- Surrounded by greenery
- Beautiful ancient villages
- Many paths to do
- Outstanding typical food
- There is no lack of art and culture
5 days off and not knowing where to go? We tell you: go to Umbria! 😀
Umbria is also called “the green heart of Italy” and is known for its medieval hilltop towns, dense forests, and cuisine, especially truffles and wine.
Uncontaminated landscapes, immersed in the green of the sinuous valleys, and ancient villages make Umbria an enchanted region. A land, made of hills, mountains, and valleys, which extends over the middle basin of the Tevere.
Umbria is also the region of Lake Trasimeno, the largest lake in central Italy, in whose territory the remains of Etruscan settlements are still present today, especially in the area of Castiglione del Lago, a place that combines the charm of the landscape nature, the romance and the stillness of the lake waters. From the waters of the Trasimeno, we pass to the waters of the Marmore Falls near Terni, considered among the most beautiful in Europe. The waterfalls that plunge into the Nera River with a spectacular jump of 165 meters, are surrounded by lush vegetation and are a destination for sports lovers of canoeing, kayaking, and more.
Among the pearls of the region, Assisi stands out, which was the birthplace of San Francesco, patron saint of Italy, and Santa Chiara. In the province of Terni rises Orvieto, famous for its spectacular Cathedral, the palaces, the medieval alleys, and the mythical Well of San Patrizio. Perched on the slopes of the mountains there are other magnificent “nativity scene” villages, such as Bevagna and Spello. Another beautiful Umbrian medieval center is Gubbio, a picturesque village also linked to the life of San Francesco.
🏰 Its capital is Perugia. Here we will only talk about some villages, including:
Cities of Art, among the most beautiful and important in Italy. Brilliant and lively culturally and socially, Perugia is a city full of “secrets” to be revealed: the suggestion is to explore it with curiosity to fully enjoy the thrill and charm of discovery. The entrance door to the acropolis is the Rocca Paolina, a unique historical-architectural complex of its kind, the “container” of the medieval city hidden inside. Crossing it with the escalators, between historical vestiges and contemporary suggestions, you go up to the heart of the city, where Perugians and students love to meet, which immediately fascinates and which fascinated visitors of the Grand Tour so much 🛬.
Starting the visit, the city suggests various itineraries: From the thirteenth-century Fontana Maggiore ⛲ starts an enchanting path in the historic center, full of treasures, which will lead you to the discovery of other excellences, sometimes unsuspected, of a city that will never cease to amaze you: museums, churches, monuments, palaces, medieval towers as well as significant modern and contemporary testimonies.
Visiting Perugia means living a unique multisensory experience: rich public and private museums, artistic craft workshops, delicacies of a typical cuisine that is well worth a refreshment stop admiring the enchanting views over the Umbrian valley and fully enjoying the peculiarities of a still city on a human scale. Perugino, Pinturicchio, and Raffaello, the contemporaneity of Burri and Beuys will accompany you among the notes of Umbria Jazz, the Umbrian Music Festival, and the rich theatrical season.
Piazza IV Novembre, the most famous, is the monumental and social center of the city. This complex includes the Gothic Palazzo dei Priori, a symbol of civil power, the cathedral, a symbol of religious power, and, in the center, the thirteenth-century Fontana Maggiore, fed by the aqueduct waters coming from Monte Pacciano. Palazzo dei Priori is, among other things, the seat of the National Gallery of Umbria, inside which are preserved valuable works by artists linked to the Umbrian territory, among the masterpieces we remember: the Polyptych of Sant’Antonio by Piero della Francesca and the Polyptych of San Domenico del Beato Angelico.
Perugia today is also the administrative capital of the Umbria region, an important cultural and tourist destination and prestigious seat of the University of Studies for over 700 years 📚. The historic Academy of Fine Arts, the Music Conservatory, and its University for Foreigners, with students from all over the world, define its strong international vocation.
Finally, in addition to a large artistic heritage, it offers internationally renowned events and manifestations, including the Eurochocolate in autumn and Umbria Jazz. The latter is held every year in mid-July. For the ten days of the festival, the center becomes a real citadel of music, with shows and concerts that take place at any time of the day, from noon to late at night. While the great chocolate fair, it is an event that has its heart right here in Corso Vannucci, an elegant and lively street of cafes and shops. This greedy feast attracts a large audience and consecrates Perugia “European capital of chocolate” 🍫.
Assisi is a city of Roman origin (with the name of Asisium), witnessed by numerous monuments such as the facade of the Temple of Minerva, the Amphitheater, the Walls, the Forum.
Located in the central-eastern part of Umbria, Assisi lies on the slopes of Mount Subasio.
The city, which gave birth to St. Francesco and St. Chiara, has gained worldwide attention as the universal center of the Franciscan message of peace and brotherhood. Built with the typical “pink stone” of Subasio, Assisi lives and makes all visitors experience the atmosphere of the deep spirituality of the places that the history and faith of its Saints make unique in the world.
In fact, Assisi, with its historic center, the basilica of San Francesco and the other Franciscan sites, together with almost all of the municipal territory, were declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2000 🌎. Among the numerous monuments that make Assisi one of the artistically richest tourist destinations, the Basilica of San Francesco stands out, with the tomb of the Saint and the masterpieces of some of the greatest artists of all time such as Cimabue, Giotto, Pietro Lorenzetti, and Simone Martini, the basilica of Santa Chiara and the Romanesque cathedral of San Rufino.
On the Piazza del Comune is the Palazzo dei Priori, the thirteenth-century Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo with the Civic Tower and the so-called temple of Minerva, the most preserved Roman building in the entire region, built between 40 and 30 BC.
Just outside the walls, dominating the city is the superb Rocca Maggiore, rebuilt in 1367 by Cardinal Albornoz.
The main basilica to see absolutely is the basilica of San Francesco was built under the direction of the architect Elia, just two years after the saint’s death, as a place destined to house his remains. According to tradition, Francesco himself, on his deathbed, indicated this to his companions as the place for his burial. The Basilica is divided into two areas: the Upper Basilica, which houses the Cycle of Life of San Francesco di Giotto, and the Lower Basilica, a beautiful and characteristic medieval church.
Lying on a spur of Mount Subasio, a boundary wall surrounds a historic center characterized by houses in pink stone and flowers, many flowers. There is no doubt that Spello is one of the villages that cannot be missed on your journey to discover the treasures of Umbria.
It is a wonder to be discovered slowly, getting lost in its fragrant alleys and its cobbled streets that will lead you to the discovery of a colorful old town. Spello is also famous for another reason: the Infiorate which takes place every year on the occasion of Corpus Domini (the ninth Sunday after Easter) and which fills the city with wonderful floral carpets 🌹.
Floral carpets and paintings wind through the streets of the historic center in view of the procession of the Body of Christ. The infioratori work a whole year to create the incredible works made with flowers between the Saturday and Sunday of the festival. The result is a path of about 1.5 km characterized by a succession of real works of art made with flowers.
In addition, in June and July the “Windows, Balconies and Flowered Vicolo” competition is held for the most beautiful compositions of the village 🌺.
The walls are one of the most important remains of Spello’s ancient past when the city was known as Splendidissima Colonia Julia. The walls of Spello are one of the best-preserved in Italy. Along the route, there are monumental and posterule doors which in the past guaranteed access to the city. Among these, the Consular Gate which has three entrances, three funerary statues, and a tower dominated by an olive tree, Porta Venere characterized by the towers of Torri di Properzio which was the most famous gateway to the city, and Porta Urbica deserve a mention.
Among the religious buildings, the church of Santa Maria Maggiore is remarkable, with great art treasures inside: on the left side of the nave, the splendid Baglioni chapel decorated with frescoes by Pinturicchio and embellished with a majolica floor from Deruta as well as paintings by Perugino. Of Pinturicchio is also the large table Madonna and Saints kept in the thirteenth-century church of Sant’Andrea, which also houses a Crucifix from the Giotto school, and the body of Blessed Andrea Caccioli, companion of San Francesco, is exhibited.
In addition to the Palazzo Comunale, the seat of the Library (ancient fund), of the Historical Archives and of the Academy of Constantinian Studies, Palazzo Baglioni, Palazzo dei Canonici, the seat of the Pinacoteca, and the church of San Lorenzo, which preserves a precious marble tabernacle, monumental work by the sculptor Flaminio Vacca.
The Pinacoteca is a museum that tells the history of the city through its precious testimonies. The most famous work kept here: the Madonna and Child of the early century XVI attributed to Pinturicchio.
The city developed on the Sant’Elia hill and then continued towards the areas of Monteluco and up to the banks of the Tessino. The seat of the Municipality of Spoleto must be reached through the historic center, in this way the tourist will have the opportunity to admire the enchanting alleys where the past is still enclosed in every detail. Get ready to take a trip back in time that will not disappoint the expectations of the most curious tourists and lovers of local history.
The beauties to see in Spoleto are countless. The historic center, alongside evident influences from the Roman era, maintains the medieval structure intact. The Arch of Drusus and Germanicus belong to the most ancient origins of Spoleto, a Roman arch that introduced the forum (current site of Piazza del Mercato), near the Romanesque church of Sant’Ansano, the Roman theater, the basilica of San Salvatore, an interesting monument of early Christian origins, a UNESCO World Heritage Site 🌍.
The major city monument is the Duomo 🏫: inside it preserves a fresco with Madonna and Saints by Pinturicchio, the bronze bust of Urban VIII by Bernini, and an extraordinary cycle of frescoes by Filippo Lippi. The church of Sant’Eufemia dates back to the 12th century, an interesting Romanesque building whose apse area overlooks the staircase leading to Piazza Duomo, the church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo and the abbey of San Ponziano, while the thirteenth century is the church of San Domenico, the church of San Nicolò and the Palazzo Comunale.
Nearby you can enjoy a wide view that embraces the whole of Spoleto up to the mighty bridge of the Towers 80 meters high, with the functions of an aqueduct built at the end of the 14th century, which connects the Rocca Albornoziana (now home to the National Museum of the Duchy of Spoleto) on the slopes of the mountain that dominates the town.
The Spoleto Festival known as the Festival Dei Due Mondi is one of the most popular events in this region and every year manages to bring millions of tourists here from all over the world. The first Spoleto Festival was organized in 1958. The idea was to combine two cultures and two different artistic worlds (European and American) dedicated a large space to art and its forms of expression. Today the festival lasts 17 days and in most cases, it always starts on the last Friday of June. During this period you can attend ballets, operas, paintings, conferences, concerts, theatrical performances, sacred music, and events dedicated to the contemporary world. In most cases, the events are held at the Melisso Theater, the Roman Theater, the San Nicola Complex, the Cortile Della Rocca, and the church of San Eufemia.
Located between Foligno and Spoleto, Trevi stands on the slopes of Monte Serano, perched on a hill full of olive groves. Churches, towers, and palaces draw the noble profile of this village which from its 412 meters high offers a breathtaking spectacle on the Via Flaminia.
Trevi preserves Roman remains, such as the walls, and medieval ones such as Porta del Bruscito, Porta del Cieco, Porta San Fabiano, and the Arco del Mostaccio. From the walls that surround the historic center you look directly over the olive groves: the walk is a magnificent tree-lined avenue 800 meters long, with a suggestive panoramic view of the valley below.
Among the most interesting religious buildings is the church of Sant’Emiliano, with inside the Altar of the Sacrament by Rocco da Vicenza and 16th-century frescoes attributed to local workers.
The richly decorated palaces such as the Ethiopian Pontifical College but also Casa Petrucci, Palazzo Valenti, and the Renaissance Palazzo Lucarini are interesting.
The Municipality of Trevi is part of the Union of Municipalities called “Terre dell’Olio e del Sagrantino“, and is home to a school of haute cuisine based on the deepening of the uses of olive oil in contemporary gastronomy.
A town in the heart of Umbria, even defined as the “ideal city to live in” 🌿: perched on rolling hills, with a strategic position and a breathtaking view, Todi catapults us directly into a history lesson, with its Roman cisterns, Etruscan finds, and medieval palaces.
Shortly before entering the heart of the historic center, you will find the imposing church of Santa Maria Della Consolazione, one of the highest works of the Renaissance in Umbria.
In the heart of the city, you can admire the splendid Piazza del Popolo, one of the most beautiful in Italy, where the monumental volumes of the secular palaces and the religious complex overlook: the Palazzo del Popolo, also known as Palazzo Vecchio, one of the oldest buildings Italian municipalities, and the Palazzo del Capitano, called Palazzo Nuovo in Gothic style.
The Cathedral, dedicated to Maria Santissima Annunziata, dating from the 12th century then expanded in successive phases during the 13th and 14th centuries, opens at the end of a steep staircase and has a splendid central rose window on the facade.
Inside the church it is worth seeing the Last Judgment by Ferraù Fenzoni. Opposite the Duomo, you can see the Palazzo dei Priori, built in Gothic forms and with a quadrangular tower.
For the first time, Todi was recognized as a virtuous municipality in terms of environmental sustainability and quality of life, with the awarding of the 2020 “Spighe Verdi“🌾 flag by FEE Italia – Foundation for Environmental Education and Confagricoltura.Many indicators are taken into consideration, including education for sustainable development; sustainability and innovation in agriculture; the quality of the tourist offer; the enhancement of naturalistic areas and the landscape; the care of street furniture; accessibility for all.
“Nelle pietre, nelle acque, nelle vie, nei vicoli, nei volti…..
Bevagna, una città a misura di viaggiatore…..
vale più di una visita”
A tour around the city walls and then once you enter through one of the medieval gates still well preserved, you start from Piazza Filippo Silvestri overlooked by the gothic Palazzo dei Consoli, which has housed the Torti Theater since 1886, the Romanesque churches of San Silvestro and San Michele Arcangelo.
On the hills of Bevagna rise the Castles that have watched the village from above for more than a thousand years. Abandoned in the early post-war years, today they come back to flourish thanks to the numerous restorations and to those entrepreneurs who have chosen to revitalize these forgotten jewels.
Going down, near the Roman temple, on the cobbled street that goes down to the left, after a few meters we come across the rooms that house the remains of the Roman baths.
Bevagna is also at the center of the route that goes from Florence to Rome, not far from the Via Francigena, the same route that for centuries has seen poets, writers, artists, and philosophers, traveling around the Bel Paese in search of art, history, and landscapes.
It is also famous for the Mercato delle Gaite. A dip in the medieval past that every year takes Bevagna back in time. Costumes, food, arts and guilds, archers, music… ..the city is entirely involved. The Gaite (the districts) are four San Giorgio, San Giovanni, Santa Maria, and San Pietro and there are four competitions: archery, the plate, the trade, the market. No description can fully convey the atmosphere that you can experience in the village in those days … try to believe 😇.
Among the trades handed down from father to son, the processing of hemp is characteristic of the place. At one time, waste hemp was used for the processing of ropes, while the best was used for the manufacture of “Bevagne cloths”.
Paciano is included among “I borghi più belli d’Italia” 🏰.
The village is enclosed in fourteenth-century walls about 600 meters long, which includes eight towers and three access gates: the Fiorentina, the Perugina, and the Rastrella.
It is a bridge place between Tuscany and Umbria.
Entering from Porta Rastrella you will find yourself in front of Palazzo Cennini, now private. The interior of the building is richly decorated and the south facade is characterized by the tower now known as Rocca Buitoni. We meet the Etruscan well, renovated in the nineties that opens us towards the “path of the waters of Paciano” which in ancient times provided water to the town. To visit the sources just outside Porta Rastrella and the wash houses just above Porta Perugina.
Here are two nearby churches, the church of San Carlo Borromeo and the church of San Giuseppe, today the Parish Museum.
Very nice is the Spring Festival where exhibitors are waiting for you in the streets of the town: handicrafts, clothing, objects, bags, shoes, costume jewelry, fruit and vegetables, flowers, bread, typical products, and street food. A special day to greet spring by experiencing Paciano’s cultural heritage with the festive joy of the stalls, music, open museums, and workshops.
In addition, in Paciano a street completely decorated with umbrellas ☔ accompanying the visitor; a colorful dedication to all the children of the world, to their vivacity and carefree. But not only that, but there is also “The candy alley“🍬, an alley filled with “flying” candies that will further decorate the historic center.
Panicale is also included among ” I borghi più belli d’Italia” 🏰.
A place of great charm and magic, Panicale is a small village that owes a lot to its historic center, still immersed in a medieval atmosphere.
One of the most visible examples of Panicale’s medieval past is its structure which, despite the numerous subsequent interventions, still maintains the appearance of the medieval castle. Originally its walls included 7 towers.
The historic center of the town contains some architectural wonders such as the Collegiate Church of San Michele Arcangelo, with its Renaissance-style facade and splendid Baroque interiors. Here are preserved some of the most beautiful works of the school of Perugino, who was strongly influenced by the panorama of Panicale. In the heart of the town, we can also admire the fountain located in Piazza Umberto I, whose construction in travertine dates back to the 1400s, when it was used as a cistern.
At the highest point of the village, in Piazza Masolino, finally stands the Palazzo del Podestà. Today it is home to the historical and notary archives and the square in front of the building offers a magnificent view of the hills surrounding the town and Lake Trasimeno.
An ancient village that precious ceramics have characterized for centuries with their colors. Deruta is on the guide “The Cities of Ceramics” published by Touring Club Editore and AiCC 🏺.
The entire history of Deruta ceramics is well described by the more than six thousand works exhibited in the Regional Museum of Ceramics in Deruta according to a chronological path from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century, without forgetting the substantial core of contemporary ceramics including works by internationally renowned artists, such as Abbozzo, Accardi, Dorazio, Schifano, Turcato and numerous others.
Today an underground tunnel connects the museum with the archaeological area and allows a unique itinerary that winds its way from the ancient kilns for firing ceramics to the historical collections, up to the twentieth-century productions and spaces dedicated to conferences, educational, and laboratory activities, and temporary exhibitions.
Mondo Ceramica, born in 1995 as a specialized shop for colors, articles, and equipment for ceramics, is now also a reference point for ceramic enthusiasts, artisans, and lovers who come every week from all over Italy and abroad to attend courses and seminars of various ceramic techniques. The courses are active all year round, groups of 3 to 5 people are organized 🎨.