Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Agriturismo Based Cycling in Umbria

Jeff Ziegler, ride leader, and Valentina Morlunghi, owner of the agriturismo "Casale I Perugini", located at the tip of the Monte Tezio National Park in Umbria, shared their story with us:

"Zigelo Cycling Vacations (http://www.zigelo.com/) was born through friendship, Jeff a passionate cyclist from Boston who lived for 5 years in Italy, and Valentina the owner of an agriturismo (inn/bed and breakfast) in Italy.

The vacation unfolds in Umbria, a region less known than others but with a rich history, hidden trails and local foods that are hard to forget.

We have planned a cycling vacation which is a true vacation, Italian style, at an attainable price. We built the vacation around the idea of having fun with a more relaxed schedule without strict time tables or fixed schedules. We plan to help you discover the nature in Umbria, the culture and the local eateries. You will have the option to join us each evening for dinner. We look forward to wonderful evenings with the group sipping wine in the cool evening Italian air.

Each trip is a week long, with the first trip planned for more experienced riders starting the 13th of September and less experienced riders starting the 20th. Accommodations will be provided by Valentina’s agriturismo, Casale I Perugini, in two bedroom apartments, complete with kitchens. During your stay, Valentina will be managing the home side of things, including housing, transportation, breakfast, and lunch. She will also organize the dinner outings as well as our planned cultural excursion.

The rides will be lead by Jeff. There will be four rides which will vary in length from 2 to 4 hours a day, leaving in the morning after breakfast, and returning for lunch (both meals are included). You will have the afternoon free to explore the country side, relax by the pool or head up to the historic city of Perugia. We also have one day where we will head out of town to discover one of the local wineries or the Marmore falls near Terni. Come experience Italy as it should be lived."

If you are not familiar with the term "agriturismo", a combination of the words for "agriculture" and "tourism" in Italian, here is a short explanation: Starting in the 1950s and continuing through the 1970s, small scale farming in Italy became less profitable, and, as one might predict, farmers abandoned many farms to search for work in larger towns. But Italians value highly the traditions and produce of small scale production of food, and by 1985 a law defined Agriturismo, and many abandoned buildings and estates were restored, some for vacation homes, and many for agriturismo. These agriturismi allowed the small farmer to augment the income from the farm, and for vacationers to sample the bounty of a rural life in Italy. An agriturismo vacation is suitable for the whole family and some places are even very romantic or luxurious.

Valentina's agriturismo appears to be quite beautiful, http://www.iperugini.com/index.php?txt=ENG

Photos: the courtyard, ride photos, the swimming pool

Stories, including cycling trip stories, for the Italian Cycling Journal welcome; contact veronaman@gmail.com

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