Our special places
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With medieval towns, sweeping pastures and soaring mountains, Umbria has a wealth of attractions. Bordered by Tuscany to the west, Le Marche to the east and Lazio to the south, this landlocked region includes some of Italy’s most impressive historical sites, but its smaller charms are also well worth exploring.
Umbria’s capital, Perugia, retains much of its Etruscan and medieval past with impressive stone archways and narrow winding streets. It was an important centre for Renaissance art, with many masterpieces by local artist Perugino on display in the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria. With a lively student population it also has a more contemporary side and hosts an excellent jazz festival each summer, drawing well-known names from the music world. Don’t miss the lively passeggiata along Corso Vannucci each evening, best viewed from one of the enticing cafes which line the street.
East of Perugia lies Assisi, famed for its magnificent frescoes by Florentine artists Cimabue and Giotto in the Basilica of San Francesco. The city commands an impressive position from Mount Subasio over the surrounding countryside and plays host to one of the region’s many festivals, Calendimaggio, with medieval processions and theatrical events during early May.
Umbria offers many wonderful smaller towns such as hilltop Montefalco, known as the “balcony of Umbria” for its impressive views, with its delicious Sagrantino red it is an excellent starting point for wine-lovers. South of Montefalco, little Spello is well worth a visit for its beautifully preserved medieval streets and peaceful atmosphere.
In the south of the province, Orvieto sits proudly on a tufa plateau with its striking cathedral visible from afar. From here, an enjoyable drive along forested roads next to Lake Corbara brings one to the delightful town of Todi, with its beautiful Piazza del Popolo. Northern Umbria sees fewer visitors so the pleasures of the charming town of Città di Castello and the beautiful city of Gubbio, with its imposing palazzos can often be enjoyed in relative seclusion.
Complementing Umbria’s history and culture are some impressive rural diversions, most notably the Sibillini Mountains. With many peaks above 2,000m, this mountain range acts as a natural border with neighbouring Le Marche; and there are some particularly stunning driving routes between the two regions taking in the towns of Norcia and Casteluccio. Combine this with some dramatic valleys and, come early summer, pastures rich in wild flowers make this an area not to be missed.
In the east of Umbria lies Lake Trasimeno, Italy’s fourth largest lake. Offering beaches, water sports and some delightful towns such as Castiglione del Lago, Trasimeno is a popular spot in summertime.
Located in the unspoilt countryside of northern Umbria, Borgo Il Poeta was formerly the site of one of the watch towers which stood along the Tuscan/Umbrian border. Today, the remnants of the 16th century tower and the hamlet surrounding it have been integrated into a collection of 6 elegant country houses.
Fondo le Teglie lies about 12km from Todi in a wonderful position overlooking the rolling hills and green fields of Umbria. You will never tire of sitting out on the shaded loggia, the lovely courtyard or by the swimming pool, and gazing at the unsurpassable views surrounding you.