Which Umbrian towns are worth visiting? With this guide, I will take you to discover the best towns in Umbria, real pearls of Central Italy!
Umbria, located in the heart of Central Italy, is a region that is well known above all for its landscapes and uncontaminated nature. Thanks to its position, in fact, it has a variegated territory with mountains, hills and lakes that make it one of the most popular destinations for travellers.
In addition to the natural aspect, the region is rich in history, traditions, food and wine, which are reflected in the fantastic Umbrian towns of Etruscan and medieval origin.
If you’re looking for fantastic holidays among history, art and nature, this region is for you! Enjoy the most beautiful cities in Umbria with a trip lasting several days or even just a trip out of town or a weekend.
Visit Umbria: a walk in Central Italy
Don’t know which Umbrian towns are worth visiting? You must know that this region is famous for its breathtaking landscapes and fantastic Umbrian hill towns surrounded by greenery, that you should visit at least once in your life!
Did you know that 28 towns in Umbria are included in the list of the most beautiful villages in Italy? Here is a selection of the most beautiful villages to visit.
The best towns in Umbria: charming Umbrian towns in contact with nature
I will now present you with a selection of villages, each with its own Umbria tourist attractions and curiosities, in the hope that it will convince you to set out for these wonderful lands!
The first of the Umbrian towns I am going to introduce you to is called Corciano and is located a few kilometres from Perugia. With its buildings made of limestone and travertine and with a decidedly medieval imprint, it is a real jewel of Central Italy. Inside the walls and therefore the historic centre, you can enter through Porta Santa Maria on the south side or through Porta San Francesco on the north side.
The most important buildings in the village are the Town Hall, the Church of Santa Maria Assunta and the Palaeontological Museum. For nature lovers, outside the walls, there is the Almond Tree Trail (Sentiero dei Mandorli), a path immersed in nature with a view of Lake Trasimeno. Not to be missed!
Which cities in Umbria should I visit? If you are planning to visit some of the best towns in Umbria, then the next one is not to be missed! Bevagna, in ancient times “Mevania”, is a village in the province of Perugia that perfectly preserves its medieval style.
The heart of the town is Piazza Silvestri, with a 19th-century fountain and a Roman column in the centre, making it one of the most beautiful squares in Italy. The visit can continue with the twelfth-century Church of San Michele and the Church of Santa Margherita with its adjoining monastery.
If you are in Bevagna in the month of June, you will have the opportunity to rediscover the old crafts of the village in very interesting guided tours.
Gubbio, described as a “sublime monotony” due to its repetitive architecture, is one of Umbria’s oldest towns. The main point of this town is Piazza Grande, a suspended square supported by arches that can be seen from the lower part of Gubbio. On either side of the square stand Palazzo dei Consoli and Palazzo Pretorio, but don’t forget to visit the two Churches of San Francesco, a real feather in the cap of this town.
A very suggestive experience is the cable car that takes you to the Basilica of Sant’Ubaldo and allows you to look at Gubbio from above.
With an enviable artistic and cultural offer, Spoleto is one of the most beautiful art cities in Italy. The town retains its medieval structure but without forgetting the Roman remains, such as the Arch of Drusus and Germanicus or the important Roman Theatre.
The symbolic monument of Spoleto is the Cathedral, dating from the 12th century, with some magnificent works by Pinturicchio and Filippo Lippi inside. Across the Ponte delle Torri, an ancient aqueduct, you can reach the sacred wood of Monteluco, a paradise of uncontaminated nature where you can see Villa Redenta, built on the remains of a Roman villa.
If you are wondering which Umbrian towns are worth visiting, Assisi is one of them. Known worldwide, it is one of the most beautiful towns in Umbria and beyond. The city is famous for having welcomed St Francis and St Clare to its lands. But, in addition to the religious aspect, Assisi also offers much from an artistic and cultural point of view.
The Church of San Francesco is the town’s symbolic monument with its architecture and fantastic works by Cimabue, Giotto, Lorenzetti and Martini. In this church, there is a crypt containing the remains of the Saint. The figure of St. Francis is also linked to another church, the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Porziuncola, where he composed the famous “Canticle of the Creatures”.
The Basilica of Saint Clare is an artistic masterpiece housing the remains of the Saint. Other monuments to see in Assisi are the Temple of Minerva, Piazza del Comune and the majestic Rocca Maggiore.
This tiny village in Umbria is lesser known but no less beautiful. Perched on a hill, Todi is a small paradise thanks to its landscapes and fantastic alleys. Don’t miss the Church of San Fortunato and Piazza Garibaldi, from which you can admire a breathtaking view!
Montefalco, called the “railing of Umbria” because of its beautiful location, is an Umbrian village famous for its wine and extra virgin olive oil. In this small town you can’t miss the Church of San Francesco built by the monks in the 14th century and the Palazzo Comunale, with its bell tower.
One of the towns in Umbria you should absolutely visit is Bettona, of Etruscan origin and immersed in a large green area. Thanks to its position, it offers a remarkable view over Perugia, Spello and Assisi.
The historical centre is an open-air museum with its fantastic monuments such as the Church of San Crispolto, patron saint of the town, or the Collegiata di Santa Maria Maggiore, with frescoes by Gerardo Dottori. Also not to be missed is the 14th-century Palazzetto del Podestà, which houses the municipal art gallery.
Located within the Monti Sibillini National Park, this town is certainly known for its wide range of food and wine as well as its historical and cultural heritage. On the main square, there are some of the most important monuments such as the Basilica di San Benedetto, built on Roman remains from the 1st century, and the Tempietto, the best preserved historical building in Norcia.
You will find in Umbria towns… And more! If you love nature, just a few kilometres away from the village you will find the Piani di Castelluccio, a large karst basin where beautiful alpine species bloom in spring.
Another of the most beautiful towns in Umbria is Panicale, located on a hill a few kilometres from Tuscany. From its summit it is possible to observe Nestore river and the plain of Lake Trasimeno.
Its structure is reminiscent of an ancient medieval castle and during the walk through its alleys you will feel like reliving moments of a past life. Worth visiting are the Collegiate Church of San Michele Arcangelo and the Palazzo del Podestà.
Castiglione del Lago
Situated on a promontory near Lake Trasimeno, which in the past was the fourth island of the lake, this town looks like a real postcard of Umbria.
Castiglione’s landmark building is the Rocca del Leone, but don’t forget the Church of San Domenico and Palazzo della Corgna, the only “royal palace” in Umbria. In the lake area, in addition to the many different beaches, you can go walking, cycling, hiking or sailing.
Spello is one of the Umbrian towns that should be visited at least once in a lifetime. In its alleys you can see the Roman, Lombard and papal influence. Here you can find the best preserved Roman fortified walls in Italy with the three entrance gates (Consolare, Venere and Urbica) and the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore with the Baglioni Chapel, offering a series of magnificent frescoes by Pinturicchio. Not to be missed is the Villa dei Mosaici, a 500-metre mosaic-paved area!
There are many towns in Umbria and Orvieto is definitely one of those to visit. Situated on top of a tuff cliff, this city is a wonder of Central Italy.
If you find yourself in this area, you can’t miss the magnificent Duomo, a masterpiece of Gothic art with a fantastic rose window on the external façade. Inside you will also find the Chapel of San Brizio and the Chapel of the Corporal.
Also worth visiting are St Patrick’s Well and the underground city!
Acquasparta is a small town in Central Italy that still retains its medieval character with a city wall, some turrets and the “Porta Vecchia”.
Palazzo Cesi dominates the town thanks to its imposing size. Moving outside the walls, you can visit the Church of San Francesco and the Madonna del Giglio, two very evocative and beautiful churches.
For nature lovers, just outside the city, there are the Amerino Springs with their well-known therapeutic properties. According to legend, they were created by St Francis in 1200.
This town is immersed in the green among wide valleys, important thermal springs and ancient ruins.
Inside the village, you enter through the majestic Porta Romana which leads to Piazza di San Francesco with the church of the same name. On the other hand, the Church of Santo Stefano is a small ancient church with mosaics dating back to the 1st century. Two other interesting Umbria attractions are the Palazzo Pretorio with the adjoining Torre Esperia.
Campello sul Clitunno
Campello sul Clitunno is one of the smallest Umbrian towns to visit. Enclosed within its mighty walls, it still retains its medieval character.
Famous for its extra virgin olive oil and natural springs, it is a small town in Central Italy. The symbolic monument is undoubtedly the Tempietto del Clitunno, a UNESCO heritage site, but the Church of the Madonna della Bianca is also worth a visit.
Città della Pieve
Birthplace of “Perugino”, Raphael’s master, this small village is located a few kilometres away from Tuscany. From a distance you will immediately notice the imposing Rocca, but don’t forget to visit the marvellous Church of Santa Maria dei Bianchi with one of Perugino’s masterpieces, the “Adoration of the Magi”.
Montone is a small Umbrian town with a typical medieval appearance, with its walls and three gates that make up the entrance. Strolling through the town’s alleyways, you can see the Rocca d’Aries and the Gothic-style Church of San Francesco.
Built in 300 B.C. by the Romans, Narni has retained its original features with influences from the medieval period. If you plan to visit this town, you should definitely see the Rocca Albornoz and Piazza Garibaldi, but I also recommend the fantastic experience of underground Narni!
Passignano sul Trasimeno
Passignano sul Trasimeno is the main town among the several characteristic villages situated on Lake Trasimeno. The scene is immediately taken by the imposing medieval Rocca di Passignano, from whose tower you can enjoy a breathtaking view over the lake and its two islands.
Isola Maggiore and Isola Polvese can be easily visited thanks to the many trips and excursions that are organised. Don’t miss this wonder of Umbria!
Trevi is a small village in the province of Perugia between Mount Brunette and Mount Serano. The town is famous for its extra virgin olive oil, which is produced thanks to favourable soil conditions. The landmarks of this town are the Cathedral of Sant’Emiliano and the defensive Tower of Matigge, not forgetting the fabulous path of the medieval aqueduct surrounded by nature.
Crossed by the Tiber, this town is another example of Umbrian medieval architecture. To be visited aimlessly along its charming alleys, Umbertide will give you a day of history, art and nature that you will hardly forget. Don’t forget to visit its majestic Rocca!
Deruta is a beautiful village famous for its ceramics and artistic production. On the walls of the city there are wonderful paintings, not to mention those in the Regional Museum of Ceramics. If you love sport and outdoor activities, you can go trekking, canoeing or cycling here.
Between the Umbrian and Tiber valleys lies this small village. Certainly of medieval importance, it is one of the many wonders of our country. The building that best represents this town is the Rocca dei Borgia, with its triangular plan and considerable historical importance.
We conclude our tour of the best towns in Umbria with this small cities in the province of Perugia. Of medieval origin, it is known throughout the world for its olive oil and wine production, as evidenced by the two important museums. Other significant buildings include the Baglioni Tower and the Church of Santa Maria del Castello.
Umbria towns: what to do in the most beautiful places to visit in Umbria
When it comes to towns Umbria offers many interesting activities. As I have already mentioned, there are many things to do in this amazing region.
In addition to wonderful walks through the alleyways of Umbrian towns, surrounded by history and nature, with which to enjoy views and monuments, you have the opportunity to visit many historical and artistic museums, as well as wine and food shops.
For outdoor enthusiasts, there is no shortage of trekking, cycling or horse riding routes, as well as food and wine excursions such as truffle hunting. Don’t forget that you can also take wonderful food and wine tastings or regional cookery courses to learn some of the secrets of Umbrian recipes.
Umbrian cities to visit: food and wine & festivities
Umbria’s food and wine offer is remarkable. Norcia and Spoleto are home to the black truffle, considered one of the most prized at world level. Umbria is also home to the prized white truffle and other minor types.
There is no shortage of polenta and different types of pasta such as strangozzi or umbricelli, which can be served with various sauces. Hare with lard, truffled lamb and the famous porchetta (roast suckling pig) are also worth trying. Desserts include “torcolo” or the “rocciata di Assisi”.
Finally, Umbria also offers a lot in terms of extra virgin olive oil and wine, as the famous “Strada del Sagrantino” wine route demonstrates. A real gem to discover some of Italy’s finest red wines.
From the point of view of events and festivities, we cannot fail to mention the “Corsa all’Anello” in Narni, the “Festa e Corsa dei Ceri” in Gubbio and the “infiorate” in Spello. The Eurochocolate in Perugia is also very famous.
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