Home / 2017 / Ottobre

  • 1 Kg of black olives
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • peel (only the orange part) of untreated half-orange
  • ½ glass of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt



Put the black olives to dry in a cloth bag, and attach it near a source of heat (one time it was near the fireplace). Let it rest for at least 8 days, then put the olives in a bowl and pour over boiling water. Leave them rest for a couple of hours, then drain them and dry them. Season with minced garlic and orange peel, oil and salt. Mix well and place in a glass jar. They can be stored for a month.


This preparation is spread throughout Umbria.


Courtesy of Calzetti-Mariucci Editore

The rustling cypresses of Villa Capelletti, lined up as soldiers, trace green and odorous lines that, here in Umbria, we used to associate with ancient manors. Emblems of an ancient aristocracy that, concealed by a cool shade, protect its intimate secrets.

Custodian already of ancient locomotives and of the Museum of Folk Traditions and Peasant Arts, today Villa Capelletti Renaissance complex in Garavelle also hosts an extraordinary museum that we can consider as a unicum for its characteristics, but also for its location in a region like Umbria, which doesn’t have an outlet on the sea. A Malacological Museum. 



The hidden treasure

Malakos has collected about six thousand specimens, but “only” three thousand have been shown: the true treasure is in the drawers of the luminous showcases filling the corridors, arranged by thematic pathways that arouse exclamations of wonder not only to children, but also to adults, fascinated by delicate architectures lying on blue quartz in the showcases.


Coral reef

To welcome the visitor, there is a room that is the diamond-point of the entire exhibition: in this deep hole that opens on the main corridor of the villa, has been recreated a coral reef. This is the content of one of the three containers, seized by the State Forestry Corps, doomed to illegal souvenir trade. It contained specimens of blue coral, that is to say the rare fan-shapes Heliopora coerulea, embalmed turtles, crustaceans, and all the wonderful beasts populating the reef. They tried to place them faithfully recreating the natural levels, transforming an irreparable damage into a learning opportunity. In observing that incredible shapes and architectures, it is difficult not to feel apprehensive: an entire atoll has been eradicated, its variety destroyed. Despite the tremendous efforts of curators – Gianluigi Bini, Debora Nucci and Giacomo Rettori – there is like a death patina that does not allow us to really understand the immeasurable wealth of the coral reef: all the colors, indeed, are lost, everything is cloaked from a kind of opacity, with some wan red tips – red, blue, brown. The result of a scandalous act made by scrupulous smugglers.


Guardians of Biodiversity

I take a picture of two of the curators present there – biologist Debora Nucci and Professor Gianluigi Bini – right in front of the recreated reef. They set themselves as watchmen: protectors and guardians of the planet’s biodiversity, a unique and vulnerable treasure. The visit of Japanese princes was emblematic, herald of a culture in which shells are part of the royal treasure.

Debora Nucci e Gianluigi Bini

Debora Nucci e Gianluigi Bini

However, it is difficult to imagine this tranquil place flurrying for the Japanese Kings. Today the villa is surrounded by a relaxed atmosphere and of deep calm. As if it wants to make me feel better what I see. I can even talk with Gianluigi Bini, curator of the exhibition, naturalist, marine biologist and paleo-anthropologist, but first of all, a great adventurer. Animated by an insatiable curiosity, the scholar has traveled long and wide to the world until he landed on the Philippine coasts, where he discovered a gastropod yet unknown to science. He called it Cinguloterebra binii, giving half of his name in the baptism of a new specimen.

The Exhibit

The Professor tells me about his travel as well as of the innumerable dangers in which a scholar – especially in some parts of the World – can run: mangroves, for example, are inexhaustible labyrinths in which it is easy to get lost, while river rivers can be infested by some species of sharks that swim along their course. We are talking about all those interstitial areas between different ecosystems, which hide every kind of pitfalls, such as poisonous snakes and mollusks.



Experiences reflected in the choice of setting up not just a biological area – where you can discover the features that allow the recognition and classification of shells, such as the architecture that characterizes the species, why they are colored, how they reproduce and what are the deformations they may incur due to pollution – but also a bio-geographical area, organized in order to show the Planet’s variety, including the abysses or the above-mentioned “hybrid” areas, placed between sea and mainland. There are also raids in Prehistory, with fossil specimens that let you glimpse the innumerable forms in which those beings, which have become stone blocks, would have evolved.

An Ancient history

Taking advantage of the curator’s willingness, I challenge the question that has been running in my mind since I heard about the show.
«Why did you set up a collection of a kind in Umbria, considering that the last time the region saw the sea was thousands of years ago?»
It is precisely in that ancient prehistoric sea that refers to Gianluigi Bini by answering me: «When I returned to Italy, I found myself in Città di Castello (the curator is comes from Tuscany, ndr) and here, in this quiet place, I remained. Here, where the sea once covered everything.»
This one it’s an ancient story. A story that Umbria cares in the bowels of its mountains, sometimes erupting red ammonites or shells of bone blaze. A story that is now also kept in Malakos‘s belly.


Onlus Malakos – Malacological Museum 
Villa Capelletti | Garavelle
Città di Castello, Perugia.
Tel 075 855.2119 / 331 130.5657

To find out more about the initiatives dedicated to children, visit the Facebook page.
Openings: every morning from 10am to 12am (no booking) | all afternoons on call | Monday closed.


More on Città di Castello

Yes, Pino Lancetti came from Umbria, and we could say that he was an Umbrian DOC, one of ​​those who have left an indelible imprint in the world of which Umbria can be really proud.

Pino Lancetti with her sisters,Vanda,Lorena and Edda


He was born in Bastia Umbra on November 27th, 1928; there he spent his youth, and since then it was clear his gentle soul and that artistic touch which led him to embark on a career as a fashion designer, thanks to which he became an absolute protagonist all over the world.
We recover precious pearls from Lancetti’s life from the monograph that Professor Edda Vetturini, his former teacher and great supporter, dedicated him in 2007, the year of his death, throughout a special edition of «Il Giornale di Bastia» published by Pro Loco di Bastia Umbra.
By reading, we learn how young Pino did not want to attend his peers, because he preferred to draw sketches on that drawing album from which he never separated and how, since then, his works were animated by fantasy and extraordinary talent.
He attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Perugia, and after a first period spent in Umbria, where he worked as a designer, first in ceramics production then in the artistic field of Perugina, in 1954 he moved to Rome.

An umbrian tailor that reached the top of fashion

Here he opened his own laboratory in Via Margutta and slowly began to create a his fame in the Capital, which allowed him to make his first collection for Princess Lola Giovannelli. His work was applauded by the greatest Italian fashion journalist, Irene Brin, and from that moment on he began his important career as a haute couture designer.
Art was his inspirational muse, in particular painting, and painters oriented his most famous collections: the first, a success of 1956, was influenced by Modigliani; in 1977 the Italian Style Renaissance collection was suggested by Raffaello‘s rooms, and finally the realization of true art masterpieces with the launch of the Sophisticated Lady in 1984, fabrics embellished with drawings that tell the deep suggestions of the artists he loved and that driven him: Cimabue, Giotto, Picasso, Matisse, Kandinsky, Modigliani.


High Fashion Spring / Summer Collection, 1986

The tailor-painter

More than dresses, his creations were real works of art, that had to be exhibited more than worn, and it was no coincidence that Lancetti was attributed by the specialized press the nickname of “tailor-painter“.
That tailor-painter who, in 1986, for the 25th anniversary of haute couture, presented at Villa Medici, which hosted the Accademia di Francia, a wonderful collection in honor of Picasso, together with an exhibition presented by the great painter in his latest artistic period: «Arlecchino’s models attracts in the same way as those of the Spanish artist, joining, painting and Fashion, in a harmonious union with Art.»[1]

Tradition and innovation: Lancetti’s versatility

Lancetti’s fashion was refined and precious, the dresses were often adorned with woven embroideries, decorated with stones, crystals, sequins. Each item was unique and unrepeatable that has to be admired as the paintings loved by the artist and that inspired him.
His scarves became famous all over the world, real paintings with a single frame, which represented a symbol of elegance and sophistication between the Seventies and Nineties.
Pino Lancetti was a multifaceted artist and he worked for the cinema industry (in 1979 he created the costumes for the film La Luna by Bernardo Bertolucci); he was the creator of profound transformations resulting from a constant study and careful research: creativity yes, but without improvisation.
Together with the gown-work of art, the designer perceived the need for change in female fashion, in line with the emancipation that women were experiencing in the Seventies. Hence the need to create a fast, practical, easy-to-wear fashion: in this way originated the prêt-à-porter that awarded him the Italian Press Special Prize.
Lancetti was indeed a fashion designer loved by the press, Italian and foreign, and he was awarded many prizes during his career: from Knight of the Republic to the Nomination in Who’s in Italy 1997, from the Golden Baiocco of the City of Perugia, at the Career Oscar from the National Chamber of Fashion. Just to name a few. In 2001, Ciampi appointed him a Grand Officer for the merit of the Republic.
Among the numerous exhibitions dedicated to him, we want to remember the one set up in his region: in 1999, in the Cannoniera Hall of Rocca Paolina, there were exposed a hundred haute couture masterpieces belonging to the private collection of the artist.



High Fashion Spring / Summer Collection, 1986

The citizen's tribute

Ten years after the disappearance of Pino Lancetti, Bastia Umbra, who, after his death, received the coffin of his fellow citizen in a lively embrace, he wanted to dedicate to him the piazza adjacent to the Church of San Rocco.
In the middle of the small Largo Pino Lancetti, he looks with his elegant and vaguely melancholic air those streets that many times saw him walk, carrying his inseparable drawing album under his arm.


[1]E. Vetturini, Lancetti. Il Re dell’Alta Moda, special edition of «Il Giornale di Bastia», Pro Loco of Bastia Umbra, November 2007.



E. Vetturini, Lancetti. Il Re dell’Alta Moda, special edition of «Il Giornale di Bastia», Pro Loco of Bastia Umbra, November 2007. The publication was courtesy of Vanda Lancetti, Pino’s sister.


More on Bastia Umbra

  • 4 slices of homemade bread
  •  2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ glass of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt



Toast, or maybe brown on grid, the slices of bread. Peel the garlic, slice garlic in a half and rub it off the slices of bread. Salt, sprinkle with oil and bring to the table.



Bruschetta was born in the mills, when the new oil was poured out during olives milling. It is typical of the central part of Italy, but now it is eaten all over the year. To the basic preparation – with olive oil – there were added variations that that have little to do with it, except the one with tomato. In the countryside they used to prepare toasted bread with a tomato rubbed on it, especially for kids’ snack.  


«When I arrive in Citerna, I wonder why I came. Then, after a couple of days, I resume the human rhythm of these places and I would not leave anymore.» 

Journalist, television and radio author for Rai and La7, editor for Stream and film director for Tele +, everything driven by a single passion: cinema. Alessandro Boschi, born in Città di Castello, often returns to these places to rediscover the human dimension that this land can give.



Alessandro Boschi

What’s your connection with Umbria, considering you have been living in another region for a while? 

Surely it is a register bond, since I was born in Città di Castello and grown in Citerna. In Umbria I have my family and memories related to my childhood. I often go back, especially to find a more human dimension. In Rome or Milan we lose these rhythms, everything is more frenetic, but my job has led me to forcedly leave Umbria. 

You deal with cinema: do you think Umbria is well exploited in this area or should it be strengthened? 

It is not badly exploited, but in Umbria it would serve a mapping of all the activities related to the cinema because, while being small, it has different ones and very interesting: I think of the cinema festivals, such as the Cdcinema in Città di Castello, of which I am the president, or Umbria Film Festival in Montone. They need structures that would organize and connect to each other all the small realities related to this world. Finally, the Film Commission should be restructured and have a greater power, as has in other regions.

As radio and television programs author, if Umbria was your program how would you enhance it? 

Umbria has identified and well exploited its  vocation – I think of the religious one. However, it would need external contaminations. Let me explain it better: we would keep our traditions, but they would have to be guided by someone coming from outside, to take away that provincialism that does not allow that real jump of quality that Umbria deserves. The region has to open up more and accept external contamination, which can only make it grow and improve. 

Have you ever felt that Umbrian stereotype of being narrow-minded, or did someone make it notice to you? 

Of course it exists, but no one has never make it notice to me. Perugia is even more closed: when I was in the college – I’ve been here for little time – I did very little friendship with people from Perugia. Umbria, unfortunately, has no mental openings, is an anachronistic reality. It needs social legitimation and it is necessary to open up our eyes as soon as possible and integrate.

Three words to describe Umbria

Appetizing, quiet and introverted.

The first thing that comes to mind thinking about this region … 

I think about the map. The fact that Umbria is the only Italian region that has no outlets, either on the sea or on other countries, that it is closed and surrounded by other regions. Perhaps its closure can also come from this. 

Bettona belongs to the Club
I Borghi Più Belli d’Italia


Being the only Etruscan settlement on the left bank of Tiber river, Bettona rises 365 meters above the sea level, on a hill that outlines the extreme propagation of a hilly system detached from the Martani Mountains. Railing of Umbria, it dominates the flat valley below, and it opens up to the surrounding towns and the Apennine, which, far away, rise above.


Museum of the City of Bettona


Its ancient Umbrian-Etruscan origins, numerous archaeological finds and well preserved walls, make Bettona a place rich in historical-artistic testimonies, a widespread museum that extends throughout the territory. Its palaces, once splendid residences, its breathtaking views, its finely adorned churches and oratories, and its municipal museum, are an compulsory stop for tourists, scholars and enthusiasts.

The Museum

Placed in Piazza Cavour, the Museum of the City of Bettona is set on the contingency of Palazzo del Podestà and Palazzo Biancalana. The first was built in 1371 as part of the city reconstruction ordered by the cardinal and papal legate Egidio Albornoz; the second was built in neoclassical style on owner Francesco Biancalana’s project after the second half of the Nineteenth Century.



Marble head of Aphrodite, II sec. A.D


The collection, deeply rooted in local history, includes two distinct sections, both of great value: an archaeological and a pictorial one.
The archaeological section of the Museum makes the exhibition start, testifying the territory’s origins. It includes Etruscan artifacts, a large number of architectural crockery, funeral and border caskets, ceramics, sculptural works of the late Hellenistic period and Roman marbles.
Among the most remarkable pieces of the collection there is a magnificent marble head of Aphrodite dating back to the middle of the Imperial Age, discovered in 1884 in the agricultural land owned by the Bianconi family; stolen in 1987, it was found then in New York in 2001.
Jewels and other finds found in the tomb of the Colle, the burial chamber discovered in 1913, are instead exposed to the National Archaeological Museum of Umbria in Perugia.
The renovation work of the pavement of Piazza Cavour has shown an ancient monumental well dating back to the end of the Fifteenth Century; it is a circular plant made by squared stone rocks. Interesting
are also the remains of an underground masonry and a Roman road.

The Picture Gallery

The Town Picture Gallery occupies, on the other hand, the Fourteenth Century Palazzo del Podestà and some rooms of Biancalana family’s residence.
The collection, which dates back to 1904, includes different kind of pieces, all close to local history. The Picture Gallery houses about sixty works, mostly pictorial, such as: the Saint Anthony of Padua and the Madonna della Misericordia with the saints Stefano, Girolamo and clients by Pietro Vannucci called “Il Perugino“, two precious fourteenth-century miniature chorales, St. Michael the Archangel of Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, a polychrome wood crucifix attributed to Agostino di Duccio, the monumental altarpiece with the Madonna in glory and Saints by Jacopo Siculo, a tabernacle with Christ and Evangelists attributed to Domínikos Theotokópoulos better known as “El Greco“, Saints Peter and Paul by Giuseppe Ribera known as “Lo Spagnoletto“, an in the round glazed earthenware depicting St. Anthony of Padua, inspired by the eDella Robbia, and a wonderful table with the Adoration of the Shepherds of the artist Dono Doni from Assisi, fast restored after the earthquake of October 2016. The intervention, funded by the Uffizi Gallery, was lead intra moenia through the creation of a restoration laboratory visible to everyone.
Inside the Museum, there are also active educational services with a quality teaching offer that combines the artistic rigor of collections with a creative atmosphere. Art, play and creativity used to communicate to the new generations the importance that art has in the social and anthropological development of each one of us.



The Picture Gallery

For the upcoming twenty-fifth year of twinning with the city on the west coast of the United States, AboutUmbria meets Michele FioroniCouncillor of the Municipality of Perugia for territorial marketing, urban design, economic development and European design, ready to head for Seattle. 

The Councillor Michele Fioroni

The Councillor Michele Fioroni


The Councillor has a qualification that speaks for itself  and allows him to make some brilliant comments on the promotion of a place like Umbria. Speaking of territory and undisclosed beauty is natural for us, especially when the pretext is a bilingual editorial project that aims to spread a non-stereotyped image of a region like ours, also abroad.

The Councillor agrees with us in identifying quality communication as the key of the entire project. We are talking about the aesthetic beauty of the product, given by the fineness of the paper and by the graphic and photographic project, but also of the content value, mainly given by the information validity reported and by the originality adopted in presenting that information.

According to Ferroni, «although AboutUmbria has a traditional support, it is a qualitatively high editorial product that was missing. The true challenge – continues the Councillor – is to replicate the same quality on other channels, such as online, which is directed to a wider audience and requires less investment.» This a complementary means therefore, that does not require mere presence, but high visibility too. And AboutUmbria knows it well, because our communication offering is completed with our online magazine, bilingual too, constantly updated and synchronized with the major social networks. It is clear now that it is the net to decree the fame or the pillory of certain tourist destinations. The Councillor makes us the example of Krakow, which few years ago was not particularly popular, but now, thanks to low cost companies and social media, has suddenly became desirable. 



It is therefore important that the Internet consecrates Umbria as a highly desirable destination, and to do so, it is necessary to have a good communication plan supported, where possible, by a local presence.
And what is better than a twinning? Councillor Fioroni argues that these moments of encounter should be exploited to give to the name of Umbria a reputation, also focusing on the visual wonder that this region is able to offer. Perugia, in particular, would see the prestige of his name increase, especially because it would benefit from the similarities that link it to Seattle. Both of them have a long musical tradition – one with jazz, the other with grunge – and the Umbrian capital city, thanks to fiber optics, aspires to become ultra-tech, approaching more and more to the American twin.

AboutUmbria, flying overseas, intends to provide the communicative support that this operation requires.
We have to wish the Councillor a good trip, hoping that Umbria could enchant Seattle as it made to us. 

Attics always hide great secrets. Sometimes you just have to look up and go up to find hidden treasures. The church of San Domenico is well known, but what has been hidden in its attic?

The attics of San Domenico, photo by engineer Alessandro Polidori

The tour between the attics

Few have ventured up there, but today we bring you to those rooms, thanks to engineer Alessandro Polidori who, together with architect Giulio Ser-Giacomi, wants to valorize this important site of Perugia. A place that will allow you not only to walk through the story, but also to enjoy a breathtaking panorama.
«The attics of San Domenico are a very special place, full of historic elements, each one deserving careful observations and reflections – explains Engineer Polidori -. Every single stone has something to tell. Not only a beautiful panorama to be seen from the top of the bell tower, climbing and walking on the extrados sometimes makes you realize how majestic and magnificent the 14th Century church could be.»
The vaults that you can admire today were built in the mid-sixteenth Century by Architect Carlo Maderno  who reconstructed them after the collapse of the early Gothic times, recreating them precisely as we see them today, with the exception of the lateral chapels, added in the 18th Century, and of the apsidal part of the church that had not collapsed: the choir and the four side chapels.
«The attic of San Domenico hides the signs of these modifications – continues the engineer – By visiting them you can observe the ancient medieval pillars emerging from the present vaults, the extraordinary shape of the capitals and the openings that once granted natural light».


Courtyard of San Domenico, photo courtesy of engineer Polidori

The project of valorization

To make this visible to the public, there is a project under formulation, which involves the creation of three possible routes. «We start with the basilica tour, then we will go to the sacristy, after admiring the reconstructions of the 14th Century plant thanks to Ugo Tarchi’s watercolors and, thanks to the air spaces , we will climb up to the height of the attic – illustrates Polidori – Above the vaults, the paths unwind between the two aisles’ vaults, the nave vault, the chorus’s one, the apsidal chapels’ ones and sacristy’s, and then go upstairs to the fifth floor of the bell tower: a real panoramic terrace overlooking the Umbrian valleys and an unusual and beautiful view of the historic center of Perugia.»
The idea of ​​valorization and visibility of the attic and bell tower came from various ideas and saw the friars working together, in particular Fr. Mario Gallian, from the early 1990’s, with architect Giulio Ser- Giacomi and the Cultural Center San Tommaso D’Aquino; then architects Ser-Giacomi and Maria Carmela Frate, who dealt with the restoration after the 1997 earthquake, and finally the latest proposal, with engineer Alessandro Polidori helped by architect Ser-Giacomi. For more than twenty years now, San Domenico has been the subjected to valorization projects..
«Someone has proposed to create a museum path in the attics – concluded Polidori – to show the true basilica’s “heart” and allow visitors to reach the highest point of the bell tower to enjoy a 360-degree panorama of Perugia. To do this, further work is needed to make these sites safe and accessible to the public, so that visits can be carried out in total safety and be accessible to everyone.»


san Domenico

San Domenico basilica photo courtesy of engineer Polidori

Invisible place

For now, a visit is only allowed during special events, as will happen on Saturday and Sunday from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm thanks to the Invisible Places 2017 initiative, which will give everyone the chance to admire palaces, towers, attics, places of worship and industrial archeology sites closed to the general public. Among them there are the attics of the imposing church of San Domenico, secret spaces born almost by chance from a 17th Century renovation; a place that preserve the traces of the original Gothic church.


More on Perugia

  • 500 g of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • fresh white grape must
  • ½ brewer’s yeast
  • 1 pinch of salt



Pour the flour on a pastry board, melt the yeast in warm water, mix it with a little flour, place it in the center of the fountain you have created and cover with other flour. Leave the dough to rise, covered, for about half an hour. Then mix it with oil, a pinch of salt and must in sufficient quantity to obtain a soft but substantial dough. Make sticks in order to create many little donuts. Place the donuts spaced from each other on an oiled baked plate, bake at 180 ° and cook for 35-40 minutes.



Must biscuits were typical of the grape harvest period, throughout Umbria. In Southern Umbria, with a more or less similar mixture, they prepared a must bread.



Courtesy of Calzetti-Mariucci Editori