Elegant and infused with history, architecture and art, Perugia is a very well preserved medieval hill town with amazing views from various places as well as being very much a modern city with lots to see and do throughout the year. Corso Vanucci, the main street in the old town, is lined with shops and restaurants and leads to the grand Piazza IV Novembre, which is surrounded by the splendid Palazzo dei Priori and the San Lorenzo Cathedral.
Don't forget to buy some 'Baci' chocolates during your stay - they are made nearby in Perugia!
A beautiful pink-hued town which is famous for being the birthplace of St. Francis, the patron saint of Italy, of animals and of peace. The first thing you will see as you approach the town is the huge and imposing Basilica of San Francesco. You will also come across yet more stunning churches and palazzi in the town. Assisi is worth visiting either early in the day or late afternoon.
Umbria is home to many food festivals throughout the year. Some of the most interesting festivals, though, are the ones that attract mostly locals. A much-anticipated festival which usually takes place in October is the Eurochocolate festival which celebrates every chocolate! Taking place over the course of nine days, Perugia hosts a number of chocolate related activities including cooking lessons, exhibitions, tastings, awards and much more!
Città della Domenica
This animal and amusement park opened in 1963, and is still a favourite! Occupying 100 acres on a hillside overlooking Perugia, it is a lovely setting for a family day out. There is plenty of parkland to roam, or enjoy the views from the comfort of the little train. There are many animals to see, including kangaroos, ostriches, llamas, donkeys and many birds. In the farm area, children can get hands on and help to milk the cows! There are also themed areas to explore such as Pinocchio’s Village and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, a Medieval zone, a space shuttle and the Wild West. A programme of activities and shows runs each day. Other attractions include mini-karts, mini-boats, slides, a maze and inflatable play area.
Take a trip to Torgiano
Famed for its excellent wines, here you will find a museum dedicated to wine and olive oil which are both important products within the local area.
The next town on from Torgiano is Deruta, whose Ceramics Museum reflects its local industry. The specialty is 'majolica' pottery which is characterised by a colour scheme of verdigris, cobalt blue and orange. There is a local saying: "Go to Deruta to buy a pitcher and to Torgiano to fill it!".
Situated on the western edge of Umbria, Lake Trasimeno is Italy's fourth largest lake and its environs are a protected regional park covering 13,200 hectares, including the Oasi la Valle wetlands which are an important habitat for migratory birds. Here you will also find some good waterfront fish restaurants around the lake and eight public beaches.
Visit the villages and towns surrounding Lake Trasimeno
The villages and towns surrounding the lake all possess their own character and delights. Castiglione del Lago is the main town of the area, dating back to Etruscan times and classed as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Built on a small peninsula on the western shore, the old town is still completely surrounded by the original walls. The Palazzo della Corgna is a beautiful building, now the town hall, with a vast fresco inside. Linked to the Palazzo by a covered walkway, the Rocca del Leone fortress is a fine example of medieval military architecture, and in the 1500s it was considered to be one of the most difficult European castles to take by storm!
Various leisure activities are available around Lake Trasimeno. For water sport enthusiasts, there are sailing schools, windsurfing, waterskiing and wakeboarding. Or if you prefer dry land, the area is ideal for cycling, with a designated 'Lake Trasimeno cycle trail' between Castiglione and Torricella.
Boat hire and boat trips
Motor boats can be hired on Lake Trasimeno if you like to be your own skipper. Or join an organised boat trip to the islands in the middle of the lake - the quayside in Passignano is the best place to go from.
Tee off at the Golf Course
For keen golfers, the Lamborghini 9 hole course is situated on the southern side of Lake Trasimeno, close to Panicarola, near Panicale.
If you feel like being pampered
...why not book a treatment or relaxation day at the Borgobrufa Spa Resort, in Brufa di Torgiano. It has indoor and outdoor pools, a sauna and a steam room; massages and other treatments are available.
Gubbio is one of those undiscovered gems - a town that has managed to avoid being on the tourist trail but that is definitely worth visiting. It is described as an enchanting medieval jewel where the old streets seem to march up the steep slopes of the tree-clad mountain slopes. From here, you can take the cable car from the east side of the town to the top of Monte Ingino to visit the Basilica di Sant'Ubaldo, and for some wonderful views over the Apennines.
Monte Subasio National Park
Assisi sits within this National Park, a landscape of valley pastures and wooded hillsides with abundant flora and fauna. Here you can enjoy various walks in the park, or you could take the car to the summit of Monte Subasio for an unforgettable view.
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