Being one of the smallest regions of Italy, Umbria keeps its 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.
Points of interest and landmarks
One of the best place to visit in 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.
The Roman Catholic cathedral is one of the most spectacular in Italy. A mesmerizing display of rainbow frescoes, jewel-like mosaics, bas-reliefs and delicate braids of flowers and vines make of this Italian church one of the most astonishing. If you are searching for best things to do in Umbria don’t forget to include this in your itinerary.
Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi
If you visit Umbria, this landmark is unmissable! Visible for miles around, the Basilica di San Francesco is the crowning glory of Assisi’s Unesco World Heritage ensemble. Built in 1228, this church is filled with remarkable frescoes and is a must-see for art lovers and not only!
The Lungarotti Winery in Torgiano, Perugia, was founded by Giorgio Lungarotti in the early 1960s, and is now run by two charming ladies: Chiara Lungarotti and Teresa Severini. Book ahead for enlightening guided tours!
Casa Romana, Spoleto
If you visit Spoleto, you must visit Casa Romana. This Roman house is believed to have belonged to the mother of Emperor Vespasian. Atmospheric and other-worldly, the house is built around an atrium which features an ‘impluvium’: a large water reserve.
Cascata delle Marmore (Waterfall of the Marmore) is probably one of Italy’s more famous waterfalls.
The waterfall is unique because of its jump of 165 meters – it is the highest in Europe; it is unique because a real river, the Velino, pounces on another great river, the Nera. The opening of the waterfall park is a popular event. This is a destination which is great for families!
Temple of Minerva
If you are a history lover this is a great attraction for you! This ancient monument still stands as a witness of Assisi long history. The temple was dedicated to Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, and occupied a prominent position in the center of Roman Assisi, above the Forum. Further up is the outline of the Roman amphitheater that was once an entertainment spot here.
Day trips and excursions
Often referred to as the green heart of Italy, Umbria is a treasure trove of exploration. Fertile landscape, olive groves or seducing vineyards are one of the region landmarks. If you want to discover the region behind the tourist traps, we make a list with Umbria travel guides to ensure you enjoy the authenticity of this place and visit the best towns and villages in Umbria.
Placed between the Assisi and Foligno, Spello is one of the most picturesque town in Umbria. Old churches, winding medieval streets and rich architecture makes a perfect destination for your trips with friends or family.
Discover the authentic Umbria in this town. With gothic architecture and charming buildings, this is the oldest town in region. Make sure you visit the old town where you can wander the streets and interact with locals.
This city is a destination for food lovers. Surrounded by olive groves and vineyards upon vineyard – this town will enchant you with the best luxurious extra-virgin olive oil and smooth peppery red wine. Make a trip to this beautiful city and don’t miss the Museo del Vino – where you will learn about its gastronomical history and enjoy a good glass of wine.
Make a trip to Todi and enjoy a slice of authentic Umbrian life. Montefalco and Perugia are only a short drive fom this town. Begin your exploration with Piazza del Popolo, the heart of the city, overlooked by some of the most important buildings of the historic center that contrast the religious ones. Take a picture from the Cathedral’s stairs is definitely one of the best things to do in Todi!
On the main railway between Rome and Florence, there’s honestly no excuse not to visit this old town. Start your tour with Orvieto Cathedral, a colorful example of Romanesque-Gothic architecture, rich in art and history!
Wineries & Vineyards
Ancient medieval villages, delectable wines and sumptuous regional cuisine, unforgettable Umbria is an ideal destination for history and art lovers and gourmands. If you are a winery aficionado, or you are simply curious about wine-making process and the culture and people behind it, this places are a must see if you visit Umbria.
Vineria San Fortunato
Wine lovers are in their element at this slick, vaulted wine bar, where Umbrian and Tuscan wines are perfectly matched with delicious tasting platters of salumi e formaggi (cured meats and cheeses) and season-driven daily specials, such as tender lamb and olive stew or scafata (a seasonal stew of broad beans, peas and artichokes).
Saio Assisi Winery
This small family winery in the plain under Assisi is relatively new. Located close to the famous Basilica of Saint Francis, this family-run boutique winery guide visitors through a journey of flavours, tradition and history of a unique land.
Cantina Roccafiore raise on a hill overlooking the medieval town of Todi. If you are loking for a family activity you can experience picnic and safari, a combination of tastings and guided tours on board the exciting off-road to discover the vineyards.
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