We are very happy to host on our blog our friend and supporter of Umbria, Yo Harff.
As other very nice people who were so kind to write about their love for our home land, I "met" Yo for the very first time on "Twitter" under the common interest that is - obviously - Umbria.
Tweetting and RTweetting I discovered that Yo also has a great passion for cooking, passion that she's happy to share with all of us on her bilingual blog:
"La vita di Monteolivo"
name is Yo, I live in a house named Monteolivo, in The Netherlands,
in a village near Alkmaar, called Heiloo.
I divide my time between my
job as a quality controller, that I love, and my favorite things in
life. Those are the Italian kitchen, my vegetable- and herbgarden,
and my pets.
are six cats, of which Pio is my absolute nr. 1 and two German
Shepherds called Uno and Chica. I love to write and share about these
things, that make life worth living, in my blog `La vita di
apart from that, three times a year I simply have to follow my roots
and travel to Italy and Umbria in particular.
I discovered Umbria
I was a kid, I used to travel to Italy for visits with my parents and
saw a lot of it, but somehow – no family there - we never made it
On one of those summerholidays I read an adventurebook
about a knight who got lost and ended up in Perugia, a city I had
never heard of, but the description of medieval Perugia was very
attractive, even at that age, and I simply never got it out of my
mind. So I took the first chance when I was able to. My acquaintance
with Umbria started in the summer of 1992 at the Trasimeno lake, in a
small hamlet called Sant´Arcangelo di Magione. Of course, one of
the first trips I made led to Perugia.
It was the beginning of the
everlasting true love of my life: Umbria.
have never left it since then. People often ask me what´s so special
about Umbria. My answer may seem a little simple, but it just says it
all: il clima, la gente, il cibo (the climate, the people, the food).
There´s nothing better than stepping outside in Summer, see the
sunrise on the hills and knowing that it is going to be a long, hot,
beautiful day. I love to see the sunflowers, the vineyards and
olivefields bathing in the sunshine.
As well as in Autumn, when the
vineyards show their splendid terra and yellow colors and you can
still sit outside after a long day of picking olives. Not to mention
the Piano Grande in Spring, when its flowers start to prepare for a
|"Piano Grande and Castelluccio di Norcia" copyright Yo Harff|
best in Umbria are its people. Meanwhile, I have been so fortunate to
have made many friends and though they all have their own qualities,
they have one thing in common: they are proud of Umbria and of being
And they are eager to share it with you.
That way I saw a
lot of precious spots in Umbria that I would never have found on my
own. I especially love the amazing countryside and its small
villages, I fell in love with the rougher nature in the Valnerina,
for I am an outside girl at heart, but the Umbrian cities are more
than worth visiting. I recommend Todi, Spoleto, Assisi, Orvieto,
Gubbio, Norcia, Spello...and that is because I cannot mention them
all. And of course, I still visit Perugia each time I´m in Umbria.
can be short about the food. Umbrian food is not something you talk
much about, you just have to try and live it. Have a porchetta
sandwich, lentils from Castelluccio, strangozzi (pasta) with wild
boar, hare or truffles from Norcia, try the red potatoes from
Colfiorito, or keep it simple and have some typical Umbrian bread
with a little olive oil from Trevi. It´s not just eating, it´s
if you have some time left, visit one of the museums because Umbria
can show you a lot of treasures. I visited the Signorelli exhibition
in the Galleria in Perugia this year, but there are a lot more
masterpieces to be seen.
|"View on Todi from the road" copyright Yo Harff|
brings me back to my first time in Umbria..
I went to several museums
and also visited the Galleria in Perugia. After a while I forgot
about the rest of the world. But then, a few hours later, I heard my
youngest son Stefano (age four at that time) scream: `if I have to
watch one more Jesus again I swear I am going to throw up!`
apparently was the sign for an older gentleman to tell my son that he
was absolutely right and `if he would like some icecream`....
fortunately for Stefano, Umbria had it all, and still has.
See related Guest Writers and their love for Umbria:
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