If you’re planning a trip to the Green Heart of Italy and you’d like to explore at a leisurely pace, you should plan for at least five days. Want to linger a bit longer? No problem, there’s plenty to keep you occupied for weeks at a time. It’s best to find a home base and tour this stunning region from there. That way, you can plan day trips to surrounding towns and return to your nest without having to lug your bags around with you.
Here’s our list of the 5 most beautiful places to visit in Umbria to help you plan your adventure:
Castiglione del Lago
Sitting on the shores of Lake Trasimeno, where Umbria meets Tuscany, Castiglione del Lago is the perfect starting point for exploring the many islands in the lake. The largest of these islands, Isola Polvese is home to a 15th century fortress that now serves as an outdoor theatre, the Church of San Giuliano and the Garden of Aquatic Plants. Aside from these sights, the Polvese has a beautiful wooded area and beach.
If you’re looking for a place to put down roots while you’re exploring Umbria, Assisi is the place to be. This centrally located town, best known as the birthplace of Saint Francis of Assisi, is home to many ancient monuments and buildings. The Basilica di San Francesco, built in honour of Saint Francis, contains some of Italy’s most prized frescos, and the perfectly preserved 1st century Temple of Minerva are testament to the town’s respect for its rich history.
With its narrow cobbled streets and many medieval architecture, this hilltop town looks like something straight out of a fairy tale. The many ancient buildings beautifully preserved, particularly the Palazzo del Capitano and the Palazzo del Popolo, both of which were built in the 1200s. Luckily, Todi is still relatively untouched by tourists, so you’ll have the added advantage of getting a taste of the peaceful Umbrian lifestyle here.
Whether you’re a nature lover or culinary connoisseur, Norcia something to offer. Set on the foothills of the Sibillini Mountains, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the area by foot, bike or horse. After you’ve worked up an appetite on the trails, you can sample some of Umbria’s famous fare. This tiny town offers some of the best salami, black truffle, and wild boar and pork products in the region. With an abundance of produce, it should come as no surprise that the verdant green landscapes are simply hypnotising.
Right in the heart of Umbria, nestled in a valley between two rivers, is Bevagna. Thanks to it’s location on the Via Flaminia, an ancient Roman road that lead from Rome to present-day Rimini, this town is bursting with history. Its town square, the Piazza Silvestri, has not one but two Romanesque churches. Indulge your senses at Tenuta Castelbuono, a vineyard featuring a spectacular carapace-like wine cellar designed by Arnaldo Pomodoro
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