Umbria can perhaps be thought of as 'Tuscany without the crowds', and you can discover ancient towns and villages set in beautiful rolling countryside while avoiding the crowds that tend to congregate in the most popular of the Tuscan destinations.
Here are a few of the sights one shouldn't miss when visiting Umbria :-
PERUGIA, the largest city in Umbria, has a fascinating old town perched on a high cliff with steep slopes. An escalator allows visitors to reach the top that offers breathtaking views of the facades of medieval palaces and churches as well as the Umbrian hills, depicted by Renaissance painters such as Perugino, Pinturicchio and Raphael.
ORVIETO, one of the most ancient settlements in central Italy, Orvieto is built at the top of a towering cliff made of volcanic stone, called tufo. Etruscans chose this spot because of its strategic defensive position. The Orvieto Cathedral—one of the most visually stunning in all of Italy—has a rose window and intricate mosaic façade with Signorelli frescoes inside. Visitors strolling the maze of narrow streets will be charmed by the handicraft workshops, art galleries, food market, wine bars and family-owned restaurants offering local cuisine and Orvieto Classico, the region’s renowned white wine.
ASSISI, the most visited destination in Umbria, is the legendary birthplace of St. Francis. Here, early communities of Franciscan Friars began to spread their message of poverty, charity and brotherhood. The Basilica that houses his tomb is visited both by pilgrims and art lovers from around the world who come to see its decorations created by some of the most important painters of that time (including Cimabue, Giotto, Lorenzetti, and Martini).
SPOLETO, visitors can enjoy the slow pace of local life in an enchanting small town that was once surrounded by ancient city walls. Dominating the city center is La Rocca Albornoziana, an imposing 14th-century fortress built at the top of the hill. The Towers Bridge is another impressive medieval construction built to carry water into the city through an aqueduct.
GUBBIO, over in Umbria’s northwestern reaches is Gubbio, a charming town built into the steep slopes of Mount Ingino, known for its rich history and culture. Approaching the town, the ruins of a Roman theater built during the 1st century greet visitors while a walk through its steep, winding streets leads to the breathtaking Piazza Grande, a central square with panoramic views over the pretty town that also houses the imposing 14th-century Palazzo dei Consoli.