Take a look at Todi
Todi was once voted the ‘città ideale’ or the most perfect place to live by a group of American researchers, it is not hard to see why: perched overlooking the Tiber valley, it is a charming place where a sense of history is retained, indeed there is Etruscan, Roman and medieval heritage here. Todi is home to two of Umbria’s finest churches and a quite splendid medieval central square - bustling both daytime and evening. Narrow streets lined with shops, cafés and restaurants lead off the square.
Enjoy a lazy day on the terrace
Relax on one of the terraces with a glass of wine or a fresh orange juice. Catch up on all the books you have been meaning to read, or just enjoy the view and soak up the rays.
Go shopping in Deruta for its famous 'majolica' ceramics - blue, orange and yellow are the predominant colours used - perhaps to reflect the colours of the summer sky and sun.
Activities on and around the Nera river
The Parco Fluviale del Nera is a nature reserve located to the southeast of Terni, and centred around the Nera river. Wildlife abounds in this protected area and there is plenty of opportunity for long walks or mountain bike rides. If you enjoy getting on the water, canoeing and white water rafting are on offer on the Nera, or 'black river'. Feeding into the Nera, the Cascade Marmore are the highest falls in Europe at 165 metres in total. The terrain in this area makes it perfect for rock climbing.
Scenic drives in Umbria
The tourist offices can suggest various drives around Umbria based on different themes e.g. Art Trails, Wine, Life around the Lake. Choose one that appeals and discover Umbria at your own pace.
If you like Jazz....
...go to Perugia in July for its world famous Umbrian Jazz Festival. Performers come from all over the world, and concerts take place day and night.
The weekly open-air market is part of Italian life. Stalls laden with produce, scents and smells filling the air, and a crowd of Italians - finish the morning's shopping with a coffee in a bar. Todi holds its market on a Saturday morning, Marsciano and Montefalco on a Monday morning.
One of the most ancient Umbrian towns, Amelia is enveloped by impressive polygonal walls dating from the 4th century and, underground, the network of wells built by the Romans can still be visited today. Among the town's cultural offerings are the local archaeological museum and picture gallery which are in the same building in Piazza Vera. The former has some excellent finds whilst the latter makes a morning here well worth the visit. The rest of the sights are predominantly medieval, several striking Palazzi and the heavily reconstructed cathedral which has frescoes by Luigi Fontana.
There is also plenty to see in Perugia. The Galleria Nazionale Umbria houses one of the great picture collections of central Italy. The works of Perugino and Piero are certainly highlights but much of central Italian painting from the 14th to the 17th centuries are well-represented including works by Gozzoli, Duccio, Gentile da Fabriano and Pinturicchio. There are many superb churches in Perugia so a full day out awaits!
Between Orvieto and Todi lies Lake Corbara, created in the 1960s when a dam was built on the River Tiber. It has developed into a fascinating ecosystem that is now protected as the Tiber River Park, and provides a number of quality facilities for visitors with an eye to preserving the environment. Activities on the lake include fishing, canoeing or hiring a row boat.
Spoleto is larger than Todi and has become well known for its 'Festival dei Due Mondi', which translates as 'Festival of the Two Worlds'. For two weeks every July, the town plays centre stage to an eclectic mix of music, theatre, dance, poetry and more. Some events need to be pre-booked, others you can just turn up to.
Day trip to the Eternal City
Rome, a city which needs no introduction, is within reach for a day trip, although a day only really scratches the surface of all there is to see. The many highlights include: The Forum and Palantine Hill, St Peter's Square, the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. It is wonderful to just wander around and take in vibrant modern day atmosphere as well as the historical riches, and when your feet inevitably need a rest it is time to stop for homemade gelato!
If you love chocolate...
visit Perugia's Perugina factory, where the famous 'Baci' chocolates are produced. Learn about the history of chocolate, tour the factory and watch it being made. You're in luck if you're visiting in October, when the Chocolate Festival takes place!
This underground excavation lies directly under the Church of San Domenico, and was discovered in 1979. You can take a tour lasting one and a half hours in Italian or English that guides you through the local history with a look into Roman plumbing and even an underground Roman church with surviving frescoes.
Another underground attraction! If visiting Orte, why not take an underground tour of the waterways below the town, built in the Etruscan period and perfected by the Romans. Definitely recommended if you have an adventurous archeological side in you!
Have you visited Villa Due Santi?
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