A mountainous region in the heart of Italy, Umbria offers a picturesque landscape of rolling hills dotted with cobalt lakes and traditional villages. Cities like Perugia and Assisi offer medieval architecture and art museums to rival anything in Tuscany, while lush vineyards offer rustic appeal. Thousands of visitors make the pilgrimage to Assisi to honour St Francis every year, and this traditional region’s villages often bustle with festivals and markets. Many of Umbria’s old towns incorporate remnants of Etruscan and Roman settlements with a timeless atmosphere.
Umbria has become the holiday destination of choice for foodies, known for its truffles, olives and wine. But its mountains and lakes also make it an exciting destination for those seeking outdoor adventure. Trek through pine forests to the summit of Mount Sibillini or go sailing on the vast waters of Lake Trasimeno. If you’re seeking a holiday in 2019 / 2020 rich in art, culture and lush scenery, Umbria’s stunning landscapes won’t disappoint. We can help you find a cheap holiday to Umbria too, leaving you with more for your stay.
Indulge in impossibly fresh food and flavourful wine on your Umbria holidays. Its culinary traditions are one of the region’s top attractions. Orvieto is famed for its wine production, and you can visit a vineyard or take part in a cookery course here. Explore Umbria’s humble charms in its hilltop villages and towns, which feature narrow cobblestone streets and rustic villas. Towns like Spello are pedestrian-only, making them a pleasure to explore on foot. You can view 13th-century murals in Spello’s Church of Santa Maria Maggiore or Giotto’s famous painted frescoes in Assisi’s Basilica of San Francesco.
The capital of Umbria is Perugia, which features Byzantine churches, the National Gallery of Umbria and a number of medieval palaces. Its historic centre dates back to Etruscan times, making the city rich with culture and history. You can also visit Umbria’s natural attractions including Italy’s highest waterfall, the Falls of Marmore, and the mineral springs of Collina de Benessere Park.
You can easily spend your entire holidays in Umbria eating and drinking your way through the countryside. The abundant sunshine creates the perfect environment for growing fruit and vegetables. Start your meal with antipasti, which could include fresh olives, earthy porcini mushrooms and crostini. For the main meal, the usual pizza and pasta are featured along with roasted suckling pig. Norcia’s black pigs are a local delicacy and the village is renowned for its sausages and pork dishes dressed with oranges, raisins and almonds. Truffles are another speciality in Umbria. One popular dish is black or white truffles, thinly shaved and served over thin pasta strands.
Umbria is an important wine-producing region in Italy. Orvieto’s crisp, dry white wines are prized for their delicate flavour, but you’ll also find no shortage of reds on offer here. If you want to learn more about the process and sample the nuances in taste, visit Torgiano’s Wine Museum.
Umbria’s gentle hills and slow pace of life make it the perfect location for family getaways. Many families head to Lake Trasimeno for their Umbria holidays. The lake’s shallow, clean waters are perfect for spending the day swimming and splashing around, and there are deck chairs, canoes and pedal boats for hire. There’s also a children’s playground on the beach at Castiglione del Lago, while the town’s 16th-century castle is good fun for all ages. Take a ferry boat to the Lake Trasimeno islands to find walking trails and the Isola Polvese natural park. You’ll be able to spot frogs and a colourful array of birds in these wetlands.
There’s plenty of child-friendly outdoor activities in Umbria’s lush countryside. Take a walk with donkeys in Panicale or explore the scenery on horseback. Cosmopolitan Perugia is home to the Chocolate Factory and Museum, with guided tours to see how the magic happens. Perugia is also home to the Citta della Domenica amusement park, a favourite with local children for its fairy tale village, zoo and botanical gardens.
Action & Adventure
Pack a picnic, get outdoors and explore the green heart of Italy on foot. Umbria’s famed for its hiking trails, particularly the 40km pilgrimage path travelling from Assisi to Gubbio. St Francis’s journey takes approximately two days of walking to complete. There are shorter walks around Lake Trasimeno or Mount Pausillo, offering a range of different options. Horseback riding is another popular excursion here, whether you’re a beginner or very comfortable on a horse. Trasimeno Park offers various routes suitable for all levels.
With its hilly terrain, Umbria provides the perfect setting for mountaineering and rock climbing. Cliffs in the Fluviale del Nera Park and Mount Sibillini offer a unique challenge or you could explore the caverns below Mount Cucco. Canyoning has grown in popularity recently, with thrill-seekers heading to the hills surrounding the Lago di Corbara to navigate the steep gorges. For water sports, Lake Trasimeno is a top destination. Try water skiing, canoeing, windsurfing or sailing here.
Although Umbria is a landlocked region, you can still get a taste of the Italian beach life by visiting Lake Trasimeno. It’s central Italy’s largest lake, ringed with attractive beaches where you can soak up the sun or take a cool dip in the clear waters. There are nine beaches in total, located in Castiglione del Lago, Trasimeno, Magione and Passignano. All offer typical amenities including sun loungers, umbrellas, cafes and snack bars. The lake’s waters are monitored carefully to ensure they’re clean and safe, making this a top spot for swimming in the summer months.
Get out on the water by renting a canoe, sailboat or pedal boat during your Umbria holidays. With brisk breezes, Lake Trasimeno is the ideal spot to learn how to sail. Stay in a lakeside villa or resort hotel to make the most of Umbria’s beaches. A number of charming medieval villages are situated around the lake offering panoramic views.
From tiny medieval villages to modern cities, Umbria’s nightlife is as diverse as its settlements. Sip on a local glass of Orvieto wine in a dimly-lit jazz bar or gather with friends over pints of beer on an outdoor mountain terrace. In smaller towns, the nightlife may be limited to the local rustic restaurants, allowing you the chance to linger over good food and company by candlelight. In larger towns like Perugia, there are plenty of options.
Perugia’s nightclubs include the Velvet Discoteca where the beats last well into the morning. Get a better view of the crowd here by sitting on the terrace overlooking the main dance floor or show off your best moves down below. Techno clubs like Red Zone allow you the chance to listen to some serious electronic music, or you could find a quiet wine bar to relax in with a chic, young crowd. Are you in search of a different type of culture? There are plenty of classic theatres on offer in Umbria, where Italy’s dramatic traditions are on full show.
Old world villages, rolling vineyards and unspoilt countryside views lend Umbria a romantic charm fit for any couples’ getaway. Rent a sporty car and drive the unforgettable Strada del Sagrantino, a 40-mile journey covering many of Umbria’s most romantic destinations. You’ll be able to stop off in Montefalco, with its colourful churches and sweeping view, as well as the castles of Gualdo Cattaneo and Castel Ritaldi.
Gorgeous painted frescoes, quiet cathedrals and tranquil public squares allow you to linger and drink in the abundant beauty of Umbria. Take a wine-tasting tour for two or cycle through olive groves and cypress trees. You can choose from a range of accommodation for couples in Umbria, from farmhouses to boutique hotels in Perugia. If you’re in search of a holiday destination combining art, culture and natural beauty, Umbria holidays are perfect for romance.
It’s impossible not to soak in art and culture on your Umbria holidays, with the seemingly endless variety of churches, cathedrals and museums on display here. You can see impressive Roman ruins like Spoleto’s Casa Romana, which is said to have once been the home of Emperor Vespasian’s mother. The Orvieto Cathedral is also a must-see historic building, perched at the top of a cliff for an unforgettable setting.
Visit Umbria during the summer to attend a music festival. The Umbria Jazz Festival enjoys a sterling reputation, drawing the likes of Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie to the region. Spoleto’s Two Worlds Festival is another draw, showcasing the best in opera and classical music as well as theatrical and dance performances. If you’re interested in art history, Umbria’s probably already on your bucket list for its well-known art school that counts Perugino and Raphael amongst its pupils. Art is everywhere in this region, whether it’s classical or contemporary. Frescoes line the walls of unassuming country churches or you can view famous Renaissance paintings in the National Gallery of Umbria.