It is known as the "green lung of Italy" due to its luxuriant nature, or even "the navel of the peninsula", due to its central location. It is also the only Apennine region that is not washed by the sea, and this may discourage some tourists. In fact, Umbria is the perfect destination to enjoy a long weekend or a holiday and thus discover some of the most beautiful villages in our country, immersed in a natural landscape that takes your breath away, in any season. From cities of art such as Spoleto or Perugia, to small towns such as Trevi or Spello: there are many reasons to leave.
Wear comfortable shoes, because we take you with us to discover what to see in 3 days in Umbria for a cultural break.
What to see in Umbria in 3 days: Todi and Spoleto
Often underestimated or little known, Umbria is certainly worth a visit. For more than one reason, and we'll give you one right away. Todi, perched on the hills in the heart of the region, is considered - not surprisingly - the ideal place to live. When you arrive and pass the three tiers of ring walls, you have the feeling of being catapulted back in time, among finds of Etruscan origin, Roman cisterns and medieval buildings. What to see then? Piazza del Popolo is a must, where the most beautiful buildings in the city are concentrated, such as the Palazzo del Capitano, the Palazzo del Popolo and the Palazzo dei Priori, and the co-cathedral of the Santissima Annunziata, also renamed as the Duomo. Also worth the church of San Fortunato, which stands on the highest point of Todi also deserves, especially for the climb to the bell tower from which you can enjoy a unique view of the Umbrian hills. A jewel located just outside the city walls is the Temple of Santa Maria della Consolazione in Todi: a symbol of Renaissance architecture, it stands out from all the other buildings in the historic center for its size and magnificence.
After the visit to Todi, we reach Spoleto, which is considered one of the most important cities of art in Italy and renamed "of the hundred towers". The famous writer Hermann Hesse, in a postcard addressed to his wife, wrote: "Spoleto is the most beautiful discovery I have made in Italy [...], there is such a wealth of almost unknown beauties, mountains, valleys, forests of oaks, monasteries, waterfalls! ". Built on the crest of a hill, choosing what to start from is not easy, but we suggest going straight up to the highest point of the city on the hill of Sant'Elia, to reach the Rocca Albornoziana. From here you can admire the impressive Ponte delle Torri that joins the Rocca and Monteluco, and then go down to the lower level of the center, to visit the most famous monument of the city, the Duomo of Spoleto, or the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. But Spoleto is a town that has much more to offer besides these stops, as we have shown you in our dedicated article.
Day 2: Assisi and Perugia
If you've never been there, here are two stops that cannot be missed on the itinerary. The capital, Perugia, is one of the most beautiful cities in the region due to the artistic and cultural heritage it has to offer, and is also famous for the Jazz Festival and the chocolate festival. There are many things to see, from the main square IV Novembre where there are historic buildings of great charm and the symbol of the city, the Fontana Maggiore, to the evocative promenade of the aqueduct: for those wishing to deepen, we recommend reading the in-depth study that we have dedicated to Perugia and its wonders.
Not far from Perugia, there is Assisi, halfway between a village and a city. Known as the city of San Francesco, it is a medieval jewel whose upper part is dominated by the Basilica dedicated to the famous Saint, built 2 years after his death on the place where he was buried and declared a World Heritage Site. This place steeped in history and spirituality deserves a thorough stop to admire the precious frescoes by Giotto and Cimabue in the Upper Basilica and instead explore the crypt in the lower part, where the remains of the Saint also lie. But it does not end here, because Assisi holds many other wonders, which deserve to be discovered slowly: from the Church of Santa Chiara to the Cathedral of San Rufino, to the Piazza del Comune, in the center dominated by the monumental Fountain of the Three Lions and where it is located also the Temple of Minerva, an ancient Roman temple transformed into a Christian church.
Day 3: Spello and Trevi
The "flowering village". This is how Spello is known which, thanks to its stone buildings richly decorated with plants and flowers, earns its place as one of the most evocative and authentic villages in Italy. Over the years, it has gained popularity with the famous "Infiorata", an event that has taken place every year during Corpus Domini for more than five centuries and which sees the alleys filled with floral compositions that form paintings or carpets for about a kilometer and half. But even beyond this event, Spello is worth a visit: surrounded by mighty walls of Roman origin, the historic center is a labyrinth of narrow streets and fascinating buildings in which to get lost. What see? The three splendid medieval gates from which you enter the city, as well as the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore and the Urbani Acuti palace characterized by a beautiful raised wooden loggia.
After photographing the flowered balconies of Spello, we move to Trevi, a very small village that rises in the shadow of the Serano and Brunette mountains with a "spiral" path that gives it a characteristic urban layout in concentric circles. The dimensions are very small and the visit could be completed in a very short time, but it deserves to stop because it is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Not only that, it is also recognized as a "City of Oil" - due to the production of one of the best olive oil in the world - and it is also one of the Slow Cities of Italy. So enjoy a ride through its streets without haste, to discover Piazza Mazzini, the main square of the town, on which stands the civic tower, the Palazzo Comunale and that of the Governatore, then the numerous churches, such as that of San Francesco and Sant 'Emiliano, and the numerous medieval shops and the famous fifteenth-century house, one of the oldest in Trevi, characterized by stone facades and flickering lines.
Umbria: one region, a thousand surprises
Umbria knows how to reserve many surprises, as we have seen. The stages that deserve a stop having more days available would be many, starting with the splendid Gubbio, the "gray city" which became famous thanks to the TV series Don Matteo, or even the tiny Rasiglia, known as "the water village". Not to mention Orvieto and Umbertide, two other city-masterpieces that are worth visiting, or Montefalco, renamed the Umbria Railing due to its spectacular panoramic position. Not only historic villages, of course: nature lovers will discover a unique region, and will be enchanted by the beauty of the Marmore Falls, Lake Trasimeno, the Fonti del Clitunno or the spectacle of the lentils flowering in Castelluccio di Norcia.
If you are looking for the ideal place to sleep and from which to visit the places mentioned above, Tenuta di Montecorona is the perfect place. Here you will have the opportunity to continue the discovery of places of great historical interest and to enrich your trip by staying in the fascinating Badia, at the foot of the ancient Hermitage of Montecorona. Obviously, you cannot miss a taste experience, which in a region like Umbria is a must: for example, you can taste one of the excellent products of the area, the famous DOP "Umbria Colli del Trasimeno" Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or even the fragrant truffles in the restaurant of the Estate.
Are you ready to pack your bags and leave for Umbria?