Umbria: where to sleep to visit the most beautiful cities and places in the region

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Aina Martin
@ainamartin
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wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Umbria is a beautiful region to be able to visit throughout the year. If you want to visit it at its best, it is important to know which are the best places to sleep and to see, or the best places to go on vacation. Umbria is a guarantee of peaceful and authentic holidays.

When we mention Umbria, the first places that come to mind are Perugia and Assisi or among the places certainly the Waterfall marmore and Lake Trasimeno, but there are still many other interesting places and cities to see.



Nicknamed “the green heart of Italy"Because of its many hills and forested mountains, this region is very captivating and interesting to see, as it does everything to preserve its nature and its historical traditionsi.

Visiting many of its cities it seems like it's done a leap into the past in the period of the Middle Ages… the region has an incredible artistic, architectural and cultural heritage. It is enough to visit only Assisi or Perugia to understand and realize all this.

From the landscape point of view, Umbria is characterized above all by the Umbrian Apennines to the east with the imposing Mount Carrier (2.478 meters) and the basin of the Tiber West. A amazing and wonderful landscape ranging from deep, narrow river valleys teeming with lakes to wooded mountains.

This region was one of the most prosperous in Italy. In addition to the beauty of its landscapes there are also many interesting and charming little towns to visit such as Gubbio, Spello, Norcia and Todi, picturesque villages and adorable and unchanging villages over time.


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Umbria is worth a visit if only for its own gastronomy. Cured meats, cheeses, olive oil, game, lentils, white wine from Orvieto and lake fish are just some of the famous typical products of the region.

Cities to visit and where to sleep in Umbria

Map of places to see where to sleep in Umbria

The presence of many accommodation facilities and especially of hotels in a locality it is synonymous with tourism and a wide range of things to see and do in the area.

To select the best places to stay in Umbria we have evaluated this aspect but not only, too the position and the convenience they allow in reaching other cities, towns and places of tourist interest.

Perugia

Perugia, Umbria - Photo from Istock

Capital of the region, Perugia is a lively university city with a beautiful and charming old town well preserved. This major Italian tourist destination can be called a large hill town, with most of the major attractions located on top of the hill in the historic center.

Perugia is an incredible city, capable of enclosing almost 3000 years of history in a relatively small space. In addition to the historic center, the city of Perugia is a important center of medieval art, with a major university that attracts many foreign students.


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The city is also known for the production of the famous Perugina chocolates and for being the seat ofUmbria Jazz Festival. For the enjoyment of the whole family it can also be visited The City of Sunday, an amusement park and wildlife park located in Ferro di Cavallo, a few km from Perugia.


It is almost impossible to access the Old Town by car, unless you have a confirmed hotel reservation. Therefore, for the choice of the location where to stay and sleep a careful evaluation is recommended.

Assisi 

Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi, Umbria -

Famous as the birthplace of St. Francis, Assisi is a small medieval village perched on a hill at the foot of Mount Subasio. It is not only one of the most famous cities and tourist destinations in Umbria, but also one of the most important religious and pilgrimage sites in Italy.

Assisi, founded by the Romans, still preserves the ancient walls, the forum (today the market square of Piazza del Comune), a Roman theater and amphitheater, and the historic temple of Minerva, later transformed into the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva .

During the visit of the city, in addition to the religious experience, it can be admired an incredible artistic and historical heritage. The basilica of San Francesco has some of the most beautiful medieval frescoes in the world.


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The two churches of San Francesco e Santa Chiara they are undoubtedly the most visited places in the city. The Basilica of San Francesco and the other Franciscan memorials have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. The tombs of Santa Chiara d'Assisi and San Francesco d'Assisi are one of the most important Christian pilgrimage sites in the world.

Assisi hides architectural (Basilica of San Francesco, ...) and artistic (frescoes by Cimabue, Giotto, ...) treasures of incredible historical value. Periodic exhibitions and fairs, throughout the year, enrich the visitor's experience, especially on weekends and during the holidays.


Orvieto 

Orvieto is one of the most interesting cities to visit in the whole of Umbria. This picturesque city on the border with Tuscany, in addition to the various museums and majestic churches and cathedrals, boasts a incredible set of underground cellars and caves dating back to the Etruscan era. Today it is also a popular travel destination for the well-preserved medieval old town around the cathedral.

The peculiarity of Orvieto is in fact the fact that it was built in the Etruscan era on a tuff rock (a stone of volcanic ash) which over the years has led to various underground constructions, as well as a complex system of corridors. Among these constructions the most spectacular are the wells.

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The most famous is the St. Patrick's Well which has a depth of 54 meters and 248 steps, used at the time to reach the bottom of the well with donkeys. Other attractions include the funicular and the magnificent Gothic cathedral, the Orvieto Cathedral, with one of the most beautiful facades in Italy and with precious Renaissance frescoes by Luca Signorelli.

The city is quite small and can be easily explored on foot. There are also frequent public buses running through the city. Given the presence of numerous things to see: churches, historic buildings, museums, towers and archaeological sites; to see Orvieto well it is advisable to sleep at least one night in the city, also because the best time to enjoy the city is in the early morning or at sunset.

Spoleto

Spoleto is a small but charming city with a rich past. Today Spoleto is a internationally renowned tourist and cultural center, also known for the Festival of the Two Worlds, an important musical event. Staying in Spoleto allows you to appreciate all the architectural and historical beauties present in the city, but also the scenic and naturalistic beauties that the surrounding area offers.

Its importance in Roman times is evidenced by the ruins of the Roman theater that its citizens used to attend. Among the main things to see: the Duomo, a beautiful Romanesque building which was completed in the early XNUMXth century; the Roman ruins; the Archaeological Museum; there Roman villa of the XNUMXst century and the Ponte delle Torre, an old aqueduct located in the upper part of the city.

The city of Spoleto can also be easily visited on foot, it is a very quiet and pleasant place to stroll. The surroundings of Spoleto also present various places of great historical and artistic interest, such as the Basilica of San Salvatore, an early Christian church built on the basis of a XNUMXth / XNUMXth century Roman temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There is a train station in the city that offers direct connections with Rome. From Spoleto they can be reached easily Assisi e Perugia, which are approximately 50 and 65 kilometers respectively.

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Spoleto is also a good place to stay to explore and visit the beautiful southeastern corner of Umbria. From Spoleto you can easily reach many beautiful towns and villages, such as Bevagna, Norcia, Montefalco, Narni, Scheggino and Trevi.

Perhaps even more interesting and exciting are the beautiful mountain landscapes with their wonderful hiking opportunities. In about 20 minutes by car you can reach the mountainous area and visit the idyllic and sweet Valnerina, the grandiose high mountain region of the Sibillini Mountains with the homonymous national park and the monumental one Great Plan around the characteristic mountain village of Castelluccio di Norcia.

Gubbio

Gubbio, Umbria - Photo da Istock

Gubbio is without a doubt one of the most beautiful medieval cities and best preserved in Italy. Its beauty is also due to its position, on the steep slope of Monte Ingino, 880 meters high. Don't miss the cable car ride up to Basilica of Sant'Ubaldo, placed at 803 meters high.

The main attractions are the churches (the Cathedral of Gubbio, the Basilica of S. Ubaldo, the Church of San Giovanni Battista, the Church of San Francesco, ...) and the historic buildings (the Palazzo dei Consoli, the Palazzo pretorio, Palazzo Ranghiasci -Brancaleoni, Palazzo Bargello with its fountain, Palazzo Ducale,…).

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Norcia 

Norcia, birthplace of San Benedetto founder of the Benedictine order and his twin sister Santa Scolastica da Norcia, is a pleasant place to stay, in addition to the characteristic city village, also for its proximity to the tourist resort of Forca Canapine, the only Umbrian ski resort.

Although it does not have many hotels, any time of the year is a good time to visit Norcia. The most beautiful period, in our opinion, is in autumn and winter, when you breathe a characteristic winter air and you can taste the typical Umbrian regional products and dishes in the welcoming restaurants.

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During the winter, if you want and snow permitting, you can spend some beautiful and fun days in the snow on the slopes of Forca Canapine, located about 20 km from Norcia or visit Castelluccio of Norcia, one of the highest inhabited centers of the Apennines.

Foligno 

Foligno –

Foligno is without a doubt the cheapest city to sleep in in Umbria. The city has a good hotel offer, with dozens of hotels and accommodation of various types. Room rates are among the cheapest in the entire region.

The city is nice and also offers some interesting places to see, such as churches and historic buildings, but its own main tourist merits they are: the position, the possibility to reach the city also by train and the very interesting hotel rates.

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The Foligno station, located on the railway line connecting Rome and Ancona, is an important railway hub. From Foligno a railway line branches off to Florence and allows you to reach Perugia, Terontola and Arezzo by train.

spello

Located at the foot of the Mount Subasio Natural Park and about ten kilometers south of Assisi, Spello is a small and characteristic village with a typical Umbrian atmosphere. Although less known than Assisi, Spello is just as beautiful to visit for various reasons.

Spello has some of the best preserved city walls in Italy, many of them from Roman times, but also some from the Middle Ages. Although the main attractions are the historic gateways to the city, there are also very interesting medieval churches, historic buildings and museums.

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The main point of interest in Spello is the Old Town, with its characteristic stairways and steep medieval streets. The center contains various "attractions" from the Roman and late Middle Ages, but also from the early Renaissance.

On Corpus Domini Sunday the flower festival, the main event in Spello. The Infiorate of Spello have made the city famous all over the world. For the occasion, the streets of the city are covered with flowers to form various motifs.

Todi

Situated on a hill above the Tiber, Todi is a beautiful and interesting town with a lot to see. The historic center is quite small and can be easily explored on foot. The city is surrounded by a walls largely well preserved and with the presence still today of historic doors which gave access to the city.

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Do not miss the visit of Piazza del Popolo, a medieval square surrounded by some of the most important buildings of the city: Concattedrale della Santissima Annunziata (cathedral), Palazzo dei Priori, Palazzo del Capitano and Palazzo del Popolo.

Place to visit

Waterfall marmore

Marmore Falls in Umbria -

The Marmore Falls, located 7 km from the city of Terni, is among the highest in Italy and Europe, and one of the main tourist attractions of Umbria. The waterfall has a total height of 165 meters and is divided into three jumps.

This man-made waterfall created by the ancient Romans is the tallest man-made waterfall in the world. Of its 3 sections, the upper one is the highest, with a jump of 83 meters. The flow of water is not continuous, the water is made to flow only two or three times a day, depending on the season, to satisfy both the needs of tourists and the electricity company that uses the power of water to produce energy electric.

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To better admire the waterfall it is advisable to reach the Belvedere of the Specola or, through a 50-meter tunnel, the Lovers' balcony which offer great views of the falls.

Terni

Terni is an excellent place to stay both to visit the Marmore Waterfall and Lake Piediluco. The city of San Valentino it doesn't have much to see, but it's still a pleasant city to stay. Precisely for this reason the rates of the hotels are quite cheap.

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If you are looking for cheap accommodation or hotels to sleep in Umbria, Terni is certainly an excellent choice especially for visiting the scenic and natural beauties present in the south of the region.

Lake Trasimeno 

With an area of ​​128 km², Lake Trasimeno is the largest lake in central and southern Italy. The lake is a popular tourist destination in Umbria, with many campsites located on the shores of the lake, particularly in the south and west area.

There are three islands in the lake which are the main attractions of the lake. The islands are connected to the shore by a ferry service, particularly during the tourist season. The main base for ferries is the town of Passignano sul Trasimeno.

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THEPolvese Island, connected with the shore of San Feliciano, is the largest of the three islands of the lake. The island is now used as a science park, with research and teaching activities. On the island there is an ancient medieval fortress and the Garden of Aquatic Plants.

THEIsola Maggiore it is the second largest island on the lake and with a population of around 40 it is also the only inhabited island on the lake. St. Francis of Assisi also lived on the island as a hermit from 1211. The main attractions are the Church of San Michele Arcangelo and the Romanesque church of San Salvatore. The old town and the hill with many olive trees are also very interesting.

Castiglione del Lago

Castiglione del Lago, located in the southwest corner of Lake Trasimeno, is the main tourist resort on the shores of the lake and the best area to sleep in to spend pleasant holidays on the lake. Initially the city was located on an island, then with the decrease of the water level and the emergence of tracts of land, the area was connected to the mainland.

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The historic center is well preserved and offers a beautiful view of the lake. The main attractions are: the Rocca del Leone, a pentagonal fortress completed in 1247; the Palazzo della Corgna (Palazzo Ducale), the only small "palace" existing in Umbria; the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena and the Church of San Domenico.

mutton

Montone is one of the "100 most beautiful villages in Italy". The medieval structure of the city is still intact and well preserved. This peaceful Umbrian hill town enjoys a wonderful panoramic position.

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The main attraction is the Church of San Francesco. This 1514th century Gothic church features an unusual and attractive wooden door dating from XNUMX. Inside there are important early Renaissance frescoes and works of art, as well as interesting wood carvings.

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