You haven’t known the true meaning of ‘peace’ until you’ve stood on the terraces of Villa Col delle Dragoncello, looking out over the rolling Etruscan hills and breathing in the heady scent of lavender and rosemary. Inside, the 17th-century...
Perched on a tranquil hillside, the 17th-century Villa Cipresso is built around an old courtyard which incorporates two beautiful mulberry trees. With terracotta tiles and whitewashed walls, the property’s rich history has been thoroughly...
The uniquely beautiful Villa Lauro is in a class of its own. This huge estate offers real seclusion and quiet, but with an arresting 360-degree view of the surrounding Tuscan valleys. The main house was once a farmhouse and watch tower, with parts...
Villa Papavero is without doubt one of the most beautiful luxury holiday homes in Europe - a proper Tuscan palace. Perched high on a hill, commanding 360-degree views of its sublime surroundings, you’ll spot Papavero long before you drive through...
All the best things come in small packages. The bijou and beautiful Frangipani is a guest house in the grounds of a large private farmhouse on the Reschio estate, and available when the farmhouse is unoccupied. The perfect romantic retreat for a...
For those seeking real seclusion and peace, Giglio is the answer. This simple yet luxurious holiday villa, looking out over the hills of Umbria, is located at the end of a 3km lane, making it a retreat in all senses of the word. The simple beauty...
There’s nothing quite like the gentle warmth of the sun and a view of undulating hills to give a simple glass of wine on a terrace real ‘aaaah-factor’. Villa Cadenza is a luxury villa in Umbria that is all about simple pleasures, perfectly...
There are stylish European villas, and then there are properties that are simply a bit more special than any other. This luxury villa in Umbria is one of the latter. Villa Paradiso is a simply stunning grand house nestled in the Umbrian hills amid...
Destination Guide: Umbria
Umbria is a nature-lover’s paradise. It’s all about the scenery here - the rolling hills, the tall cypresses... This land-locked region is so breathtakingly beautiful you don’t miss the sea at all.
Altogether quieter and with much smaller towns than its neighbouring Tuscany, Umbria is in many ways the richer for it. It’s certainly shaken off its image as the poor-man’s Tuscany. In fact, if peace, countryside, and food and drink are what you’ve come for, Umbria may be a better choice. You’re in the very ‘real’ heart of the country here.
Umbria’s main hill towns, such as Perugia, Orvieto and Norcia, are all in reasonably close proximity so it’s easy to visit a few places in a day. There’s lots to see in terms of history and culture - the UNESCO world heritage site of Assisi, the beautifully gothic duomo in Orvieto and Perugia, Umbria’s main town, with its historic centre.
You could do worse than choose to explore on a theme here. There are lots of itineraries following the wine, olive oil and religious trails which will take you all over the region and allow you to see the best of the countryside at the same time.
Best places to eat and drink in Umbria
Umbria is rich in gourmet specialities. Norcia and Spoleti are the top spots for truffle hunting. Norcia is also known for its pork charcuterie, so you’ll find a fine lunch here. The best olive oil in Umbria is said to be found in Trevi, where the wine bars offer olive oil tastings. The local Sagrantino grapes make a fine red wine to wash it all down.
When you’re in Gubbio, Umbria’s oldest town, lunch at Taverna di Lupo would be a good choice. It’s been operating in its 14th-century premises for more than 30 years.
Serious foodies will enjoy the Michelin-starred Vissani, about 10 mile out of Orvieto, to which gourmands travel from all over Italy.
Best time to visit Umbria
July and August can be hot. A great time is late spring when the weather is clement and the countryside is at its lush best. Early autumn is equally pleasant if a little less green following summer.
What we love about Umbria
The pretty walled hilltop town of Todi is lovely to explore on a quiet day and has fabulous views of the surrounding countryside.
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