For those interested in a vacation characterized by splendid views, charming ancient villages, bucolic glimpses of the countryside, art and culture, flashes of medieval grandeur and authentic natural beauty, the region of Umbria is certainly an option worth considering.
Situated as it is between Tuscany, Marche and Lazio, Umbria has always assumed a role as a crossroads of fundamental importance for the Italian peninsula, and its immense green spaces lend themselves to perfectly sweeten the eyes of those who want to disconnect from the daily routine and indulge in a wellness vacation, especially in the spring and autumn periods where the colors are wonderful and bewitching.
So let’s see the must-see stops and things to visit for a complete and fulfilling vacation in Umbria.
A vacation in Umbria cannot fail to contain a visit to Perugia, being the capital of the region and a city full of art, history and culture, an international tourist destination for travelers from all over the world.
Founded around three thousand years ago by the Etruscans on an Umbrian settlement Perugia retains a fascinating medieval appearance to which new neighborhoods have been harmoniously joined over the years, until it is a perfect mix of antiquity and contemporaneity, ancient rituals and city life; it is also a city overflowing with art, considering that it was the birthplace of artists and intellectuals of the caliber of Pinturicchio, Perugino, Pietro Aretino and Piero della Francesca.
The importance also reverberates in the academic aspect, as Perugia features one of the oldest universities in Europe, and since 1925 the Royal Italian University for Foreigners.
Things to see include the Fontana Maggiore located in the splendid Piazza IV Novembre, and thus right in the center of the city; the imposing Cathedral of San Lorenzo, which can always be reached from the main square; and the National Gallery of Umbria, which offers the region’s most extensive artistic and cultural heritage.
Other must-sees include the ancient aqueduct whose uphill street offers breathtaking views and the practical and fun mini-metro’ that connects all the main city gates by going up or down.
Finally, for those with a sweet tooth, it is worth mentioning how Perugia is considered the city of chocolate, and in fact it is possible to visit the Perugina factory, a tour in which there will be no shortage of delicious samples.
Just around Perugia it is possible to find ancient villages and beautiful cities that are definitely worth a stop, as they are rich in interest and charm.
Assisi, the city of Peace, is the homeland of one of the most important and beloved religious figures such as St. Francis of Assisi, and in fact it houses the imposing Basilica of St Francis erected for the saint and which preserves his remains; it is therefore an essential stop to add an aura of spirituality, intimism and reflection to the trip. Discover Assisi with a guided walking tour
Gubbio, also called “the gray city” because of the limestone blocks on which it rests, is another ancient town with an unchanged medieval charm, full of valuable architectural works all to be admired such as the Basilica of Sant’Ubaldo, the Palazzo dei Consoli and the Piazza Grande, splendid ancient buildings that will be well known to viewers of Don Matteo, a television series set right in Gubbio. See our guided tour of Gubbio.
To continue the vacation in Umbria suspended in another time is advisable then to go to Todi, which placed on top of a hill overlooks the Tiber valley and offers a view that will then be impossible to forget.
Enveloped by three concentric circles of walls Todi is the perfect example of the ancient and medieval charm that permeates Umbria, and even here there will be no shortage of works to visit and admire, just think of the Church of Santa Maria della Consolazione and the Palazzo del Capitano.
A self-respecting vacation, especially if taken in spring or summer needs a moment of freshness and relaxation at the mercy of the lapping of the water, and although Umbria is not in contact with the sea it has Lake Trasimeno and the Marmore Falls, natural beauties with a strong visual impact.
Lake Trasimeno, among the largest in Italy, is located in the green heart of Umbria, and since it is not deep, it is perfect for activities such as windsurfing and water skiing. It has three small islands that can be reached by boat and is the ideal place to stretch out and relax surrounded by nature.
A vacation in Umbria focuses on activities to do in the area, including enjoying the local cuisine characterized by meat and cured meats, going in search of truffles in the woods, walking the paths related to the history of St. Francis, savoring the oil and wines of the valleys, trekking and rafting on the open spaces, visiting villages such as Foligno and Spoleto and exploring churches and museums. The recommended means of transportation is by car, with which you can easily travel around Umbria, stopping at any place deemed interesting.