Towns, sights, art and culture in Umbria
Agriturismo Villa La Rogaia
Assisi, Perugia, Citta di Castello
The cities and hill towns of Umbria are landmarks of European culture. Towns such as Perugia, Assisi, Panicale or Citta di Castello offer the flair of the Italian way of life, sightseeing and cultural highlights from the Etruscans to the Arte povera, from the renaissance painter Piero della Francesca to the contemporary art of Alberto Burri.
Sights in Umbria
Assisi is the spiritual capitol of Umbria and a must on an Umbria itinerary. Its perfect medieval architecture takes us for a travel in time to spiritual and religious life in the middle ages. The Basilica San Francesco with its touching frescoes by Giotto and its solemn and dark crypta surely are a mystic place.
The town itself was completely reconstructed after the devastating earthquake in 1997 and has come back to a new life. You should visit Assisi in autumn, winter or spring when the masses of pilgrims and tourists from all over the world have ceased. Grasp the spirit of this very special place walking through the ancient oak and chestnut woods to St. Francis’ hermitage on the slopes of Monte Subasio.
Perugia really comes to life on summer evenings, with shops open until 10 p.m., art markets in the streets and dinner al fresco at tables set outside the many restaurants. The main event is Umbria Jazz Festival in July attracting many international acts - past tars have included Stan Getz, Gil Evans and Wynton Marsalis. The streets ring with the sounds of marching bands from New Orleans and the main piazzas become stages for free concerts. But also at other times of the year you will certainly not be stuck for entertainment in Perugia: Visit the duomo and national gallery with art from Etruscan to modern, be tempted by the famous Baci (kiss) chocolates by Perugino chocolate factory or just watch the Perugians in this young and lively university town.
Panicale is a quaint little hill town with a spectacular view of Trasimeno Lake and a marvelous frescoe by Perugino, the divine Umbrian painter. Make sure you get to see the theatre, one of the smallest in the world . It was built in the 19th century by some noblemen to fight the boredom of a life in the province, a problem you are not very likely to suffer from when travelling in Umbria!
Citta di Castello
Citta di Castello is the birthplace of contemporary artist Alberto Burri, member of the Arte Povera (poor art) movement. See his impressive megasized paintings and installations that need the space of an old tobacco factory (Ex Seccatoi Tabacchi). A little to the north in the Alta Valle Tevere (upper Tiber valley), you will find more works by Piero della Francesca: at San Sepolcro his impressive Resurrection and at Monterchi his pregnant Madonna del Parto.
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 sightseeing in towns and cities of Umbria and Tuscany please check our link pages or travel guides.
These pages with tips for your vacation in Umbria and Tuscany are being updated regularly. Come back to see what’s new !