Umbria is a small Region in the heart of Italy, hugging the Appennino and crossed by River Tevere. Cities and villages are mostly built on rolling hills and art and culture of the past are mixed together with forest and the countryside, creating amazing landscapes. It is the perfect place for people looking for an active holiday in the nature, but also for these who want some relaxing time far from the city. If you are looking for inspirations, you can read our green travel guides to the Region:
Many are the interesting places to visit, if you love nature: in fact Umbria has also been called “the green heart of Italy”. Firstly you can visit the Parco Fluviale del Tevere, near the city of Todi. It is a wide green area surrounding the river Tevere, with thick forests crossed by paths that can be followed on foot. Very famous are the Marmore Waterfalls, located in the south of Terni, along the flow of Nera River.
In the Monte Cucco National Park it is possible to admire big caves, dig by the water, such as La Cattedrale and La Margherita. At the foot of Monte Subasio, near the city of Assisi, you can visit the Eremo delle Carceri, a monastery made of rocky caves, where Saint Francesco, who lived around year 1200, used to go to pray and meditate.
The largest lake of the Region is Trasimeno Lake, not far from Perugia. Many paths, running in the surroundings, can be followed on foot, by bike or with horses. Between reeds and along the bank, you can see many different types of birds and animals, you will find cozy beaches and you will also have the possibility to visit three islands in the middle of the lake: Polvese, Maggiore and Minore.
Most of the cities in Umbria have been built upon rolling hills, from where you can enjoy an amazing view on the surrounding mountains. Houses and buildings are made with pale rocks and squares are full of friendly people. The most visited ones are Assisi, Perugia, Spello, Spoleto, Gubbio and Castelluccio da Norcia.
Umbria is famous in particular for two main events. One is “Umbria Jazz”, a festival of Jazz Music taking place in July: for some days you will have the possibility to hear the best jazz musicians playing around the Region. The other one is “Eurochocolate”, festival of chocolate which takes place in Perugia during October. Don't miss the chance to try tasty chocolates and cakes.
Typical plates in Umbria are mainly made with products coming from local agriculture. A suggestion is to stop in some oil mills along the way, to taste local olive oil, especially if you are in the area around Trevi and Spoleto, but also in some winery to taste typical wines, white in the are of Orvieto, or red if you are in Montefalco.
Bread and salty cakes in Umbria are made..without salt! You should not miss the Torta al Testo, filled with vegetables, salami and cheese, or the “Pizza sotto lu focu” made in Terni. Many plates are made with meat, especially game (hare, pheasant, wild boar,..). The traditional cake is Rocciata, rolled pastry filled with walnuts , olive oil and apple.
Here are some suggestions if you are thinking about a trip to Umbria:
Eco Village Panta Rei, Passignano sul Trasimeno (PG). The center is entirely built according to the principles of green building, with use of natural materials. Inserted in an oak forest in a panoramic terrace on the hills overlooking the Trasimeno, the place offers many possibilities for hiking. in addition workshops, excursions, great games, activities are offered continuously.
Tribewanted Monestevole, Ubertide (PG). Surrounded by a 47 hectare garden, it's a renovate rustic-style 15th-century building in the Umbrian countryside. It offers a swimming pool, a recording studio, and a terrace.
Agriturismo Torre Piantarosa, Marsciano (PG). It's an ancient mansion of the 18th century located right on the old via Etrusca that connected Perugia and Orvieto. The mansion overlooks vineyards, cultivated farmland, olive groves, ancient villages, small lakes and soft hills. It's the perfect place to relax in the nature.
If you are looking for other inspirations for your trip to Umbria, you can read these articles:
Author: Anita Cason
Cover image: Chris Ford via Flickr
Belforte del Chienti (Marche)
Castel Ritaldi (Umbria)
Caprese Michelangelo (Toscana)
Umbertide, PG, Italia (Umbria)