The charm of Umbria starts from the fusion between art and nature, distinguished
by the peace and calm of this area that evokes the masterpieces of the
Renaissance and by medieval small towns embedded in the hills. In Umbria
the traces of the Etruscan civilization are remarkable, as visitors
can see in Todi, Bettona, Orvieto and Perugia. Spoleto has important
Roman remains; Spello is a city, where the Romans left some impressive
remains. Other important Roman works can be found in Assisi and Gubbio.
The Romanesque architecture thrived in thins region at the beginning
of the twelfth century: some beautiful examples are the Cathedrals of
Spoleto and Assisi, St. Silvestro and St. Michele in Bevagna. The Gothic
style reached very high levels, and imposing examples are present in
almost every city.
The Renaissance can be seen in magnificent monuments in Perugia, Gubbio,
Todi, but it enjoyed a smaller development than other styles.
The region is mostly mountainous and hilly and presents a landscape
rich in woods and water resources. It is crossed by the Apennines, which
form numerous valleys. It is situated in the heart of the boot and it
is the only region that has no access to the sea; it includes Lake Trasimeno,
the biggest lake of central Italy. From the water of the lake, we pass
to the water of the Cascate delle Marmore falls, near Terni, one the
most beautiful in Europe. The water of the falls flows into River Nera
with a spectacular fall of 165 meters, surrounded by lush vegetation,
and is sought-after by sport lovers who enjoy canoeing, kayaking, and
other water sports.
Perugia is the regional capital. Other important cities are Assisi,
Gubbio, Orvieto, Todi, Spoleto,Terni.
exploring Umbria villas
northern area of Umbria is characterized by ancient villages and towns
that preserve millenarian art and are set in a natural environment.
Our trip starts from Sansepolcro, entering the upper Tiber Valley through
the tree-covered hillsides topped by ancient churches, villages and
ruined castles until we reach Città di Castello. The stark Gothic
Palazzo Comunale stands in the mediaeval Piazza del Duomo. The Municipal
Picture Gallery houses some fine mediaeval and Renaissance paintings.
Gubbio is one of Europe's most perfectly preserved mediaeval towns where
two major traditional events take place each year with the enthusiastic
participation of the local people: on May 15 the Corsa dei Ceri race,
and on the last Sunday in May the Palio della Balestra tournament. Walking
past the austere façade of the ancient feudal palaces in Via
dei Consoli, including the Gothic Bargello Palace, we reach Piazza della
Signoria, which over hangs the lower town and the surrounding plain,
supported on massive arches. Among the small villages that preserve
millenarian art, we need to mention Montone. Located between Città
di Castello and Umbertine, Montone is an enchanting village perched
on top of a hill that has preserved its fascinating medieval origins.
is a city with much to offer to the art lover and the casual visitor.
Its typical steep streets offer unexpected glimpses of ancient houses
and the surrounding distant green hills. We will begin our visit in
Piazza IV Novembre with the 13th century Fontana Maggiore fountain decorated
with reliefs by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano, and in front of us towers
the Gothic Cathedral. The austere Palazzo Comunale (or Palazzo dei Priori)
with two tiers of mullioned windows and a battlemented roof was built
between 1293 and 1443, and inside is the Umbrian National Art Gallery
that traces the history of the region's painting from the 13th to the
18th century. Other important monuments are the churches of S. Bernardino
(15th c.), S. Pietro (10th c.), S. Domenico (l4th-l7th century), S.
Angelo (an unusual 5th-6th century Paleo-Christian church), S. Giuliana
(Church and Convent), Porta S. Pietro (also known as Porta Romana),
the Arco Etrusco (Arco di Augusto), and Porta Marzia.
the other side of the Tiber Valley facing Perugia stands Assisi, nestling
on a spur of Mount Subasio. Our first call is to the Basilica of S.
Francis and the adjacent Friary. The basilica comprises two churches,
one above the other, and was begun in 1228, just two years after the
Saint's death. Walking along Via S. Francesco past the medieval houses
and palaces, we come to Piazza del Comune standing on the site of the
ancient Roman Forum. Let's go up to the Rocca Maggiore castle and 4
kilometers away, the Eremo delle Carceri (Hermitage of the Carceri),
an oasis of Franciscan peace.
Spello rises up between Assisi and Foligno, situated on a spur of the
Subasio Mountain above a fertile and well-irrigated plain. Among the
neighbouring cities, this is surely the one which preserves the major
number of monuments testifying to the Roman era; for example, the town
walls, the ruins of the theatre and the amphitheatre, the thermal baths
and the splendid town portals Porta Consolare, Porta Urbica and Porta
Venere dating back to the Augustean era. In ascent, you'll arrive at
the church of St. Mary Maggiore built Between the 11th and 12th centuries,
which guards its most precious treasure inside. In fact, the marvellous
Baglioni Chapel is to be found on the left-hand side of the nave.
the southern territory of Umbria we can find several Etruscan and Roman
ruins that narrate the historical duality of Umbria, land of the Etruscans
to the west and Romans on the East.
has grown in fame since the Festival of Two
Worlds has breathed new life to this quiet secluded town with its magnificent
12th century Cathedral and soaring bell-tower (with Filippo Lippi's
frescoed interior), 12th century Church of S. Eufemia, and 12th-15th
century Church of S. Gregorio Maggiore, Palazzo Comunale, Palazzo Arroni
and Palazzo Ancaiani, the Druso Arch and Roman theatre. Perched on the
top of a hill which time and elements are gradually wearing down, Orvieto
still preserves the typical layout of the medieval fortress town it
was. We can stroll along its silent streets lined with Renaissance buildings
and medieval houses, and linger a length in its unique Gothic Cathedral
on which artists, architects, sculptors and painters have worked across
the ages -
Maitani, Andrea Orcagna, Gentile da Fabriano and Luca Signorelli, who
left his greatest work here. Just outside the city is the 4th century
BC Etruscan necropolis. In Todi we can visit the splendid Piazza del
Popolo, with the Gothic Palazzo del Popolo and Palazzo del Capitano
and the 12th-16th century cathedral. Just outside the mediaeval town
walls you can admire the Church of S. Maria della Consolazione. Todi
has also been classified as the 'cittą ideale', or ideal town, by a
group of American researchers who were looking to find an urban center
ideal for the social demands of the near future. Why the ideal city?
Because it holds no more than 15-20,000 people, it sits in a hilly zone
in harmony with its environment, the administrative facilities are all
conveniently located in the heart of the town while the ancillary services
remain outside the town walls.