Travelling north of Rome we will reach Italy's green heart,to
visit towns like ASSISI the mystic city of St.Francis with
the Basilica dedicated to the Saint (1228-1253 with
paintings of Cimabue and Giotto). We will conclude the
Umbria tour in ORVIETO which has a Cathedral considered the
most beautiful in Italy and a masterpiece of medieval
architecture from the 14th Century (Maietani, Pisano,
Federighi). On request and during the season truffle-
Art and Religion
Umbria land of mysticism and religion, where the lives of
saints important, as St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi,
Saint Rita of Cascia, merge into a huge artistic and
architectural heritage that is among the most valuable and
representative of our country. Land of artists like Giotto,
Perugino, the Pintoricchio, who have made valuable
impressive churches (like the Basilica di San Francesco in
Assisi ...), a land of enchanting medieval villages, perched
on the hills, fortified city, surrounded by greenery and
ruins Etruscan-Roman, full of stories to tell.
The Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi
Is an important place in the Christian faith and a point of
Christian pilgrimage. It is the burial place of St Francis
and the mother church of the Franciscan Order. The basilica
is a memorial to the man who renounced his wealth and
preached and lived a simple life of poverty, abstinence, and
renunciation of worldly goods in search of greater
The building itself is a World Heritage Site and is
comprised of two churches known as the Upper Church and the
Lower Church. The interior of the Upper Church is an
excellent example of Italian Gothic and the range of artwork
offers a unique timeline of Italian art of this period.
Among the most important pieces in the basilica is the
fresco, characteristic of Italian church architecture. The
earliest frescoes are some of those in the Lower Church.
Artists like Cimabue, Giotto, Simone Martini, Pietro
Lorenzetti and possibly Pietro Cavallini contributed to the
The creator of this grand memorial was Francis's right-hand
men, the Cortonan disciple Brother Elia. Unlike Francis,
Elia was much more worldly than Francis and was responsible
for the marketing and promotion of the Franciscan order.
Food and Wine
Umbria land of ancient and authentic flavors, be driving the
streets of wine or oil, come and taste the prized Sagrantino
di Montefalco, the DOC Assisi, the Torgiano Rosso, the
precious extra virgin olive oil, the true gold of 'Umbria,
the tasty black truffle of Norcia, the tasty fish of the
lake. If you are looking for places where the pleasures of
nature and art merge with
authentic flavors of the table are in the right direction.
Nature and Sport
Umbria Green Heart of Italy: land by glimpses unforgettable
landscape, where the mild climate, the presence of fresh and
green hills, mountains, forested valleys and make it one of
the most picturesque and spectacular of the Italian
territory. In Umbria, you can visit the disruptive Niagara
Falls, the oasis of nature or of Alviano Colfiorito, now
protected area, or have fun doing trekking equipment in
parks, kite surfing on Lake Trasimeno, rafting along the
Umbria Excursion and Transfer
Acquasparta is an ancient medieval village situated in
Umbria in central Italy. Set on a hill above the Naia Valley
and Naia River, the Monti Martani mountain range looms
overhead. The town is also situated between two hot springs,
the Amerino and the Furipane.
The town's proximity to Rome led to many buildings being put
up at that time and much wealth in trade. The town's
historical center was once surrounded by medieval walls to
protect its goods, but now most of the walls have been torn
down. Luckily, many Roman ruins remain including other
portions of the city's defense like cylindrical towers.
There are also Roman thermal baths which are open to the
Assisi is a town and episcopal see in Italy in Perugia
province, in the Umbria region, on the western flank of Mt.
Subasio. Assisi is a perfect Umbrian hill town. It's a
tiered, village of pink and pale-gray stone drawn out along
a mountainside and surrounded by a valley patchwork of
fields and olive groves. It was the birthplace of St.
Francis, who founded the Franciscan religious order here in
1208, and St. Clare (Chiara d'Offreducci), the founder of
the Poor Clares. Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows of the
19th century was also born here. It boasts Roman roots, a
glowering castle and twisting alleyways from the Middle Ages,
and some of Italy's finest early Renaissance art -- all
backed by the brilliant green slope of sacred Mt. Subasio.
Assisi is still one of Italy's top sights, ranking with the
Colosseum, Pompeii, and Venice's canals
Bevagna is a town in touch with its past. Roman ruins and
walls make up the backbone of the city with modern amenities
finding their place within the existing framework. The city
lies in the Italian province of Perugia in Umbria. Settled
into the flood plain of the Topino River, the medieval town
has a population of about 2,500 with another 2,500 in the
outlying area. The Roman history can be felt in the many
mosaics around town, the remains of a Roman theatre and of
two Roman temples, and the medieval churches scattered
Cannara sits in the floodplain in central Umbria in the
province of Perugia. The flood waters of the Topino have
resulted in a fertile plain of agricultural wealth. The town
itself is made up of agricultural industry, growing wheat
and onions. Onion is the area's prize crop; it grows easily
in the clay-like soil, rich in silica. The town's railroad
station isn't for passengers, but for produce. Outside of
the cultivated crops, the area is rich in olive trees,
vineyards, chestnuts and oaks.
Cannara is also an interesting place for those interested in
St. Francis. Born in nearby Assisi, he is thought to have
instituted the Third Order, and Pian d' Arca is credited as
the site where he preached to the birds. The story is that
Francisco crossed the land announcing the Gospel and stopped
in Cannara to preach. People remained touched from the words
of the friar and wished to behave themselves in the fidelity
to the Gospel and to follow it. Many churches, monuments,
and sacred places are scattered around in response to this
In the Italian province of Perugia near the Corno River is
the town of Cascia. Founded in Roman times, this somewhat
remote town has suffered several misfortunes which have
robbed it of Roman remains. The effects of barbaric tribes
and earthquakes are in what structures they have taken away.
Luckily, Cascia's primary focus is not a structure, but a
story. The town is the home of Saint Rita, who was born in
1381 and died in Cascia in 1457. Rita was canonized in 1900
and a large shrine was built in the town. This remains an
important place of pilgrimage, as well as the house where
she was born.
Collazzone sits atop a hill in the Umbrian section of Italy.
Overlooking the central part of the Tiber Valley, the area
is rich in oaks, pines and olive trees. Once known as Colle
di Attone, the name was later corrected to Collazzone. The
town has preserved some of its military features of
mediaeval walls, ramparts, and buttressed embattled towers.
The people are also remarkable for their warm and friendly
attitude and simply delicious cuisine.
Corciano lies within the Province of Perugia in the Italian
region of Umbria. According to an ancient legend, Corciano
owes it name and its origins to Coragino, a mythical friend
of Ulysses. The town's Etruscan-Roman origins are documented
from the discovery of a small Etruscan necropolis and
numerous other findings located at its municipal offices.
The town is a peaceful and beautiful walled medieval town,
overlooking the modern amenities of a busy highway that
carries travelers to nearby Magione, Passignano and Tuoro
Deruta lies just 19 km south of Perugia and is close to
Togiano and Marsciano, but stands out from its neighbours
because of its reputation for beautiful pottery. The town
has a distinguished history of maiolica manufacturing and
notable ceramics. The town's products are known and exported
worldwide. The traditions and customs associated with the
crafts of these pieces continues as it is encouraged by a
government-sponsored ceramics laboratory and training school.
What is less well-known about Deruta is that the area itself
is also lovely. The Tiber River flows through hilly Deruta
to Rome. The streets and buildings are attractively medieval,
with parts of the ancient castle remaining. Portions of the
wall, the arches of the three doors to the city and the
characteristic medieval streets all allude to the town's
Foligno (Latin: Fulginiae, Fulginium) is an ancient town of
Italy in the province of Perugia in east central Umbria, on
the Topino river where it leaves the Apennines and enters
the wide plain of the Clitunno river system. It is located
40 km (25 mi) south-east of Perugia, 10 km (6 mi)
north-north-west of Trevi and 6 km (4 mi) south of Spello.
Foligno is one of the very few Umbrian cities built in the
plain. It rises up on the banks of Topino River where the
river erupts into the valley in an area where extensive
drainage of the large swamplands took place, first during
Roman times, then during the 15th and 16th centuries and
finally in the 19th century.
The historical center of Foligno is traditionally divided
into twenty rioni ("quarters"). Only ten of them are
officially reckoned and can take part to the Giostra della
Quintana. These are:
• Croce Bianca
• La Mora
The “dead” rioni which had been absorbed within the former
ones are: Borgo, Fonte del Campo, Cipischi, Croce, Falconi,
Feldenghi, Franceschi, Menacoda, Piazza Vecchia, and
Gualdo Cattaneo is a small town in the Colli Martani
Mountains of central Umbria. The name Gualdo derives from
“wald” selva which refers to the wealth of forests
surrounding the area. One of the symbols of the town, a
mighty cylindrical tower, sits in the main square. It was
built in 1494 and is attached to the Saint Michael Church
with a facade adorned with reliefs depicting the Lamb with
mystical symbols of the four evangelists. The ancient castle
of the same name rises up on the north-western side of the
Gubbio is located on Mount Ingino, a mountain in the
Apennines, in the northeastern part of Perugia. It is one of
the most ancient towns of Umbria with beautiful
Medieval-style construction and Gothic buildings. The homes
in Gubbio are from ancient-style designs with unique
rooftops. Many of the homes were constructed around the 14th
and 15th centuries and originally inhabited by wealthy
merchants. The town is also notable as the home of the
world's second largest standing roman theatre. The Middle
Ages does not seem so long ago when walking the ancient
streets and observing the friendly family atmosphere of the
Gubbio bubbles with activity. Fascinating events like
crossbow competitions, theatrical performances, and
carnivals taking place year round. The town is a source of
tremendous historical value and a truly fun place to visit.
Magione is a small town in west central Umbria. Its name
derives from the French maison, “house”. The house in this
case was that of the Knights Templar, a massive fortress on
the top of the hill. To this day, the castle is property of
a knightly order, the Sovereign Order of Malta, to which any
application to visit must be made, since it is not normally
open to the public.
There once was a massive lake in the area and the town
thrived on the fishing industry. Over the years, the lake
has dried up and now the town has shifted to light industry.
Magione is famous among medieval specialists as the home of
Giovanni da Pian del Carpine, a Franciscan monk who traveled
to the court of the Great Khan of the Tatars a quarter
century before Marco Polo. He wrote a book about it, the
Historia Mongolorum, which for the first time described the
Mongolian civilization, a text used as a guide by many
missionaries and merchants.
Marsciano (formerly called Monregio or Monreale) is in the
Province of Perugia in the Italian region of Umbria. A
larger town on the western edge of the floodplain of the
Tiber, Marsciano is an industrial center. The main industry
is concerned with brick-making, complete with a museum of
brick making and terracotta.
Outside of the man-made, Marsciano has lovely woods of oaks
which co-exist with the maquis and cultivated fields of
grapevines, olive trees, sunflowers and wheat. The valley is
uncontaminated and offers water games, smooth stones and the
waterside vegetation. The views from around the village are
reminiscent of paintings by Umbrian artists of the 400's.
Another notable feature is the hospitality of the people.
The town is full of celebrations every summer. The people's
craftsmanship, including production of the loom-manufactured
tissues bearing ancient Umbrian designs or in the knitwear
made of high-quality yarns, draw visitors.
Massa Martana this small town is one of the classic walled
towns of central Italy. The town lies on the on the west
flank of the Colli Martani, a low ridge of hills forming the
backbone of central Umbria. The modern town has spread
northwards following the SS 316, a road that more or less
follows the west branch of the Roman road “Via Flaminia”
though some of Italy's most beautiful countryside.
The tiny core of the city is still enclosed within walls,
complete with a main gate that is inscribed with several
ancient inscriptions. The people living within the center
are exceptionally proud of their well-preserved hamlet and
pleased when others appreciate it. The pace of life is slow
and sense of community strong.
Outside the walls are the Martani Mountains and rich
Mediterranean forest. The region produces many specialties,
like Nociata- the only nougat produced in Umbria. There is
also a local wine -Doc “Colli Martani”, an extra virgin
olive oil -Dop “Colli Martani”, and specialty sausages, hams,
porchetta, truffles, and asparagus
Montecastrilli, (sometimes spelled in two words), is very
characteristic of a walled hilltop village in Umbria. The
city retains its original character of a fortified medieval
hamlet. Situated on a hill that inspired its heraldic coat
of arms, the area comprises five smaller villages: Castel
dell'Aquila, Castel Todino, Farnetta, Quadrelli and
Tradition states that Montecastrilli draws its name from the
“castra” (encampments) planted by Hannibal's army marching
to Rome. The town is now more famous for its high-quality
production of olive oil and wine. The area is also known for
the “quercus frainetto”, or oak which grow in the territory
of Montecastrilli. The trees have leaves 20 centimeters in
length and are threatened because of their slow growth. The
oak are responsible for the name of Farnetta
Montefalco is often referred to within Italy as the “la
ringhiera dell'Umbria” which translates to “the balcony of
Umbria”. A majestic hill town in central Umbria, Montefalco
is on the eastern side of the Colli Martani Mountains.
Surrounded by ancient walls, Montefalco's streets are at a
slant to the top of the hill and the center of town. Walking
the streets, visitors can think of the famous local artists
that called Montefalco home like Perugino, Giovanni di
Corraduccio and Tiberio d'Assisi who designed the interior
of the church. At least eight saints have also called
Montefalco their birthplace. From the top of the hill,
panoramic views of the Umbria valley may be enjoyed.
Beautiful olive groves and vineyards hint at Montefalco's
specialties. The town in known for its delectable Sagrantino,
Passito, and Secco wines
Montefranco is one of the smallest comuni of Umbria. It is
only 10 km2 in area. The town grew from its defensive
position defending the right bank of the Nera River. The
castle and town have undergone long-time ruling by nearby
Spoleto, and have also suffered various occupations. The
town obtained communal liberty in 1258, after occupations
from Ottone IV in 1209 under the jurisdiction of the Church.
Montefranco is as picturesque as the views it offers from it
hilltop location. It is surrounded by olive groves and woods
of oaks and pines. Below it, in the valley, the River Nera
flows. Intense green vibrates from the valley.
The effects of civilization are equally hard to miss.
Montefranco is a rustic village that constantly hints at its
medieval center. The streets, architecture, and people are
all to be enjoyed.
Norcia is a town and commune in the province of Perugia
(Italy) in southeastern Umbria, located in a wide plain
abutting the Monti Sibillini, a sub range of the Apennines
with some of its highest peaks, near the Sordo River, a
small stream that eventually flows into the Nera. The town
is thus popularly associated with the Valnerina (the valley
of that river).
The area is known for its air and scenery, and is a base for
mountaineering and hiking. It is also widely known for
hunting, especially of the wild boar, and for sausages and
ham made from wild boar and pork, to the point that Norcia
has given its name to such products: in Italian, norcineria.
Orvieto is a city in southwestern Umbria, situated on the
flat summit of a large butte of volcanic tuff. The site of
the city is among the most dramatic in Europe, rising above
the almost-vertical faces of tufa cliffs that are completed
by defensive walls built of the same stone.
Orvieto is at an elevation of 1000 feet while the valley
lies at 360 feet. There are 10,000 people who live in the
city itself and another 15,000 in the valley and in the
Those who lived on the top of this high plateau dug this
hidden labyrinth left unaltered over the past 2500 years; it
is an invaluable reservoir of historical and archeological
information which has only recently been the object of
organic scientific studies.
The city of Orvieto has adapted to the needs of the modern
day tourist by transforming itself into a car-free haven.
Access to the city in fact is either via the funicular that
runs from the railway station below up to the old town
centre, passing directly by the Albornoz fortress, or up the
system of escalators dug into the Cliffside from the large
parking lot at Campo della Fiera. Alternatively there is a
regular minibus service that covers the entire city.
Although Orvieto enjoys a pleasant climate all year round,
the best time to tour the city is certainly between the end
of winter in February or March and the beginning of autumn
Mediaeval Paciano sits on Monte Petrarvella in the Umbria
region of Italy. Its name, originally written as Paciano
until the seventeenth century, refers to the family Pacci of
Cortona. The town holds attractive mediaeval streets, a
circuit of walls, and several interesting late mediaeval and
Renaissance churches. The 13th century city plan opens
fanlike, including the surrounding walls and three arched
gates and towers. Paciano is one of the most beautiful and
well-preserved medieval villages in the countryside.
The nature is rich around the town, featuring Mediterranean
wildlife. From its hilltops, an eagle's-eye view takes in
three lakes: those of Trasimeno, Chiusi and Montepulciano.
Closer at hand are the town's groves of olives, vineyards,
and fruit orchards. Handcrafts are also very important and
old skills are put to use. Tourism is an also an important
feature of the economy with those eager to get a glimpse
into “old Italy”.
Panicale, located in Umbria, this medieval hill town
features some beautiful old architecture and an unusual city
plan. The streets are arranged in an oval pattern which
radiate out from the main square and tend to be quite steep.
Panicale was formerly a military bulwark of great importance
and the remaining city wall, fortified doors, and towers all
lend to the medieval feel of the town.
Panicale is on a natural terrace overlooking Lake Trasimeno
and the broad valley of the River Nestor. Its position
offers magnificent views in a peaceful setting. Also,
painter Masolino da Panicale once lived here.
Perugia is the capital city in the region of Umbria near the
Tiber river, and the capital of the province of Perugia. It
lies on a hill between the Trasimenian Sea and the Tiber
valley. The town is worth visiting not only for the beauty
of its setting but also for its fine old buildings. It is
the seat of an archbishop and a university town, with a
University for Foreigners. Perugia is also renowned as the
principal center of the Umbrian school of painting, the
leading members of which, Pietro Vannucci, called Perugino
(1446-1523), and Bernardino Betti, called Pinturicchio
(1455-1513), both worked here. The young Raphael worked in
Perugino's studio until 1504.
San Gemini, originally a pre-roman town called Casventum,
was renamed in the 9th century when a monk called Gemine
from Syria began to preach there. The monk did so much good
that the town became known as the city of “Saint Gemine”.
Along with a name from long ago, the town is a
well-preserved medieval city with two lines of walls, built
over the remains of a small Roman center along the old Via
San Gemini is renowned for its mineral waters. Baths whose
mineral waters take the town's name are important to San
Gemini's prominence and are the reason for many of the
San Venanzo sits amid the rich nature of wooded areas and
flowering plains. Near Monte Peglia, San Venanzo is of
medieval origins and in the Umbria region of Italy. It was
built near some very early Roman towns which were just
discovered in 1999. Like many villages of the Orvietano
region, the agricultural and wood centers are of great
importance to the town. In the last few years San Venanzo
has also developed a flourishing handicraft market in the
area of terracotta.
The area is of geological interest, since it is the only
volcanic outcrop anywhere in Umbria. The type of volcanic
rock, mineral venanzite, is a form of lava used in the
construction industry and fairly unique.
Scheggino is in Umbria near the Nera and Fonti di Valcasana
Rivers. The town has walls from the 12 century and lovely
ancient architecture, but its best feature lies outside the
walls in the rivers running along it. The water of the area
is crystal clear giving Scheggino a character quite unique
from much of Umbria.
The town has ancient origins and was first known as
Schiaginum then Schezzino. Later, the name Scheggino was
recognized and the town became an agricultural centre. The
town rose around a triangular castle from which the
primitive structure is still visible. The locality was
fenced with wall to protect its assets, but was occasionally
Along the left side of the Nera lies an enchanting glimpse
into the essence of Scheggino. There is a spring between the
trees known as the “Valcasana fountains”. Natural delights
abound from these lovely waters to green hills.
Spello, once called “Hispellum”, is an ancient town in
central Italy. The old walled town lies on a sloping ridge
which meets the plain. From the top of the ridge, Spello
commands a good view of the Umbrian plain towards Perugia.
The more modern section of town runs along the bottom of the
ridge and into the plain. The densely-inhabited town is
built of stone and retains a medieval aspect and is enclosed
in a circuit of medieval walls on Roman foundations.
Although not on the usual tourist route, Spello has a
wonderful atmosphere to enjoy. It is a town of locals and
gives a view of the “real” Italy. Giulio Urbini, an Umbrian
art historian, praised the city with a section in his book
Spoleto is an ancient city in the Italian province of
Perugia in east central Umbria on a foothill of the
Apennines. This is an outstanding city, built on a hill with
remains from Roman times but with the general appearance of
a mediaeval town an attractive destination all-year-round, a
peaceful hilltown with a fine cathedral, interesting sights
and pleasant walks. But it is during June and July that
Spoleto comes to life. The Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival
of Two Worlds) takes over the historic town centre, with
high-quality performing arts events taking place throughout
Spoleto. Churches, piazzas and theatres are turned into
festival venues, the streets are packed with people.
Terni is a modern town, characterised by regular wide
streets lined with trees, which make us understand the
typical Roman plan based on the “Cardo” and the “Decumano”;
among the buildings standing along the principal streets
many were rebuilt in the post-war period, while some are
decidedly more ancient. The centre of the town, rather
pleasant, reveals surprising corners where interesting
remains of the past recall other ages and different
Todi is a town in Umbria in central Italy. Situated upon a
two-crested hill, the beautiful ancient architecture of the
area also has lovely views of the river Tiber and
surrounding areas. The city is enclosed within three
concentric walls which once protected the oldest area of the
city. The walls tell some of the long history of the town.
The innermost walls were built by its first settlers, the
next walls were put there by the Romans, and the outer wall
was built in medieval times.
The city itself is built upon whole huge ancient Roman
cisterns with more than 500 pits. The cisterns were in use
until 1925. In a 17th century a census about castles,
fortresses and mansions, the Commune of Todi was rated
highly with 365 notable structures. A plethora of ruins and
37 intact buildings can be enjoyed in and around the town.
Torgiano lies in the Umbria region of Italy. Originally an
Etruscan enclave and later a Roman fort, the town sits atop
a hill above the Tiber and Chiàscio River. The town is
positioned defensively with the ancient part of town still
partly surrounded by medieval walls. The fortifications are
common to the Umbrian defense structures of the XIII and XIV
centuries and fit the landscape for maximum security. The
passageways dug into the banks of the compact sandstone and
consolidated clay can still be found running underground.
These same passageways are now commonly used as wine cellars
for the houses and other structures of the town. Of the
structures that have been preserved, the Guard Tower is most
Torgiano is fairly small, but the sweeping views of the
vineyard-filled valleys are worth visiting. The cultivation
of wine is an ancient art, with archeologists finds
discovering tools dating back to the 14th century. The zone
is characterized by agriculture, consisting in the
cultivation of olive oil, lace and embroidery, and above all,
the terracotta pottery trade.
Vallo di Nera
Vallo di Nera has been designated as one of the most
beautiful hilltop villages in the whole of Italy. It is
entirely surrounded by walls, with towers and gateways
dating from the feudal rule of Corrado di Spoleto. In
Italian, the name translates to “black wall”, but what one
finds here are Renaissance frescoes and medieval urban
structures with narrow alleys topped by arches. Small
churches dot the valley walking through the rolling hills to
nearby villages is enjoyable.
Throughout the year, local village festivals filled with
music, dance and delicious local Umbrian food take place.
Val di Nera is within easy access of Spoleto, Norcia,
Castelluccio and the Monte Sibillini National Park.
Valtopina is a small town on the west bank of Topino River.
The town's location to the river is responsible for its name.
In Roman times, this point of the Topino gorge was where the
Via Flaminia ran. In the latter part of the 20th century, a
superhighway version of that same road was built on the east
side of the river bypassing the town. This slowed down life
in Valtopina, but the natural beauty of the area and the
positive nature of the town make it worth visiting.
The Commune of Valtopina is considered geographically at one
with the hamlets of Giove, Sasso, Gallano, Pasano, Casa
Tommaso, Serra, Balciano, Colfulignato, Vallemare, Poggio,
S. Cristina, and Franchillo. Valtopina is the only town to
occupy the valley bottom. The terrain is fairly hilly with
deciduous and pine woods adding to the picturesque nature of