Expect the Unexpected – Contemporary Art in Umbria


The mystically beautiful region of Umbria sits in the shadow of its more famous neighbour, Tuscany. The area around your villa in Umbria is known as Italy’s âEUR~green heart, and this hilly region is bordered to the west by Tuscany, the Marche to the east, and Lazio to the south. Its locality is unique as the only region in Italy that is landlocked, and does not share a border with another country.

Italy is so fascinating and delightful that it can be difficult to choose a place to base yourself when on holiday. Umbria, due to its centrality, is a wise decision. Nearby, or in, Spello, Bevagna, Montefalco, Spoleto, Todi or the capital Perugia, are further great choices and will mean you are only a day trip from the entire country.

The awe-inspiring medieval character of the environment around your villa in Umbria will have you musing upon the mysticism and mysteries of the Dark Ages. So it is somewhat incongruous that the region is also a hub abuzz with modern contemporary art. There are exciting cutting edge galleries in the area that are not to be missed; they certainly go against the notion that the region is stodgy or appreciated more for its reserved and conservative nature.

The Landscape Art of Torgiano

Much of the exciting art is unexpectedly found in the most unusual places. One surprising collection is the Scultori a Brufa, which began in 1987 when the little hamlet of Brufa, in the Toriano region, began an annual installation of contemporary outdoor sculpture in its town centre and outlying hills. Traveling through the vineyard covered hills, suddenly, in the middle of a pasture one is shocked to see a monumental stone and steel sculpture, and then just down the road the bizarre sight of a towering stainless steel tree juxtaposed against the lilting, pastoral backdrop. The medieval village is littered with the most exciting stone, steel and timber sculptures; a veritable hide and seek of contemporary craftsmanship is offered with surprising works to be found.

Delightfully surprising, in such economically fraught times, is the against-all-odds launch an exciting new contemporary art museum in the region.

The CIAC Museum Via del Campanile

From your villa in Umbria, great art is just a stroll away in Foligno. The CIAC Museum Via del Campanile 13 opened in 2010 and is a housed in what was previously the deteriorated Church Annunziata, initially designed around 1765. It has rebirth as an unrecognizable modern monolith, a very funky, hard edge art space. The austere, windowless building appears impenetrable, however, once inside, the space is light, minimalist and airy, with skylights illuminating the well-presented installations, paintings, modern media works and sculptures.

Palazzo Collicola Arti Visive-Museo Carandente

Palazzo Collicola Arti Visive-Museo Carandente is at palazzo Collicola, piazza Collicola 1. The exhibitions here are never static and flow over four floors. There is an impressive display of the works of American sculptor, Alexander Calder, author of “Teodelapio in Piazza della Stazione”. The famed Spoleto artist, Leoncillo Leonardi is also on display here.

Drawing enthusiasts will appreciate the sketches of the 1962 “Sculptures in the City” exhibition with works from the elite draftsmen Smith, Caro, Consagra, Moore, Tomato, Franchina and Glue. There is also an impressive exhibit of contemporary furniture and pieces from a kaleidoscope of media, from many European modern art galleries and private collections. And, if you can bear to spare a few hours away from your glorious villa in Umbria you can explore the more than 30 000 volumes in the library of contemporary art texts.

You can certainly expect the unexpected from the art world in the hills of this wonderful Italian region.

About the Author

Giovanni Balboni works for To Tuscany, who specialise in finding the perfect Tuscany villas in Chianti as well as selected villas in Umbria and Puglia. To Tuscany is proud of their villas and their reputation. All our villas in Tuscany properties are personally selected and visited by our representatives to ensure we offer only the best in the region.

Where to stay in Foligno

Hotels, B&Bs, farm stays and villas in Foligno: search and reserve here.

Exploring the Delights of Beautiful Umbria


Umbria has it all! Overlooked for the most part by tourists in favour of Italy’s more famous attractions, the region is slowly emerging as a popular base for couples and families to experience the centuries-old charm and appeal of a magical region.

If you want to fully explore Umbria, villas of a high quality are available to rent to help you appreciate everything this enchanting region has to offer – including its food, wine, people, traditions, culture and architecture.

If you are visiting this lovely region, consider these six important locales as they will demonstrate the very best it has to offer.

If you’re going to Italy, Rome will presumably be on your list, but you simply must explore the nearby attractions of Umbria. Villas in the region are usually just a short drive from its star attraction – Assisi. Here the town is blessed with wonderful architecture, with its pink-stoned, fresco-laden Basilica dedicated to its most famous son – St Francis – taking centre stage. The town offers more, too, as Roman influences abound, while the Rocca Maggiore provides fantastic panoramas.

Away from the tourist trail, this fascinating town is filled with cobblestoned streets, medieval buildings and the remains of one of the largest bridges from Roman times, the 30 metre high Ponte d’Augusto. Along with many fascinating walks around the town, you’ll be able to mark off one must-do while on holiday here – and that’s finding the geographical centre of Italy.

For a wonderful look around a typical, smaller Umbrian town, it is hard to beat a visit to Spello. Around every corner there seems to be a surprise or another photographic opportunity. Spello’s museum and Santa Maria Maggiore offer an artistic relief to the architectural master-class outdoors.

During a stay in Umbria, villas offer the best opportunity for independence on a holiday. With that in mind, Orvieto is not a town to be overlooked. Lodged on a volcanic outcrop, it has one of the best cathedrals in the region to and houses the frescoes of Luca Signorelli.

Bridge of Towers
Spoleto will provide the traveller an engaging day of jaw-dropping sites and a walk through antiquity, but the crowning moment will be to take in the 13th century aqueduct, the Bridge of Towers, or Ponte delle Torri, which spans the gorge.

Umbria Jazz Festival
Umbria, villas and jazz are not normally associated in one sentence. But couple a stay in the region with the right time of year and you will be presented with the Umbria Jazz Festival. Now into its 20th year, the jazz festival presents a fascinating opportunity to see some of the best musicians of the genre, while enabling you to admire the very best in architecture and culture.

About the Author

Giovanni Balboni works for To Tuscany, who specialise in finding the perfect Tuscany villas in Chianti as well as selected villas in Umbria and Puglia. To Tuscany is proud of their villas and their reputation. All our villas in Tuscany properties are personally selected and visited by our representatives to ensure we offer only the best in the region.

Where to stay in Orvieto

Hotels, B&Bs, apartments and villas in Orvieto: search and reserve here.

Top Historical Sites in Orvieto


Located in the region of south-western Umbria, in the central part of Italy, is the town of Orvieto. Situated on the top of a large, isolated hilltop made out of volcanic rock, Orvieto commands one of the most stunning and dramatic settings of any town or city in Europe. The almost vertical cliff faces rise up to the top of the butte, where the ruins of the Etruscan walls are made of the same volcanic material. The town itself is a great place to take a family during your stay at a nearby Chianti villa. Rental cars are available to take you up the steeply winding road into the town, which is one of the most majestic parts of the visit to Orvieto. Once you are inside the town, be sure to visit the Cathedral of Orvieto, the Papal Residency, and the mysterious Underground City.

Cathedral of Orvieto The Cathedral of Orvieto commands a domineering position at the south-central part of the town, and will be one of the first things you notice when you begin your day trip from your nearby Chianti villa rental. The cathedral was built in the 14th century, by Pope Urban IV, and has an impressive gothic façade that is one of the architectural masterpieces of the later Middle Ages. Everyone in the family will love to see the golden front of the cathedral, with large bas-reliefs and sculptured panels. Inside, the intricate frescos and golden mosaics are well-preserved and date from the 14th and 15th centuries.

The Papal Residency  Once you have cooled down in the interior of the Cathedral of Orvieto, and before you return to your Chianti villa rental for a swim and an aperitivo, wander over to the nearby papal residency, which is one of the most extensive 13th century papal palaces that has survived the test of time. Though the town was mentioned in writings dating back to around 600 AD, it didn’t have the extended presence of the papacy until 1155 AD, when Pope Adrian IV spent a fair amount of time in Orvieto. Over the years the town and papal residency were fortified, and during the sacking of Rome (1527) the Pozzo di S. Patrizio (Well of St. Patrick) was built to provide water in case of a disaster. The well itself is a 53 metre deep cylinder with windows along the central shaft for ventilation, and is comprised of two spiral ramps so that mules could carry water up and down with no obstructions. This alone is sure to spark everyone’s imagination.

The Underground City  If the heat from the sun is getting hard to handle, and you aren’t ready to go back to your Chianti villa rental to cool down, head underground instead. The butte on which Orvieto sits is just the upper level – below ground there is a labyrinthine collection of over 1,200 tunnels, galleries, cisterns, and wells. It is, effectively, another city entirely. Almost 3000 years of history are documented in these man-made caves, many of which are connected to the palaces and large houses in the town, and were built as a means of escape should the town ever be attacked. Today, you can book tours and be taken deep underground, into the literal underbelly of Orvieto.

About the Author

Giovanni Balboni works for To Tuscany, who specialise in finding the perfect Tuscany villas in Chianti as well as selected villas in Umbria and Puglia. To Tuscany is proud of their villas and their reputation. All our villas in Tuscany properties are personally selected and visited by our representatives to ensure we offer only the best in the region.

Where to stay in Orvieto

Hotels, B&Bs, apartments and villas in Orvieto: search and reserve here.

Exploring Terni, in Umbria


When planning a holiday in the central part of Italy, getting a perfect place can be difficult in Tuscany; villas that are right outside of the Tuscan demarcation, such as those in the area of Umbria, are a perfect alternative for an ideal place to stay. Not only does Umbria offer easy access to all the areas of Tuscany, villas here make it great to explore some of the lesser-visited areas in the region, such as Terni. Terni is the region in the lower part of Umbria. It sits below Perugia and borders Lazio and Tuscany. The province of Terni was only officially recognised in 1927, but has been populated since 2,000 B.C. The rolling hills and beautiful landscape of the province makes it an idyllic place to stay, and the capital city of Terni is somewhere you shouldn’t miss.


Terni is often called the €City of lovers€ due to the fact that Saint Valentine’s remains are kept in the basilica named after him. The city was founded around the 7th century B.C. by the Umbrians, and was taken over in the third century B.C. by the Romans. Heading into Terni from Tuscany, villas can be spotted on the outskirts of the city and make a perfect base for exploring the history and art of the city. Terni was a booming industrial town when the Industrial revolution came about in full-force, and has also been nicknamed €the Manchester of Italy.€ When visiting the city, there is a lot to do and see, including the array of historical buildings and religious structures.

Historical buildings in Terni

It has been argued that the Roman emperor of Tacitus was born in Terni, but there is no definite proof and most of the evidence, though great, is circumstantial. But this doesn’t mean that Terni doesn’t have some of the most interesting historical sights in Tuscany. Villas in Umbria make it a breeze to visit the historical sights in the city such as the Fausto Amphitheatre. This Roman amphitheatre is located in the city park, La Passeggiata, and dates from 32 B.C. Two thirds of this massive amphitheatre have been excavated and today it has space for 10,000 people and is used for concerts and other events. Before you leave the park, look for the remains of the ancient city walls and then head into the heart of the city to see some of the stunning buildings, such as the Medieval architecture of Palazzo Mazzancolli and the mid-16th century Palazzo Spada, the town hall. The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, in the centre of the city, was built over some of the most ancient Christian edifices. Though there is no specific date for the cathedral, there have been excavations of a Romanesque crypt and the rebuilding of the church took place after it was badly damaged in 1174.

Outside Terni

On your way back out to the hills of Tuscany, villas you pass will make you want to stop and take photos; but if you do want to stop, then drop into Todicastle, located near Terni. The castle was originally built in 1100 A. D. and later evolved into the massive castle and 45-acre estate it is today. It is part of the castle circuit that is under the auspices of a protective UNESCO organisation. The exterior design is some of the best in Italian architecture and was entrusted to the architects Marcello Confetti, Giorgio Leoni and Vittorio Garatti. Today the castle has been sympathetically restored and is used as a tourist attraction and guesthouse.

About the Author

Giovanni Balboni works for To Tuscany, who specialise in finding the perfect Tuscany villas in Chianti as well as selected villas in Umbria and Puglia. To Tuscany is proud of their villas and their reputation. All our villas in Tuscany properties are personally selected and visited by our representatives to ensure we offer only the best in the region.

Where to stay in Terni

Hotels, country houses, apartments and villas in Terni: search and reserve here.

Umbria Wedding Villas – A Dream Wedding Destination

Umbria landscape

Umbria landscapeDestination weddings in Italy are becoming increasingly popular these days, but it can be quite difficult to find the right location and place for Italy wedding. There are many places in Italy that sets the perfect location for your wedding. Umbria is one of them, which is set in beautiful landscape.

Nestled among the woods, vineyards and dramatic landscape of Umbria the wedding villas are the perfect destination for your wedding. If you’re planning for a romantic wedding with picturesque backdrop, Umbria wedding villas are the right place.

Little known and often overlooked, villas in Umbria are surrounded by a kind of romantic mystery, starting with its name which derives from the Latin word shadow. For all its obscurity, staying at luxury Umbria villas will put you in the heart of some of the country’s most fascinating and sacred territory.

Between the green landscapes and the towns in the hills, in the beautiful setting of a villa, you can imagine your wedding day. Wedding is always a special occasion and for this unique moment you can think of a panoramic terrace, to lunch in the atmospheric rooms of the castle or wedding villa you have chosen, every moments of the ceremony will be surrounded by a magical and exclusive atmosphere.

Wedding day is a big day and on this day everything has to be perfect. In order to make this happen, Umbria wedding villa is the right place as it is set in splendid location, its rooms and services, a complete offer that takes care of all your wedding requirements starting from decoration, chapel service, party to accommodation of guests. Thus, you can be tension free and enjoy your wedding in the most unique way.

Wedding villas also provide services for your guests. Different Umbria accommodations are available as per your requirement for your guests. Some of these villas provide special services to your guests on your request. Once your guests have settled into the cozy and homelike setting of the villa, guests have only to choose from the wide range of activities. Relaxing walks in the gardens or around the extensive estate, horseback rides through forests and

vineyards, flying lessons, hot air ballooning, soccer, bike rides, golf practice on the driving range, city excursions and gourmet delights. This way you can make your wedding occasion special even for your guests.

Thus, you can enjoy a true Italian wedding experience at Umbria Villas and make it the most memorable event of your life.

About the Author

It is a great experience staying at rental villas in Umbria. Visiting my friend’s wedding in Umbria, I can say that Umbria wedding villa is the perfect place for Italian wedding.

Where to stay in Gubbio

Hotels, farm stays, apartments and villas in Gubbio: search and reserve here.

Umbria, The Land Of Saints

Assisi, Umbria
Assisi, Umbria

In Umbria, villas are beginning to gain stock among international tourists as the preferred choice of accommodation. While people are slowly discovering the quaint, rural charms the region has to offer, what many may not be aware of is this region of Italy is best renowned, internally, for being the birthplace of an uncommon number of saints.

In fact, one of the monikers the region often goes by among Italians is precisely translated as €The Land of Saints’. Tourist officials and providers of Umbria villas are also quick to point out this connection, usually following it up with a list of the many interesting mediaeval sites one can visit in the region. However, while this may be seen by some as just a cheap marketing ploy, the fact is the region does offer a number of interesting spots of both religious and historical interest.

The saints

Perhaps the most famous saint to be born in this part of Italy was St Benedict, founder of the Benedictine order of monks and main responsible for Western monasticism. Visitors who have an interest in exploring some religious history when renting Umbria villas should visit the nearby monasteries, including Saint Peter in Perugia, Santa Maria of Valdiponte in Montelabbate (near Perugia), Saint Benedict at Monte Subasio, close to Assisi, Saint Salvatore of Monte Corona and the abbeys of Petroia, near Citt di Castello, and Sassovivo, near Foligno. A trip to St Benedict’s birth village of Norcia is also mandatory, if only to appreciate the recently rebuilt Benedictine monastery – the work of a group of American monks invested in bringing the order back to its birthplace, after Napoleonic laws had banished them over two centuries previously.

Another relevant saint to hail from the region in a time long ago was St Francis of Assisi, founder of the famed Franciscan order. The basilica of Assisi is a compulsory stop for people wanting to find out more about this saint, whilst the church of Saint Fortunate contains the remainders of Jacopone, a devout follower of the saint who was also one of the first poets to compose in ‘common’ ancient Italian dialect.

Other major places of interest for tourists renting Umbria villas and interested in the lives of saints are the basilica and monastery of Santa Rita, in Cascia, and the basilica of Saint Valentine, who was beheaded in Rome and whose name is synonymous with the day dedicated to celebrating love. However, religious history aficionados will find saint-related monuments and locales in almost any nook and cranny in Umbria. Villas will never be far from these magnificent religious works of art.

It is clear to see, then, why the region fully deserves its unofficial title of ‘The Land of Saints’. Those interested in history or religion that are planning a stay in Umbria villas will be in for a treat.

About the Author

Giovanni Balboni works for To Tuscany, who specialise in finding the perfect Umbria villas as well as those in Tuscany and Puglia. With an excellent reputation, all our properties are personally selected and visited by our representatives to ensure we offer only the best in the regions.

Where to stay in Gubbio

Hotels, farm stays, apartments and villas in Gubbio: search and reserve here.

What To See On Holidays in Umbria

Umbria hills
Umbria hills

If you’re looking for a laid-back, charming area blessed with a wealth of nature and history, consider looking south of Tuscany. Villas in Umbria offer access to quite a number of attractions and activities at a pace even more relaxed than its neighbours.

Laid-back does not necessarily mean nondescript, however. Wonderful cliffs, a majestic lake, ancient cities and more make for a memorable trip here. And while not officially quite inside Tuscany, villas in the area are close enough so you don’t really need to miss the magic of the Tuscan sun!

Here are some of the sights and places one shouldn’t miss in Umbria.

Lake Trasimeno

One of the region’s biggest draws is Italy’s largest non-Alpine lake – the Lago di Trasimeno. Located in what is called the €green heart of Italy€, just inside Umbria but practically at the border of Tuscany, villas in the surrounding towns are the perfect base to set out to discover the country from any direction.

The lake is ideal for all types of water sports, but is also a great place for relaxing. There are three islands in the middle of the lake, which can be reached by ferry or boat. Maggiore (where you can see ancient ruins of an old Roman villa), Minore and Polvese are all great for day-trips.


Located at practically the exact centre of Italy, Umbria’s capital city is a lively, bustling place that can hold its own against the busier towns of the region. Walled hilltop towns, bustling piazzas, and a restaurant with a chocolate menu are among the things one might discover here. It also makes a great base for visiting the other hillside towns such as Assisi, Spello and Gubbio.


Etruscan tombs, scenic vineyards, a medieval cathedral (duomo), a Spanish castle and St. Patrick’s Well are among some of the attractions you’ll find in this wonderful hill town perched on limestone cliffs south of Tuscany. Villas in this area can have wonderful views of the Orvieto cliffs, while some are nearer the historic centre.


What exactly were you expecting in your holidays in Tuscany? Villas, glorious sunlight, wonderful food and€¦mummies? Yes, mummies! Just a bit outside Tuscany, under Ferentillo’s Church of Santo Stefano, are bodies preserved by a rare microfungus that has turned corpses into mummies. Some of the best-preserved mummies are on display in what is now the mummy museum in the bottom part of the church. They are complete with hair, beards or teeth intact, a few clothes, and some very interesting back stories! For instance, there is a lawyer who was buried right next to his murderer, a mother next to her baby, even Chinese pilgrims who died on the pilgrimage route. As an added bonus, partial frescoes from the original church are still visible, too.


If you’re looking for a different type of town from your standard ones, this town’s gray limestone buildings will certainly be an extraordinary sight! Gubbio’s well-preserved medieval hill town offers picture-perfect monuments of medieval, Gothic, and Renaissance architecture, as well as a Roman amphitheater just outside of town, settled in the scenic countryside.

About the Author

Giovanni Balboni works for To Tuscany, who specialise in finding the perfect Tuscany villas in Chianti as well as selected villas in Umbria and Puglia. To Tuscany is proud of their villas and their reputation. All our Tuscany villas properties are personally selected and visited by our representatives to ensure we offer only the best in the region.

Where to stay in Gubbio

Hotels, farm stays, apartments and villas in Gubbio: search and reserve here.

Find Umbria Accommodations in Lush Green Valleys

Umbria landscape
Umbria landscape

Going to Umbria for a trip is straightforward and without having any inconvenience. Here you will discover plenty of motels, apartments for your accommodation. The accommodation in Umbria is inexpensive and affordable that can very easily modify in each class of people. Umbria lies to the east of Tuscany and north of Rome. There are quite a few areas of fascination in Umbria the place you can check out and invest your vacations. Umbria is a gorgeous area that lies in central area of Italy and Perugia is the money town.

The area is most hilly and mountainous and presents a landscape wealthy in water assets, woods, purely natural elegance. This metropolis is an important middle of art and architecture. You will locate lovely architectures that have been developed in 13-14 BC and even now vowed by the travelers. A very massive lake called Trasinemo which is unique in this location. Some of the other recognized metropolitan areas of Umbria are Todi, Orvieto, Assisi, Gubbio, and Turni. The traces of Etruscan civilization make this spot must to visit. Visitors arrive to see the traces of the civilization that is nonetheless observed in Perugia, Todi, Bettona, and Orvieto.

In Spoleto, remains of Romans are however observed. In Gubbio and Assisi the remains of Romans are identified that are exceptional of its form. Distinctive examples of Roman architecture are Cathedrals of Spoleto and Assisi, St, Silvestro, St Michele in Bevagna. The gothic model achieved incredibly higher degree and imposing examples are existing in every metropolis. The existence of Renaissance can be noticed in a variety of monuments in Perugia, Gubbio, Todi but it remained for a scaled-down progress than other variations.

To see Gothic painting you have to go the Nation Gallery of Umbria which is in Perugia. In the exhibition you can also masterpieces of Duccio di Boninsegna, Beato Angelico and Piero Della Francesca. In the national archeological museum of Umbria, you will uncover a extremely rare and splendid Etruscan selection. A single of greatest and most revered figures of Christianity is St. Francis whose birth area is Assisi that has fantastic Basilica of San Francesco with world famed Giotto’s frescoes, exhibiting in 28 diverse paintings of the existence of the saint. In Spoleto you will come across the gallery of contemporary artwork. In Gubbio you will come across a civic museum which has renowned Eugubine tables, the 7 bronze plates.

Umbria is not only prosperous in heritage but also in nature. You can see the falls of Marmore which is highest in Italy. The Roman theatre and Druso’s architecture is however present in the historic city of Spoleto. To see these magnificent points of interest and adore the purely natural elegance of Umbria you need to strategy for your journey. You can look for accommodation Umbria on the net and book a hotel. You might arrive across some exhilarating discounts for your travel which may possibly involve some tour of other cities of Umbria. A journey guidebook is a expert who can present you more details on your travel to Umbria. In case you are small of time just consult a journey agent to help you.

About the Author

Umbria is not only rich in history but also in nature. You can see the falls of Marmore which is highest in Italy. The Roman theatre and Druso’s architecture is however current in the historic town of Spoleto.

Where to stay in Gubbio

Hotels, farm stays, apartments and villas in Gubbio: search and reserve here.

Travelling to the Medieval Gubbio, in Italy

Sunset in Gubbio
Sunset in Gubbio

Gubbio is the oldest medieval hill town in Umbria, touching the borders of the Marche region and laying at the foot of Mountain Ingino. The city is famous for its artistic and intact through the centuries, historical heritage.
The beauty of the medieval town and the variety of the medieval designs will amaze you. The Gothic and Rennaissance designs of the buildings and the monuments inspire hundred of movies and fairytales. The grey limestone buildings, the Gothic architecture and the beautiful dark grey color of the narrow streets unfold in front of your eyes.
The beauty of Gubbio narrates the myth of the Wolf of Gubbio. Fairytales that are inspired by the myth tell the conversion of the wolf to Christianity by Saint Francis in the 14th century.
Walking down the alleys, you reach Piazza della Signoria, full of Palaces and ceramic workshops. Gubbio keeps the traditions and is always the centre of pottery production until today.
The dark streets of Gubbio will tell you the story of the city from the ancient times. The Roman Theater, built in the 1st century ad, the Roman Mausoleum and the Cathedral are a few of the unique buildings that you can visit once there. The frescoes along the Church of St. Francesco, and the view of the inner court of the Palazzo Ducale, stimulate your thoughts and emotions.
If you visit Gubbio in May, you can witness a representation of the customs and traditions in the biggest festival. Corsa dei Ceri is one of the biggest festivals taking place in May and is devoted to St. Ubaldo.
Gubbio is also famous as the town with the biggest Christmas tree in the world. You can find it listed in the book of World record of Guinness and is also a town with one of the best white truffle worldwide.
Gubbio tells us the stories of different historical events and myths. Stories that have inspire movies, books and fairytales that can be experienced only by visiting the city. As a tourist you have the opportunity to slowly discover the city and you can unfold all the secrets and sharing stories from the ancient times. The destination will keep you alert as you will unleash the telling of Gubbio’s history in the steep alleys, while the medieval buildings tell their story by themselves. Don’t miss the opportunity to buy unique local ceramic products that will remind you your visit to this beautiful city and enjoy the tasteful and original flavors of the local traditional food and the unique taste of the white truffle.

About the Author

Mikhail Doubinski is a travel writer from Sydney who writes for several popular travel websites

Where to stay in Gubbio

Hotels, farm stays, apartments and villas in Gubbio: search and reserve here.

I Love Italian Wine and Food series – Umbria Region

 Laissez Fare Flowers & Vines
Photo Laissez Fare
Flowers & Vines

An article by: Levi Reiss

If you are looking for fine Italian wine and food, consider the Umbria region of central Italy. You may find a bargain, and I hope that you’ll have fun on the fact-filled wine education tour.

Umbria lies smack dab in the middle of Italy. The countryside is unspoiled and dotted with medieval churches. Its fairly gentle terrain is composed of hills, valleys, and small mountains. Umbria is the only region of Italy with neither a seacoast nor a foreign border.

But it has lakes, rivers, and even a waterfall. It is known as the green valley of Italy. In spite of this name, until a few decades ago Umbria kept losing population to the more highly industrial north. Its total population is about 830 thousand.

Umbria was settled by the Umbri, perhaps the first inhabitants of Italy. They were forced into the mountains by the Etruscans, who were conquered by the Romans and then the Lombards. The poet Dante considered it the most violent part of Italy.

Umbria is particularly known for pork, dried pasta, and both black and white truffles. It also produces specialty breads and a wide variety of vegetables and meats. Fish and eels from the Tiber River and Lake Trasimeno abound. Cheeses include Pecorino Toscano, reviewed below.

Umbria’s capital is Perugia, a beautiful medieval city with a population of 150 thousand. Among other things Perugia is known for chocolates and Italian as a second language classes. Another famous Umbrian city is Assisi, the home of St. Francis of Assisi.

Umbria devotes about 41 thousand acres to grapevines, it ranks 15th among the 20 Italian regions. Its total annual wine production is about 19.5 million gallons, giving it a 16th place. About 58% of the wine production is white, leaving 42% for red. The region produces 11 DOC wines. DOC stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata, which may be translated as Denomination of Controlled Origin, presumably a high-quality wine, and 2 DOCG red wines, Montefalco Sagrantino and Torgiano Rosso. The G in DOCG stands for Garantita, but there is in fact no guarantee that such wines are truly superior.

About 30% of Umbrian wine carries the DOC or DOCG designation. Umbria is home to about thirty major and secondary grape varieties, about two thirds white.

Widely grown international white grape varieties include Chardonnay and Trebbiano. The best known strictly Italian white variety is Grechetto, used in the its flagship Orvieto DOC wines.

Widely grown international red grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay, and Merlot. The best known Italian red variety is Sangiovese, now grown elsewhere such as in California.

Before we review the Umbrian wine and cheese that we were lucky enough to purchase at a local wine store and a local Italian food store, here are a few suggestions of what to eat with indigenous wines when touring this beautiful region. Start with Zuppa di Lenticchie di Castelluccio, Castelluccio Lentil Soup, which with local bread can be a meal in itself. Later try Porchetta alla Perugina, Roasted Suckling Pig with Wild Fennel, Rosemary, and Garlic. For dessert indulge yourself with Serpentone delle Monache di Perugia, Nut and Fruit “Snake” of the Capucin Nuns.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY While we have communicated with well over a thousand Italian wine producers and merchants to help prepare these articles, our policy is clear. All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Lungaraotti Pinot Grigio 2004 12% about $12

I haven’t always been happy with Italian Pinot Grigio, or for that matter with non-Italian Pinot Gris. These wines often are weak. However, I thought that this particular Pinot Grigio was a fine wine for its price when it accompanied the right food. The sales literature suggested that this light-bodied, vivid, and balanced wine would be a great match for antipasti. My mistake was pairing it with non-imported antipasti, really more of a mediocre relish, which overpowered the wine. I later tried this wine with cold barbecued chicken in a moderately spicy Thai sauce and was quite pleased. Its citrus flavors really shone. I could taste this wine’s subtle complexity.

Pecorino Toscano is a sheep’s milk cheese that has been made in Tuscany and neighboring Umbria for thousands of years. Soft Pecorino Toscano is white with a tinge of yellow, while semi-hard Pecorino Toscano is pale yellow. It is moderately strong smelling and has a complex nutty flavor. I thought that it blended very nicely into the wine.

About the Author

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His wine website is www.theworldwidewine.com. You can reach him at ital@mail.theworldwidewine.com.