Our stay in picturesque Proceno is winding to a close. We’ve been here for 30 days, spent a quiet Christmas and rang in the New Year with style. Our Homebase and hosts have been gracious, generous, and helped us feel right at home.
If you’re planning an Italian getaway and you enjoy the country, rolling hills, and the peace and quiet of nature, Proceno is an excellent place to visit. We have spent nearly every day exploring the immediate area. There are trails aplenty with paths for walking or hiking through the fairytale forests, some people even mountain bike or dirt bike. Coming from Denver, Colorado where the elevation is a mile high or more, hiking here has been a dream. At home I feel like I could drop dead for lack of oxygen at any moment despite the fact that I’m a Colorado native. Even though the area is very hilly, they’re very doable hills. I’ve definitely felt my fitness level improve since we have been here. If you want to relax and unwind, have a quiet place to work remotely, or enjoy the surrounding nature, I highly recommend Proceno, located in central Italy.
We got here in Mid-December and it’s now Mid-January and the temperature has been so mild. As I mentioned, we came from Colorado and the temps there this time of year are usually in the 40s-30s (F). Here in Italy it’s been anywhere from 60 as a high to 40 as the low. There has been a fairly significant amount of rain, which is novel for me since it rarely rains in Denver. If you like rain as I do, it’s the perfect atmosphere to snuggle up inside with the pellet stove on and read a book and make some soup with crusty bread. The downside is the streets get pretty slick with moss so you do have to exercise caution if you venture to the bar or grocery store. However, once the rain stops you can go outside for a walk and see how the plant life has unfolded, mushrooms, flowers, moss, lichen, birds flitting about, and the cats return to their posts. Photograph opportunities aplenty.
If you’re not such a fan of soggy weather, summer might be a better time for you to visit as the trails are drier and there’s more opportunity to sit out on the balcony or explore the countryside without getting sucked into the claylike mud.
Proceno’s beautiful landscapes and Olde world charm have been absolutely delightful.
However, a word of caution to you Traveler, if we could change one part of our trip it would have been to have a car and we would not recommend coming out here without one. In the summer the public transport might be better but I wouldn’t bet on it. We have found the bus wholly unreliable so we have had to employ a taxi or rely on our gracious host on several occasions which is a bit costly and/or inconvenient by comparison. If you do rent a car, remember you need an International Drivers Permit in accordance with the Italian embassy. (There are many countries where you need this permit! Plan accordingly!) People do rent cars here without one, but the consequences can be costly if you get caught. Also, remember to get your permit before you leave your home country!
If you’re a history buff, obviously Italy as a whole is the perfect place for you to visit! I particularly love that Proceno has placards with town history written in both Italian and English. They’re famous for their Red Garlic here, so don’t forget to pick some up! I’ve used it in nearly every recipe I’ve made and it’s so tasty. It is mellow, not overpowering, with a delicious, light garlic flavor (in my opinion!) The papery skins on outside are white, but the skin covering the bulbs is red. In pre-covid times, they had a garlic festival each year in August. Hopefully it will return again in the near future.
We didn’t know how far from public transport we would be when we booked the adorable home in this castle town, but I can honestly say that’s the only downside to being here. After our whirlwind craziness of getting here, this was the perfect spot to slide into our vacation, and settle into life in Italy, the slower pace, the culturally accepted and encouraged midday naps (YES! My People!) and everything staying closed on Sundays. This easy pace is wonderful, and I’ve been super content and happy here. Now that we have found our footing and our rhythm, it’s time to move on to the faster pace of city life in Firenze (Florence).
If you find yourself longing for an Italian getaway in the Tuscan countryside, feel free to reach out to me and I would be more than happy to put you in touch with our hosts. They’ve been incredible, going so far as to lend Gabe a coat when our luggage was lost, and bake us tasty Christmas treats. We’ve truly felt accepted and welcomed here, I hope you’ll come experience this place for yourself! Learn some Italian, Rent a Car!
Sentieri Felici ,