Miraculous Umbria: The heart of Italy that the Italians keep to themselves


Diverse, untouched landscapes in the greenery of winding valleys make Umbria a region that will conquer you again and again and delight you with new places. This region with its hills, cypresses and plains is very reminiscent of Tuscany, has no access to the coast and is located in the heart of Boots. You have often heard about Tuscany, but if you were asked where Umbria is, you would probably wonder for a moment …

It is a region that the Italians seem to keep to themselves and rarely write about the small towns of Umbria that delight at first sight. There is the largest lake in central Italy, the remains of Etruscan settlements and the Cascate delle Marmore waterfalls near Terni, which are among the most beautiful in Europe. The waterfalls plunge into the river Nera with a spectacular 165 m fall and are surrounded by lush vegetation. Ideal for nature lovers and those who like to enjoy canoeing or kayaking


The largest city of Umbria is Perugia, the capital of the province with about 166,000 inhabitants located in the heart of the region. A very interesting town located on a hill, surrounded by Etruscan, Roman and medieval walls. It is known for its jazz festival as well as the chocolate festival, and it is from there that the Italian delicacy you bought as a souvenir from Italy – Baci Perugina – pralines that hide quotes from famous Italian poets, and recently launched Dolce & Gabbana edition. We visited three places, of which, I must admit, I have never heard of two before – we settled for four days in the famous town of Assisi, and visited nearby places – Gubbio and Spello

Incredible Assisi

Pilgrims have been coming to 13th-century Italian Assisi to worship St. Francis, who was born and buried here, but you don’t have to be religious to enjoy the beauty of this city that looks like a perfect postcard. Framed by the long, rolling hills of Umbria and the forests of Monte Subasio, Assisi is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in the world and one of Italy’s most enchanted gems.


Assisi is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The entire city enjoys this desired status due to the multitude of art and historically significant buildings, such as the Basilica of San Francesco. The basilica has such a collection of frescoes and paintings that it can be compared to many art museums. According to the UN, the city is of particular importance because of its role in spreading the Franciscan order and because of the “continuity of the city-sanctuary” from Umbrian-Roman origin to the present day. Only half an hour from Assisi lies, above the clouds, the town of Gubbio.

Gubbio – city with the famous past

Gubbio is one of the pearls of Umbria, which has remained remarkably well preserved over the centuries, with numerous monuments testifying to its glorious past. Architecturally, it represents the pinnacle of medieval civilization and society in the 1200s and 1300s, an unavoidable destination of a region rich in art, history and nature. Its noble towers, cathedrals, squares, alleys are a real spectacle for the visitor, as if he fell into the heart of the Italian Middle Ages and the Renaissance. But Gubbio is also a city that has lesser known but very interesting peculiarities.

If on the one hand it bears the nickname “the city of stone”, because of the material that shaped its aesthetics and urbanism, on the other hand it has the less noble nickname, but certainly the more curious, “the city of lunatics”. The symbol of this proverbial “madness” is the fountain, known as the fountain of the mad.

It is actually called the Bargello Fountain because it stands opposite the eponymous palace, an excellent example of Umbrian Gothic architecture: a well-preserved fourteenth-century building housing a crossbow museum and the headquarters of the Crossbow Society. In front of it, in a square called Largo Bargello, is an unusual stone fountain. A sixteenth-century sculptural work, restored in the second half of the nineteenth century, it is a fountain that allows you to get permission to be a “madman”. If you make 3 rounds around it and are sprayed – indeed, baptized – with its water, in the presence of the inhabitants of Gubbio, you can apply for some kind of crazy honorary citizenship, for which you get a certificate. But be careful: a resident of Gubbio must be present and must spray you, that is, baptize you with water.

This tradition is associated with the famous Festa dei Ceri, the most popular folk event in Gubbio. According to ancient documents, those who participated in it 3 times in a row could apply for some kind of honorary citizenship.

But why would anyone want to be crammed into the same basket with “crazy people”? It would be wrong to think that Gubbio associates this “madness” with the literal meaning of the term. Namely, it is said that the citizens of Gubbio are simply very ironic, unpredictable, funny, so to become an honorary lunatic means to share that enthusiasm with the people of this beautiful city.

Gubbio’s specialties include an intense white truffle flavor, a sauce of numerous spices for all types of pasta, which are still produced today in strict accordance with ancient techniques. In addition to truffles, there are many other excellent products used to prepare delicious dishes based on meat, cold cuts, cheese and vegetables.

Olfactory Spello

One of the more photogenic streets we visited was definitely the one in the town of Spello, which at first reminds us of a larger version of Grožnjan, Istrian city (Croatia). It is also called the city of flowers and art.

From May to August, Spello residents compete to see who can best decorate their street with flowers. This competition goes to such proportions that each street resembles a mini flower fair.

Spello, city of flowers and art

Also don’t miss the Infiorate di Spello event which is held every year on a small occasion of the Corpus Christi holiday, the ninth Sunday after Easter. That night, nearly a thousand people are constantly working to create carpets and pictures of flowers along the city’s narrow streets. Floral creations cover the streets throughout the historic core in preparation for the passage of the Blessed Sacrament carried in procession by the bishop on Sunday morning. The result is a unique, one mile long trail of beautiful floral creations with an explosion of colors and scents.


Umbria as a region is known for good food and wine. It is the largest Italian producer of black truffles. You will hardly see an Umbrian menu that does not contain black truffles, either with pasta, eggs or as a crostini al truffle on an appetizer plate. The city of Norcia in Umbria is the Italian center of cured meat products, so prominent that norceria is the term for a place that sells cured meat products anywhere in Italy. No wonder Italians rarely share this region with foreigners. It is up to you to plan your departure, we have revealed the destination to you.

5 must DO in Trento, charming little city in north Italy.

Charming Trento is a perfect choice if you are planning a family trip. It will satisfy all art&history lovers as well the nature lovers, especially in winter times.


There is so much activity in the city of Trento, a small charming town located in the Dolomites in the north of Italy! It is also ideal for a family trip because it offers numerous facilities for all generations, especially children.

The Trentino region in Italy will amaze you with its diverse territory, rich natural beauty, and at the same time full of cultural and gastronomic attractions. It is a great place to visit art, history and culture because of its castles, old churches and museums!

The influence and history of the city dates back to ancient Roman times. The remains of the ancient Tridentum can still be found today as part of the archeological site in the center of Trento, while the Renaissance presence can be seen on many facades of local palaces.

But the city’s main influence dates back to when the region was part of Austria from 1814 to 1918. It was not until a peace treaty signed after World War I that Trento and the entire region of Sudtirol became part of Italy

For this reason, you will notice the German influence through the gastronomic offer, especially beer consumption as well as through cultural activities.

nezaobilazni perec u gastro ponudi

Trento is a place where you will find many artists, enjoy the nature that surrounds it – especially during the winter when it offers attractive ski slopes, but also during the autumn when you can taste various varieties of the best wines in the country!

If you are planning to visit the city soon, but you are not sure what to do in Trento, we bring you 5 things that you should not miss:

  1. Old city center
Piazza del Duomo

Although rarely mentioned in tourist offers, the town of Trento with its old core can go alongside famous cities such as Treviso, Verona, Vicenza. Although smaller in area, it does not lag behind the historical attractions it offers. A walk through the center will enchant you with the picturesque main square Piazza del Duomo with the imposing Neptune Fountain from 1768, the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, the castle of Buonconsiglio as well as cozy cafes and restaurants where you can try the specialties of this region!

bar in Trento

The Cathedral of Trento is also known as the Cathedral of San Vigilio or Duomo di Trento. It was built around the 11th century, and the interior was remodeled during the early 13th century, using a combination of Lombard Romanesque style and high vaulted ceilings reflecting Gothic architecture. Inside, you will also discover frescoes that cover the entire range of Venetian, Lombard and late Gothic styles.

To make your time travel even more interesting, I will tell you that the cathedral is located above the remains of a 6th century Christian basilica with a mosaic floor!


2. Castle Buonconsiglio

Dvorac Buonconsiglio

Buonconsiglio Castle was of great importance to the city, as it was on its way to Germany, and therefore became the residence of the dukes of the bishops of Trent between the 13th and 18th centuries.

The imposing fortress mixes Romanesque and Gothic style on its towers with even more imposing architecture, and is decorated with Renaissance frescoes. The castle currently houses the Museo del Risorgimento and the Museo Provinciale d’Arte. You can see sculptures, antique furniture, archeological and ethnological collections, perfect for any lover of history and art.

castello Buonconsiglio

At the southern end is the Tower of Aquila, decorated with the Cycle of the Months from the 15th century, the best secular art style of the late Middle Ages. From month to month it illustrates and documents, in a rare and valuable form, court life and outdoor activities. Entrance to the castle costs 10 €.

3. MUSE – the museum of sience

MUSE was opened by Renzo Piano back in 2013 to show visitors the relationship between man and nature. The building has glass walls that mimic the surrounding mountain peaks and slopes. Exhibitions include the evolution from geological formations and fossils to the natural environment of flora, fauna, glaciers and avalanches

You can find practical, multimedia and sensory experiences that give life to artifacts. It is a museum and a dynamic introduction to alpine landscapes. As part of their practical sense of education, let’s say it’s forbidden to “NO” touch. The two listed trips for “Maxi Ooh” are for kids, while “Tinker Fun” is a space for adults to explore their creativity.

Since the museum is only partially translated, I recommend you choose a tour in English, especially if you are going with children.

When you’re done with the museum, go upstairs to get the perfect view of the picture. For the end of your visit, on the minus 1st floor there is a tropical greenhouse, perfect for relaxing. To enter the museum you need to pay 10 €

4. Panoramic funicular and waterfall Orrido di Ponte Alto

An excellent activity for all lovers of views and height is the cable car that will, for 5 €, take you from Trento to the village on the mountain where you will enjoy one of the best views of Trento. If you like sunsets, you might want to end your day there – with an aperol at a local bar.

Once you are in nature, head to the Klanac area where you will find the Ponte Alto gorge and its waterfall, a magical experience found in a canyon carved by the Fersina River over time. You will see two waterfalls dive into the canyon

The trails have been maintained and rearranged so that visitors can get closer to the canyon walls again, but you must visit them accompanied by a guide

5. Monte Bonodone

Monte Bondone

For all lovers of snow joys, the Dolomites are at your disposal. We headed to Monte Bondona, a 20-minute drive from Trento where there are ski resorts, restaurants and the famous art installation Terrazza delle Stelle.

Terrazza delle Stelle

In typical mountain restaurants you can try local offerings such as canederli (dumplings) and various strudels.

Of the other attractions of Trento, be sure not to miss the autumn wine tastings at the San Leonardo estate in Trento and the famous Film Festival.

Choose one of the many attractive hotels to enjoy your stay. We chose a refurbished and upgraded villa, Villa Madruzzo, located on a hill 5 minutes drive from the city, with great city views . The villa also offers a restaurant with Italian delicacies and wellness, so you can set aside one day for carefree relaxation with breakfast in bed and enjoying the Spa offer.

San Pellegrino, bubbles that will make you sparkle

Apart from being known for its sparkling water, the town of San Pellegrino is a real small thermal paradise where you can relax your body and soul, and for centuries many aristocracies and celebrities have found their luxurious vacation there.

San Pellegrino

The world-famous name San Pellegrino everyone today will associate with water that has 120 years of symbols of quality, an international icon of taste and elegance. This amazing story, which combines elements of design, tradition and taste, begins in the Alps in the town of the same name.

San Pellegrino factory, source: SanPellegrino official

Cesare Mazzoni, a lawyer from Milan, founded the Società Anonima delle Terme di S. Pellegrino later San Pellegrino, then it was listed on the Milan Stock Exchange. During the following year (1900), 35.343 bottles of S. Pellegrino mineral water were produced, of which 5.562 were shipped abroad, and this is where the whole story begins. Today, 1 billion bottles of S.Pellegrino mineral water and Sanpellegrino sparkling fruit drinks are sold worldwide in one year.

Originally, S. Pellegrino water was bottled without carbonation, but when the company began shipping water, they added natural carbonation to preserve the minerals. Customers loved the taste of carbonated water so much, the company stopped selling the non-carbonated version.

Terme before, source: SanPellegrino official

Apart from mineral water, this small town is also known for its spas. The first spas were opened, in the first half of the 19th century, by two families: Palazzolo and Salaroli. The old “spas” are now used as a space for temporary exhibitions, and are called “le vecchie terme”. The new baths, in fact the spa, were inaugurated, in a building next to the Casino, in 2006 by the Percassi family. The same family completely restructured the Casino, which was always owned by the municipality of San Pellegrino, but the management is in the hands of the Percassi family for about another 25 years. Since the opening of the baths, the city of San Pellegrino has become a famous health resort enjoyed by half of the European aristocracy.

Terme today, source: QC Terme official page

One of the most beautiful spas in Italy are certainly the QC spas located in several locations in Italy, and these in San Pellegrino will enchant you with their luxury and architecture that perfectly suit this natural environment.

Long time before, wealthy visitors would sleep in the Grand Hotel, by the Brembo River, when they arrived in the city, and in addition to enjoying the spa, the main entertainment was gambling at the Casino. The imposing Grand Hotel, of Art Nouveau construction, has only been partially renovated, as the costs are very high. The casino definitely closed in 1946, and the Grand Hotel in 1979. Of the many visitors from all over Europe, we will list just a few – Queen Margherita di Savoia, Queen Elena, Prince Umberto and Princess Maria, Italian composer Mascagni, General Luigi Cadorna, members of the Russian Zar family, artistic director Federico Fellini and his wife and actress Giulietta Masina , actors such as Ugo Tognazzi and Ornella Muti, the famous Italian singer Adriano Celentano and many others.


Terme – Casino; source: QC Terme official page

Beside S. Pellegrino Terme are the Grand Hotel, other attractions are the promenade in the city center, the old funicular that leads to a place called Vetta, 650 meters above sea level, and the recently renovated Tempio dei Caduti.

When you relax in the spa, I recommend a night walk along the Brembo River, which will additionally recharge your batteries. From the nightlife you will find bars along the promenade, which are also ideal for a morning coffee with a glass, of course, of S. Pellegrino.

San Pellegrino

If you are traveling with a child (up to 14 years old) you will not be allowed to enter the Spa QC Terme, so I would recommend that you stay at the nearby luxury hotel Piajo Relax Hotel, which will meet all your expectations. It is located on a hill overlooking Bergamo, blended into the perfection of the nature that surrounds it so relaxation is guaranteed. The spa offers a swimming pool, indoor and outdoor, and the wellness area consists of a panoramic sauna, several baths and relax rooms and showers. The hotel also offers a restaurant that will satisfy even the most demanding gourmand as it offers a fusion of local gastronomic offerings served at the level of Michelin restaurants.

Piajo Relax hotel

If the road takes you to Lombardy, don’t miss to visit this small thermal paradise to recharge your batteries.

Milan for the weekend:

Bars and restaurants you must visit!

As I am often staying in Milan, many friends ask me for advice what to see, what restaurants, bars, and places they shouldn’t miss. I have already written about the sightseeing of Milan in the past postings, but I will be happy to share the top locations where to eat and where to enjoy the best coffee and aperitifs.

Milan from Expo 2015 becomes a city where every day a new cool place, worth visit pops up, but these are my favorites:


Breakfast is the most important part of the day, so start it at a good location. One of the bars that will delight you with the offer and decoration is definitely Pave. Except the perfect coffee, it offers a great choice of breakfast – from sweet croissants, brownies, to brioches with top quality prosciutto, salmon and all prepared home made with particular attention to the ingredients they use.

brioche with salmon, coffee, croissant

Ceresio 7

This place is definitely everything! You can have an excellent Italian espresso, served with delicious sweets, and enjoy the view of the city in the shade of the pool, and you can always jump in it. If you want to try out the Italian specialities then you can stay for lunch or just come in the evening at the aperitif or pool party. The owners of this area are famous designers Dsquared2 so each detail is carefully selected and styled to fit in space

Morning coffee by the pool, Ceresio7


For lovers of the finest pasta dishes, and acceptable for everyone’s pocket, there is definitely Miscusi’s restaurant. Only home-made pastas are used here, so the taste of each dish is as if they were prepared by real Italian grandma for Sunday lunch. Characteristic decoration, with long tables, invites people to socialise and have fun tasting food. A true Italian way of living – dolce vita!

Ravioli with truffles

Mun – fine asian kitchen

For sushi lovers, Milan has become a real top place. As it grows into a true metropolis, the inhabitants of all races can now be seen here, especially Asians who, with their arrival, enriched the offer of Asian cuisine. I would definitely recommend the Mun restaurant. As it is near Ceresio7, you can combine a sushi dinner with a later drink at the Ceresio 7 rooftop bar.

Sushi dinner


The place that absolutely impressed me lately. An ideal place for a romantic dinner for two or dinner with friends in a pleasant setting and atmosphere. What to point out? Absolutely everything. At first step it will already conquer you by decorating, high windows that give plenty of light in the interior, and a lavish garden decorated with lights that at every season give a special charm. From the food you can try pastas, steak, burgers or seafood specialities, all prepared with a special fusion of flavor and served with style on the plate. Definitely try a drink Moscow Mule, best I have ever tasted.

Dinner in the garden, Alfresco

Radio Rooftop Bar

I’m an absolute fan of rooftop bars, and I enjoyed the most on them in New York. That is why I am happy to be able to enjoy almost the same way in Milan. Apart from Ceresio7, which, I must mention, is for guests with a bit bigger budget, if you want to relax in the food and drink in more acceptable way, certainly worth seeing is Radio Rooftop Bar. When you walk on that terrace you will need a few minute to remind yourself that you are not in New York but in Milan. The view of the city is wonderful, and if you come to the aperitif, you will be painted in gold colour one of the most majestic sunsets. The colours that you will see on the Milan sky at the time of the sunset will take your breath away. This place is great for aperitifs which can later be turned into real clubbing because music is often played by top DJ.

Sunset, Radio Rooftop Bar

The Doping Club

If you are a fan of interior design or interesting photo corners, The Doping Club is the place for you. This club and restaurant is part of the interesting The Yard hotel, and in the same complex is a very creative pizzeria with even more creative name Dirty Gym. Tip is to try everything, and restaurant and clubbing and pizza. You will not make a mistake if you stay longer because visitors are always interesting, from all over the world and the atmosphere is great. Perhaps the best idea is to stay in this hotel that will impress you with a design of the rooms, each room is decorated in the style of a particular sport.

The Doping Club


Sugar on top! Milan is famous for its good Italian ice cream, so you can not choose the wrong pastry shop. It will impress you with the variety of flavours they offer because a lot of them you can not taste outside of Italy. From the famous pastry shops there is Grom, Venchi 1878, Done with L’amore. I’m going to point out Amorino, that is really tasty. What will conquer you is the way they serve the ice cream, and it is in the shape of a rose!


We came to the end. I’ll just point out once again, I’ve set up my, currently, top selection of bars, restaurants that you need to try, but that’s not all. Milan becomes from day to day a place that does not fit into one article, so I have already wrote on a blog several articles about this, more then, interesting city. To be continued ..

The town with timeless Italian charm with Advent that gives a special Christmas magic.

Trst, perfect for a weekend even in the winter!

Many European cities are trying to attract the tourists with their advent offers, and many in that race lose the charm they had before, the unforgettable Christmas magic that creates special warmth.

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Traveling through history or future? 8 wonders of Leonardo da Vinci that you must see in Milan

This year has united Italy in the unique celebration of the jubilee anniversary, which you must not miss – 500 years since Leonardo da Vinci’s death. On this occasion, the city of Milan will highlight a number of creativity and contribute to the humanity that Leonardo has left unselfishly behind. The start of this great celebration is May 15th, opening of the restored hall – Sala delle Asse at Castle Castro Sforzesco.

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Forget about the already famous Italian cities, discover hidden gems


The escape from everyday life in the Renaissance Paladio style villa, on Italian hills with a spectacular view of the azure sky and olive groves. No, it’s not a fictional story, but a real place you can get next weekend because it’s just 4 and a half hours drive from Zagreb.

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Treviso, city of water


Treviso is located at the mouth of two Alpine rivers, Siles and Boteniges. Just 30km from Venice, from which you can reach with the boat, this town has been known since 15th century as a place to rest and enjoy the rich inhabitants of Venice.

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