Memories of pleasant trips visiting remote, charming villages dotting the Lazio and Umbria countryside often come back to me, as I look at my photographs. Castel di Tora (fig. 1) is a medieval village framing the northeastern coast of Lago del Turano (figs. 2,3) located within the Natural Reserve of Monte Navegna, about 90 miles east of Rome. The Lake was created in the 1940s as a hydro-electric project along the Turano River. The surrounding mountains and valleys covered by intense green vegetation create an incredible contrast with the crystal-clear turquoise water of the lake (fig. 4), rarely disturbed by boaters. 

The occasional trattoria will offer the freshest lake fish, along with a variety of pastas, abundant vegetables, and flavorful cheeses (fig. 5), and great white wine varietals. A visit to the town square (fig. 6), where the locals often congregate to enjoy an espresso or a gelato (fig. 7), is the perfect way to fill an early afternoon before getting back on the road. 

The village panificio (fig. 8) is usually the right place to sample the local pasticcini and to purchase unusual breads, pastas (fig. 9) and, at times, locally produced wines (fig. 10). 

As the weather changed and some rain arrived (fig. 11), plans had to be rearranged. But the pleasure of a well-spent day out in the country remained unaffected.