Umbria is a gentle, undulating land of hills, river valleys, a patchwork of fields, vines and olives similar in many ways to her better-known neighbour, Tuscany, yet in other ways so very different.
Umbria evokes a deeper rusticity, a less ‘polished’ feel than Tuscany, the secrecy and mysticism of the Middle Ages and yet because of this holds a charm and fascination for the visitor. The hill towns are superb in their own right; steep, narrow cobbled streets with overhanging arches, the grey stone enlivened here and there by pots of geraniums. Ancient crafts remain very much alive, with ceramics and woodwork in particular. Umbria abounds in Roman architecture with Gubbio and Spoleto being noteworthy and there are Etruscan remains too. The food is hearty and earthy too with truffles and porcini, sausages and salami being regional specialities. Yet Umbria also has some of the most important religious sites in Europe, such as the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi and throughout the region are to be discovered outstanding works of art by Perugino, Giotto, Pinturicchio and Gozzoli. Umbria is an intriguing region that awaits further discovery.
Cultural Highlights of UmbriaMixture of religious and secular art and architecture makes Umbria fascinating. The cities of Perugia and Assisi are great centres but the smaller towns of Gubbio, Todi, Spoleto and Spello are also of outstanding interest. Highlights of the region include the Fontana Maggiore in the Piazza IV Novembre in Perugia. Perugia`s Galleria Nazionale containing works by Perugino and Pinturicchio. Gattapone`s Palazzo dei Consoli in Gubbio and his Ponte delle Torri in Spoleto. The `Adoration of the Magi` by Perugino in the church of the Madonna della Lacrime in Trevi. Frescoes by Matteo da Gualdo in the Pinacoteca of Gualdo Tadino. `San Sebastiano` by Luca Signorelli in the Pinacoteca at Citta di Castello. Frescoes by Giotto and Lorenzetti in the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi.
Festivals of UmbriaPerugia has a jazz festival in the summer and the Sagra Musicale music festival held in its churches in September. Orvieto holds concerts in August and has a firework display on the 15th. Spoleto`s Festival of the Two Worlds, a world-class cultural event, takes place June and July. Spello holds its Infiorata in June when the streets are decked with flowers. Foligno holds jousting in September during its Giostra della Quintane.
Gastronomy of UmbriaUmbria's gastronomy is very much a product of its earth and waters: Mushrooms and truffles flavour many dishes, Game and wild boar, Trevi produces black celery, olive oil and black truffles, Pecorino cheese from Torgiano, Todi offers Panzanella, dried bread soaked and marinated in sliced tomato, basil, onion and olive oil, Sweet macheroni with walnuts, Salami and sausages are a regional speciality, Trout from the rivers and perch from Lake Trasimeno, Strangozzi and Bici are local pasta, often flavoured with porcini and truffles. Umbria produces some high quality robust red wines near Torgiano (Rubesco produced by Lungarotti for example) and Orvieto is known for its white wine.
Shop for ceramics in Gubbio, truffles and cooked meats from Norcia. Dramatic landscapes of the Monte Sibillini and one of Europe's highest waterfalls called the Cascate delle Marmore near Terni. One of Italy's beauty spots is the Fonti del Clitunno south of Trevi. See carpentry and woodworking in Todi. Visit the wine museum in Torgiano. Forests of holm oak near Spoleto.Antique fair in April and a national craft fair in August and September in Todi.
By Air: Fly to Rome with numerous flights by British Airways and Alitalia from Heathrow and Gatwick and some regional departures either direct or with a change. Perugia, Pisa, Florence and Bologna are also possible from a variety of airlines. Hire-cars: We include a hire-car will all our holidays to Umbria as you really do need a car to make the most of your holiday in this region. If you just want to stay in Perugia or Assisi we can take out the hire-car and you can make your way from Rome, Pisa or Florence by train. Self-drive: With your own car Umbria can be reached comfortably with two overnight stops from the UK. For example you could stay overnight in Alsace and then the Italian Lakes and then return via Lake Geneva and the Champagne region. Ask us for advice and let us make these arrangements for you.
The Hotel Brufani Palace is an elegant 5 star hotel dating from the end of the 19th Century. Gracefully and
The Hotel Fonte Cesia is a charming hotel, constructed from two patrician houses in the historic centre of
Hotel le Tre Vaselle is a five star hotel in Umbria, highly recommended for wine-related activities.
Villa di Monte Solare is a small privately owned country house in the rolling landscapes of Umbria.
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CapitalRome AirportThere is a very good scattering of international airports in Italy, with the main ones being Venice, Pisa, Milan, Rome, Bologna, Naples, Genoa, Turin and Bari; on Sicily, Catania is served by several airlines from the UK and on Sardinia you fly to Cagliari or Olbia.CurrencyEuro (£1 = Euro 1.30) SizeItaly is roughly 650 miles long, but only about 100 miles wide Population60 million Average temperatureItaly's temperature varies dramatically, from about 4 degrees in Turin in winter to 33 degrees in Sicily in summer, with snow year-round on the summits of the Pyrenees and Alps National holidays in Italy Some tourist attractions as well as banks etc may close on the following days: 1 January 6 January (Epiphany) Easter Monday 25 April (Liberation Day) 1 May (Labour Day) 15 August (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary) 1 November (All Saints) 8 December (Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary) Christmas Day Boxing Day There are a number of local feast days that can affect conditions locally. In addition to the above days, museums are often closed on Mondays in Italy.
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