November 13, 2022

Our Guide to Four Must-Visit Towns in Umbria

Umbria is a stunning region of central Italy nestled between Tuscany, Lazio and Le Marche …

By Nardia Plumridge




Umbrian landscape | Photo Source: Sterlinglanier Lanier, Unsplash

Umbria is a stunning region of central Italy nestled between Tuscany, Lazio and Le Marche. Renowned for its hilltop towns and lush green landscape, it’s a popular spot between Rome and Florence with a history dating back to the 1st century BC.


Textiles and food, particularly chocolate, are the main drawcard to Perugia for travellers around Umbria, the region’s capital. Perugia is also a busy student town known for its nightlife and music festival, Umbria Jazz, in July. For art, Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria is a must-see, housed in the Gothic Palazzo dei Priori with 3000 works on show across 40 rooms. Be sure to also visit the staterooms of the Nobile Collegio del Cambio and Della Mercanzia whilst at the palace. If feeling energetic, climb Sciri Tower. Torre Degli Sciri is the city’s only medieval tower that remains fully intact and rises to 42m (138ft). Take the 232 steps to the top for magnificent views over the Umbrian countryside.

Assisi | Photo Source: Achim Ruhnau, Unsplash
Assisi | Photo Source: Gabriella Clare Marino, Unsplash


Assisi is considered one of the most important places of Christian pilgrimage, famed for its imposing cathedral, Basilica di San Francesco, perched 400 metres (1,300 feet) upon Monte Subasio overlooking the valleys of the Topino and Chiascio rivers. The birthplace of Saint Francis in 1181, Assisi’s UNESCO-listed historic centre retains much of its medieval features, including its original 12th and 13th-century walls. The main draw, however, is the artwork within the cathedral. Twenty-eight vibrant frescoes by Giotto depicting the life of St Francis and works by Cimabue, of scenes from the Old and New Testaments, are found in the cathedral’s upper and lower levels.

Todi | Photo Source: Italia Delight


Another picturesque Umbrian hilltop town, Todi, is lesser travelled, making it all the more alluring. Unique for its three walls from different eras – Etruscan, medieval, and Roman – its narrow laneways lead to its centre, Piazza del Popolo, home to multiple palaces and the Cattedrale di Santa Maria Annunziata with its fresco painted by Ferraù Fenzoni of The Last Judgement, said to be inspired by Michelangelo’s work in the Sistine Chapel in Rome. While nearby, the Museo Pinacoteca Comunale, within the 13th-century Palazzo del Capitano, showcases a collection of historical paintings, old ceramics and coins.


A popular stop between Florence and Rome, Orvieto sits high on a rocky face and is known for its breathtakingly beautiful Gothic cathedral, known simply as the Duomo. The cathedral’s ornate marble facade, which dates back to the 13th century, rivals the Duomo’s of Siena and Florence. Orvieto’s narrow medieval streets with eateries are ideal for a bowl of Umbria pasta of strangozzi, a thick rustic noodle, popular with black truffles or a spoletina sauce of tomatoes and garlic olive oil and parsley, and best served with a glass of local Umbrian wine.

If you’re planning a trip to Umbria in fall, check out The Must-Visit Fall Food Festivals in Italy.

To rent a luxury holiday villa in Umbria, click here.

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