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UMBRIA - Italy's Green Heart

Let’s imagine a place where the overlapping hills are surrounded by wildflowers, where history seems to creep up on you from every corner and the Italian delicacies pamper all your senses… Benvenuti in Umbria, the Italy’s Green Heart! Situated between Tuscany, Le Marche and Lazio, Umbria is the only Italian region that borders neither the sea nor another country.

It is said that when you step into the landlocked region, you step into history and into a spectacular scenery. Umbria is a different region where you’ll find your own patch of peace along with the quiet rhythms of tradition. Time to take a vacation and explore this mystical land…What do you reckon?

Let’s start with the Southern Umbria which offers different types of landscape that are smothered in woodland and olive groves. From Orvieto to Spoleto and Montefalco, each town has something special. Orvieto is an old town located on a volcanic rock, known for its Duomo, one of Europe’s most architecturally important cathedrals. Spoleto is appreciated for Festival dei Due Mondi, a Summer feast of opera, dance, art and music and Montefalco has received many attention this year due to his authentic wineries. Sagrantino di Montefalco is a magnificent wine made with 100% Sagrantino grapes, considered a symbol of Umbria’s winemaking excellence.

Introducing the Northern Umbria, a lovely landscape with gorgeous medieval hill-towns and marvellous buildings and churches which are free to visit. Gorge yourself on art by visiting the birthplace of the Umbrian style of painting, Perugia, also known for the International Jazz Festival. Then, explore Assisi with his monumental Basilica di San Francesco, visible for miles around, which is the home for a series of 28 frescoes depicting the life of St Francis. Finally, immerse yourself in the great architecture and atmosphere of the Umbrian town of Gubbio where you can spend a memorable evening drinking local wines and tasting cheeses and jams.

Umbria Tours – Let’s wander where the wi-fi is weak!

Do you prefer a day trip or a longer trip to one or more than two regions? Here is some help! You may begin your day by treating yourself with a gorgeous wine and olive oil in Assisi. You will learn about the history of the local delicacies and explore the stunning beauty of the area for only 100 Euros. Your tour will end with a drinking toast and a lot of memorable photos perfect for making your Instagram account awesome.

Let’s move to another tour between Spoleto and Montefalco that lasts 8 hours. This tour takes you to see the two splendid towns where the quiet alleyways embellished with flowers feast your eyes and your soul far from the urban madding crowd. Do you know what is porchetta? The Italian version of hog roast, stuffed with garlic and herbs. Sounds so yummy! You can try this food and also salami from local producers along with some of the best wines of the region. This tour includes transport to and from your hotel in Umbria as well as a guided walk to Montefalco and Spoleto.

A shorter trip can be the Perugia private walking tour, for only 160 Euros. Perugia is a city full of charm and history, where every street, palazzo and church will impress your imagination. If you don’t know, Perugia is a candidate for European Capital of Culture 2019. Enjoy a special atmosphere of bygone times and get lost in the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo where you’ll find late Gothic architecture, an altarpiece by Signorelli and sculptures by Duccio. As soon as you get tired you can admire art while sipping traditional coffee at Alphaville or enjoy the best hot chocolate with whipped cream at Antica Latteria. We must mention that you’ll have a private guide that will tell you everything that you would like to know about this gorgeous region, also known as the capital of Umbria.

Introducing a lovely walking tour in Orvieto where you can visit the Chiesa di San Giovenale, Orvieto underground and a beautiful 14th-century Roman Catholic Cathedral, Duomo di Orvieto. After exploring all of these beauties, you can discover the main shopping streets and squares with local handmade items and wood sculptures. For those who are looking for mystery and secrets, the Orvieto Underground is the coolest place with 440 caves that has been used by locals for many purposes including WWII bomb shelters, refrigerators or wells. This tour lasts for about 3 hours and costs 220 Euros

Good Food = Good Mood | Dining out in Umbria

For a real Italian countryside experience, you must taste the Umbrian cuisine known for its delicious meat dishes, particularly lamb and pork, either grilled over the fire or cooked on the spit with aromatic herbs. Because Umbria is a landlocked region, seafood dishes aren’t so popular, except the fish specialties from Lake Trasimeno where you’ll find the famous Tegamaccio, a delicate recipe made from all the types of fish, cooked with white wine and fresh vegetables.

If you’re wondering what desserts can satisfy your needs, we recommend you to try Crostata di Marmellata (jam tart), Apricot Almond Slices, Tozzetti biscuits with holy wine or Pan Polenta with ice cream. You can taste the love with these Italian dessert recipes.

Here are the best restaurants in Umbria for all budgets:

REDIBIS

With prices between 30-60 Euros, here you can live a timeless experience because the restaurant is inside the Roman Theatre in Bevagna, an exclusive location perfect for an unforgettable dinner. Like a hidden treasure, the tasting menu is highly recommended by all customers. The setting is spectacular and the food is just amazing, using only regional and seasonal products only. For a unique culinary experience, visit the Redibis Restaurant with delicate meals for every needs.

BORGOMELA

In Perugia, you must take the opportunity to enjoy lunch in this lovely location. Fresh ingredients, excellent combination of flavors and a lot of respect for tradition makes this place the favorite restaurant in the area. In an intimate environment, you can taste homemade ravioli or tagliatelle with a white chianina ragu, both tastefully and amazing. The prices are affordable, starting from 12-16 Euros for a portion of pasta. If you’re going in Perugia, don’t miss this! Elegance and good taste characterize this beautiful place.

TAVERNA DELL’ORSO

Be prepared to soak up the views and combine the regional culinary tradition with a peaceful atmosphere. The owner of this restaurant reels off the modern specialties from the menu and adds local dishes with a touch of personal interpretation. With only 8 Euros, you can savor umbricelli con polpa di melanzane or gnocchetti al limone with mint and pecorino cheese. Taverna Dell’Orso is located near Perugia in Sant’Egidio, offering a great view overlooking Assisi.

RISTORANTE AL POZZO ETRUSCO DA GIOVANNI

No wonder this restaurant is at the top of the list in Orvieto. Giovanni comes to your table, makes his recommendations and you must be ready for a delightful experience. The prices start from about 8 Euros for pastas and the main dishes around 12-18 Euros. For example, two starter dishes, two types of pasta, one dessert and a small bottle of wine will be around 45 Euros. If you are a true foodie, then this is the restaurant you’ve been looking for. Best in Umbria!

Things to do in Umbria

If you’re wondering how you get in Umbria, first you should know that Umbria has a regional airport, the Aeroporto Internazionale dell’Umbria – Perugia “San Francesco d’Assisi”. Here, you’ll find regular buses from the airport to Perugia, Assisi, Foligno, Spoleto or Terni. Wherever your destination is, there are frequent connections to every part of this region.

Now, book your tickets and get ready to explore this lovely region including breathtaking views, medieval monuments, beautiful frescoes, charming streets and many local festivals. Being one of the smallest regions of Italy, Umbria keeps his emblematic pieces of jewelry making it very easily to be discovered. Each visitor will be amazed by the ancient landscapes and the exceptional treasures from a past rich in culture.

One of the most visited cities of Umbria is Assisi where you can visit the St. Francis’ Basilica and Saint Clare’s church. Here, you’ll be impressed by wonderful views and symbolic buildings. Begin your tour at the top of the town, so you can enjoy the city going down the hill.

Do you want to explore the “Grey City”? Gubbio is the most ancient centre of the region with calcareous stones and medieval structure. Once you walk through the streets of Gubbio you’ll breathe an atmosphere of past. Piazza Grande, Palazzo dei Consoli and the Church of Santa Maria dei Servi deserve a visit for a relaxing day.

The main sights of Umbria include also the Marmore Waterfall with three leaps reaching a total height of 185 meters. This is an artificial waterfall created by the Romans in order to drain the river Velino. A day out here is perfect for a family trip enjoying one of the most spectacular sights of this area.

Let’s move to another chapter introducing the most important events in Umbria.

BEST TIME TO VISIT UMBRIA

One of the greatest pleasure of a visit to Umbria is to stumble across a local festival or fair. These events are characterized by horseback events, flag throwing, and, the most notably, dressing up in Renaissance or Medieval costumes, all of which are extremely popular in Italy.

In addition to these diverse performing shows, there is also a good range of food available, including the mushroom and the olive season, and all sorts of meals matching with each event. From Jazz to Burlesque, every celebration will be your own compilation for a one of a kind experience. Let’s take a closer look, in order to find out the most attractive activities in Umbria.

Saint Valentine’s – A year of loving (14th February)

This event, with a very long lasting tradition, celebrates a special recognition of a special act of love. Past awards include those assigned to Mr. and Mrs. Green, to the memory of Premier Rabin of Israel, and to the Italian association "Telefono Azzurro." Included as part of this event is an exhibition of jewelry and a competition for the loveliest jewel created for Saint Valentine's Day. The event takes place in Terni.

Benedictine Celebrations (20th – 21st of March)

You know it’s spring in Umbria when the celebrations for the deeply felt festival starts. The Feast of St. Benedict, the Patron Saint of Norcia and of Europe. On the evening of March 20th, a torch coming from one of the capitals of Europe arrives in Norcia and is welcomed by the ambassadors of the European nations. The following day the town lives for a day under the banner of its glorious medieval past. This historical commemoration involves the entire town in a marvelous display of colors, sounds and flags, with a competition between the guaite, the six districts of the town, in a crossbow tournament.

Sculpture Biennial (June – September)

The Biennial of Gubbio is one of the most important national exhibitions of contemporary art. Works will be displayed from the extraordinary collection from past editions - a "Biennial of Biennials" - which saw the debut of many artists who have made a name for themselves nationally and internationally.

Water Festival (Late June – Early July)

This event harks back to an extremely ancient tradition. Since very remote times Piediluco has always celebrated the summer solstice with rites, purification ceremonies, the lighting of fires and a water-parade of allegorical craft. As time passed the festival retained its original features while gradually expanding to include other events. Today it offers an illuminated procession of decorated oats by night, firework displays, theatrical performances and concerts of classical music.

Umbria Jazz Festival (14th – 23rd July)

Launched in 1973, today it is one of the most important jazz events in Europe. It has hosted the greatest modern jazz musicians. The event lasts ten full days: a hundred or so concerts take place from morning to night among the ancient buildings in the historic center of Perugia. During this event Perugia becomes a meeting point for tens of thousands of young people from all over Europe and the United States, who come to meet the most famous contemporary jazz artists. Besides the concerts, the festival includes a two-week seminar held by the teachers from the prestigious "Berklee" in Boston

Essential details about the history of Umbria

Year by year, Umbria has become a very desired touristic attraction. The main reason is that Umbria captures perfectly the ‘real Italy’, with the wonderful countryside, the historical towns and villages, and, of course, with the authentic food and lively culture.

The name, the entire land, the local people, are all signs of a rich history and a very fulfilling culture. The excellent gastronomy of the region also deserves attention. In other words, art, culture, music, cuisine and wine, are all part of an interesting and diverse tradition that must be explored once you set foot on the shores of Umbria.

Umbrians have a deep appreciation of art, and throughout history the region has produced its share of talented artists. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Umbria was home to a well-respected art school (known as the “Umbrian school”) that taught venerated artists such as Raphael, Piero Della Francesca and Perugino. Amazing old paintings and frescos can be found all over Umbria.

Umbrian cuisine tends to consist of simply-prepared dishes that rely on fresh, high-quality ingredients. As in other parts of Italy, vegetables, pasta and meats feature prominently on the menu. Truffles, both black and white, are a particular specialty of the region with a strong tradition which are often served shaved over tagliolini, a type of hair-thin pasta.

Umbria has been a wine-producing region since Etruscan times, but its vineyards have always fallen in the shadow of those in Tuscany. These days, Umbrian wines have become increasingly respected in the world’s wine scene

Where to stay in Umbria

If you are looking for a villa in Umbria, we suggest you to choose from our short selection of wonderful villas. Enjoy yourself in Bella Umbria and choose the appropriate villa that will offer an unforgettable experience.

VILLA PANI




Villa Pani is an exquisite renovated Umbrian farmhouse, with rustic original features, surrounded by green and encircled by ten acres of vineyard and olive orchards. It is a wonderful location in which to enjoy a tranquil escape with friends and family. The medieval hilltop village of Panicale, with its shops and restaurants, is a three-minute drive away.

VILLA NORA



Nora is a magnificent large villa with annexe stands on a hillside with panoramic views over the Umbrian countryside just south of Perugia and north of Todi with good access to shops and restaurants. The village of Collazzone is only few kilometers away so is the town of Deruta famous for its hand painted ceramic.

VILLA CAPO



Villa Capo is an old farmhouse situated in one of the greenest areas of Umbria and only a few kilometers from the Tuscan border. The house has been recently restored with great care to maintain the original features and has been furnished with period pieces. A well maintained garden surrounds the house with fruit and olives trees. There is a private swimming pool that enjoys views over the rolling hills. Only a few meters from the house there is an annexe. Gas central heating.

MARIANO TRILO



Mariano Trilo is part of a large estate in the countryside of Todi, surrounded by olive groves. The estate includes also two apartments and the owner's house, sharing the facilities. The two apartments which are part of a hamlet are about 600m from the shared pool. These can be booked together for a larger group of up to 14 people.

VILLA GLENDA



Located close to the historical center of Todi, with a view of the surrounding hills, Villa Glenda is a lovely countryside property with a beautiful large pool. Todi is famous for its handmade ceramics and pottery, handicraft, antique exhibitions and markets, cultural festivals and activities, cuisine, D.O.C. wines and D.O.P. olive oil, and its numerous good restaurants.

With a temperate and warm climate, Umbria is expecting its tourists all year round to discover a very interesting and amazing part of the Italian culture. Italy’s ‘green heart’ is a lovely place to enjoy, so don’t miss the chance to book the trip of your dreams.

 
Events in Umbria

Events

When

Where

Details

Assisi CALENDIMAGGIO (Celebration of Holy Week) Easter Holy Week Assisi (Umbria) Celebration of spring according to rites dating back to medieval time.
Foligno GIOSTRA della QUINTANA (Joust of the Quintana) Second Sunday in September Foligno (Umbria) Revival of a 17th century joust with 600 knights in costume, historical procession.
Gubbio FESTA dei CERI (Race of the Candles) 15th May Gubbio (Umbria) A procession in local costume in witch tall shrines are carried to the church on the top of Mount Ingino.

Gubbio PALIO dei BALESTRIERI (The Palio of the Archers) Last Sunday in May Gubbio (Umbria) and Sansepolcro (Tuscany) Medieval crossbow contest between Gubbio and Sansepolcro with medieval costumes and arms.


Spoleto Festival June and July Associazione Festival dei Due Mondi Piazza Duomo 8 - 06049 Spoleto Tel. +39 0743 220320 or 45028 or 40619
Fax +39 0743 220321
www.spoletofestival.it
e-mail: info@spoletofestival.it

Umbria Jazz July "Associazione Umbria Jazz" Piazza Danti, 28 - 06122 Perugia tel. +39 075 5732432
fax +39 075 5722656
www.umbriajazz.com
e-mail: info@umbriajazz.com