Umbria is a region with plenty to explore, its nature, landscape, art and architecture, historical cities and small, traditional hamlets. A week in Umbria can be a true gift to yourself and to people who love basking in beauty, relaxation and traditional and truly exceptional food. This 7-day ‘on the road‘ tour takes you to the best of the green heart of Italy.
Day 1 – Perugia-Trasimeno
Perugia, capital of the region, built on rolling hills at almost 500 metres in altitude with a fascinating historical centre that one must visit starting from Rocca Paolina, followed by Piazza Italia and the Carducci Gardens, Corso Vannucci and Piazza IV Novembre with its famous Maggiore Fountain and San Lorenzo Cathedral. The Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria (National Art Gallery of Umbria), in the heart of the centre, certainly deserves a visit because of the important works that it displays, and before leaving it is worth walking through Piazza Morlacchi, and along the medieval aqueduct with its adorable steps and the Etruscan Arch. Then on to Trasimeno Lake, a corner of Umbria that one absolutely must visit. The Trasimeno is the largest lake in central Italy with a great wealth and variety of flora and fauna. It offers amazing landscape that can be admired from the small and typical lake shore towns – these include Passignano, Castiglione del Lago, Magione, San Feliciano and Monte del Lago – but also while enjoying a boat trip to the islands, Maggiore, Minore and Polvese.
Day 2 – Orvieto-Todi
The second day in Umbria is dedicated to the central area of the region, particularly Orvieto and Todi, an especially fascinating art city. Charmingly sitting atop a hill, Orvieto features some of the most popular monuments such as the Cathedral and the San Patrizio Well as well as its entire underground city of tunnels and wells. Todi is, among other things, the city of the poet and Blessed Jacopone and is known for having once been defined by a famous American study as the “ideal city” or “the most liveable city in the world”. Particularly worth visiting are the Consolazione Church, Piazza del Popolo with the Cathedral and the Municipal buildings, Piazza Garibaldi, the Roman cisterns and the San Fortunato Church with its breathtaking view from its bell tower. The entire historical centre, sitting on a hill, is a gem of architecture and landscape. In the very heart of Todi, our Hotel Fonte Cesia is ready to welcome you, with plenty of packages and offers for an unforgettable stay.
Day 3 – Amelia – Narni – Marmore
The third day in Umbria begins with a visit to Amelia, with its impressive polygonal walls and four doors: porta Romana, porta Posterola, porta Leone IV and porta della Valle. Monuments and attractions worth visiting are also the Cathedral, the San Magno Monastery, San Francesco church, Palazzo Nacci, the torre Civica bell tower, the eighteenth century theatre and the ancient Roman cisterns. There is an underground route that one can visit, a common feature that Amelia shares with Narni, the second destination of the day. Famous for its particularly rich history and for inspiring “The chronicles of Narnia” by C. S. Lewis, Narni is highly characteristic first and foremost for its shape: in fact it sits on a rocky cliff dominated by the majestic Rocca Albornoziana. In addition to Underground Narni one must also visit Piazza dei Priori, the Eroli Museum, the bridges of Augusto and Cardona and the Formina aqueduct. One of the main natural attractions of Umbria is undoubtedly the Marmore Falls and this is where the third day of exploring the region ends. Majestic and fascinating, it is characterised by three tiers for an overall height of 165 metres. It offers six different paths and can be admired closer from the Belvedere Inferiore (Lower View point), from the Belvedere Superiore (Upper View point) and from the Balcone degli Innamorati (Lovers’ Balcony).
Day 4 – Spoleto-Campello
The city of Spoleto is particularly dynamic and offers a wealth of attractions and sites of historical and artistic interest. Also famous for the Festival of the Two Worlds which is held in its historical centre every year in July, it features monuments of great prestige, especially Rocca Albornoziana, the fascinating and impressive Ponte delle Torri bridge, the Cathedral, the Roman theatre and the Basilica of San Salvatore. After visiting the city, in less than a half hour drive you arrive at a site of great naturalist and historical interest: the Clitumnus Springs, the ideal place to relax for a few hours. The springs are the source of the Clitunno river and are generated from cracks in the rock, sometimes visible on the bed of the artificial lake that they feed, a crystal clear body of water immersed in a marvellous park that inspired poets such as Propertius, Pliny, Virgil, Byron and Carducci.
Day 5 – Trevi-Foligno-Spello
Trevi is very representative of a typical Umbrian hamlet. It is a hilltop town at an altitude of more than 400 metres with numerous and interesting historical monuments and buildings. It is particularly famous for its oil and in fact among the must-see attractions, in addition to the Our Lady of Tears Sanctuary and the central Piazza Mazzini, there are also the San Francesco Museum Complex with the Museum of the Olive Civilisation and, in the hamlet of Bovara, the Sant’Emiliano olive tree, the oldest in Umbria, more than 1,700 years old and 9 metres tall. The centre of Foligno, the second destination of the day, is the ideal place to have lunch on this fifth day exploring Umbria: in fact here you will discover a lively city of culture, shopping as well as cafes and restaurants. Foligno is also famous for hosting the Quintana, an engaging re-enactment of the medieval tournament between districts. One absolutely must visit Piazza della Repubblica and the Cathedral, Palazzo Orfini where, in 1472, the first edition of the Divina Commedia was printed; the Oratory of Nunziatella with its precious frescoes by Perugino. Lastly Spello, another gem among the most typical Umbrian hamlets, with its small lanes, old stone houses and historical walls. The amphitheatre, the Santa Maria Maggiore church and the Sant’Andrea church, with works by Pinturicchio, in addition to the marvellous Villa Fidelia, deserve exploring in particular.
Day 6 – Eremo Carceri Hermitage-Assisi
The Eremo delle Carceri hermitage is a special place, not only for the naturalistic, historical and architectural interest that it offers, but also for the intensity and spirituality that it, like many other Fransiscan sites, conveys to its visitors. It is in the forest of Mount Subasio at an altitude of almost 800 metres, standing around the natural caves of the mountain. Here Saint Francis and his companions would gather for periods of austerity and prayer. About 4 kilometres from the city of Assisi, also a must-see with its Basilica of Saint Francis and its precious frescos, the one of Saint Clare and the large Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels which houses the small Porziuncola church. In Assisi one must also visit the historical buildings, the impressive and gorgeous Rocca Maggiore and the Temple of Minerva.
Day 7 – Gubbio-Città di Castello
Gubbio is one of the oldest cities in Umbria, with a significant history as testified by the precious Eugubian tablets the ruins of the Roman theatre. A monument-symbol of the city is Palazzo dei Consoli which dominates the medieval Piazza Grande, charming and unique as it is a sort of hanging square held up by four large arches. One must not miss a visit to the Sant’Ubaldo Basilica and the famous Fontana dei Matti fountain. Our 7-day ‘on the road’ tour of Umbria concludes with a visit to Città di Castello: in this northern area of the region, the historical centre of this city also features a wealth of beauty, churches and historical buildings. The leading attractions are artistic: in fact this city hosts the works of Raffaello and Alberto Burri, the latter being an actual native of Città di Castello.