Umbria - Travel Guide and Tourism Information for Umbria, Italy

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Umbria, Italy

UMBRIA
Provinces: Perugia, Terni

This region is mostly mountainous and hilly and presents a landscape rich in woods and water resources ( e.g Trasimeno lake, Falls of Marmore – the highest in Italy). It is crossed by the Apennines, which form numerous valleys.

PERUGIA


The capital of Umbria, Perugia is a beautiful hill town and important center for Umbrian and Tuscan art.

Around the town's main square, the Piazza IV Novembre, visit the National Gallery in the Palazzo dei Priori (it houses works by Fra Angelico, Piero della Francesca and Perugino), the Gothic cathedral and the 13th-century marble and bronze Fontana Maggiore.

The chapel in Piazza San Severo has frescoes by Raphael and Perugino.

The crumbling walls of Rocca Paolina, a fortress built in 1373, offer great views from the highest point in town. The state-funded Università per Stranieri (University for Foreigners) offers courses for foreigners wishing to study Italian language and culture.
 

Todi

A medieval hill town in southern Umbria, Todi has an inviting collection of meandering narrow streets, churches and squares. See the Santa Maria della Consolazione church, San Fortunato, the Piazza del Popolo and the views from the remaining portions of the city's ramparts. From late March to mid April, Todi hosts the Italian Antique Exhibition -- antique furniture, ceramics, paintings and carpets -- in the 13th-century Palazzo Comunale.

Assisi

Assisi is a well-preserved medieval town that's, after the Vatican, Italy's second most-popular religious-pilgrimage destination.

Located high on a hilltop it was the home of St. Francis, the founder of the Franciscan order of friars. Although the town was rocked by an earthquake in 1997, much of the damage has been repaired.

One of the most severely damaged buildings, however, was the treasured Basilica of San Francesco, known for its vivid frescoes by Giotto that depict the life of the saint. The upper basilica has recently reopened and, though restoration continues, many of the beloved frescoes can be admired again. The lower basilica and St. Francis' tomb are also open to the public.

Gubbio

Perched on a hillside in northern Umbria, charming Gubbio has changed little since the Middle Ages. Its steep cobblestone streets, portals, fountains and beautiful views of the countryside below are beguiling. Be sure to visit the Piazza della Signoria and the 14th-century Palazzo dei Consoli. Every year on 15 May, Gubbio holds the traditional Corsa dei Ceri (Candles): Men race through the streets carrying enormous wooden poles (the "candles") with statues of saints balanced precariously on top.

Spoleto

Every year this hilltown hosts the world renowned Summer Festival, featuring music, theatre and a range of other cultural events. The town has several interesting Roman monuments, including the classical Arch of Druso and the Roman Theatre, the Rocca Albornoz plus the Medieval Ponte delle Torri bridge and a number of delightful Romanesque churches like the the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta with its golden Byzantine mosaic and Lippi’s frescoes.

Orvieto

Approaching Orvieto by car or by train, you’ll immediately notice one of the town’s main characteristics: Orvieto rises on a a plateau of volcanic tuff stone, called tufo, and is surrounded by a beautiful landscape of green fields and vineyards. This charming medieval town with Etruscan roots will enchant you with its unique character. Orvieto played a leading role in the Etruscan confederation from the sixth to the middle of the third century B.C. when it was annexed to the territories of Rome.

The Etruscans chose the town to establish a sacred place for all of Etruria: Fanum Voltumnae. In medieval times Orvieto became a free municipality; it was during this period that almost all palazzi and churches were built; among which the very famous Duomo - Cathedral stands out, dating back to 1290, undoubtedly the most important architectural landmark of the city, with its splendid Gothic facing and the richness of the ornaments and internal chapels (frescoes by Signorelli). The first architect was Arnolfo di Cambio, then helped by Frà Bevignate di Perugia; Lorenzo Maitani projected the transept and the colured façade. One of the most important pieces of art which can be admired in the Duomo, is the Reliquary for the Holy Linen of Bolsena.

In the ancient town we also find the Pozzo di S.Patrizio - St.Patrick’s well, built in 1527 based on a plan of Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane and which can be visited, the Palazzo dei Sette from 1300, the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo (12th Century) inside which took place the meetings of the People's Council; the churches of S.Andrea (12th Century), S.Domenico (12th Century) and S.Giovenale (11th Century); the Palazzo Soliano (1262) within which, one will find two museums: the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo and the Museum of Modern Art. Moreover we remember the Mancinelli Theatre (1866), the Faina Archaelogical Museum, the suggestive Underground City and the Necropoli del Crocifisso del Tufo, dating back to the Etruscan period.
Cascata delle Marmore

Only 7km from Terni, you reach the Marmore Waterfalls, a must for every Umbria visit. The Waterfalls, which are immersed in a natural scenery of incomparable beauty, are an artificial work due to the Romans. The waters of the Velino river precipitate, in a total fall of 165 meters, into the river-bed of the Nera which runs below.

Città della Pieve

This small characteristic, medieval town has the narrowest street of Italy- via Baciadonne. The Duomo is dedicated to the SS. Gervasio and and Protasio; in its interior works by Domenico Alfani and by Perugino, who was born in this town.

Spello

The 13th-century church of Santa Maria Maggio in this charming hilltown offers some of Pinturicchio's most wonderful frescoes.

Panicale

A medieval town with a beautiful view on the Trasimeno lake. Churches of S.Agostino, S.Sebastiano (frescoes by Perugino) and the beautiful façade of the Collegiata.

Passignano sul Trasimeno

On the shores of Trasimeno lake. Church of S. Rocco and of S. Bernardino. From Passignano, the Isola Maggiore on the Lake, is easily reached by boat. There you may visit the Romanesque church of S. Salvatore, S.Michele Archangel of the XIV century and the Villa Isabella. A few km out of Passignano rises the small village of Castel Rigone with one of the most elegant renaissance buildings, the church of the Madonna dei Miracoli.

Amelia

On the top of a rocky hill. Its town walls date back to the VI century BC. The churches of San Pancrazio ,San Francesco and Madonna delle Cinque Fonti, where San Francesco from Assisi rested, are among the most interesting sites of this town. Remarkable also the Palazzi Farrattini e Petrignani, dating back to the 16th century.

Deruta

Famous all over the world for its artistic ceramics. Accessing the historical centre of Deruta from the Porta di S.Michele Arcangelo, you’ll immediately notice visible testimonies of ancient furnaces. In the Palazzetto Municipale are hosted both the Pinacoteca and the Museum of Ceramics. You may also visit the churches of S.Francesco, S.Antonio and the Madonna delle Piagge whose facade is decorated with a beautiful maiolica.

Norcia

The birth-place of St.Benedict, founder of the Benedictine order. Among the sights there are the Gothic church of St. Benedict, built in the shape of a Latin cross with a poligonal apsis, an example of Renaissance architecture - the "Castellina", by Vignola and nowadays seat of the Municipal Diocesan Museum and the churches of S.Agostino, S.Giovanni and S.Francesco.

Trevi

As most of the medieval towns in Umbria, also Trevi rises on a hill. We recommend a visit to the 12th century church of S.Emiliano, to the church of S.Francesco and to the Pinacoteca in the Town hall, where you may admire works by Pinturicchio and Spagna.

Umbria, Italy - Travel Guide and Tourism Information
 
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