Destination Expert

Maria Pia Ross

I am half British and half Italian and settled down in northern Umbria in 1989. I instantly fell in love with the area, particularly for its natural beauty, art and history, food and wine. I have been working with CV since 1990 and was the first CV rep for Umbria and the Umbria/Tuscany border. I love being able to meet many different kinds of guests and helping them to enjoy a perfect holiday tailored to their tastes - some people only want to relax, but others are really keen to know about the wine and culture of the area.

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Destination Expert

Maria Pia Ross

I am half British and half Italian and settled down in northern Umbria in 1989. I instantly fell in love with the area, particularly for its natural beauty, art and history, food and wine. I have been working with CV since 1990 and was the first CV rep for Umbria and the Umbria/Tuscany border. I love being able to meet many different kinds of guests and helping them to enjoy a perfect holiday tailored to their tastes - some people only want to relax, but others are really keen to know about the wine and culture of the area.

Describe the perfect day in your destination?

Wake up to a brilliant blue sky and have breakfast out in the garden with stunning views of a wonderful countryside. Spend the morning visiting one of the small and picturesque hilltop towns, stopping to treat myself to a nice ice cream. Return to the villa in the afternoon and relax by the pool. Enjoy a glass of prosecco before sitting down for a local Umbrian/Tuscan dinner prepared by one of the excellent cooks in the area, accompanied by a good local red wine. Sit out in the garden and make the most of the fabulous sunset and night sky.

What are your top travel tips for your destination?

Be sure to have a good guide book to explore the area and its many hidden attractions. Look out for local wildlife - you may be lucky to see wild boar, porcupines, and many different kinds of birds including the beautiful hoopoe.

What local cuisine would you recommend to people staying in your destination?

Local cuisine tends to be quite simple, but if well-cooked there is nothing more enjoyable than 'arista' (roast loin of pork) with beans, sausages or 'porchetta' (a whole roasted pig stuffed with various herbs and spices) which you can find in any local market. Truffles, found in the area, are also a special and luxurious ingredient used in various dishes, including pasta and meat courses.

What experiences would you recommend to our customers in your destination?

A day out at one of the many local wineries for a tour of the vineyard and wine-making cellars. End it by having a nice spot of wine tasting, with snacks or even a meal.