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Five ‘jewels’ not to miss in the “green heart of Italy”

Umbria is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and green regions in Italy. It’s a small, peaceful, hilly place that has a lot to offer with its verdant countryside dotted with medieval towns and villages and the most amazing food and wine.

Here are five of our favorite hamlets in Umbria.

Montone

Montone is a small hamlet in Umbria and it’s well worth visiting. The town itself is medieval, with narrow streets and a beautiful main square that features a “lion fountain” from the 13th century. There are also plenty of small shops selling local produce, as well as restaurants offering traditional cuisine.

If you’re interested in seeing some of Italy’s finest architecture, Montone’s castle dates back to the same time period (the 13th century) though it was rebuilt after an earthquake destroyed most of the original structure in 1997. It has since been restored to its former glory and now serves as home to the Diocese of Montone-Sarteano-Gualdo Tadino.

Montone
View of the beautiful Italian countryside from the medieval town of Montone in Umbria

Todi

Todi is a town in Umbria, Italy. It’s famous for its medieval architecture, including the Duomo and the Palazzo Comunale. Todi was one of the first towns to be occupied by the Lombards in their invasion of Italy in 568 CE.

In addition to its medieval architecture, Todi also has a number of other attractions that make it worth visiting, such as Piazza del Popolo, one of the finest medieval squares in Umbria, impossible not to walk through it without taking photos from every possible angle; for those keen in visiting churches, there will be plenty to keep you occupied; but the biggest surprise comes from the underground, an area called Todi Underground, a 3Km long subsoil route which includes cisterns dating back to the pre-Roman era, cellars and aqueducts. The “Gallerie della Fabbrica della Piana” is accessible and guided tours are available to the public.

Todi
Todi, landscape at dawn of the medieval hill town

Bevagna

Bevagna is a small town in Umbria, where time seems to have stopped. The medieval urban layout of the town remains intact, surrounded by walls, gates and towers. The center is dominated by the beautiful square Piazza Silvestri with its churches and 13th century stone buildings. It’s easy to see why the town is considered one of “the most beautiful art villages in Italy.”

Bevagna
Bevagna – Ancient church and monumental fountain in the Silvestri Square

Assisi

The town of Assisi has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000 and needs to introduction.

Founded by St. Francis of Assisi, who was born here in 1182 AD, Assisi has been visited by pilgrims since the 13th century. From the Basilica di San Francesco to Minerva’s Temple, from a hike to Mount Subasio Park to a visit to Il Lavandeto’s spectacular lavender fields or to the hermitage of Eremo delle Carceri, it will be impossible not to be absorbed by the spiritual atmosphere.

Assisi
Assisi, Italy with the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi at dusk.

Spello

Spello is so pretty and adorable that it almost feels surreal. A picture perfect little gem filled with colorful flowers and verdant balconies. Get lost in its alleys and let the time run slow.

Spectacular, colorful alley in the historic center of Spello

Umbria is an area of Italy that is not as well known as Tuscany but deserves attention for those interested in exploring Italy.

And don’t forget the food in Umbria, the olive oil and the wine! Not only is a region filled with history, art and traditions, but is a mecca for those looking for a truly Italian culinary experience.

When to visit Umbria? All year round, but best enjoyed in spring and autumn. Spring, especially May is pleasantly warm, as fields and gardens brim with wildflowers. Autumn, from mid-September to October when the air is clear and the sky colour intense.

Umbria is a region of Italy that deserves attention and you should consider exploring it.

Eager to visit Umbria? Browse our Collection of luxury holiday villas in the Region.