Assisi lies on the western flank of Monte Subasio in the province of Perugia. It is the birthplace of St. Francis, who founded the Franciscan religious order in 1208, and St. Clare, the founder of the order of the Poor Clares. Every year, hundreds of pilgrims make the journey to Assisi to visit the Basillica of San Francesco and various other famous churches and monuments that make this town famous and one of the most beautiful.
Bevagna was originally an Etruscan-Oscan settlement. It’s located in southern Umbria, in the flood plain of the Topino river. Around 80-90 BC it became a Roman municipium, the second-highest class of cities. Bevagna boasts many well preserved churches and ruins. It’s urban center clearly demonstrates Medieval characteristics. Bevagna boasts many well preserved churches and ruins. In the month of June, the ‘Mercato delle Gaite’ takes place. On this occasion, the city is animated with a unique and picturesque atmosphere inspired by medieval costumes and traditions.
The city of Amelia is an important historical and cultural centre and one of the liveliest Italian cities. Its origins are very ancient, as evidenced by the Pliny the Elder quote marking the foundation of Amelia sometime in 1134 B.C. Amelia has a remarkably well-preserved past, boasting a number of castles, ancient walls and towers.
Montefalco is one of Umbria’s gems. Only 30km from Perugia, the town has existed since Roman times, when it was called Coccorone. Montefalco is built atop a hill, with spectacular views of the countryside. Montefalco’s star attraction is the Museo Civico di San Francesco. Erected around 1335, the church was decorated by a number or prominent local artists including Perugino and Tiberio d’Assisi. This city, referred to as “the terrace of Umbria” is surrounded by vineyards and wineries which are often open to the public for visits and tastings.
Narni, the geographic center of Italy is a typical Umbrian town, built on a hill 240 meters above sea level with numerous medieval ruins. The town has outstanding views over the River Nera and its valley. In 299 B.C., Narni was a Latin Colony under the name of Narnia, a name that comes from the Nahar River, and is today known as Nera. In 369 AD, Christians in Narni elected the Carthaginian Giovenale as their first bishop. When he died his body was buried near the city’s wall. In the 12th Century, a Cathedral was erected here and is home to a number of important frescoes and artifacts.
Nocera Umbra is one of the larger towns in Umbria. It came under Roman control at the end of the fourth century and was considered an important strategic asset because of its proximity to the Via Flaminia, the road that linked Rome to the Adriatic. Just six kilometers southeast of town are the Angelica mineral springs.
Orvieto is located in the southwest of Umbria. It is a striking city, situated on the flat summit of large butte. It rises above sheer cliffs of porous volcanic stone and is surrounded by defensive walls built of the same material. Be sure and visit the Duomo di Orvieto, the spectacular 14th century Cathedral. The Etruscan ruins are also worthy of a visit. Here you can see the remnants of the wall that enclosed the city more than 2,000 years ago. This soil is famous for its excellent wine production.
Perugia is Umbria’s capital city. Located in the Tiber Valley, near beautiful Lake Trasimeno, Perugia is the cultural, historic and artistic center of Umbria. Take a stroll through the main square, Piazza IV Novembre, and you’ll find the famed Fontana Maggiore, a large fountain covered with bas-relief sculptures. There are countless galleries and churches to discover in Perugia. The nightlife in Perugia is famous for its lively, young atmosphere, created by the large number of University students animating the city center with cultural activities, festivals and theater productions.
Spello is yet another beautiful hilltown, with a difference–in Spello only pedestrians are allowed on the steep and narrow streets. Here, ancient walls with portals and towers stand guard against the ghost of foes from centuries past. Spello was the birthplace of the painter Pinturicchio whose beautiful frescoes adorn the walls of the Santa Maria Maggiore.
Spoleto has been a cultural center for centuries. Located in east central Umbria, it sits on a foothill of the Apennines. It boasts numerous picturesque castles and churches but is most known for its cultural contributions. Since 1958, Spoleto has been host to the Festival of Two Worlds, a celebration of music, theater and dance.
Legend has it that during the construction of the town of Todi, an eagle swooped down and pulled away a tablecloth where some locals were eating and dropped it onto the very top of the hill. The locals considered it a sign and built the town on that very same hill. Todi was built by the Etruscans between the 3rd and 1st centuries B.C. Today, Todi is a veritable trove of historical treasures, from the Tempio di Santa Maria della Consolazione, Tempio di San Fortunato and Duomo to the Parco della Rocca, Teatro Comunale and Palazzo dei Priori.
Torgiano is situated in the heart of Umbria. Sitting high in hills covered in vineyards and olive groves, Torgiano can be found at the confluence of the Tiber and Chiascio rivers. A network of trails allows you to follow long stretches of the Tiber river’s beautiful banks. Torgiano is known for its excellent local wines and olive oil, so be sure to pack some lunch and a bottle.
Trevi is located near Spoleto just a few kilometers from Assisi on the lower flank of Mt. Serano. Trevi is famous the world over for its rich green olive oil. There’s no shortage of wonderful restaurants in Trevi. Take a break from visiting one the many beautiful churches here to enjoy a memorable meal.