Umbria, Perugia, Assisi – Wine, Food and Culture

We caught up with one of our valued clients and ambassadors, Mr. Olubi Ogunlami, to find out more about what he loves about Perugia and the Sina Brufani Palace.

What time of year did you visit Perugia?
I visited Umbria in late November taking a direct flight with Ryanair from London Stansted to Perugia.

Why did you choose the Sina Brufani Palace?
It was my first visit to Umbria and I wanted to be located in the centre of Perugia. The location and view from the hotel are fabulous and proved to be the perfect base to explore this fascinating region.

What were your first impressions when you entered the hotel?
The Brufani is an iconic hotel in the centre of town and instantly recognisable as you drive up the hill to the town centre. The hotel is beautifully located overlooking one of the main Piazzas as you enter through the city walls and opposite the city’s town hall. Perched on high, the hotel enjoys spectacular views over the Umbrian countryside; you can clearly see other towns, such as Assisi, in the distance. We drove up to the hotel and were instantly met by the hotel porter who took charge of our car and arranged for it to be parked in the hotel garage; they also handle the paying of the congestion charge which most towns in Italy seem to have. The hotel itself has the feel of a palace hotel with a large entrance hall and the reception to the far side.

Can you highlight anything in particular about the service you received from the staff?
We were met on arrival by the hotel’s general manager Mr Stefano Chiesa, but in general, the staff were amazing and really went out of their way to ensure we enjoyed our stay.

What was the best thing about your room?
We were in a Junior Suite which has a lovely large bedroom, bathroom and sitting room. But for me, the best thing was the absolutely stunning views of the Umbrian countryside from our bedroom.

Did you eat at the hotel? If so, can you give a brief review of the food
Yes, we had lunch in the Collins Restaurant on the day of arrival. The hotel specialises in Umbrian cuisine with an international flair; beautifully presented interpretations of classic dishes based on fresh, light produce from the region such as freshly made pasta, vegetables, meat, and fish. We also got to try some spectacular local wines from the many vineyards in the region.

Can you suggest anything to do that you enjoyed near the hotel?
We really enjoyed visiting the town of Perugia which itself is full of history. You can easily spend a couple of days here just exploring the town. Perugia dates back to the Etruscan period and you can still walk in the Etruscan streets below the city.

Can you recommend a good restaurant in the area?
Perugia is famous for it pasticceria – we would particularly recommend a trip to one of the famous cafes such as Caffe Sandri during any stay. In all honesty it was almost impossible not to eat well in Umbria and what struck us was what incredible value for money it was. We ate some spectacular meals at a fraction of the cost of restaurants in nearby Tuscany. Here are a few suggestions;

Antica Trattoria San Lorenzo
anticatrattoriasanlorenzo.com
Around €40 per head
This place has good, updated regional cooking, with tagliata steak and wild boar.

Osteria del Gambero
osteriadelgambero.it
Chef Gamberini Guglielmo proposes two menus at €28 each. The first offers “typical Umbrian cuisine” whilst the other is marked “creative cuisine”.

What is the main attraction of the area?
History, wine, food, and scenery are for me the main attraction of any visit to Umbria.

Can you mention 3 highlights of your stay at the hotel?
A visit to the nearby town of Assisi is an absolute must. The incredible history and obvious wealth that Umbria has is evident at every turn. Umbria was part of the papal state from 756 to 1870 and this is evident in the fact that every town is littered with churches and cathedrals one would normally expect in a city 10 times the size.

The Montefalco wines are to die for and you can visit many of the wineries. There is now an official wine trail called Strada del Sagrantino. We visited the winery of Tenuta Castelbuono which in addition to producing some amazing wines has the most spectacular modern winery housing houses its wine tasting area and production in the cellar below.

Perugia itself is a famous university town which is felt no more than at night when it seems the whole town hits the streets of the town centre. It is easy to spend an entire evening at one of the many bars in the centre of town and we drifted back to our hotel in the early hours.

Do you have anything else to add?
The Sina Brufani Palace has a fabulous cocktail bar and Pepe the barman makes a mean Moscow Mule. Also, the hotel’s swimming pool has an amazing glass bottom that shows the Etruscan ruins below.

Visit Perugia during Umbria Jazz (www.umbriajazz.com), where alongside first-rate programming – Chaka Khan, Alicia Keys and REM were performing this year – there are free concerts in the Giardini Carducci and Piazza IV Novembre.

For more infomation on Sina Brufani Palace – https://workham.com/sina-brufani-perugia/