Umbria Travel Guide

red flower field near green trees and white concrete building during daytime

Umbria calls itself the “Green Heart of Italy.” It’s a perfect name for this central, landlocked region of picturesque, medieval hill towns, rolling green farmland and forests.

Perugia is the capital of Umbria.

Umbria Map

Umbria borders Tuscany and Lazio, making it ideal for day trips and weekend escapes from Florence and Rome. It also borders the region of Le Marche.

When to Go to Umbria

High season in Umbria tends to track with the same in Tuscany and Lazio given that many travelers come to this region on day trips or short visits from Florence and Rome. But the throngs are never as thick here as they can be in those other destinations.

Weather in Umbria

Umbria really shines in the fall when it’s able to showcase its earthy cuisine of roasted meats, cheeses, and mushrooms. It just feels good to settle into a cozy Umbrian restaurant when the air is cool and the days are getting darker.

Festivals and Events in Umbria

Umbria hosts numerous events that merit a visit.

Assisi welcomes spring each year with an event in May called Calendimaggio. Featuring medieval games like archery and duels and a costume parade, Calendimaggio begins on the first Wednesday of May and lasts through the weekend.

The Festa dei Ceri, held each year on May 15, is the biggest event in Gubbio. The highlight of Gubbio’s Candle Festival is the medieval candle race, in which costumed participants race up Mount Ingino carrying enormous wooden candles. 

In June, Orvieto celebrates the Feast of Corpus Christi, a religious procession and festival that originated in the town in 1264.

Also in June and July (but sometimes later in the summer), Spoleto hosts the Festival of Two Worlds (Festival dei Due Mondi). This arts and music festival attracts big name talent and visitors from around the world.

The beginning of October it’s back to Assisi, but for religious reasons. October 4 is the feast day of Assisi native a Saint Francis. The solemn, yearly event begins with a pilgrimage from Porziuncola to Saint Francis Basilica on October 3. As Francis is the Patron Saint of Italy, the occasion brings dignitaries to the Umbrian town to present oil for the eternal flame outside Francis’s tomb.

October is also the month when Perugia hosts Eurochocolate. This chocolate festival in the hometown of Perugina began in 1994.

Gubbio gets the spotlight again in December when it lights the World’s Largest Christmas Tree.

Traveling to and Around Umbria

Many who visit Umbria opt to drive, as its notable sights are fairly spread out. Highways and small roads in Umbria are well-maintained.

But parking in cities can be tricky because of narrow roads and ZTL restrictions. Perugia and Orvieto, for example, have car parks on the edge of town to reduce pollution and preserve walkability.

Umbria is served by regional trains, not high-speed ones. Slow train travel is recommended if you have time to spare. You will save money and you will be able to enjoy the view while you relax.

Perugia San Francesco d’Assisi Airport (PEG) is Umbria’s small international airport.

Where to Go in Umbria

Assisi, the home of Saint Francis and his namesake basilica, is the most popular place to visit in Umbria.

Orvieto, with its spectacular Gothic cathedral, is a popular day trip from Rome.

Both Assisi and Orvieto are hill towns. Umbrian hill towns also include Gubbio, Montefalco, Spello, Spoleto, Todi, and Trevi.

Best Tours in Umbria: Day Trips and Longer Stays

Consider one of these private or small group tours to get the most out of your visit to Umbria:

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