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Umbria Travel Guide

Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi, Umbria (© Pixelshop - Fotolia.com)
Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi at sunset, Umbria.

Introduction

Located at the heart of the scenic Apennine Mountains, Umbria is the smallest, least populous and most sparsely populated region in Central Italy. The region is named after the Umbri, an ancient Italic tribe absorbed by the expansion of the Romans.

Umbria is one of the wildest Italian regions, an idyllic blend of lush rolling hills and forested mountains enjoying a similar climate to that of Tuscany, and dotted with immaculate Medieval towns. Umbria has no industry and few famous natives, apart from Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of Italy, after whom San Francisco in California was named.

The region's three top destinations are the beautifully preserved historic towns of Assisi and Orvietto and the university town of Perugia, but Umbria has many more great places to explore. The main natural attraction is the Marmore Falls, the tallest man-made waterfalls in the world, and the flower fields of the Monti Sibillini National Park.

Cuisine

Forget about seafood in this landlocked region. Here everything is about a good roasting with olive oil and herbs. Traditional dishes are heavy on game (wild boar, hare, pheasant, goose, pigeon) and sausages. Frogs and snails are local delicacies. Norcia is particularly renowned for its black truffles, but also for its cheeses (pecorino) and cured meat products (prociutto di Norcia, budellaccio di Norcia, mazzafegati). The Tiber and Lake Trasimeno are rich sources of freshwater fish such as trouts, perches, pikes, carps, eels, barbels, graylings, and tenches.

Typical Umbrian dishes include agnello scottadito (grilled lamb chops), fagiano in salmì (sautéed pheasant sliced and reheated in sauce), galantina (boneless chicken stuffed with beef, boiled eggs, cheese, pistachios, nutmeg and pepper), piccione alla ghiotta (roasted pigeon with the entrails cooked in a sauce), and porchetta (a fatty boneless pork roasted with herbs). Common varieties of pasta are strangozzi (shaped like shoelaces; typically eaten with truffles), pappardelle (wide tagliatelle), umbricelli (thick spaghetti), and cappelletti (a sort of tortellini).



Umbria has 14 DOC wines, 70% of which are produced in the province of Orvieto. The region is mostly renowned for its white wines, although its two DOCG, Sagrantino di Montefalco and Torgiano Rosso Riserva, are red wines, and both from the province of Perugia.

Attractions

North

Gubbio
Gubbio, Umbria (© vision images - Fotolia.com)
outstanding Gubbio.

Other attractions

good Città di Castello
good Montone
good Tuoro sul Trasimeno
Castiglione del Lago
Castiglione del Lago, Umbria (© Mi.Ti. - Fotolia.com)
very good Castiglione del Lago.

Centre

Assisi ※
Assisi, Umbria (© oreundici - Fotolia.com)
must-see Assisi.
Spello
Spello, Umbria (© fabiomax.com - Fotolia.com)
outstanding Spello.
Panicale
Panicale, Umbria (© anghifoto - Fotolia.com)
very good Panicale.
Perugia
Perugia, Umbria (© Duncan Campbell - iStockphoto.com)
outstanding Perugia.
Bevagna
Bevagna, Umbria (© Claudio Colombo - Fotolia.com)
very good Bevagna.

Other attractions

very good Colfiorito
very good Foligno
very good Montefalco

South

Orvieto
Orvieto, Umbria (© Jenifoto - Fotolia.com)
must-see Orvieto.
Marmore Falls
Cascata delle Marmore (© kubais - Fotolia.com)
outstanding The Cascata delle Marmore are spectacular man-made waterfalls created by the ancient Romans near the modern town of Terni. With a total height is 165 m (541 ft), they are among the tallest in Europe and the tallest man-made waterfalls in the world.
Todi
Todi, Umbria (© silvanoo audisioo - iStockphoto.com)
outstanding Todi.
Norcia
Norcia, Umbria (© fotografiche.eu - Fotolia.com)
very good Norcia.
Castelluccio di Norcia
Castelluccio di Norcia, Umbria (© fotografiche.eu - Fotolia.com)
outstanding Castelluccio is located in the Umbrian section of the Monti Sibillini National Park, near Norcia. Located on top of a hill, it is famous for the panorama of red poppies and yellow rapeseed fields. Plenty of sheep and horses roam across the surrounding hills and plains.
Spoleto
Rocca e Ponte delle Torri, Spoleto, Umbria (©  fabiomax.com - Fotolia.com)
outstanding Spoleto.
Narni
Narni, Umbria (© Claudio Giovanni Colombo - iStockphoto.com)
very good Narni.

Other attractions

very good Trasimeno Lake
very good Trevi
good Lugnano in Teverina
good Terni

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Cities, towns, villages & historic buildings

  • : Moderately interesting - nice for a quick stop
  • : Recommended - to visit if you have time
  • : Outstanding place - really deserves to be seen
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Natural attractions

  • : Moderately interesting
  • : Recommended
  • : Highly recommended
  • : World-class natural attraction
  • ※ : UNESCO World Heritage site


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