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Umbria

Umbria Destination Guide


Umbria is the only region of Italy without coastline or border with another country. For that alone, the region is completely unique. Lodged between Tuscany, Le Marche and Lazio, Umbria is the heart (and soul) of Italy. And although it doesn’t have the architectural sights of Florence like neighbouring Tuscany, the hustle and bustle of Rome like neighbouring Lazio, or the glamorous beaches of coastal Le Marche, Umbria boasts outstanding natural beauty that should not be overlooked.

It was once known as Tuscany’s little sister. But we don’t like to think of it as anything but Umbria; the region deserves its own standing and once you see the untouched Umbrian countryside, you’ll agree with us. For beautiful self-catering rental properties, use our luxury property search to create your perfect Italian break.

Getting There


Umbria’s international airport is Aeroporto Internazionale dell’Umbria (formerly known as Perugia Sant’Egidio Airport) and it is in Umbria’s capital, Perugia. This is the region’s only airport and although it is served with international flights, only a few airlines come here. If you are unable to find a flight to Internazionale dell’Umbria Airport, you can try neighbouring international airports.

Alternative Airports


Using neighbouring international airports in other regions is an option but always set aside at least two hours of travel to get to your villa in Umbria. Other airports include Leonardo da Vinci / Fiumicino Airport in Rome or Ancona (Falconara) Airport in the Le Marche region.

Getting Around


Although getting into Umbria can be challenging, once you’re there getting around should be a breeze. With two branches of state run railway lines (Trenitalia and Ferrovia Centrale Umbra) and regular services from bus companies, exploring the landlocked region is easy no matter where you are. Generally, buses are much cheaper than trains (although not as reliable when it comes to being on time) and the services are run by Sulga Bus, APM Bus or SENA bus.

Umbria Properties


 

Villa Ascagnano

From £517/night
Ideally located on the Tuscany / Umbria border only 4 Km from the famous Antognolla golf course (18 hole).
5 Beds
5 Bathrooms
11 Guests

Villa Caminata

From £728/night
A fantastic villa for golf lovers.
5 Beds
5 Bathrooms
12 Guests

Villa Carlotta

From £553/night
A fantastic villa for golf lovers.
4 Beds
4 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Villa Daniela

From £680/night
With a commanding panoramic view over the tranquil rolling countryside, Villa Daniela has a truly special quality about it.
7 Beds
7 Bathrooms
14 Guests

Villa della Chiana

From £534/night
A beautiful 18th century villa situated in the heart of Tuscany amidst 2 hectares of private land.
10 Beds
8 Bathrooms
20 Guests

Villa Ficulle

From £794/night
This beautiful farmhouse is the ultimate Umbrian retreat.
6 Beds
7 Bathrooms
16 Guests

Villa Giada

From £399/night
Villa Giada is a charming stone built farmhouse with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
5 Beds
3 Bathrooms
12 Guests

Villa Gubbio

From £1099/night
Villa Gubbio is a very special place.
10 Beds
12 Bathrooms
20 Guests

Villa Murlo

From £640/night
High level of accomodation in a wonderfully panoramic position.
3 Beds
3 Bathrooms
6 Guests
Welcoming country villa with private pool quietly situated, a short distance away from the beautiful town of Orvieto.
3 Beds
2 Bathrooms
6 Guests

Villa Panicale

From £201/night
A holiday at Villa Panicale offers an unforgettable experience.
4 Beds
4 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Villa Pergo

From £193/night
Villa Pergo perches on a hill with panoramic views of the surrounding valley and rolling Tuscan hills.
4 Beds
4 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Villa Provincia

From £260/night
Villa Provincia a fascinating manor house built in 'pietra serena' (a type of grey stone typical of Tuscan and Umbria).
5 Beds
5 Bathrooms
9 Guests

Villa Santa Maria Nuova

From £443/night
A traditional stone built farmhouse situated in an extraordinary setting amidst olive groves and 4 hectares of private land.
6 Beds
6 Bathrooms
12 Guests

Villa Subtilia

From £874/night
A beautiful 16th century farmhouse which perches on the crest of a hill between Tuscany and Umbria.
9 Beds
7 Bathrooms
18 Guests

Villa Torre di Murlo

From £451/night
Villa Torre di Murlo is a stunning villa rebuilt on the ruins of a Medieval defensive tower of a beautiful country Estate with 5 luxury private villas.
3 Beds
3 Bathrooms
8 Guests

Villa Trusche

From £666/night
Nestled in lush park surroundings, Villa Trusche is a stunning 18th century villa located only 5 Km from Cortona.
8 Beds
8 Bathrooms
16 Guests
 

 

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO


 

Castelluccio di Norcia and the Piano Grande (great plain) is a glorious place to visit in the seasons of spring and summer. Catch the first sight of bloom in March and watch as the red of the poppies, white of the daisies and the blue hues of the Eugeniae violets cover the landscapes. The small town of Castelluccio di Norcia is situated in the Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini and a trip here is like taking a step back in time to olden day Italy.

This vast and impressive 14th-century Roman Catholic cathedral is located in the scenic town of Orvieto. The town and the cathedral are built on a hill of volcanic rock overlooking the green plains of Umbria and if you’re not up for the picturesque hike, buses or taxis can take you there and back from surrounding towns.

Spoleto is an ancient city in central Umbria, set on the foothill of the Apennines. It has a wonderful mix of Roman history, tourist attractions and modern culture; summer brings the annual ‘Festival dei Due Mondi’ with music, theatre and dance and the rest of the year offers a great atmosphere with lively bars, restaurants and events. Some key points of interest include Casa Romana (dating back to the first century AD) and Giro dei Condotti for its incredible views.

If you’re looking to explore Umbria on foot, take a day to hike the ‘Road of Olives’ from Spoleto to the stunning town of Assisi. You can take the olive grove path on foot or by mountain bike; both ways are just as thrilling and filled with the most spectacular scenery. If you’re lucky, you may catch the Azienda Agricola Ragani open and you can taste some of the famous olives.

The town of Assisi is renowned for its olive groves, vineyards and wineries. So foodies will be in their element in this little piece of the Umbrian puzzle. Get a wine tour and tantalise your taste buds with the flavours of the wide range of Assisi blended reds, whites and rose wines. Taste the refreshing Assisi Bianco white or the Sangiovese Assisi Rosso which is blended with Merlot.

The National Gallery of Umbria houses some of the finest Italian art in the world. Spread across 23 incredible galleries in the Palazzo dei Priori, this is a must for anyone who enjoys classical art. Located in the region’s capital Perugia, the Galleria Nazionale is simply not to be missed.

Perugia is the capital of Umbria; filled with history and architectural beauty, this city is the epitome of romance. And Perugia offers all the culture and atmosphere of Umbria’s neighbouring regions – but without all the tourists. So if you’re looking a lively piece of Italy that’s off the beaten path, spend a few nights exploring Perugia. Soak up the electric atmosphere of Palazzo dei Priori or enjoy authentic Umbrian cuisine at the many cafes and restaurants around the main square.

Todi is one of the most charming destinations in the region of Umbria. Set on the top of a hill overlooking the Tiber Valley, this sleepy medieval town will take you back in time to a whole other world. Go to the Piazza del Popolo at sunset for an electric atmosphere, see the impressive cathedral, and walk the steps of the Palazzo del Capitano.

There are a number of smaller towns in Umbria (including Bevagna, Spello, Trevi) and Montefalco is one of them; perhaps the best one if you had to choose. This walled town has been branded the “Balcony of Umbria” by locals and tourists alike because of the spectacular views – so if you’re looking to capture a postcard panorama, this is where you need to be.

Gubbio is known as the “Grey City” due to being built on calcareous stone and it’s said to be the most ancient part of the whole region. So if the medieval streets of Todi aren’t enough to satisfy you, be sure to spend a night in the famous Grey City. Gubbio is home to a number of luxury hotels, all with incredible views of the city and surrounding hills – and you will find a number of chic and stylish restaurants, cafes and bars in “The Big Square” (Piazza Grande).

Weather


It’s almost impossible to have a bad day in the Umbria region. Without the cooling winds of other coastal regions, the climate remains beautifully warm all year round. The months of June to September are the hottest months of the year, with highs exceeding 30°C quite frequently and the weather can become rather humid during the hot season. Be sure to wear UV protective clothing in spring and summer an always carry sun-cream in your bag so you can top up throughout the day.
The wettest weather is expected in the month of November and the coldest temperatures (sometimes below 5°C) occur in January and February.

Regional Food & Drink


Umbrian food is very much steered by its past. At the heart of the country, this landlocked region with no borders, no coast and no other culinary influences outside of Italy cooks up simple yet delicious dishes inspired by its Etruscan roots. Although far from the sea, Umbria is plentiful in water through its many lakes and rivers; together with its rich soil, the region has access to the finest seasonal ingredients. Wheat, red potatoes, pearl barley, lentils, olives, grapes, and a wide variety of colourful fruits and vegetables grow on Umbrian soil and the River Tiber is abundant in fish.

 

Typical Dishes to Try


Umbrian cuisine is known for its simplicity. Fresh ingredients are key whilst rustic presentation rules in almost every kitchen. During your visit to Umbria, be sure to try one of their many delicacies such as their delicious truffles. Crostini al Tartufo is a popular hors d’oeuvre which fuses together the bold flavours of black truffles and anchovies. Or try one of the region’s popular pasta dishes such as Umbrichelli in Salsa di Trasimeno (served with perch filets, shallots and garlic), Pappardelle alla Lepre (served in a hare sauce), or Ciriole alla Ternana (a regional pasta dish only available in Umbria).

Wine in Umbria


The only region without border or sea coast, Umbria is solitary and soulful – and so is the region’s wine. The locals will tell you that “good wine comes in small barrels” and whilst recent decades have seen this region’s winemaking become something of a sensation, tradition very much remains in Umbria.

Popular reds to try include the Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG, Rosso di Montefalco DOC, Lago di Corbara DOC and Rosso di Torgiano DOC. For whites, try the refreshing Orvieto Classico DOC or the delicious dessert wine Muffa Nobile.

 

RECOMMENDED RESTAURANTS


 

Granaro del Monte, Norcia


Tucked inside the Hotel Grotta Azzurra in Norcia, Granaro del Monte is a simple, unassuming and honest establishment. Stripped of superfluous fancies and unnecessary finery, the restaurant serves up authentic dishes, plated up in a truly rustic way. Open since 1850, it’s the region’s oldest restaurant and the best place in Norcia for tasting traditional grilled meats, cured hams, regional cheeses and truffles.

Redibis, Bevagna


Set under the stone arches of the Roman Theatre in Bevagna, this is the ultimate place for romance on your holiday to Umbria. The concept behind the Redibis kitchen is to rework time-honoured recipes of the past using seasonal ingredients and modern flavours. Tradition remains at the heart of everything they serve but you can expect a few contemporary twists. Try the tasting menu starting from €45 or their delicious handmade pasta dishes (some of them with recipes dating back to the 1920s).

La Taverna, Perugia


This popular gem in the capital wins the hearts of travelling foodies and restaurant critics year after year. Chef Claudio uses the freshest local ingredients and traditional cooking methods to wow his diners and you won’t be disappointed with the wine selection either. To start, try the Salsicce Secche Perugine or the ‘La Taverna Special’ antipasti selection. For mains, try Filetto di Baccalà con Prugne or one of their many house pastas such as THE Ravioli di Tartufo.

 

ANNUAL EVENTS


 

Tulip Festival (April)


The Tulip Festival takes place in Castiglione del Lago every April and it’s a magical spectacle to see all the colourful flowers in bloom. Enjoy the flower parades in the beautiful lake town of Castiglione del Lago and watch as flower sculptures fill the streets.

Calendimaggio Festival (May)


This fantastic festival is simply out of this world if you manage to catch it. Celebrating the medieval traditions of spring, historical parades fill the streets of Assisi every May. Expect some fantastic costumes and a very lively atmosphere.

Montefalco Wine Festival (June)


Montefalco is renowned for its wines, particularly the delicious Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG or the prestigious Rosso di Montefalco DOC. Head to the wine festival in June to taste some of the area’s best reds and whites.

 

Festival dei Due Mondi (June)


The Spoleto Festival is one of the most famous celebrations of the region, and locals and tourists alike flock to Spoleto every June to enjoy the huge offering of opera, theatre, music, dance and art around the city. It’s often referred to as the “Festival of Two Worlds” because it brings together the wonders of American and European culture here in the heart of Italy.

Trasimeno Music Festival (July)


This classical music fete takes place on the beautiful shores of Lake Trasimeno, in the town of Magione, and the event combines the incredible talents of the region. If you’re travelling around Umbria in July, be sure to book tickets to see one of the stunning orchestras.

Eurochocolate (October)


Eurochocolate is one of the most important festivals of the year in the region of Umbria. Famed for its rich and silky chocolate making, the region celebrates every October with a massive festival in the heart of the capital. Head to Perugia for some chocolate tasting and plenty of opportunities to shop the local produce.

 

 
 

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