Relais il Canalicchio
Umbria is one of my favourite regions in Italy. It has some great wines, particularly Montefalco Sagrantino and of course, fantastic food. The first time we visited in 2002 we stayed at the Relais il Canalicchio, a beautiful old hotel that boasted commanding views over the tranquil countryside. We travelled as far as Fabriano in the north and Norcia in the south.
I did a number of sketchbook studies around the hotel including a view of the hotel itself. The owners ended up commissioning me to do a limited edition print of the Relais to sell to their guests.
It proved to be an excellent base to explore from. On one of our day trips we visited a small town called Norcia, renowned for its truffles and wild boar salami. It nestles at the foothills of the Sibillini Mountains where there are “lupo”, wolves. We came across many shops selling local produce. The distinctive aroma of truffles and salamis drew us in to many shops. This one really caught our attention.
“We produced and we sell the bestest chocolate of the world” and “Bitter and Grappa to the truffles” are statements that are irresistible to any foodie. “Biscuits worked on stone” are a must! As I’m writing this post, I’m tempted to make a return, so one has to say that the signage, despite its translation, still works.