Luxury Umbria holidays
Olive groves and vineyards, forests and flowers – there’s much to love about the abundant natural beauty of Umbria, and plenty of walking trails to help you explore it. The two most high-profile towns, Assisi and Perugia, have spiritual and cultural gravitas in equal measures, the former the erstwhile home of St Francis, who built his famous monastery there. And after a day of contemplation, in churches, galleries, museums and nature, the ‘green heart of Italy’ will reward you with a generous feast and a glass or two of its famous wine.
From smoothly rounded cypress-covered hills to lush valleys, through the Tiber’s central basin to the rugged Mont Sibillini along its eastern edge, Umbria abounds with natural beauty, much of it uninhabited. This ‘green heart of Italy’ boasts olive groves and vineyards, chestnut forests and fields of flowers. And for moments of peaceful contemplation, there are hiking trails and pilgrims’ tracks to guide you. As Umbria is Italy’s only province with neither coast nor foreign border, the region also has a well-developed sense of history, community and belonging – but visitors are warmly welcomed into the fold to enjoy convivial meals with local wine flowing.
Made for roaming
There are many easy walking trails woven into the gently rolling landscape, around reed-fringed Lake Trasimeno or into the woods of Monteluco. For more of a challenge, there are mountain hikes, including those through the Monte Subasio nature reserve, and a series of long-distance cycling routes too. St Francis of Assisi, St Clare, St Benedict of Norcia – and millions since – have made Umbria a place of pilgrimage and you can follow in the footsteps of Italy’s famous patron saint along way-marked routes for all levels of fitness. While spiritual enlightenment may (or may not) be forthcoming, everyone can relish the mystical quality of Umbria’s late-afternoon sunshine.