The green landscape of the region of Umbria is filled with mountains, hills and plains. It includes Lake Trasimeno, central Italy’s largest lake and a large number of fascinating small towns to visit. Perugia is the capital of Umbria.
Umbria is a region in central Italy. It is one of the smaller regions of Italy and the only peninsular region that is landlocked, the region has no large cities and a total population of less than a million but what it lacks in size it makes up for in the beauty of its agricultural land and in a large number of fascinating small towns to visit. Its capital is Perugia. Assisi and Norcia are historical towns associated with St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Benedict. Umbria is bordered by Tuscany to the west, Marche to the east and Lazio to the south. Umbria is mostly hilly or mountainous and is dominated by the Apennines, with the highest point in the region at Monte Vettore on the border of Marche, at 2,476 m, and the Tiber valley basin, with the lowest point at Attigliano, 96 m. In literature, one sometimes sees Umbria called ‘il cuor verde d’Italia’ (the green heart of Italy).
The Basilica of St Francis of Assisi is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in Italy and is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Order of the Franciscan Order. Assisi is where St Francis was born and died. The foundation stone of the basilica was laid by Pope Gregory IX on July 16th 1228 following the canonization of St Francis.
The Wine Museum of Torgiano in Umbria is a private museum specializing in the culture of wine. The museum was founded by Giorgio Lungarotti and his wife Maria Grazia Marchetti and was opened to the public in 1974. It is located in Torgiano in the 17th century Graziani-Baglioni mansion
The spectacular 14th century Cathedral in Orvieto, Umbria is one of the great buildings of the world and is set high above the houses of the town with a wonderful view over the surrounding hills. The building was constructed on the orders of Pope Urban IV to house the ‘Corporal of Bolsena’ and work began in 1290
Spoleto is an ancient city located in the province of Perugia in Umbria. Situated next to the Palazzo Comunale is the restored Casa Romana or Roman House built in the 1st century. The atmospheric house with its attractive mosaic floors is thought to have belonged to Vespia Polla
The Cascata delle Marmore or Marmore Waterfall is a man-made waterfall created by the Romans. It is located 7 km from Terni in Umbria, Italy and standing at 165m high is the tallest man-made waterfall in Europe. The falls stand amidst amazing natural scenery and takes its waters from the river Velino and drop into the river Nera below
Cities in Umbria
- Perugia – the capital of Umbria, a lively university town with a fascinating medieval center.
- Castiglione del Lago – picturesque lakeside town with many restaurants and shops.
- Città di Castello – Burri Collection (modern art) and the Pinacoteca Comunale art galleries.
- Deruta – a center for ceramics.
- Gubbio – described as one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Italy.
- Montone – beautiful hill town, birthplace of mercenary captain Braccio Fortebraccio.
- Torgiano – a fascinating wine museum.
- Umbertide – superb countryside around this market town on the River Tiber.
- Assisi – home of St. Francis and a major religious center, the Basilica has the world’s best medieval art collection frescoed on the walls.
- Bevagna – small but fascinating town.
- Città della Pieve – Red-bricked town. Home of the painter, Il Perugino.
- Foligno – home of Italy’s first printing press.
- Montefalco – Great red wine.
- Spello – famous for its Infiorata flower festival on Corpus Domini Sunday when the streets are covered with intricate flower designs.
- Spoleto – famous for its Festival of the Two Worlds.
- Trevi – close to the source of the Clitumnus River, a location much admired by the Romans and, among others, Byron
- Narni – has the largest Roman bridge ever built.
- Orvieto – great cathedral, Etruscan sites.
- Otricoli – old Roman town on the banks of the River Tiber.
- Terni – the main industrial town of Umbria.
- Todi – impressive hill town with much to see.
The cuisine of Umbria is simple, rustic food once known as” cucina povera“, prepared and cooked to retain the wholesome goodness and flavour of the food. The dishes of the region rely heavily on the seasonal food available that is produced in it’s lush, rich landscape, and one can see why it is called the “green heart of Italy”. Vegetables, grains such as spelt,wheat, barley and lentils, and fresh herbs from it’s farms and gardens, fresh water fish from it’s lakes and game, black truffles and wild mushrooms from the forests that cover much of the region.
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