Forget the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse yourself into a whole new world made of squeezingly tight cobbled streets, brightly coloured piazzas and houses, buzzy little cafes and crumbling churches of honey-coloured stone; welcome to Italy’s enchanted and most relaxing region: Umbria. The green heart of Italy is cherished for having fertile landscapes braided with some of the best Italian vineyards, undulating hills bathed in poetic golden light, and a variety of towns and villages, which are the true essence of this picture-postcard region enriched with history and folk traditions.
A road trip to this exquisite destination will make you fall in love even more, as driving allows you to visit some of the most charming medieval towns in Umbria. Already dreaming of embarking on your next journey? Here is a list of Umbrian towns not to miss when visiting central Italy.
With an enviable artistic and cultural heritage, Spoleto is one of the most beautiful art cities in Italy. The town maintains its labyrinthine medieval structure blended with Roman remains, such as the Arch of Drusus and Germanicus and the impressive Roman Theatre. One of the best things to do in Spoleto is the walk around Rocca Albornoz from which you can admire the valley of Spoleto and its Cathedral. This symbolic monument dates from the 12th century and has some magnificent ancient flaking frescoes by Pinturicchio and Filippo Lippi inside.
A peculiar part of your visit in Spoleto will be the eight blocks of escalators that will take you the lower part of the town to the upper in less than 10 minutes, giving the city a modern twist. To not forget is the “Il Festival dei Due Mondi”, a famous musical, cultural, artistic event happening between the months of June and July.
Spello is one of the Umbrian towns that should be visited at least once in a lifetime. Noticeable In its alleys are the several influences of all cultures that passes by, particularly the Romans; a striking sight is the Porta Venere – a splendidly preserved Augustan-era town gate. The walled village is perched on the foothills of Mount Subasio and it is well known for being the “town of flowers”, a name given after Spello greatest event: the Infiorata, which consists in making giant carpets with flowers on the occasion of the Catholic feast of Corpus Domini, in the month of June. During these times, the streets and house facades come alive with vibrant floral displays planted by the residents and the village becomes a pleasure for visitors’ eyes.
These are just some of the treasures that Umbria has to offer, as everywhere in the region is a continue discovery of peculiar towns, breathtaking landscapes and unforgettable slow moments.
Whether it is for a one day trip or a longer stay, Umbria will not stop making you want to come back again and again: this central, landlocked region of picturesque, medieval hill towns, rolling green farmland and forests is the perfect place for a slow, peaceful and unique Italian experience, in the total respect for authenticity.
PS. top tip: if you visit between May – July, you will assist one of the most beautiful views in Umbria at Castelluccio di Norcia