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  • TheWayToItaly

Five Charming Towns in Umbria

Updated: May 30

Umbria, a landlocked region located in central Italy, is known for its picturesque landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and historic towns and villages. The region is often referred to as the "Green Heart of Italy" due to its lush green hills, valleys, and forests.



Umbria is home to some of the most beautiful villages in Italy, each with its unique charm and beauty. Here is my list of five charming towns in Umbria:


Assisi

I loved this Assisi side street so much, I used it for my very first business card.

Perhaps most famous as the birthplace of St. Francis, the beauty of Assisi needs to be seen to be believed. Like many towns in Umbria with medieval origins, Assisi is perched atop a hill. Here, visitors can tour the massive Basilica of St. Francis – adorned with 13th-century frescoes and art of Italian masters like Cimabue and Giotto. The Rocca Maggiore is the city’s fortified citadel – dating to 1173. From the citadel’s perch atop the city, you can drink in sweeping views of the foliage-filled valley below.

Assisi from below - near the train station

A five-minute bus ride from the train station makes Assisi very accessible to those who do not wish to drive.


Montefalco

Montefalco is a small hilltop town in Umbria that is known for its wine production -famous for the Sagrantino grape, which is indigenous to the area and only grown here. Surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, the town overlooks the plains of both the Topino and Clitunno rivers with mesmerizing views.


The gothic-styled Church of San Francesco houses a collection of frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli. The church and adjacent convent are now Montefalco's Civic Museum.


The town's central square, Piazza del Comune, is a beautiful example of medieval Italian architecture.


Perugia

Panoramic view over the rooftop with a church and bell tower in the center at the horizon

The town of Perugia, the hilltop capital city of Umbria, stands guard over the vineyard-rich valley below. Perugia is a quilt of flower-lined cobblestone streets, medieval alleys, and historic piazzas. Wandering Perugia, you’ll spot centuries-old palazzi (mansions) alongside arch-framed stairways.


Food lovers will drool for Perugia’s handmade chocolates – famous throughout the world. Visit in October during Perugia's ten-day Eurochocolate Festival During this annual event, you can sip cocoa-infused grappa alongside locals or be awed by sculptures carved from giant blocks of chocolate.


Bevagna

Bevagna is in the center of the Umbrian valley. It's known for Roman history. The first historical news on Bevagna coincides with the Roman conquest of Umbria with the famous Battle of the Sentinel of 295 BC.


In the town's main square, Piazza Silvestri, a beautiful example of medieval Italian architecture, you will find the most fascinating monuments of the city, including the Palazzo dei Consoli, the Church of San Michele, and the church of San Silvestro.


Orvieto

Orvieto's Duomo with it's grand facade

Orvieto is consistently ranked one of Italy’s most beautiful towns. Built atop a flat bluff overlooking a valley, Orvieto rises from the cliffs below. Visible from far in the distance, Orvieto commands the gaze of any and all onlookers. Inhabited since the time of the Etruscans, Orvieto became a center of power during the medieval period – frequently visited by Popes between the 12th and 16th centuries. Strolling the city’s medieval streets, visitors will notice Orvieto’s striking cathedral – featuring black and white stone and an ornate façade.


An easy day trip from Rome (1 hour) and Florence (2 hours). The train drops you in Orvieto Scalo- take the funicular up the hill to Orvieto's historic city center.



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