Unmissable Umbrian Attractions
Umbria is rich in historic, artistic and cultural treasures. Here is a little glimpse of what Umbria has to offer:
Assisi – The Basilica of Saint Francis is home not only to the tomb of Saint Francis but also the paintings of Giotto that depict his life as well as other masterpieces by Lorenzetti and Simon Martini.
Up the road towards Mount Subasio is the Eremo delle Carceri where Saint Francis would retreat over the summer to a cave.
This little cluster of buildings still retains a very evocative atmosphere. Just down from the Eremo delle Carceri is the restaurant La Stlalla where Umbrian recipes are cooked on the open fire in a very relaxed setting.
In Assisi itself are restaurants Trattoria degli Umbri and Osteria Piazzetta delle Erbe, both very central and to be highly recommended.
Perugia – After parking at the Parcheggio Piazza Partigiani, an escalator takes you through the guts of the city with the remains of medieval buildings, walls and medieval shop locations up to the main centre, Corso Vannucci with its more upmarket shops and the National Gallery of Umbria.
In July, for Umbria Jazz the whole city vibrates and is alive with jazz events and concerts along the streets.
A meal at La Taverna restaurant in the historic centre is recommended for lovers of traditional Umbrian cuisine.
Antique markets – On the first Sunday of every month there is an antique market along the main street of Pissignano, which has a wide selection of interesting antiques and bric-a-brac. Just up the road at Campello sul Clitunno, where you can fish your own trout, there is a good Restaurant; Parco del Clitunno.
Montefalco – Known for its prestigious wines (Montefalco Rosso and Sagrantino), Montefalco enjoys panoramic views over the Umbrain countryside. Some of the medieval vines, from which the present vines are developed, are still visible along the little side streets of the town. The Museum of San Francesco contains a fine cycle of frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli on the life of St Francis. In the Piazza del Comune is an excellent restaurant called L’Alchimista, where Patrizia, the chef provides seasonal recipes.
Bevagna – A beautiful little town with many Roman and medieval architectural features is known also for it’s handicrafts (paper-making, basket-making and candle-making etc…). The Mercato delle Gaite that takes place between June 19th and 29th is a highlight of these medieval activities.
Among the wealth of other interesting places to visit must be mentioned, Todi, Spello, Deruta, Orvieto, Spoleto and Gubbio, all fascinating and rewarding places to visit. For those who wish to venture beyond the Umbrian borders, there are many interesting locations such as Pienza, Sant’Antimo, Bagnoregio, Saturnia, Florence, Siena and the gardens of Iris Origo at the Foce, near Montepulciano.