At the centre of the Italian peninsula lies Umbria, one of the smallest regions in the country and the only one which is bordered by land on all sides. Known as the 'green heart of Italy', you can expect old town charm and lush scenery framed by the snow-capped Apennines. Don’t let its lack of coast put you off – holidays to Umbria are rich in nature, culture and old-world traditions.
The capital of Perugia is the perfect starting point on holidays to Umbria. As one of Italy’s best-preserved towns – little has changed architecturally for centuries – Perugia offers charming Italian tradition. There are museums and churches aplenty, not to mention a thriving art scene. Don’t be fooled by its old-fashioned edge though – Perugia is also a hip student town so cultural events are plentiful, with live jazz concerts, bars and nightclubs.
Use Perugia as a base on your holiday to Umbria – then rent a car and explore the region. Drive the rolling country roads and breath in the fresh air while admiring the lush valleys which run alongside the Tiber river. In spring and summer, expect the fields to be brimming with flowers of all colours and variety.
Make sure you visit the magnificent hill towns on your holiday in Umbria, such as Orvieto. Situated on a rugged cliff, Orvieto houses a huge mosaic Gothic Cathedral which looks unsteady if you consider the crumbling cliff edge below. It’s a popular one among tourists, so wait till the crowds disappear and stay to watch the beautiful sunset or head to the surrounding area where you can see Etruscan tombs and vineyards.
Additionally, try Assisi, home of St Francis the patron saint of Italy, the walled town of Spoleto which has year-round art festivals or Norcia, where you can see the Church of St Benedict. It’s also famous for its cured meats so don’t forget to try them.
For a dose of nature on your holiday to Umbria, visit the spectacular Lake Trasimeno, one of Italy’s largest. There are 3 islands in the middle reachable by ferry – it’s a great day trip, and makes up for the lack of coast!
The cuisine on holidays to Umbria remain true to the region – rustic and traditional. The elegant and luxurious tartufo – or truffle – is popular, while cured meats and pork are staples. Homemade pasta is a traditional comfort – you might even see people making it while wandering the streets of Perugia. There’s also an annual chocolate festival here, and even a restaurant with a chocolate menu.
Waterfalls, mountains, country roads, lakes, churches and good food – just a few of the elements that make up a holiday to Umbria. It’s the perfect place to get away from the stresses of everyday life: rustic Italian culture and food, picture-perfect scenery and a fun capital. Book your holiday to Italy with lastminute.com today.