Umbria Daytrips from Rome and Florence
Italy like the U.S. is presently finding relief from the heat at the shorelines of local lakes and seashores. But come September, nothing says Autumn like the region of Umbria. In Italy’s rural country, green hills will molt into a sea of yellow and red. Small villages will begin to buzz with festivals devoted to the flavors of fall – from truffles to squash, from chocolate to wild mushrooms.
By the end of October, popular seaside destinations – like Capri, the Amalfi Coast, and the Cinque Terre – will close for the cold months. So, travelers in the know explore Italy’s forested hills and vineyard-draped valleys as fall temperatures start to drop.
During autumn, travelers enjoy…
sipping wine in the cellars of family-run vineyards
walking medieval paths in the countryside
hunting for truffles in the thick woods of Umbria
sampling tasty chocolates in the hilltop gem of Perugia
Umbria is one of Italy’s most beautiful areas in the fall– easily reached from Rome or Florence but enough off-the-beaten-track to preserve its untouched appeal. Umbria is the only Italian region completely surrounded by land. As a result, its scenery is peppered with lush woods and rolling hills. Famed for its natural beauty, Umbria burns with color come fall – when leaves in the forests and at Umbria’s many vineyards change to orange and crimson.
Below, you’ll find my 3 must-see fall destinations in Umbria:
The town of Perugia, the hilltop capital city of Umbria, stands guard over the vineyard-rich valley below. Perugia is a quilt of 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. Love chocolate? 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.
Buses (2 hours, 20 minutes) leave from Rome's Tiburtina station and trains (2 hours, 40 minutes) from Rome's Termini.
Virtually Visit an ancient Umbrian winery in Perugia here
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 the 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.
The train arrives two miles below the city at Santa Maria degli Angeli. It is about a 30-minute bus ride on the C Line. Bus services leave from just outside the station and drop you in Piazza Matteotti.
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.
Umbria is waiting. Contact me today at Pamela@TheWayToItaly.com to customize your own trip through authentic Italy!