Our area offers its guest the opportunity to explore numerous places of historial importance and beauty. Below is a brief summary of some of those that can be visited on day trips.
The birthplace of St Francis, Assisi is of course a must on a trip to Umbria . The crowds can be overwhelming but I don’t believe much can take away from the magnificence of the Basilica.
Above Assisi is the Eremo di Carcere (Hermitage) which is an old monastery built near the caves used by St Francis and the tree where he preached to the birds.
Gubbio – Umbria
Gubbio is one of the most perfect of Umbria’s medieval hill towns, it’s atmospheric streets and alleys are unspoiled and not on the main tourist trail. The town is set at the feet of the Apennines and the views from all around are quite spectacular. The main square is halfway up the town and houses the Palazzo dei Consoli, which is a vast 14thcentury palace.
There is a great walk to the Basilica which is high above Gubbio, it does take a good hour or so but there is also a funicular (cable car) that will take you there – either way it is worth it for the views.
Orvieto is home to what is said to be Italy’s finest Gothic Cathedral and the façade really is truly magnificent. Inside is Signorelli’s fresco cycle of ‘The Last Judgement’, for which you have to buy a ticket in the information shop opposite the cathedral. It is a bit further, but worth it for the cathedral (one of Umbria’s key sights), and could be combined with a wine tour of the area. (see wine touring section)
A small but just wonderful hilltop town. There are some great restaurants here and quite often the town will be hosting an event, including dancing in the square on New Years Eve and the summer fiestas.
Said to be Umbria’s gastronomic capital, famed for its hams, salamis and wild boars. The town gives its name to the Norcineria, the porkbutcher’s shop and the Norcini, the butchers themselves.
Todi – Umbria
Todi has a magnificent position perched on top of a hill with picture postcard views all around. It is home to quite a large proportion of ex-pats and has a high tourist profile, with a main square of austere beauty, some wonderful streets and alleys and some good shops and restaurants.
Perugia is the capital of Umbria, and is famous for the Umbrian Jazz festival which is held at the end of July. The ancient centre is wonderful, full of monuments to its Etruscan, Roman and medieval past. The Corso Vannucci, the main street, where you will find some great shops and where you can join in the evening ‘passeggiata’. On the Corso, which are all well worth visiting are: Palazzo dei Priori, the Collegio di Cambio, Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria and the Duomo.
In addition to the water sports on offer (see section on activities) there are some wonderful towns that surround the lake. Castiglione is a beautiful medival city and Passignano has a lovely promenade to walk along and some good fish restaurants to the enjoy. You can take boat rides out to the islands of Maggiore and Polvese. On Isola Maggiore the old ruined castle and church are worth a visit.
Spoleto – Umbria
A rather chic hilltown known for it summer arts festival and with plenty of artistic, historical and cultural interest.