Umbria, Italy

Umbria is a region of central Italy located in the heart of the peninsula, historically the land inhabited in ancient times by the Umbrians, from which it takes its name: with an area of 8 456 km² (of which 6 334 in the province of Perugia and 2 122 in the province of Terni) and a population of 853 861 inhabitants, it is the only region not located on the political or maritime borders of the Italian state and, with only 92 municipalities, the ordinary statute region with the lowest number of municipalities.

Bordering to the east and north-east with the Marches, to the west and north-west with Tuscany, to the south and south-west with Lazio, also including an exclave in the Marches which belongs to the municipality of Città di Castello, the regional capital is Perugia while the provinces are those of Perugia and Terni with the major non-capital centers represented by Foligno, Città di Castello, Umbertide, Spoleto, Gubbio, Gualdo Tadino, Assisi, Bastia Umbra, Orvieto, Amelia, Narni, Marsciano, Spello and Todi .

Characterized by a marked landscape variety, by virtue of the continuous succession of hilly areas and river valley floors, this articulated orographic system, which is identified with the areas of the Umbrian Valley and the Tiber Valley, in the eastern and southern sector of the region rises progressively with the ridges mountains of the Valnerina up to over 2,400 meters (Mount Vettore group) in the Sibillini massif, shared with the Marches. Hydrography offers the fourth largest natural lake in Italy, the Trasimeno, the Piediluco lake (shared with Lazio) and the artificial basin of Corbara; in addition, many small streams and numerous rivers flow in the region: the largest among these are the Tiber, which collects almost all the waters of the other Umbrian rivers, the Nera (116 km), the Paglia (86 km), the Chiascio (82 km), the Topino (77 km) and the Nestore (42 km).

The varied regional territory is dotted with cities and settlements rich in history and traditions. The region, already inhabited in protohistoric times by the Umbrians and the Etruscans, was then at the center of the Regio VI Umbria et ager Gallicus of the Roman Empire. With much of its territory included for centuries in the Duchy of Spoleto in the south, in the Byzantine Empire in the center and in the Duchy of Tuscia in the north during the Lombard Kingdom in Italy, its territory after several centuries of struggles became part of the State Pontifical. An asteroid, 117093 Umbria, has been dedicated to her.


Culture and traditions

Compared to other regions of Italy, the character of the Umbrians can be a little more closed and reserved. A formal education is often maintained even in the premises, which can also hide a certain organizational approximation in the various hospitality sectors.


Urban centers

The main urban and tourist centers of the Umbria region are the following:
Bettona - Defined as the balcony of Umbria, Bettona lies on the foothills of the Martani Mountains. It is counted among the most beautiful villages in Italy.
Campello sul Clitunno - Village near which are the idyllic springs of Clitunno celebrated by Giosuè Carducci.
Corciano - The chocolate festival takes place annually, in a smaller form than that of Perugia.
Monte Castello di Vibio — It rises above the Tiber valley, near the better known city of Todi.
San Gemini - Famous for its thermal baths and the homonymous brand of mineral water, but above all remarkable for the beauty of the historic centre.



Castiglione del Lago
Città di Castello



Città della Pieve
Spello - Hilly city at the foot of Mount Subasio, famous for its oil and the Infiorata festival.





Other destinations

Cascata delle Marmore

Piediluco lake
Lago di Corbara — artificial lake on the course of the Tiber.
Lake Trasimeno
Valle Umbra — Also known as the plain of Spoleto, it extends in the center of the region along a north-south axis and is crossed by the Topino and Clitunno rivers. There are the centers of Assisi, Bastia Umbra, Bevagna, Castel Ritaldi, Foligno, Spello, Trevi and Montefalco.
Valnerina — Cascia, Norcia, Vallo di Nera
Valtiberina — The Tiber, in the stretch where it crosses Umbria, flows through the towns of Città di Castello, Lisciano Niccone, Monte Santa Maria Tiberina, Montone, Pietralunga, San Giustino, Umbertide, Lugnano in Teverina
Val di Chiana — The valley crossed by the "A1" (Autostrada del Sole) includes, in its Umbrian stretch, the following towns: Castiglione del Lago, Tuoro sul Trasimeno, Città della Pieve, Monteleone d'Orvieto, Fabro


How to get

By plane
1 Sant'Egidio Airport (Perugia Airport), ☎ +39075592141.
2 Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport (Rome-Fiumicino Airport), Via dell' Aeroporto di Fiumicino, Fiumicino, ☎ +39 06 65951. Rome's main airport.
3 Giovan Battista Pastine Airport (Rome-Ciampino Airport), ☎ +39 06 65951. With less traffic, it is reserved for Low Cost airlines.

On the train
Main lines
On the Rome-Florence line there are the stations of Orvieto and Castiglione del Lago.
The following stations are located on the Rome-Ancona line: Narni/Amelia, Terni, Spoleto, Campello sul Clitunno, Trevi, Foligno, Valtopina, Nocera Umbra, Gualdo Tadino, Fossato di Vico (Gubbio).
The Rome-Perugia line coincides with the previous one up to and including Foligno, then continues to Spello, Assisi, Bastia Umbra and Perugia.
Another main line is the connection between Tuscany and Umbria, which allows direct connections from Florence and Arezzo with Passignano sul Trasimeno, Magione, Perugia, Assisi and Foligno.

Secondary lines
A secondary line is the one that starts from Terni, touching the stations of Cesi (San Gemini), Acquasparta, Todi, Marsciano, Perugia, Umbertide, Città di Castello, San Giustino and then Sansepolcro in Tuscany


Getting around

By car
An excellent solution to move quickly is undoubtedly the use of the car. The rental of the same is possible in many cities, albeit cheaper near the big centers or at the airports.

On the train
Ferrovia Centrale Umbra for travel by train within the region


What see

Way of Assisi
Via Carolingia — European itinerary that crosses the places traveled by the court of Charlemagne between the eighth and ninth centuries to go from Aachen to Rome, where Pope Leo III crowned the Carolingian sovereign emperor of the Holy Roman Empire on Christmas night in the 19th century .


What to do

Waterfall marmore. €10 full, €7 reduced (May 2018).
Umbria by bike. Umbria offers various possibilities for cycle tourism according to different routes that lead to the discovery of thematic locations.



Umbria is a region that has many culinary excellences and that makes food a true exaltation. It won't be difficult to find restaurants that offer quality local products including DOP oil which will often be offered at the table to taste it with bread.

Umbria boasts two DOCG wines: Montefalco Sagrantino and Torgiano Rosso Riserva and a series of DOC wines: Amelia, Assisi, Colli Altotiberini, Colli del Trasimeno, Colli Martani, Colli Perugini, Lago di Corbara, Montefalco, Orvieto, Rosso Orvietano, Spoleto , Todi and Torgiano.



Umbria is a very quiet region, but of course common sense is always needed.


Physical geography


The region offers a wide variety of geomorphological and landscape features through the succession of valleys, mountain ranges, plateaus and plains, which constitute the dominant geographical feature. The territory is mainly hilly and mountainous.



The Umbrian rivers are among the longest in Central Italy, being the region located in the center of the peninsula; not surprisingly, the third longest river in Italy flows through it, the Tiber, of which there are important tributaries such as the Paglia, which flows for 86 km and flows into it at the municipality of Orvieto; the Chiascio, which flows through northern Umbria for 82 km; the Nera which originates in the Marches and flows into the Tiber near Orte after a 116 km journey; the Nestóre, which bathes central Umbria for 53 km and collects the waters of the Fersinone torrent, along which Neolithic remains have been found; the Clitunno, which after 60 km flows into the Topino, 77 km long and touches the city of Foligno to finally flow into the Chiascio.



Umbria has been marked by floods, in particular by the Tiber, which in 1950 overflowed 37 times. In recent years, however, in addition to the Tiber, the Nestore has also made itself felt, which with the flood of 12 November 2012 reached the extraordinary flow rate of 1,002 cubic meters of water per second, as well as the Paglia, which on the same occasion touched 1 100 cubic meters of water per second.



The climate of the region is very diverse due to the differences in altitude. In the plains and hills it is of the sublittoral or temperate Mediterranean altitude type, with summer drought, while in the mountain areas it is of the subcontinental temperate type and, on the higher altitudes, cool temperate, with often considerable rainfall especially in spring and autumn. The average annual temperatures of the most important centers are generally between 11.2 °C in Norcia and 15 °C in Terni, passing through 12.9 °C in Spoleto, 13.1 °C in Perugia, 14, 0 °C in Marsciano and 14.2 °C in Foligno. The altitude plays an important role: Norcia, at 604 m a.s.l. has an average temperature of the coldest month (January) of about 1.1 °C while Perugia (493 m asl) and Spoleto (396 m asl) have values almost 3 °C higher (Perugia 4.0 °C). Terni is certainly the Umbrian city that boasts the mildest winter climate (6.3 °C the daily average in January). The average temperatures of the hottest month (July) vary between around 21 °C in Norcia and around 25 °C in Terni (Perugia: around 23 °C), but with peaks exceeding 40° in the Umbrian Valley. Precipitation is mostly between 700 and 1,100 mm (Perugia: 893 mm), but is distributed over a rather limited number of days: between 80 and 100.



There are six regional natural parks in Umbria, of which five in the province of Perugia and one in the province of Terni.
Monte Cucco Park
Park of Mount Subasio
Park of Lake Trasimeno
Colfiorito Park
River park of the Tiber
Nera river park
To these must be added the Monti Sibillini National Park which is shared with the Marche region, where the park authority is based.



Umbria was inhabited in protohistoric and historical times east of the Tiber by the Umbrians, and west of the same, by the Etruscans. In 672 BC. the foundation of Terni is established. In 295 BC. after the battle of Sentino it was conquered by the Romans, who established some colonies and crossed the territory with the Via Flaminia (220 BC). The battle of Trasimeno took place there during the invasion of Hannibal during the second Punic war and Perugia was conquered and set on fire in the Bellum Perusinum, during the civil war between Marco Antonio and Ottaviano in 40 BC.

The territory of the region, after the end of the Roman Empire saw the struggles between the Ostrogoths and the Byzantines and the foundation in the southern part of the region of the Longobard Duchy of Spoleto (independent between 571 and the mid-9th century). However, the so-called Byzantine corridor remained for the Byzantines, a strip of territory extended along the course of the Via Flaminia and with the main centers in Perugia and Todi and belonging to the Exarchate of Ravenna. The northernmost area of the region was always under Lombard control and was part of the Duchy of Tuscia.

Charlemagne conquered a large part of the Lombard domains and ceded them to the Pope. The cities later had a certain autonomy, becoming free municipalities and were often at war with each other, inserting themselves into the more general conflict between the papacy and the empire and between the Guelphs and Ghibellines. In the XIV century several local lordships were born which were then absorbed by the Papal State, under which the region remained until the end of the eighteenth century. In 1441 Pope Eugene IV ceded Sansepolcro to the Florentine Republic, and the city thus passed from the sphere of influence of Tiferno to Tuscany. With the events following the French Revolution it was part of the Roman Republic (1798-1799) and of the Napoleonic Empire (1809-1814). After the Napoleonic parenthesis, in 1815 Umbria returned to the Papal State until September 1860, when, following the conquest of all the main Umbrian cities by the Piedmontese army, all the territories of the region were annexed to the Kingdom of Sardinia. The annexation will be made official with the plebiscite of November 4, 1860.

After the unification of Italy (1861), the new Italian state chooses Perugia as the capital of a vast province, which extends as far as Sabina (in Lazio and Abruzzo) and annexes Gubbio from the Marches. Only a few decades later, in the twenties of the twentieth century, this territory will be resized: the passage of Sabina to Lazio and the establishment of the new Umbrian province of Terni are sanctioned, thus determining the definitive geographical and administrative structure of the Umbria Region, still in force today. .

Main archaeological remains on the prehistory of Umbria
In the National Archaeological Museum of Umbria, in the "Claudio Faina" Museum in Orvieto and in the Archaeological Museum in Colfiorito numerous prehistoric finds are conserved which testify that Umbria began to be inhabited as early as the Paleolithic. In particular, the statuette named Venus of Trasimeno, found near Lake Trasimeno, dates back to the Upper Paleolithic.

In Poggio Aquilone di San Venanzo (TR) and in the hamlets of Marsciano, Morcella and Migliano, tombs belonging to the Upper Neolithic have been found along the course of the Fersinone stream, a right tributary of the Nestore. The "Buca del Diavolo" 8 meters deep with 7 meters of crystalline Fersinone water that winds between the hamlet of San Venanzo, San Vito in Monte, Parrano and Migliano (Marsciano), a karst complex on the slopes of the hills north of Monte Peglia , constitute one of the most interesting archaeological sites of Umbrian prehistory, also present on the course of the Calvana, another tributary of the Nestore, albeit to a lesser extent, at the foot of Rotecastello. Inhabited since the Upper Paleolithic, the archaeological finds found within them since the first excavations by Calzoni (around the 1930s), testify to the presence of a notable lithic industry. The burial ground of Monteleone di Spoleto can be referred to the transition period from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age, famous above all for having brought to light the splendid gold-plated bronze chariot, now kept in the Metropolitan Museum in New York. The remains of Terni's great steel mill necropolis (one of the most important in Europe, discovered at the end of the 19th century) are famous.

Very important for the understanding of the ancient Umbrians are the Eugubine Tables, seven bronze tables with text written in the Umbrian language but with the Latin alphabet. They are currently kept in the Civic Museum of the Palazzo dei Consoli in Gubbio, the city where they were found in 1444. Their discovery made it possible to partially understand the ancient language.

Given the enormous importance of the Gubbio Tables, Giacomo Devoto, one of the most important glottologists and linguists of the twentieth century, defined them:

«… the most important ritual text of all classical antiquity. We have nothing similar in either Latin or Greek: to find parallels, one must resort to literature from the Near or Far East.
(Giacomo Devoto, The tables of Gubbio)


Art and culture

Spirituality and sanctuaries

Mystical Umbria was born with what would be the founder of monasticism: San Benedetto da Norcia (480-547). The monasteries he created have shaped the history and culture of religion. In Umbria the most important monasteries are San Pietro, in Perugia, Sassovivo, near Foligno, Santa Maria di Valdiponte, in Montelabate near Perugia, San Benedetto del monte Subasio, near Assisi, San Salvatore di Monte Corona and the Petroia abbey, near Città di Castello.

In the 13th century, two important figures for Catholicism were born in Assisi: Saint Francis (1182-1226) and Saint Clare. The splendid frescoes by Giotto, Cimabue, Pietro Lorenzetti and Simone Martini, present in the Assisi basilica, make it clear the power of medieval religiosity and the mystical fervor of the time. In Todi, in the crypt of the church of San Fortunato, rests Jacopone da Todi, a follower of Saint Francis and a well-known poet, best known for his stabat mater.

The basilica and monastery of Santa Rita in Cascia are added to the Benedictine and Franciscan monasteries, while in Terni we find the basilica dedicated to San Valentino, a Terni bishop beheaded in Rome in 273.

In Orvieto, there is the majestic Cathedral, founded in 1290 at the behest of Pope Nicholas IV. In 1350 the chapel of the Holy Corporal was built, which contains the relic with the Eucharistic miracle of Bolsena, from which the Corpus Domini festival originated, established by Pope Urban IV precisely in Orvieto.

In Gubbio, in the basilica on top of Mount Ingino, rests the body of Sant'Ubaldo, the patron saint of the city, who is honored by the inhabitants of Gubbio every 15 (and 16) May with the famous Festa dei Ceri.

Finally, Saint Rinaldo of Nocera Umbra, Saint Ponziano of Spoleto, Saint Fortunato of Todi, Saint Feliciano of Foligno, and again Saint Angela of Foligno, Saint Chiara of Montefalco, Saint Rufino of Assisi, and Blessed Angelo of Gualdo Tadino should be mentioned. Also worthy of mention are Mother Speranza, founder of the order of "Sons and Handmaids of Merciful Love", buried in Collevalenza di Todi, and Blessed Giovanna of Orvieto, patroness of seamstresses and needlewomen.

There are numerous Marian sanctuaries, including those of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Città di Castello (15th century); Madonna del Transito in Canoscio and Santa Maria della Stella near Montefalco (both from the 19th century); Santa Maria di Petriolo in Citerna; Madonna de La Salette in Salmata[11], near Nocera Umbra; and the two dedicated to the Madonna of Fátima in Città della Pieve and Renzetti (from the 20th century).

Finally, we should mention the cathedral of Amelia where the relics of Saint Firmina are kept, and the parish church of Sambucetole where the body of Saint Clement is buried.

Finally, the city of Assisi gave birth, in 1838, also to San Gabriele dell'Addolorata, a Passionist religious, another of the most venerated saints of Catholicism. Lived between Assisi and Spoleto, he died in 1862 on Isola del Gran Sasso in Abruzzo, where the sanctuary dedicated to him stands, the destination of over two million pilgrims a year. San Gabriel was also proclaimed patron saint of the Abruzzo Region as well as co-patron of the Italian Catholic Youth.


Artistic production

Romanesque churches, Gothic cathedrals, basilicas, monasteries, hermitages and ancient palaces still bear witness to the great artistic production which, from the 12th to the 16th century, gave Umbria immortal masterpieces (it is advisable to go into detail city by city).

In the wake of the great religious fervor, especially impressed by the mendicant orders, artists from all parts of Italy came to the region to work, making school with their extraordinary works. But one discipline, in particular, marked the artistic triumph of Umbria: painting in the Renaissance. With regard to the avant-garde period, the names of Gerardo Dottori in Perugia, Alberto Burri in Città di Castello and Orneore Metelli in Terni stand out.


Folklore events

There are numerous events that take place, especially in the summer, in many centers of Umbria. These appointments, some of which are also known internationally, attract tourists from all over the world to the region. Folklore provides the keys to deciphering the fragments of the historical heritage handed down by popular memory and this past is expressed today also with events, exhibitions, theatrical performances, festivals and musical performances.

The folkloristic event of the Ceri festival is famous. Then there are a whole series of historical re-enactments such as the Quintana, of Foligno origin, which evokes the costumes of the 1600s, the Palio della Balestra in Gubbio, the Palio di San Michele in Bastia Umbra, the Palio dei Terzieri in Città della Pieve, the Medieval Feast of Calendimaggio in Assisi and the Race to the Ring in Narni. The Palio dei Colombi in Amelia and the Palio delle Botti in Marsciano evoke country traditions. These are flanked by numerous other well-known and renowned events, such as the Mercato delle Gaite in Bevagna and the Procession of the Dead Christ, on Good Friday, in Gubbio.


Cultural events

As in any other region, even the various municipalities of Umbria, during the year, offer small or large cultural events ranging from music to theatre. Some are referable to the local level but others take on a national and international value such as the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia and the Trasimeno Blues Festival which takes place in various municipalities around Lake Trasimeno.



As evidenced by the Fifth Censis-UCSI Report on communication in Italy 2005, despite what is believed, media consumption is growing, a consumption that varies greatly according to gender and generation. Even Umbria, despite being a small region, is not exempt from this positive trend, so much so that, only in 2007, two new newspapers appeared on the square, which immediately gained a foothold among Umbrian readers. The use (and use) of the Internet as a means of information is also growing, while the radio has considerably increased its public success. The only downside are the televisions which are having a hard time withstanding the overwhelming power of the national networks and the increase in audiences who prefer satellite TV.

In the 1970s, the Umbrian territory was divided into twelve districts, within each of which a certain degree of homogeneity can be observed at a geographical and orographic, linguistic-dialectal and tourist level. They were[13]:

Perugia district
Terni district
Tifernate district
Eugubino Gualdo district
American district
District of Assisi
Foligno district
Orvieto district
Spoleto district
Trasimeno district
Tudertine district
Valnerino area

Subsequently, the sub-regional areas were reduced to three large districts: Perugia, Foligno-Spoleto and Terni. Currently there are four districts, called A.T.I. (Integrated Territorial Areas) and are:
No. 1 City of Castello-Gubbio
No. 2 Perugia
N. 3 Foligno-Spoleto
No. 4 Terni