About a month ago, I was in Gubbio, which is located in Umbria (Italy), not too far from Perugia and Assisi. I went there to visit some dear friends and welcome the New Year in their excellent company.
The weather was absolutely gorgeous, the sun was out shining brilliantly and it was cool but not cold. It was difficult to believe it was the end of December-beginning of January! So we decide to go hiking in the morning. Gubbio has some really nice hiking trails from short walks to full-day excursions. We chose a two-hour trail that took us first along the narrow medieval streets up towards the mountain peak.
At the end of our trail, we came to a monastery, the one where they keep the ‘ceri’ that they carry in May at the biggest festivity of Gubbio – i Ceri.
That’s when all those ‘eugubini’ or inhabitants of Gubbio who have moved to other cities to study or work return to their origins in order to take part in this traditional celebration. The town is packed every 15 May, all wear the colors of the team they support. The town is divided into groups of supporters on the basis of the different professions they practiced (corporazioni o mestieri) with their protector saint on top of the ceri (con il loro santo protettore in cima al cero). It is a celebration worth participating in. The town is charged with enthusiasm and excitement that vibrate in the air like electric waves. I hope to be able to take part in this great event again this May.
After our two-hour walk we were back in the center walking along the streets and alleyways of the medieval town.
Now we got to the best part of our visit: lunch. And not just any lunch but something typical of the region, something you can only have in Gubbio: the crescia. It is sort of bread, but not bread, not pita, not sandwich. It is a flat type of bread that you eat hot (in the back of the photo above). You can then choose what you prefer to put in it. We usually start thinking and talking about which crescia we are going to have a few days before we reach Gubbio.
You can choose between ‘affettati,’ or different types of ham, salami, prosciutto crudo; or you can have different types of cheese, sausage, grilled meat, and ‘erbette’ which is cooked spinach.
But I also like the ones with cheese and prosciutto crudo. Crescia goes well with some red wine from the region. A good crescia place, the one we went to, is located a five-minute drive out of the town center, on S.S. Contessa 20, and is called Bar Ristoro La Valle.
What a way to end a year and welcome the new one!
And this won’t be the last time I will go to Gubbio. I have already been several times, usually in the summer, hiking with my husband and our friends.
There are beautiful places to see around Gubbio as well. Every time we go, we discover something new.
And Gubbio itself is worth exploring. It is also a great place for shopping. It is famous for its traditional and modern ceramics. Their ceramics are highly artistic, unique expressions of creativity. Just like Gubbio itself.