Visit Umbria, not well known Italy

chemin de randonnées plat

During our trip to Italy this summer, we had the chance to visit Umbria. This region of Italy is much less well known than its neighbor Tuscany. However, our route between medieval cities and mountain hikes, we really liked. Still preserved from tourism, welcome to the sublime region of Umbria.

Itinerary to visit Umbria in Italy

Here are the stops I recommend to visit Umbria. You will undoubtedly be charmed by these many medieval towns, each of which has its own personality.

Stage 1: Perugia 

The medieval city of Perugia (or Perugia) is the capital of the region. Perched on hills and surrounded by walls, it will please you if you like old stones and pretty winding alleys. An obligatory passage in my opinion to visit Umbria!

Perugia attracts many students, which makes it a very lively city. In the evening, the many squares are lively and the restaurants full of people. Take the opportunity to taste local specialties such as black truffles and Norcia ham.

What to see in Perugia (Perugia)?

The heart of Perugia can be found around Piazza IV November on which sits the Fontana Maggiore , a magnificent marble and bronze fountain, the city’s flagship attraction. Opposite the fountain, you can admire the Cathedral of San Lorenzo built in the Middle Ages. And right next to it is the Palazzo dei Priori , a Gothic monument where the municipality now sits.

From here, take the time to stroll through the narrow streets that will allow you to discover the countless churches in the city center and to reach many small squares, each more pleasant than the next.

In Piazza Biordo Michelotti , you can enjoy a panorama of the surrounding mountains because it is the highest square in the city. Finally, you will also find the Rocca Paolina fortress , which dominates the city.

Good addresses in Perugia

Where to stay in Perugia?

To stay in Perugia, I recommend the Hotel Iris . It is housed in a very beautiful 17th century building, near the Rocca Paolina fortress. At night, you can enjoy the view of the city from its huge terrace. The rooms are tastefully decorated. We paid 65 € for one night at the Iris hotel, this in high season the week of August 15th, the price / quality ratio is excellent.

Where to eat in Perugia?

We had the opportunity to test an address in Perugia that we found much more It is a prosciutteria where we feasted on a large board and 100% local drinks! The ideal address for discovering excellent regional products.

La Prosciutteria Perugia – Piazza Giacomo Matteotti – Perugia 

Stage 2:  Lake Trasimeno 

After our visit to Perugia, we opt for a bit of nature by going to Lake Trasimeno, about thirty minutes away by car.

This lake is, by its surface, the fourth largest in Italy. We decide to visit Isola Maggiore, an island still inhabited and where the 15th century fishing village has remained preserved. In the midst of olive trees and arid vegetation, you can admire two small churches as well as the Villa Isabella of the Marquis Guglielmi. The island is not very big, two hours are enough to walk around it quietly.

The visit of the island is very pleasant and we enjoyed going around it. However, a strange detail: the lake is teeming with dead fish. When we walked along the water to the lighthouse, we had to dodge dozens of dead fish. I don’t have a theory of what the hell is going on in this lake, but it was pretty disgusting.

How to get to Isola Maggiore?

To take the boat, you have to go to the pier of Tuoro sul Trasimeno. From there, shuttles leave every 40 minutes ( times here) . You will then pay € 6.50 round trip for barely 10 minutes (not cheap!)

Step 3:  Assisi  –  Visit Umbria

After our visit to the lake, hunger making itself felt, we decide to go to Assisi, in order to take our lunch break and visit the city of this good Francis. A great surprise ! High place of pilgrimage, you can see many magnificent monuments in Assisi. You will realize this before you even get there. From afar, Assisi stretches lengthwise at the top of its hill. From there, we already realize its beauty.

What to see in Assisi?

The center of Assisi is made up of very steep pedestrian streets, as well as pretty squares decorated with fountains and sculptures. It is very pleasant to stroll there despite the heat in summer. The stone town is well flowered, which makes it very photogenic, and pretty cafes and restaurants are installed in the corners of the alleys. Obviously, there is no shortage of religious buildings in Assisi, you can discover among others: the Basilica of Saint Francis, the Church of Santa Chiara, the cloister of San Giuseppe …

Step 4: Foligno 

Foligno, a small town in Umbria, was my favorite of the region. We arrived there in the afternoon and had time to walk around before spending the evening there. I loved the sweetness of life in this city, the animation and the many places that lend themselves perfectly to the aperitivo!

What to see in Foligno?

In Foligno, take the time to stroll through the picturesque alleys of the city. The center revolves around Place de la République and Place de la Cathédrale, the most important in the city. In terms of monuments, you can therefore appreciate the Cathedral as well as its various palaces: the Communal Palace, the Pretorius Palace, the Orfini Palace and the Trinci Palace.

Good addresses in Foligno

As I wrote earlier, in Foligno, you will find a lot of plots which are all tempting at aperitif time. We chose to sit down for a drink in the pretty Piazza don Minzoni which comes alive as the evening wears on.

Not far from there, I recommend the restaurant GUS bottega alimentare for dinner : an ideal setting in a small quiet lane at the foot of the church, a little back from the square. Here you can taste local dishes and all this with very attentive service.

Gus bottega alimentare – Via Francesco Benaducci, 5, 06034 Foligno PG, Italy

Stage 5: Sibylline Mountains Park 

Here we are at our last stop in Umbria, the Sibylline Mountains Park. These mountains are part of the Appenines chain, and these peaks reach 2000 meters above sea level. The landscapes are magnificent and incredibly varied.

You will find many hiking trails there, something to satisfy all levels.

In our case, we wanted to go on a rather simple trail, so we chose the Monte Bove Sud loop , about 9 km of walk.

We had to avoid a collapsed path. We then got out of the loop and when I looked at the GPS, much too late, there was still 12 km to go to find the car. Finally, our 9 km turned into 20 km… but without regret!

We walked through a variety of countless landscapes, the colors kept changing as we went along. The views of the mountains are incredible. We did not meet chamois like some hikers, but we did see many raptors. In addition, we met very few hikers, we felt alone in the world surrounded by these immense mountains.

I therefore strongly recommend a visit to these sublime Sibylline Mountains, to complete your journey in Umbria.

And there you have it, this is how the visit to this sublime region of Italy ends. Of course, many spots also seem to be worth a look, such as Terni and its waterfall, Orvieto, or even Spoleto and Todi… It will be for next time! For now, we are going to explore a new region: Puglia ! Hope this article will make you want to visit Umbria if you haven’t already 🙂

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