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Overview

Umbria is Tuscany's lesser known neighbor, famous more for Assisi's native son St. Francis than for its wealth of artistic, cultural, and edible features. Like Tuscany, Umbria is best visited as a series of day trips from some centrally located Agriturismo B&B or villa. From there, travelers can spend a day in the unique hill towns of Gubbio and Orvieto, make a pilgrimage to the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, and if your timing is right, go to the annual world-class music festivals in Spoleto or Perugia. While Assisi can be overrun by tourist buses during holiday periods, peace can still be found at the city's lesser known ...

Umbria is Tuscany's lesser known neighbor, famous more for Assisi's native son St. Francis than for its wealth of artistic, cultural, and edible features. Like Tuscany, Umbria is best visited as a series of day trips from some centrally located Agriturismo B&B or villa. From there, travelers can spend a day in the unique hill towns of Gubbio and Orvieto, make a pilgrimage to the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, and if your timing is right, go to the annual world-class music festivals in Spoleto or Perugia. While Assisi can be overrun by tourist buses during holiday periods, peace can still be found at the city's lesser known churches or at St. Francis's old monastic retreat. Edible Umbria is centered around the regional truffles, a delicious mix of white and red wines, and local vegetable and pasta combos. Modern Perugia offers visitors the usual excellent museums and churches, but also a chance to join the locals at a soccer game, or in the evening passeggieta stroll past the shops and geleterias of the city center.

Bill Fink
About the Expert

Bill Fink is coauthor of Pauline Frommer's Italy, contributing the introduction, sections on Tuscany and Umbria, and chapters on Italian food, arts, and history.

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Bill Fink for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring or fall, fewer tourists, better weather