Bleisure in Umbria

Where can you discover unexpected delights in the middle of Italy? Umbria offers nearly everything people love about Italian holidays: great food and wine, unspoiled natural scenery, charming stone villages, world-class cultural heritage, and plenty of unforgettable experiences.

Enjoy Umbria’s traditional close-to-the-land cuisine and then get involved in food-related activities. Make memorable connections with locals by joining in activities such as watching truffle dogs unearth black diamonds, cruising on Lake Trasimeno on a fishing boat, learning to make Perugina Baci chocolates, making ricotta with a shepherd, or visiting an organic winery where the land is worked by a team of horses and weeded by a flock of geese.

With hundreds of kilometres of trails for hiking and cycling, Umbria’s verdant landscape is an unparalleled environment for slow, sustainable tourism, for people of all levels of fitness. Whether strolling through olive groves from one medieval village to another, or exploring a breath-taking regional park by mountain bike, getting out in nature is the perfect way to de-stress and recharge. Come quiet your inner voice and let the beautiful landscape draw your eyes off the screen.

Umbria abounds in picturesque villages, and no Italian region has more “borghi più belli d’Italia” (Italy’s most beautiful villages). These medieval towns, full of narrow streets and views over the valley below, usually offer something of particular interest; whether a lovely Renaissance fresco in the little church, a tiny jewel-box theatre still used for performances, or the entrance to a Roman aqueduct that you can walk through.

The capital city of Perugia is bursting with things to do and see, from the National Gallery of Umbria, with one of the richest art collections in Italy housed in a glorious Gothic palace, to important Etruscan sites, to small artisan shops, all in the lively atmosphere of a town with two universities. Assisi, just across the valley, is a beautifully preserved town in pink and white stone, home to the Basilica of St. Francis with its magnificent fresco cycle by Giotto (considered a turning point in art history). Gubbio is a rugged medieval town climbing a mountain slope; it is the perfect access point to Mount Cucco regional park (for hiking, hang gliding or spelunking). Orvieto stands on a bluff with sweeping views over the surroundings; the splendid façade of its cathedral and the dynamic sculptural-looking frescoes in the chapel are worth a detour, and the volcanic rock underneath the town is honeycombed with Etruscan and medieval chambers and passages.

Plan an unforgettable visit to Umbria. It’s off the beaten path but just around the corner, reached from Rome or Florence in about an hour. Come discover something special in the green heart of Italy.

Top 5 Bleisure experiences

  1. History: visit an abandoned Roman town, surrounded by meadows and forests, explore a hidden chamber used by the Inquisition, or walk above the polychrome mosaic floors of a Roman villa discovered by accident less than 20 years ago.
  2. Art: admire graceful masterpieces by the Renaissance master Perugino, in the towns where he lived and worked, or learn how art-glass windows are painstakingly hand-painted and assembled, in a workshop used by a family of artisans for 5 generations
  3. Outdoors: descend into the grotto of Mount Cucco, one of the most significant cave systems in Europe, take an exhilarating white-water rafting ride, or observe almost 200 different bird species at the WWF reserve.
  4. Food: collect wild greens and make them into a rustic torta in a cooking lesson with a grandmother, or visit an olive mill to taste bread grilled over a wood fire and drenched with fresh bright-green olive oil
  5. Wine: visit a vineyard enclosed by a Roman-era stone wall (was it dedicated to an ancient goddess who answered a mother’s prayers?) or tour a winery whose sparkling white wines rest in an Etruscan tomb carved into a hillside (it has the perfect year-round temperature).

Fun facts

Umbria features memorable experiences ranging from truffle hunting to river rafting. There are countless possibilities for team building experiences in unspoiled natural settings or in the region’s wineries and kitchens. Meals feature hearty traditional recipes using local products ranging from wine to oil, from truffles to chocolate. A mix of outdoor activities, food and wine to stimulate, recharge and relax you at the same time.

Host an especially unforgettable event in a Roman amphitheatre, a medieval castle or a former monastery – Umbria offers a wealth of accommodations in historic properties that preserve ancient charm and character while adding modern comfort and amenities (including facilities for golf, tennis, cycling and other activities).

For more info

1 of 10 Image Plains of Castelluccio. Photo by: Regione Umbria
2 of 10 Image Rafting on river Nera. Photo by: Regione Umbria
3 of 10 Image Piazza Duomo - Spoleto. Photo by: Regione Umbria
4 of 10 Image Marmore Falls - Terni. Photo by: Regione Umbria
5 of 10 Image Vineyards - Torgiano. Photo by: Regione Umbria
6 of 10 Image Piazza IV Novembre - Perugia. Photo by: Regione Umbria
7 of 10 Image View of the countryside from the Basilica of Saint Francis - Assisi. Photo by: Regione Umbria
8 of 10 Image Città di Castello. Photo by: Regione Umbria
9 of 10 Image Piazza della Signoria - Gubbio. Photo by: Regione Umbria
10 of 10 Image Lake Trasimeno. Photo by: Regione Umbria