An undulating patchwork of fields and farmhouses, Umbria retains an air of tranquillity without the numbers of tourists frequenting other parts of the Italian peninsula. With plenty of space to enjoy the beautiful countryside, the area is ideal whether you want to walk, cycle or simply relax amongst cypress trees and sunflowers.
Famed for its excellent wine production, the picture-postcard Umbrian countryside is dotted with vineyards and wineries, perfect for spending a sunny afternoon walking amongst the vines or even indulging in a few tasters of this year’s vintage.
Umbria is famous for its production of some of the finest ingredients used in Italian food including rich olive oil, rare black truffles and delicious pasta. The result is a superb choice of delectable local dishes such as pasta al tartufi – pasta with truffles, and porchetta – roast suckling pig.
As the sun sets, Umbrian towns buzz with locals and visitors alike, enjoying a leisurely ‘passagiatta’ – the traditional stroll through the streets and piazzas, before retiring to one of the many atmospheric restaurants to feast on local pasta and risotto.
A distinctly medieval atmosphere prevails in Umbria, with awe-inspiring architecture and fascinating artwork to be found in almost every town, large or small. A prime example is the beautiful cathedral in Orvieto, which dominates the city skyline and will captivate you with its majestic Gothic facing and elaborate frescos.
If it’s even older history that you crave, the Umbrian landscape is rich in ancient historical sites including the ruins of Ocriculum near present day Otricoli, the fascinating site of a Roman town where countless antiquities and works of art have been unearthed since its discovery in the 18th Century.
Umbria is a melting-pot of the traditional and modern, which combine seamlessly to create a wonderfully rich cultural heritage. Popular time-honoured festivities such as the Corpus Christi day procession in Orvieto and the crossbow contest in Gubbio thrive alongside colourful contemporary occasions including an ever-popular jazz festival. Artistic and musical expression flourishes in the region as it has done for centuries, fuelled by the student population of the 700 year-old University of Umbria, with young people at the forefront of creating today’s fascinating cultural landscape.