Tuscany may get a lot of coverage on our blog but we also have some beautiful villas within the Umbria area. Situated adjacent to Tuscany, Umbria is just as beautiful, just as rich in culture and history and there are just as many things to keep you entertained during your holiday. It is the only Italian region that neither borders another country nor has its own coastline, and is characterised by its peaceful rolling hills of green. So if you are planning a break in this stunning part of the world, what can you expect to find?
Basilica Di San Francesco, Assisi –
You may be thinking that there are so many historically important religious buildings in the area, what makes this one so special? But there are definitely a few reasons why this one should be top of your list to look around. To start with it is dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi, who was born and died in the town, and serves as one of the most important Christian pilgrimage points in the world.
The structure is made up of two churches (upper and lower) and a crypt, but it’s not just the marvellous exterior architecture that will make your visit worthwhile. The murals and other art pieces inside will take your breath away and feature works from famous names such as Giotto and Simone Martini. It was established as a world heritage site in 2000 and survived two earthquakes in quick succession in 1997.
UmbriaCooks4U, Perugia –
After spending some time in awe of the basilica, the chances are that you will need to refuel yourself for more adventures. And what better way to do this than a comprehensive cooking class that allows you to use some of Umbria’s most delicious and unique ingredients to prepare some local specialities that you can then eat.
Tita and Nonie invite you into their state of the art kitchen in which they will teach you everything you need to know in order to not only prepare a sumptuous meal there and then, but to go back to your villa and recreate.
Infiorate di Spello, Spello –
If you are lucky enough to visit this area of Italy around May or June time then be sure to head to the town of Spello to enjoy a yearly tradition that offers a feast for the eyes. This festival celebrates the Corpus Domini feast which occurs on the ninth Sunday after Easter, but the celebrations go on throughout the weekend.
Overnight on the Saturday, locals take to the streets to decorate the pavements with majestic floral patterns. The bright colours, intricate designs and beautiful smells attract people in their droves who can then watch the traditional procession which takes place during the day. Incidentally, Spello is still a lovely place to visit outside of this time and will enchant you with its narrow streets and surprises at every turn.
Cascata delle Marmore, Marmore –
This waterfall is the highest in Europe and was built by the Romans around 300BC. The park that it is situated in provides a unique snapshot of nature and offers tiered views of this wonderful spectacle; depending on how far and high you are willing to trek. The various trails take you up close and personal with the waterfall, which provides a great way to be refreshed on a hot day.
Many activities such as zip lining and rafting can be booked in advance if you would like to take your adventure to the next level and create an exciting adrenaline rush. The waterfall is used to produce hydro-electricity these days and a siren is sounded every so often to signal an increase in the water which flows over the side.