e del Beato Giacomo
and been struck by the red cord which symbolises the blood of Christ flowing onto the kneeling figure – just visible in my photo. It is said that this sprinkling of blood happened to demonstrate to him the eternal salvation promised by Jesus, and was a sign of his great goodness.
The old washhouse is still in use :-)
While I was in Bevagna in April 2008, it was too cold that women would have come to the washhouse near Porta Todi. But I’ve read that it is still in use in summers. That’s somehow typical for Umbrian villages (not only Umbria though): even if women have washing machines in their house, they still come to this public washhouse as part of their social life – exchange of information, gossips, chatting, making plans, invitations, festivities. I like that and wish that back home we would also have kept that custom.
Hike up for fantastic views
If you stay in Bevagna, you should hike up the hills to the southwest. You will be rewarded with beautiful paths through meadows and olive groves and wildflowers everywhere. I sensed incredible peace and harmony in these hills, reflecting the “slow” concepts of Slow Food and Cittàslow and the spirit of San Francesco. On the way uphill is a beautiful church, Madonna della Grazie (see screenshot google maps, “photo” 5). It should be open by now (restoration was ongoing in April 2008). Once on the hill, the views are breathtaking: the broad valley lies ahead and Monte Subasio in the back with the cities and villages Assisi, Spello, Foligno, Trevi, Campello sul Clitunno and Montefalco in the distance. It takes around 45 minutes uphill (to Il Poggio dei Pettirossi), but it is better and more rewarding to take time, a lot of time… slow :-). The landscape is too beautiful to race through it. In between you should look back from time to time – beautiful views for great photos are guaranteed.
Popular Hotels in Bevagna