Known as Italy’s “green heart”, Umbria is home to characterful hill towns, sweeping vineyards, lush countryside, delicious gastronomy and first-class cultural events. With so many days out to enjoy, it can be hard to know where to start. Luckily, Paul Maung-Maung (a keen traveller and the manager of Adventure North Wales) jets off to Umbria each year (he can’t get enough) and has shared his five top things to see and do in Italy’s verdant region…
Admire the beautiful frescoes (technique of mural painting) found all over Umbria. Make sure you don’t miss Giotto di Bondone’s work. Considered the first in a line of great artists who contributed to the Renaissance, most of his finest pieces can be found in the beautiful city of Assisi in the Basilica of Assisi.
Explore the boutique-style vineyards that produce wine from the sagrantino grape (indigenous to the region of Umbria). Arrange a visit and enjoy the wonderful hospitality plus the local cheeses and cured meats to accompany the wine tasting.
Visit the hilltop fortress town of Montefalco, which has many colourful and traditional festivals towards the end of July and August. Comprising lively entertainment (think flag-jousting tournaments) partnered with tasty local food and wine.
Spend a day hunting for truffles with a local guide and his dogs in the rolling hills around Mount Subasio. After finding enough of the fruity fungi, fire up the single gas ring and rustle up a meal of fluffy scrambled eggs and fresh truffles washed down with a cooling glass of Prosecco. Spend the evening with Nonna (Grandma) as she makes fresh pasta, before settling down to a authentic Umbrian lunch or dinner, accompanied with smooth local wine.
Marvel at the medieval town of Assisi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the birthplace of St Francis, the man who renounced all his possessions in order to devote his life to helping the needy. The town is packed full of beautiful architecture, quaint museums and art galleries. Stroll from the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi down into the valley and enjoy a spot of lunch at the rustic Osteria del Mulino.