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Umbria: Splendour in The Green Heart of Italy, Part 1

In the past two editions of our blog, we’ve been on a little adventure that began in Tuscany, a journey to discover Italy’s marvelous Medieval places. Last week we were exploring the magical area around Lake Bolsena at the intersection of Tuscany, Lazio, and Umbria. This week, our trek continues as we march fully into Umbria.

Umbria is the only region in central Italy that does not touch the sea, but don’t let this paint a picture of being closed in. Within “The Green Heart of Italy”, the landscape undulates like an expansive, lush sea under an endless, luminous sky. The fertile terrain is also blessed with beauty, of both the natural and man-made kinds.

The human story in this part of Italy goes back thousands of years, to long before even Ancient Roman times. In many places in Umbria, time seems to have stood still, leaving us with a luxurious assortment of picture-perfect Medieval villages set on hilltops. In these hamlets, you can step into another epoch by literally putting one foot in front of the other.

For those who have come to Italy on a cruise before, Umbria would have been under the radar, seeing as it has no outlet to the sea. If you’re thinking about a trip to Italy and staying on land for a while, consider Umbria. Despite its splendour, it is not so overrun with tourists as neighbouring Tuscany and popular destinations such as Rome, the Cinque Terre, and the Amalfi Coast. Umbria is an ideal place to get an authentic taste of Italy.

Today, we begin a two-part series on Umbria with the villages of Spoleto, Montefalco, and Bevagna.


The village of Spoleto occupies a scenic spot in the foothills of Italy's Appenine Mountains. In addition to the typical Medieval elements of cobblestone streets and quaint piazzas, Spoleto also boasts some impressive architectural points of interest: a monolithic 14th Century fortress, a Roman theatre from the 1st Century BCE, and a mind-boggling Medieval aqueduct that stretches more than 750 feet across a steep valley.


Nicknamed “the balcony of Umbria” because of its panoramic position and amazing views of the surrounding Umbrian countryside, Montefalco will steal your heart with its Medieval charm. Its streets in brick and stone will lead you on a gentle, curving meander, the neutral-toned buildings punctuated with colourful flowers and the green of potted plants. If you are a fresco-lover, the former Church of San Francesco houses an important and handsome cycle of frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli. Montefalco has been designated one of the "borghi più belli d'Italia" the most beautiful villages in Italy.


The hamlet of Bevagna has also been deemed one of the "borghi più belli d'Italia". Sitting along a river, the village sports a unique architectural esthetic and numerous points of interest: Romanesque churches, Roman ruins, an old public washhouse, an old bridge in red brick built on handsome arches. St. Francis of Assisi is closely tied to Bevagna; the spot where the friar preached to the birds is said to have taken place just outside the hamlet's Medieval walls, which are still standing. Bevagna is also known for its long-standing artisan traditions in silk, beeswax, and hemp.

Learn more about Spoleto, Montefalco, and Bevagna.

If Italy’s marvelous Medieval places are beckoning you, let DriverInRome escort you on a magical journey of discovery! Please contact us to learn about all destinations, whether you are arriving by cruise ship or staying in Rome, Tuscany, or Sicily.

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