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Umbertide: what not to miss in the charming medieval village and its surroundings

  • 02/05/2022


It is also known as "the village that is reflected on the Tevere river", and is surrounded by a green valley dominated by Monte Acuto, in the northern part of Umbria. Umbertide is a gem to be discovered slowly, walking in the historic center among its medieval alleys, or enjoying a walk along the pedestrian or cycle path that runs along the river. Did you also know that this town is known for its pottery production? Without haste, then, we start exploring this village and its unexpected treasures, but not only: we also discover what to see near Umbertide.


Umbertide: medieval village in the heart of Umbria

Certainly less known than other cities in Umbria, yet Umbertide is certainly worth a visit. Of very ancient origins - it seems that the first settlements date back to Roman times -, however, it is during the medieval period that the town reaches its maximum splendor, and the historic center is still a clear demonstration. For example, thanks to the fortified walls still present in the stretches of the city that line the waterways. But above all thanks to the Rocca, the undisputed symbol of the city. Also known as Rocca della Fratta (the ancient name of the town), this superb fortress dating back to 1389 stands out imposingly at the entrance to Umbertide with its high tower and two bastions. Today it houses the Contemporary Art Exhibition Center, including the creations of local ceramic artists who are part of a tradition with ancient roots, which the town is very proud of. We recommend a visit during the day, and then return in the evening because, when illuminated, the fortress becomes even more impressive. 

After the Rocca, you can go through the narrow streets of the historic center, where typical shops and magnificent medieval buildings alternate, among which the Palazzo Comunale in Piazza Matteotti and the Clock Tower certainly deserve a stop. We then continue with a visit to another characteristic jewel of the town in Piazza Mazzini, the Church of Santa Maria della Reggia, known as the "Collegiata". At a glance, it certainly stands out for the unusual external architecture: octagonal in shape and with a large lantern on top, it is a sacred building of incredible beauty. Built in the sixteenth century to house the miraculous frescoed image of the Beata Vergine della Reggia, today it contains frescoes and paintings by great sixteenth-century artists, back to shine after a recent restoration work. Among these stands out the precious Transfiguration of Pomarancio (1578), a true jewel of the Tuscan artist. 

Also worth a visit is the Civic Museum inside the deconsecrated church of Santa Croce, in Piazza San Francesco, which collects precious artistic works dating back to the sixteenth century, such as the Madonna con Bambino by Pomarancio (1577) and the Deposizione della Croce by Luca Signorelli (1516). Next we find the Church of San Francesco and the Church of San Bernardino, and it is not by chance that the square is called as the "Three Churches" due to the presence of the three sacred buildings.


What to see near Umbertide

Those who also want to discover the surroundings of this small town-jewel will certainly not be disappointed. About 3 km. from the historic center, located in a panoramic position over the Assino Valley, stands the Castle of Civitella Ranieri, one of the most majestic and fascinating places in Umbria, surrounded by a lush forest. Also a few kilometers away, another place of great historical interest is the hermitage of Montecorona, 700 meters high in a beech and chestnut forest overlooking the underlying Camaldolese Abbey founded in 1008. A real oasis of peace, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, where you can find yourself. 

Not far away, the medieval village of Pregio, with the remains of the Rocca, the churches of the Holy Trinity in San Francesco (13th century) and of the Madonna delle Grazie (15th century), or the charming and austere village of Montone which stands in a panoramic position, surrounded by the green of oak and olive groves, a step away from the clouds: not surprisingly, it is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy! But not only that, because Umbertide is located in the upper Tiber Valley and is about thirty kilometers from Perugia and another jewel that is absolutely worth visiting, namely Gubbio.


Where to sleep in Umbertide

Umbria is not only a region rich in historical, artistic and architectural treasures, but also in food and wine. Cheeses, cured meats, mushrooms, bread and pasta, but above all truffles, the precious Umbrian black gold, and olive oil, which is linked to a centuries-old tradition. In Umbertide, these ingredients come to life again especially on the occasion of the "September feasts of the late nineteenth century", when the city goes back into the past, up to the nineteenth century, for a historical re-enactment in which shows, popular games, poetry and above all cuisine of the time come to life. 

Where to best enjoy these delicacies? Among the many possibilities, if you are looking for where to sleep in Umbertide, the Tenuta di Montecorona is the ideal place to discover one of the aforementioned treasures. Here, in fact, you can stay in the charming Badia, at the foot of the ancient Hermitage of Montecorona and enjoy your stay while also tasting one of the excellent products of the area, the famous DOP "Umbria Colli del Trasimeno" Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

​Do you want to leave and discover Umbertide and its surroundings?

 

 

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