Travel recommendations and tips for your holidays in Umbria and Tuscany, Italy

Umbria lies in the heart of Italy between Florence and Rome. Trasimeno Lake almost touches Tuscany in the West.

Agriturismo Villa La Rogaia

Would you like to get in the mood for a vacation at agritourism Villa La Rogaia in Umbria? Would you like to know more about the leisure and cultural activities at Lake Trasimeno, in Umbria and Tuscany ? We invite you to browse through our website. Here you will find information about

Umbria and Tuscany

Umbria is the green heart of Italy: dark green the woody slopes of the hills, light green the vineyards, silver green the olive groves. At the border to Tuscany this heart has a blue spot: the Trasimeno Lake, enclosed by endless rolling hills and picturesque little hill towns and villages. Less crowded than Tuscany to the West, Umbria still is a refuge for connoisseurs who seek for origial country holidays and half-hidden retreats still largely untroubled by visitors. But yet Umbria is everything else but sleepy. Many Umbrian and Tuscan villages offer art, culture, food and views of which many a European city would be proud. There is the spiritual world capitol Assisi, Perugia with its internationally renommated jazz festival and the innumerable festas and festivals in almost every little village throughout Umbria. When getting to La Rogaia you will find information brochures, maps for hiking, time tables and event calendars in your holiday apartment.

Trasimeno Music Festival at the castle of Magione
Trasimeno Music Festival at the castle of Magione

We have only included some of our personal tips and recommendations which we do not claim to be complete. If you would like to know more about travelling in Umbria and Tuscany please check our link pages or travel guides. At the bottom of this page we have listed a few suggestions for books on Umbria, Tuscany and Italy. And in case you run short of reading material during your stay at La Rogaia: We are happy to help you out from our collection of travel guides, novels, art and children’s books.

These pages with tips for your vacation in Umbria and Tuscany are being updated regularly. Come back to see what’s new !

Watch a HotSpot documentary with Martin Holvoet at http://www.shootv.com (in English)

Music Festivals in Umbria

Umbria Jazz Festival Perugia. Photo: Steve McCurry
Umbria Jazz Festival Perugia. Photo: Steve McCurry

Classical music - Jazz - Blues - Theatre - Dance

The great events 2015

July 3 to 10, 2015
Trasimeno Music Festival
 The festival is the brainchild of, and is produced by, the renown Canadian pianist, Angela Hewitt. The festival venues will be the Castle of the Knights of Malta in Magione and St. Domenico’s Church in Gubbio. Talented artists of the highest international calibre will follow one another on the various evocative stages. The festival is already ranked among the most important “quality festivals”, as a “little big festival”, by both the press and the public, both Italian and international. Its fame increases with each edition and its greatest satisfaction has been the international public which returns year after year to enjoy extraordinary music in an extraordinary setting. This year will see chamber concerts with  Angela Hewitt (piano),  Dame Felicity Lott (soprano),  the Camerata Salzburg and many others. Program and tickets at www.trasimenomusicfestival.com and www.angelahewitt.com

 July 2015
Festival dei Due Mondi 
Widely reknown theatre, dance and music festival at Spoleto. Extraordinary performances by international artists with the medieval town of Spoleto as stage set. This year with the Mark Morris Dance Group and many others.  More info at www.festivaldispoleto.com/

July 10 to 19,  2015
Umbria Jazz Festival at Perugia is one of the most important Jazz festivals worldwide: International Jazz stars and free open air concerts in the city. For program and tickets visit www.umbriajazz.com

July 23 to August 3, 2015
Trasimeno Blues (July and August): Blues open air concerts in the towns around Lake Trasimeno
Trasimeno Lake and the rolling hills that surround her are imbued with a joyous and evocative spirit when, in the last ten days of July and the first few days of August, the Trasimeno Blues Festival comes to town, one of the most important festivals of its genre in Italy. Its venues cover the map and Trasimeno Blues goes to most of the villages and towns that make up the Trasimeno area, from the old town centres to the characteristic parks. For twelve days twenty stages offer more than thirty concerts from dusk to dawn, almost all of them free. Alongside the music there are exhibitions, musical dinners and music labs. It is a musical journey into the green heart of Italy where over the years such important Italian and international musicians such as Johnny Winter, Jack Bruce & Robin Tower, Maceo Parker, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, Sugar Blue, Brian Auger, Alex Britti, Ana Popovic, Cheryl Porter, Shemekia Copeland, Eugenio Finardi, Gegé Telesforo, Fairport Convention, The James Taylor Quartet, Carl Palmer, Them, Ten Years After, Charlie Musselwhite, Treves Blues Band and so many other. For more info please visit www.trasimenoblues.net


July 15 to August 15, 2015 
Festival Giovani Artisti in our village Castel Rigone (every year in August): Classical concerts on the romantic little Piazza San Francesco 
The 13th edition of the International Young Musicians Festival will take place in Castel Rigone this year, with a wonderful programme of quality performances. Started in 1997 by its Artistic Director Prof. Giorgio Porzi and organised by Prof. Beniamino Giommini and Anne Markoff, it was an immediate success. The aim of the festival is to showcase young and talented musicians, winners of great international competitions, in Castel Rigone in front of a sophisticated audience. The monumental and scenic beauty of the village, and the warm summer air, together conspire to make this an annual appointment not to be missed. The acoustics of Piazzetta S. Agostino, where the concerts are held, is soft and velvety and was obtained via complicated phono-metric calculations. It is the result of ancient construction know-how which sews the walls with an age old technique known as “a faccia vista”, which refines the sounds and then concentrically sends them back with all of their natural qualities. More info atwww.giovaniconcertisti.com


End of July, early August 2015
Preggio Music Festival : Classical music performed by musicians from England, Holland, Italy and Germany, some of world class level. MOre info at www.preggio.info/en/preggio-music-festival

August/ September 2015    
" Figuratevi " International puppet theatre festival at  Perugia 

September 2015
" Sagra Musicale Umbra ":   Festival of sacred music at Perugia and surroundings. MOre info atwww.perugiamusicaclassica.com/festival.cfm

August 10 to September 10, 2015
Musica Insieme Panicale: This is a musical event featuring ancient, classical, contemporary and avant-garde music performed by well-known Italian and international musicians.
The musicians perform both masterpieces and less-known works of the world's great composers. The concerts a free for anyone under the age of 18, to encourage these young people to get to know this kind of music.

Trasimeno Blues Festival. Foto: Ornella Tiberi
Trasimeno Blues Festival. Foto: Ornella Tiberi

July 23 to August 3, 2015
Trasimeno Blues (July and August): Blues open air concerts in the towns around Lake Trasimeno
Trasimeno Lake and the rolling hills that surround her are imbued with a joyous and evocative spirit when, in the last ten days of July and the first few days of August, the Trasimeno Blues Festival comes to town, one of the most important festivals of its genre in Italy. Its venues cover the map and Trasimeno Blues goes to most of the villages and towns that make up the Trasimeno area, from the old town centres to the characteristic parks. For twelve days twenty stages offer more than thirty concerts from dusk to dawn, almost all of them free. Alongside the music there are exhibitions, musical dinners and music labs. It is a musical journey into the green heart of Italy where over the years such important Italian and international musicians such as Johnny Winter, Jack Bruce & Robin Tower, Maceo Parker, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, Sugar Blue, Brian Auger, Alex Britti, Ana Popovic, Cheryl Porter, Shemekia Copeland, Eugenio Finardi, Gegé Telesforo, Fairport Convention, The James Taylor Quartet, Carl Palmer, Them, Ten Years After, Charlie Musselwhite, Treves Blues Band and so many other. For more info please visit www.trasimenoblues.net


July 15 to August 15, 2015 
Festival Giovani Artisti in our village Castel Rigone (every year in August): Classical concerts on the romantic little Piazza San Francesco 
The 13th edition of the International Young Musicians Festival will take place in Castel Rigone this year, with a wonderful programme of quality performances. Started in 1997 by its Artistic Director Prof. Giorgio Porzi and organised by Prof. Beniamino Giommini and Anne Markoff, it was an immediate success. The aim of the festival is to showcase young and talented musicians, winners of great international competitions, in Castel Rigone in front of a sophisticated audience. The monumental and scenic beauty of the village, and the warm summer air, together conspire to make this an annual appointment not to be missed. The acoustics of Piazzetta S. Agostino, where the concerts are held, is soft and velvety and was obtained via complicated phono-metric calculations. It is the result of ancient construction know-how which sews the walls with an age old technique known as “a faccia vista”, which refines the sounds and then concentrically sends them back with all of their natural qualities. More info atwww.giovaniconcertisti.com


End of July, early August 2015
Preggio Music Festival : Classical music performed by musicians from England, Holland, Italy and Germany, some of world class level. MOre info at www.preggio.info/en/preggio-music-festival

August/ September 2015    
" Figuratevi " International puppet theatre festival at  Perugia 

September 2015
" Sagra Musicale Umbra ":   Festival of sacred music at Perugia and surroundings. MOre info atwww.perugiamusicaclassica.com/festival.cfm

August 10 to September 10, 2015
Musica Insieme Panicale: This is a musical event featuring ancient, classical, contemporary and avant-garde music performed by well-known Italian and international musicians.
The musicians perform both masterpieces and less-known works of the world's great composers. The concerts a free for anyone under the age of 18, to encourage these young people to get to know this kind of music.

Marching band at the Festa dei Tulipani, Castiglione del Lago
Marching band at the Festa dei Tulipani, Castiglione del Lago

Every village in Umbria celebrates a folk festival at least once a year, with music, dance, theatre and above all homemade food.

April 3, 2015
Good Friday in Assisi:[
nbsp]Processione del Cristo Morto - hauntingly beautiful procession in the early evening with torchlights in the historical town centre of Assisi

April 13, 2015
Festa del Tulipano in Castiglione del Lago: Tulip festival with flower processions, processions in historical costumes. More info at www.festadeltulipano.it/

May 8 to 10, 2015
Calendimaggio in Assisi: Medieval festa to celebrate the re-birth of spring with processions in historical costumes, medieval games, morality plays, song contests and pageantry. More info atwww.calendimaggiodiassisi.com

May 15, 2015
Corsa dei Ceri in Gubbio
: Pagan / Christian festival where three colossal wooden candles ("ceri") are raced up straight the mountain by teams of locals ("ceraioli"). All inhabitants of Gubbio go crazy for this race and therefore are called "i matti d'Italia" (the madmen of Italy).

May 31 to June 15, 2015
Giostra della Quintana at Foligno: Medieval horse races and games. More info at www.quintana.it


June 2015
Mercato delle Gaite at Bevagna: Medieval town and market life, great food cooked following  ancient recipes. According to us the most beautiful of all historical reevocation festas. More info at  www.ilmercatodellegaite.it

June 21 and 22, 2015
Le Infiorate: Flower festivals  around Corpus Domini:
Many Umbrian villages cover their streets with lush flower carpets once a year for the Corpus Domini processions. The most famous “Infiorate” are at Spello, Citta della Pieve, Ficulle, Orvieto und Montegabbiano statt. For exact dates please ask us or at the tourist information offices. We suggest to get there early to see the art works in the fresh morning air (between 7 and 9 am). More info atwww.infioratespello.it

Last week of July 2015
Palio delle Barche at Passignano (last weekend in July). Historical boat race . More info atwww.paliodellebarche.it

First weekend of August 2016
Festa dei Barbari at Castel Rigone Historical procession, tornaments and market commemorating the founding of Castel Rigone around 500 AD by the Ostrogoth Arigo. Watch our video of the procession of the "barbarians". And here is another video at www.youtube.com

August 9 to 17, 2015
Palio dei Terzieri at  Città della Pieve Historical town festival with procession in renaissance costumes and archery competition. More info at www.paliodeiterzieri.it/ 

October 17 to 19, 2015
Sagra delle Castagne (chestnut festival) at Preggio (every year 3rd weekend of October). The villagers prepare their home specialities, such as pasta with game, fried mushrooms or chestnut tarts. You can enjoy these together with must and new wine. More info at www.preggio.info/sagra-castagna

More information about the sagre you can get from us during your stay or from the tourist information centres.

The "Festa dei Barbari" in Castel Rigone

Leisure activities

Ceramic painting Lab at "Torretti", Deruta. Photo: www.derutamegastore.com
Ceramic painting Lab at "Torretti", Deruta. Photo: www.derutamegastore.com

Pottery and ceramic painting workshop

At the famous ceramic factory "Torretti" in Deruta you can put yourself at the potter's wheel and create a plate or a vase under the guidance of Maestro Caravaggi. Or you can paint on blanks, which are then burned for you. A great experience for children, especially thanks to the humorous and devoted teaching of Maestro Caravaggi, a master of his craft, who comes from a centuries-old family tradition of ceramic artists in Deruta.

Sports

Hiking in Umbria. Photo: Michael Grübel
Hiking in Umbria. Photo: Michael Grübel

Our suggestions for hiking by foot or mountain biking you can find here: hiking and mountain biking
Information about water sports at Trasimeno Lake you can find here: Trasimeno Lake

Horseback riding

Would you like to discover Umbria from horseback? There are several riding schools in our vicinity:
Agriturismo La Rosa Canina at Casalini organizes cross country riding in the hills above Lake Trasimeno.
Circolo Ippico di Valvasone at Magione offers pony-riding and pony games for children and cross country riding. The daughter of the friendly family enterprise is a national champion in endurance horse riding.

Golf

Golf Club Lamborghini in Panicale: www.lamborghinionline.it/pagine/golf-club

Golfclub Perugia: www.golfclubperugia.it/

Golfclub Antognolla www.antognollagolf.com/

Paragliding

Monte Subasio above Assisi and Monte Cucco close to Gubbio are a paradise for the silent knights of the air.

River rafting and canoeing

On the rivers Nera and Corno (close to Norcia) or at the Marmora waterfalls you can discover unspoilt nature from a raft, canoe or kayak.

Star watching

For all hobby astronomers: the clear nights at La Rogaia allow fascinating views of the starry sky above ...

Reading suggestions around Umbria, Tuscany and Italy:

Travel guides:

  • Reid Bramblett: Tuscany & Umbria. Frommer’s. Hungry Minds, New York 2002
  • James Lasdun and Pia Davis: Walking and Eating in Tuscany and Umbria. Penguin, London 1997
  • Penelope Hobhouse: Gardens of Italy. Octopus, London 1998

 

Travel literature:

  • D.H. Lawrence: Twilight in Italy
  • D.H. Lawrence: Etruscan Places. Secker, London 1932

 

Novels:

  • Barry Unsworth: After Hannibal. Hamilton Ltd., London 1996
  • Frances Mayes: Bella Tuscany. The Sweet Life in Italy. Broadway Books, 1998
  • Michael Ondaatje: The English Patient. Knopf, New York 1992 (The novel partly takes place in the surroundings of Arezzo)

 

Enjoy your reading!