Bevagna, the sleepy Roman-medieval village is situated next to the Teverone river that lies on flat ground, unlike most Umbrian towns that require quiet the hike to reach the centre! As we drove here from our villa through the scenic route we entered through the southern city gate passing the cute bridge that crosses over the Clitunno river. It was as if stepping back in time into the middle ages when entering the old town. Bevagna thrives on its medieval past and we happened to stumble in on the day the town was celebrating an annual medieval-style feast called the Gaite Market. The point of it all is to display the techniques and tools used in history to show how people lived back then. You get to taste traditional food, attend craft workshops thus locals we building booths, setting tables and walking around in Robyn Hood-like costumes to showcase for a journey into the past.
As it was early morning, we stopped for a cappuccino in Piazza Silvestri that seemed to be Bevagna’s pride and joy. Ps. Bevagna takes its siesta very seriously so everything closes super early so keep that in mind if you are planning a visit. It was still quiet in the streets and stores were slowly beginning to open and the hassle was focused on the corner cafes. The espresso machine was buzzing away and locals seemed to be in a festive state of mind and you could feel the sense of the community here. I could imagine this event brings the entire town together as it seemed as if everybody was joining in. We ordered cappuccino and sat down to watch the locals traverse the square to get from one place to another. The piazza is the standing point to two dominating Romanesque churches built in the 12th century, San Silvestro made from stone and the larger San Michele Archangelo. In the middle, there is a fountain and a civic building that seemed to gather people along with pigeons as the day prolonged.
After our delightful coffees, we took a turn to the backstreets passing the curving Vicolo del Amphiteatro and wandering through streets that had sidewalk restaurants, historic workshops, antique shops, numerous butchers, bakeries and candlestick making-shops. We noticed people lining up to a bakery and next we found ourselves in the same que. It smelled of freshly made loaf and there was a pastries display with treats like, biscotti and Sfogliatella lined up for customers to see. We noticed many locals taking these puff pastry cream horns that were coated with delicate sugar, so we decided to try one as well. They were just made, still warm with the vanilla oozing out. Before tasting it, we walked to the side street and from the corner of my eye I spotted a blush coloured wall. God bless my husband as he instantly knew what I was after. It was time for picture of the pastry with a cute blush backdrop! After a few pics, that first bite was so light and gorgeously flakey while the condensed vanilla cream hit you moments after. It was heavenly and we did not care that we had sugar all over our faces (see below) and we gobbled it up fairly quickly! It was sweet but light and no wonder everybody was lining up to buy them!
We walked around some more to get over that initial sugar rush, passing colourful cotton drapes that were hung between narrow streets. The tones matched seamlessly with my oversized positano-style shirt and white dress. The picture-esq street took us back to the piazza we came from and I was left with a charming feel of the town. There is a somewhat old-fashioned spirit here that actually, makes it rather enchanting.