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. Before you leave, don't forget to buy some 'Baci' chocolates which are made in Perugia!
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.
Various leisure activities are available around Lake Trasimeno. For water sport enthusiasts, there are sailing schools, windsurfing and waterskiing. Some may prefer the prospect of a boat trip out to the islands in the middle of the lake - the quayside in Passignano is the best place to go from. Or if you prefer dry land, the area is ideal for cycling, with a designated 'Lake Trasimeno cycle trail' between Castiglione and Torricella.
Sample the Local Wine and Olive Oil
Vineyards and olive groves sweep up to this medieval walled town on a hilltop perch overlooking the confluence of the Chiascio and Tiber rivers. Torgiano has an irresistible draw for gastronomes, renowned for its thick, green extra-virgin olive oil and spicy, peppery red wines, such as Rubesco Rosso DOC, produced with 70% Sangiovese grapes. You will find a museum here dedicated to the wine and olive oil, both important products in the local area.
Take a Look at Gubbio
Gubbio is one of those undiscovered gems that is definitely worth visiting. It has been described as an enchanting medieval jewel where the old streets seem to march up the steep slopes of the tree-clad mountain slopes. Gubbio's compact centre has a good selection of medieval, Gothic, and Renaissance monuments built of gray limestone and has great views over the beautiful countryside. Just outside the town is a Roman amphitheatre.
Sniff out some truffles!
The rich soils of the Umbrian forests provide the home for truffles or “edible gold” as they are sometimes known. Truffles have a strong pungent flavour, sometimes considered an acquired taste but certainly worth trying in pasta dishes and on meat.
Indulge in some Chocolate
In 2000, Giordano opened his own chocolate shop “Augusta Perusia Cioccolato e Gelateria” in Perugia, creating mouth-watering morsels from old traditional Perugian recipes. The charming and elegant glass display cases highlight the quality of ingredients and skill that has gone into the making of these delicacies.
Celebrate the Night of the Shooting Stars
Visit Montefalco on the 10th of August for the 'Calci di Stelle', the night of the Shooting Stars. You will be able to sample local wines and food during the evening while watching the sky for shooting stars.
Meander Through the Market
Travel north to Arezzo, the host of the largest antique market in Tuscany. The fair takes advantage of the extraordinary scenery of Piazza San Francesco, Piazza Grande and the Logge del Vasari. The stalls spread over the side alleys and squares across the historic centre, transforming the character of the city for the two days of the Antique Market.
Take the train to Rome or Florence
Leave your car at the station in Camucia (the town below Cortona). Trains are fast (about an hour to Florence) and frequent. Great views over the Tuscan countryside and you avoid the nightmare of city driving (and parking!).
Have you visited Casale Fonte Sant'Angelo?
Click here to suggest a Great Thing you've done nearby ...