Assisi - church and surroundingsBetween Toscana, the Marche and Lazio in central Italy is Umbria, one of the smallest regions and the only one that is completely internal – i.e., with neither a national border nor any coastline.


Although it’s not as obvious a destination for British tourists as Tuscany is, Umbria is every bit as beautiful as its neighbour and generally less crowded.  Apart from the sea, Umbria has everything anyone could want from an Italian holiday: reliable Mediterranean climate, rolling green hills, picturesque medieval towns, great food, great wine... and, if you love water, there is Lake Trasimeno, the fourth largest in Italy.


If Umbria is not the most progressive of regions, the flip side of this is that much of it remains unspoilt.


What to see and do in Umbria

Enjoy the hills and mountains

The Umbrian hills, leading up to the Apennines on the eastern side of the region, are wonderful for hiking and biking.


Enjoy Lake Trasimeno

Lake Trasimeno is a peaceful expanse of water, with three islands in it, one of which is inhabited.  It has beaches around its edge and is good for lots of watersports.




Visit the cities and towns

There are many ancient, beautiful towns and small cities to visit in Umbria, most of them built on the tops of hills. Some to consider are:



Study Italian

If you’re interested in learning Italian, I suggest (as you might expect) you begin with Accurate Italian, the Italian course for beginners that I wrote with some Italian colleagues.


I also recommend you take a course at the University for Foreigners in Perugia.  This is a well respected establishment that has got many now-native-level Italian speakers started, including Jeremy Dummett, author of an excellent historical guide to Siracusa in Sicily.


Eating and drinking in Umbria

The local specialities in Umbria are wild boar (cinghiale) and black truffle mushrooms. You'll also find great pasta in this region.


Perugia is known for its chocolate and is home to the Perugina confectionary company, which makes the famous Baci (kisses) chocolates. The city also hosts an annual festival in October called Eurochocolate.


White wines predominate and, even if you're normally a red-wine drinker, you've got to try them.


For more information about Umbria…

Buy a guide book for travelling around Umbria.

Check out these websites:

Regione Umbria

Umbria tourism

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