The Niccone Valley is located just north west of Umbertide, of which it is technically a part of. But it is it’s own special place, almost forgotten in a valley between Umbria and Tuscany. In fact, it’s almost being forgotten gives it a charm unlike the more built up towns in Umbria. Here you can find a tranquil and unspoiled piece of Italy. There are a few very special things here that keep me coming back time and time again.
Maridiana Alpaca Farm:
I discovered Maridiana when I was researching my annual Spring knitting tour. Each spring I bring a group of knitters for a visit which is a highlight of the tour for them. It is a place I love visiting to not only see Giovanni and the animals, but to take it the spectacular hillsides with their breathtaking views. Maridiana’s mission, for the past 30 years, has been to breed healthy alpacas with extraordinary fiber for yarns.
For more information write: [email protected]
Iris Garden (Società Agricola Casa Nova):
Just a couple years ago (2018) a pretty amazing iris garden opened in Niccone. They have over 550 cultivars of bearded irises, over 180 types of roses, both classical and modern, over 110 types of peonies and over 50 types of clematis, as well as an array of Siberian irises, hardy geraniums, other herbaceous perennials, grasses and bamboos.
So, if you come in May, this needs to be on your bucket list.
For more information got to: IrisUmbria.it
Locanda di Nonna Gelsa:
The third reason to come up here is for lunch. Chiara, the owner of Nonna Gelsa, runs a wonderful restaurant with a great lunch menu. Everything is made with the freshest in-season ingredients with some twists on traditional Umbria fare. My favorite is faggotini with ricotta and pear in a walnut cream sauce. Their arvoltolos (fired pizza) with prosciutto is something to write home about and the grilled meats are delicious. Last time I was there I had a semifreddo that was perfection.
Nonna Gelsa, Via Caduti di Penetola, 29, 06019 Niccone PG
075 9410699 -or 349 0846668