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Gennaro's guide to Umbria

Gennaro's Guide to Umbria | From Citalia

Landlocked Umbria, known as Italy’s ‘green heart’, is full of olde-worlde charm and tradition. Fairytale medieval hilltop villages, where time seems to have stood still, overlook rolling hills, cypress trees and a rural landscape of olive groves, vineyards and sunflower fields. 

Peace and tranquillity is the norm in Umbria and I love nothing more than hitting the winding roads – even in peak season, the roads are quiet and distances between places are manageable. I love the drive over Mount Subasio, admiring the picturesque Umbrian settlements like Spello with its medieval houses or Spoleto with its Romanesque churches and medieval fortress.

Visit Montefalco for its amazing views and charming little back streets in its walled centre. Enjoy an evening aperitivo in Todi’s charming town square and watch the stunning sunset views.

A trip to Assisi is always a must on my Umbrian itinerary. Tucked on the slopes of Mount Subasio, it is home to the famous Franciscan monk, St Francis, and where you can visit the Basilica di San Francesco.


Pilgrims from around the world come to view his tomb and admire the beautiful frescos adorning the walls and ceiling. Medieval and pink-stoned, Assisi is a delight to wander around with its quaint narrow streets with numerous cafés, restaurants and shops. Not far from Assisi is the region’s main town of Perugia

Pilgrims from around the world come to view his tomb and admire the beautiful frescos adorning the walls and ceiling. Medieval and pink-stoned, Assisi is a delight to wander around with its quaint narrow streets with numerous cafés, restaurants and shops. Not far from Assisi is the region’s main town of Perugia

Pilgrims from around the world come to view his tomb and admire the beautiful frescos adorning the walls and ceiling. Medieval and pink-stoned, Assisi is a delight to wander around with its quaint narrow streets with numerous cafés, restaurants and shops. Not far from Assisi is the region’s main town of Perugia

Wine plays an important part in Umbrian cuisine.


Although its most famous is Orvieto white from the vineyards of Antinori and Lungarotti, the red - Sagrantino di Montefalco - is an excellent accompaniment to many local dishes. 

Umbria hosts lots of annual festivals, like the jazz festival in Perugia during July and the Spoleto festival at the end of June which celebrates traditional and contemporary arts. For chocoholics, Eurochocolate in Perugia in October is a must. And, of course, always check with the local tourist office or your Citalia Italy Expert for local sagre (food festivals).
Click here to find out more about Umbria
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