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Travel and Local Cuisine

Get inspired

Some places are just worth a trip, be it for magnificent landscapes, superb local cuisine or just for their peace of mind they transmit. This is collection of our favourite ones. You are welcome to send us locations and activities that you think should be part of this section.

Good local cuisine

Discovering and enjoying traditional local food is very rewarding. This collection about local specialities and where to find them is put together by Secretplaces and our member hotels.

Hidden treasures

There are not many unknown treasures left, but even some known to locals are unknown to travellers. Here you will find some of the places worth a trip or detour.

Best beaches

Although tourism seems to have crawled into the last unspoilt landscapes, there are still some unbelievably beautiful beaches to be discovered. take a look.

Natural parks and landscapes

Natural parks and landscapes

Our favourite farmers markets

Our favourite farmers markets

Romantic villages and towns

Romantic villages and towns

Sports and activities

Sports and activities

Wine countries

Wine countries

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Magical Umbria

Gubbio / Perugia / Umbria / Italy

Magical Umbria

Locanda del Gallo

The morning sun is shining and as the mist slowly clears it begins to reveal a never ending roll of hills, stone coloured villages and blue sky. It looks like we’ve landed in Tuscany... but no, this is Umbria, less well known perhaps, but equally beautiful in so many ways.

The “Green Heart of Italy”, as it often called, has in essence managed to retain more secrets than its renowned neighbour. Quite amazing really, as the scenery and sense of history here rivals that anything the rest of Italy has to offer. And that’s just the countryside.

All of Umbria’s medieval towns are also filled with history and treasures. Ancient streets and alley ways flanked with palaces and elegant houses, delightful shops and boutiques, and of course breathtaking views glimpsed from many a street corner. It is a magical place, whether you take in town or country.

Only one day into our journey and as we head towards Gubbio from Perugia(more of that later) our trip has already taken us past luminous rivers, breathtaking mountain views, valleys and elm forests. As we leave the city, English, American and Japanese accents become fewer and far between. In fact, save for the main urban centres, such as Perugia, Assisi and Terni the question “Do you speak English?” is liable to be met with a “Scusi?”

What’s more, each season brings its own beauty.

Now, why did we mention Gubbio?

That’s where you’ll find the Locanda del Gallo, one of those beautiful and peaceful old houses set in gorgeous countryside that this region seems to specialise in. Yet it is at the same time typical and unique, with more history and wooden beams than you can shake a stick at.

Locanda del Gallo originated in the 12th century has certainly enjoyed an interesting past. Being strategically located between Gubbio and Perugia meant that these two cities have long fought tooth and nail over the centuries for the area in which it is located. Dominating a magnificent hilly landscape, it must have been an ideal place to look out over the enemy.

Nowadays, it is simply an ideal place to relax and unwind. It fits in perfectly within such beautiful natural surroundings, with the regional elements of old stone and the liberal use of wood used throughout, but so is a certain oriental style, whilst the recent restoration has taken nothing away from the Locanda del Gallo. On the contrary, the character and charm are greater than ever.

Alternatively you may find it congenial just to sit by the lovely swimming pool, which is done in such a way that it does full justice to the Locanda and surrounding views.

Out and About in Gubbio

Locanda del Gallo may be far from the madding crowd but there’s plenty to explore. Riding, trekking or visiting some absolutely wonderful towns, not least of which Gubbio, Assisi, Perugia.

Gubbio. The nearest town is also one of the most beautiful. The 12th c. cathedral, St Augustine Convent (13th c.) and St Domenico (12th c.) are just some of the highlights.

A pleasant ten minute walk takes you to Renza’s hand weaving workshop.

Here you can learn the art of hand looming and dyeing fabric with vegetable

dyes. Renza organises courses from a half day to a full week.

Cookery courses can be arranged at the Locanda. Learn how to cook traditional Italian dishes such as chicken with almonds and thyme in a marsala sauce, aubergine parmigiana, pastas, and raviolis, breads, and cakes.

Courses are for a minimum of four participants.


Secretplaces is an independent hotel guide to some of the most beautiful and charming hotels and guesthouses, independent of price. Over the years, we have visited thousands of lodgings of which only a few have made it into this fine selection