Posted by: Debra Kolkka | May 14, 2013

We’re in gorgeous Gubbio

We have come to Gubbio to watch the Corso dei Ceri, a festival which is held every year on May 15th. 3 teams run through the town carrying a statue of their saint mounted on a wooden octagonal prism. The statue is 4 metres tall and weighs 280 kilograms…and Gubbio is built on the side of a very steep hill.

That is tomorrow and we came a day early to see Gubbio. It has obviously been a very wealthy town at some point. Many of the beautiful houses date from the 14th and 15th centuries and the town has been very well preserved. It is also a thriving and exciting modern town, with sophisticated shops, restaurants and bars.

It has a Roman amphitheatre which is used for concerts in summer.



The town has several impressive entrances like this one.


Of course there are spectacular ancient churches.


The magnificent Palazzo dei Consoli sits in an excellent position high in the town.



The piazza in front offers wonderful views over the Umbrian countryside.


There are banners hanging from almost every window in town, supporting the favourite team.








We saw teams of children practising to be Ceri carriers.


Crowds gathered in front of the Palazzo dei Consoli from 6.00pm to watch the bell ringing.



We had no idea what to expect. Have a look at the bell tower.


At 7.00pm a small group of men appeared in the tower and proceeded to leap onto the bell and push it until it did a complete turn.





A rope was then strung across the bell and it was pushed backwards and forwards.



This went on for some time, much to the delight of the audience. Then they jumped on it again to slow it down and bring it back to the original position.



I don’t know about you, but I think that looks a bit dangerous.

After dinner we walked through the town.




There were celebrations going on everywhere, with music and dancing in the streets.




While this serious fellow looked on.


Then it was back to the hotel to have a good sleep. I believe we will be woken very early tomorrow morning by bells and drumming to open the celebrations.

Our hotel room is quite lovely.


Have a look at the amazing ceiling.



And there is an angel watching over us.


I think tomorrow is going to be very exciting. I hope the day is fine and sunny and I get lots of good photos to share with you.


  1. You have some terrific photographs.

    • It is an amazing place.

  2. Lovely setup for tomorrow’s festivities! Those bell ringers aren’t spring chickens as much as they are jumping on and off that bell. More power to them!

    • That bell was huge and they were very high off the ground. I’m glad it was them up there.

  3. You certainly do get around, Debra!!! I love the dancing in the street–and your amazing hotel ceiling. Have a wonderful time tomorrow!

    • As promised, the drumming started at 5.00am this morning (15th) There are bells ringing and drumming bands marching through the streets. It looks like being a great day.

  4. Sounds like an exciting event in a very lovely town!

    Sara and I have arrived safely in Ecuador with out two dogs and are searching for permanent housing here in Cuenca. I’m trying to return to a more regular blogging schedule now that we’ve here.


    • How exciting for you to be in Ecuador. I look forward to seeing more of your new life.

  5. Such a lovely experience. I visited Gubbio in May when I was attending school in Castelraimondo but only for an afternoon. Yes It is gorgeous

    • We visited once before and really liked it, so we are glad to be back for this exciting event.

  6. I was at theCorso dei Ceri a couple of years ago. An exciting day to be a part of. Enjoy and hope to see you in October.

    • The 15th May has started off with drumming and bell ringing and so far we have a fine day. It is going to be fun.

  7. What a wonderful experience Deb, it all looks so beautiful. I would love the music and dancing in the streets, in spite of the serious bloke rolling his eyes. Just looking at the bell ringers was stomache turning – I wonder if they have a union representative!

    • I think most of what happens in Italy would be shut down in Australia.

      • Ha! You’re probably right there!

  8. We intend to visit the area during the last week of May and now we are totally convinced. Thank you, Debra!

    • There is a crossbow competition here the last Sunday in May, which looks amazing. Perhaps you could be here for that.

  9. Debra!!!! You’re just up the road! Have a great day and I’ll email you right now!! xx

    • You need to come to Gubbio in the next few days, there are lots more things happening here.

  10. Enjoy today – trust the promised rain will hold back!

    • There were a few drops this evening, but it was a great day.

  11. I’ve told my wife on more than one occasion I would want to spend some time in Umbria … after all, charm and fewer tourists.

    • You wouldn’t say there were fewer tourists if you had been in Gubbio today.

      • Oh boy … the hopeful bubble just burst.

  12. Gubbio is on our list and having seen your photos I am even more keen to go. Umbria is so very beautiful – we are spending 3 months here, based in Spello. My blog is crammed with photos and memories of this wonderful experience.

    • I would love to visit Spello. We have driven past it and it looks great. I have signed up for your blog.

  13. We loved Gubbio when we stayed there for a few nights. Lovely town, friendly people, some great restaurants. We stayed at Hotel Bosone and found it to be very nice.

    • We are staying at the Hotel Bosone. It’s great and in an excellent position for the Corso dei Ceri.

      • Are you going to ride the funivia up the mountain?
        We were there when it was warm enough in the evening to sit on the steps beside the hotel where the little cafe brings out step cushions and you can have drinks on the steps. We had a great time!

      • We rode to the top of Gubbio yesterday, that is not for the feint hearted! We had lunch at the restaurant yesterday and it was excellent.

  14. My sister Trish visited Gubbio last year and raved about it, now we know what she was excited about. It looks fab and we will put it on our “to do” list. Hope you enjoyed the festival. Cheers

    • You have to come here. I will give you a list of the events happening here in the next few months.

  15. Gubbio looks fascinating. I love being in town when its festa time! The Italians certainly know how to celebrate!

    • Gubbio really is gorgeous and the Ceri race is spectacular…look out for the next post.

  16. These are interesting photos in themselves, I can’t wait to see what you’ll take tomorrow!

  17. What a beautiful day for you. And hope you had a restful night in your suite. The bell ringers look quite crazy and I loved the dancing in the street shot!

  18. What an absolutely beautiful town, Debra. I love those banners, and your pics of the bell are brilliant. Your hotel room is exquisite, and having an angel watching over you must have made you sleep very peacefully indeed. 🙂

    • Gubbio is a wonderful town. It has been beautifully preserved and you could easily spend several days there discovering its delights

  19. I can see I am going to have to read your blog backwards, as I enjoyed the race one so much and then thought but I want more of Gubbio and here it is. Gosh the energy and the excitement all building up – you have captured it all so well in your photo story and I love them jumping on the bell and the little angel watching over your rest, much nicer than a large spider hanging up there !

    • I have lots more photos of Gubbio, which will turn up later on. The meals we ate there were particularly good. I like Gubbio a lot.

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