A Luxury Country Inn - Umbria

Renoir’s “Onions”

Knowing about my art history background, one of the most common questions guests ask me is “what is your favorite painting?”  They are clearly expecting me to name one of the great Italian masters, perhaps a Botticelli or Leonardo or Raphael.  I have always answered that I loved too many to simply name just one.  Last year, a guest insisted, …


It’s Time to Pause…continued – Part 2

 …to reminisce, to indulge more fully than was possible at the time, in the delicious afterglow of so many happy memories of 2017. More than making New Year resolutions, I like to take a look back on the past year to remember, to put in perspective, to fully understand, to appreciate, to reflect…and to be grateful!  I especially like to …


May 2016 View from Genius Loci Country Inn

10th Anniversary Celebration

As Genius Loci celebrates its 10th season, I have enjoyed pouring through old photographs and am so very pleased to share visual moments of and some thoughts from this amazing adventure. Even with our clear vision for an inviting inn, anchored in but not limited to, Umbrian tradition (its rural setting,  antique building materials, architectural details, no-fuss furnishings, and colors), reaching our …


A Medieval Festival in Bevagna

  June is a magical month at Genius Loci:  we are surrounded by endless fields of stately, majestic sunflowers, the days are long with balmy evenings…and just down the road, Bevagna is alive and abuzz with one of Italy’s most highly acclaimed and marvelous festivals.  Il Mercato delle Gaite runs for 10 days in the second half of June. This period …


Sagra della Cipolla Festival

  Food Festivals abound in Umbria.  Traditionally they were always centered on a local food of the town where the sagra was held.  More recently, eager to jump on the bandwagon, many towns have sadly “invented” sagre that have nothing to do at all with their own tradition or have hired “teams” from other regions to come in to run …


Finally… An Authentic Italian Cookbook

 Letizia Mattiacci, author of A Kitchen With A View at Genius Loci  Letizia’s cheerful book cover “Can you recommend a good cookbook, Mary?” guests ask during our Cooking Classes or our Gourmet Tastings at Genius Loci.  Just as invariable as the question –  was my disappointing answer: “No, I really can’t”.  Never had I found a general cookbook that fully understood …


A March favorite

  Early to mid-March is the much-anticipated beginning of artichoke season – the “mamme” as they are called in Tuscany or the”cimaroli” as they are called in Umbria:  the  very first, central, round-with-no-choke artichoke of the plants. While there are many delicious ways to cook these delicacies, one of our favorites is a simple version, taking advantage of the super-sweet …


Wild Asparagus and Shrimp Pasta

Like most of the locals, we forage for the treats of the season or for specialties when we travel.  Maurizio goes repeatedly into the woods next to Genius Loci in March-April to pick the delicious wild asparagus, freezing copious amounts for use throughout the year.  While there are many great uses (omelette, bruschetta topping, risotto, in a light tomato sauce …


47° Wedding Anniversary

 at the low-key, rustic Locanda del Rovicciano   note the 1600s original terracotta floor  a cozy table by the fire, welcomed with a chilled glass of Prosecco  perfectly toasted bruschette with black leafed cabbage, Sienese lardo and liver patè  paper-thin pasta homemade ravioli with roasted fennel and leek filling served with burrata and honey dried tomatoes  the house wine: a …


December Vacation – Part 6 – Plenty of Work to Do

Once home…we had plenty of work to do.  We unloaded our ice-packed fish, cleaning and dividing it into what we wanted to cook up immediately and what we intended to freeze. Using our own tomatoes, we made the base for il brodetto, a tomato-based (with celery, garlic, leeks, parsley and peperoncino) fish soup which is one of our favorite dishes. We …