Five charming towns to visit in Umbria

29th December, 2016
In the green heart of Italy is Umbria, full of rich history and breath-taking scenery. Nestled among the rolling hills are many charming historic hilltop top towns, all worth visiting while staying at our luxury villas in Italy.

The area has remained relatively well preserved from the millions of tourists the country sees every year and for this reason, Umbria is one of Italy’s most authentic places and makes for a truly special holiday destinations. Here is our guide to five of the best towns you should visit when on your holidays:

Todi

Its hilltop location above the River Tiber and its medieval atmosphere have made Todi one of the most delightful towns in Umbria, and it looks like it is something straight out of a fairytale. Narrow streets lead you to beautifully preserved monuments like Palazzo del Popolo, built in 1213 it is one of Italy’s oldest public buildings. The town is relatively untouched by tourism and offers a real slice of peaceful Umbrian life. When you visit, be sure to try the culinary delicacies like slow-cooked pigeon and the regional Grechetto di Todi, a dry white wine.




Spello

In the foothills of Mount Subasio is the walled town of Spello, which any history buff will be sure to love, with its medieval streets and ancient churches. Founded by the ancient Umbri, Spello was later colonised by Romans, whose legacy can still be seen in the town and provides much of the character which still stands today. The town is also famous for its flowers, winning the Finestre, Balconi e Vicoli Fioriti (flowered windows, balconies and alleys). Flowers line every street in pots and hanging baskets, creating a rainbow of colour for those strolling through the town.


Torgiano

Surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, olive oil and wine making are central to this sleepy, medieval town’s appeal. Torgiano’s produce has gained worldwide fame and is the biggest draw for tourists looking to sample the region’s best gastronomic offerings. As well as being a haven for foodies, Torgiano is a place history buffs will enjoy too. Some of the town’s most notable sights are the iconic Baglioni Tower. An imposing guard tower, it dates to 1274 and can be found on the edges of this charming, medieval town.


Gubbio

Built into the steep slopes of Mount Ingino, Gubbio is one of Umbria’s best-preserved towns regarding its historical and cultural heritage. Approaching the town, the ruins of a Roman theatre built during the 1st century greets visitors and you can then wind your way through the streets to the Piazza Grande and enjoy panoramic views over the town. Since medieval times, Gubbio has been famous for its ceramics, with many shops selling ceramic plates, platters and vases in vibrant colours made by local craftsmen.




Assisi

A few miles from Umbria’s capital Perugia is the hilltop town of Assisi. Best known as the birthplace of Saint Francis of Assisi, the town is home to the Basilica di San Francesco, built in his honour between 1228 and 1253. It is one of the town’s must-see sights and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many religious and historical festivals are held in the town throughout the year, celebrating the history of the town and the surrounding region. For any nature lovers, neighbouring Mount Subasio Regional Park is the perfect place for a day out walking through the beautiful Umbrian countryside.

Images by Pizzo Disevo, Zyance, Jim Linwood