As we were staying here for our wedding, we didn't do an enormous amount of site seeing, but tried to show our families some of the highlights of the town as well as venturing a little further afield. Overall, it was a very chilled portion of the trip with the focus on just enjoying the countryside, food, wine and our beautiful villa and taking the opportunity for quality time with our favourite people.
I'll try to focus more on the traveller-helpful parts of the stay rather than waxing lyrical about what a fabulous time we had celebrating our marriage :)
Day 2 and 3 (continued from Rome)
We arrived into Spoleto off a packed out, but straightforward, regional train from Rome about 1pm. We knew some of our guests were on the same train, so hung around at the station for a little while to try and find them... But to no avail!
It turns out the had got off at the previous stop - baiano do Spoleto! Whoops! We had tried to call to tell them not to, as suspected they might see "Spoleto" and think it was our stop - but I guess with the busy train they didn't hear our calls. So note to anyone getting a train to Spoleto - don't let baiano di Spoleto trick you!! They got lucky in the end as a kind local gentleman realised what had happened and offered them a lift down to Spoleto.
We were staying with a number of our guests at a villa just outside of Spoleto called villa pianciani. I won't bore you all with details of the Saturday evening and Sunday as they're not really pertinent to traveller tips. But we would absolutely recommend the villa to anyone, either for an event or just large groups wanting wonderful accommodation in the heart of the Umbrian countryside. The villa manager is incredible and simply can't do enough to help. She co-organised the wedding day alongside our planner as well as food and drink the night before. The entire wedding day was catered by the villa and the food as well as the general effort they made with the set up etc was absolutely excellent. Our guests are still commenting on how much the enjoyed the food provided, and we were totally blown away by it. The villa manager even called for taxis for our guests throughout the stay and generally did a fantastic job of making sure the whole wedding and stay was straightforward and enjoyable for everyone involved!
We got so lucky with everyone involved in the wedding - our planner was fantastic, as were our bands and photographers, hair and make up artist and florist. If anyone is planning a wedding in the area and needs recommendations please feel free to message me and I'll be happy to give more details.
So, after a rather late night the day before we had a pretty lazy morning. We got up fairly late and everyone spent the morning recovering from the previous night with food, coffee and a dip in the pool.
After lunch we headed down to Spoleto to do a little easy going site seeing. We parked just out of town and meandered our way through the windy little streets to the duomo. I think Spoleto is a beautiful little town. Although you wouldn't fill a week of site seeing in the town itself, it has some really beautiful sights and is a lovely place to just wander, relax and watch the world go by in a charming setting.
After a visit to the duomo, we headed up the escalators toward the Rocca and took a walk around the path surrounding the Rocca to the bridge. We had planned to cross the bridge and take a walk up through the woodland on the other side, but unfortunately the bridge was closed ( we understand now it was due to the earthquake, I think as the stability needs to be checked for safety purposes - so if may end up being closed for a little while). Instead, we just took in the views for a bit them continued our circuit around the Rocca and back through town.
That being about the extent of the excitement anyone could handle for the day, we headed back to the villa for a beautiful barbecue under the stars.
As our last full day in Umbria, we decided to do something a bit more resembling serious site seeing and set off mid-morning to visit Marmore falls. It took us about an hour to drive to the falls, along some beautiful routes of small windy streets going through tiny Umbrian towns and along hilltops with the most incredible views across the countryside.
We arrived into the car park at the top of the falls while they were in full flow. The first view of the falls was awesome - it was a beautiful sunny day and the spray from the falls created two enormous rainbows. We spent a fair bit of time not even moving from the first viewing platform and just taking it all in.
From there we started off on the main footpath down the falls. We had some small children with us, so took a very leisurely pace. The walk was beautiful - you sort of wind through the woods, with various view points of the water. Everyone particularly enjoyed the part where there is a tunnel through the rocks that brings you out by the falls.
By the time we got to the bottom, the falls had been turned off. So we sat by the pools and tucked into a hearty (late!) picnic lunch. Some of our group had planned to get the shuttle bus back to the top car park, but on further investigation it wasn't running! So most of us wound our way back up the falls, with the intention of driving down to collect the others quickly once we got up.
Unfortunately the "quick" pop down to play taxi didn't turn out to be that quick... There isn't really a direct route between the car parks as far as we could tell, so it ended up being a 30 minute round trip from one car park to the other and back again. We sent our families off to our next stop - lago piediluco - while we did the taxi run. We had planned to relax on the beach, perhaps rent boats etc, but the families couldn't quite figure out where / how to access the beach, so decided to just head back to the villa and have some time by the pool instead. Although we really wanted to get to the lake, we figured we would have plenty of time together on honeymoon so decided we would go back to the villa too and make sure we had the chance to enjoy our final evening with our guests instead.
We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing by the pool and polishing off the leftover wine and beer from the wedding day. My sister and I then whipped up an enormous batch of pasta and we relaxed with a home cooked dinner, followed by gelato, enjoying our last night all together with a view across the twinkling lights of Spoleto in the valley below.
Today we were saying goodbye to our families and beautiful Umbria, and heading off for the first stop of our honeymoon.
We had no deadline to check out of the villa, so had a relaxed morning drinking coffee and eating pastries with our families and friends while everyone pottered around packing up. The villa manager stopped by to wish us well and see us off, and kindly arranged a taxi to take us to the train station at midday for our train to Naples.
After seeing off various friends and family in drips and drabs throughout the morning, we took a final wander through the grounds and settled down on the front lawn with mugs of coffee nattering with my family. Before we knew it the taxi was there, and with more than a little sadness and promises to ourselves that we would return to the venue that had hosted the most amazing few days of our lives, we were off...