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Move over Rome and Venice, Umbria – the green heart of Italy – is offering tourists an authentic Italian experience without the bustling crowds!

Cascading green hills, speckled meadows and luscious warm sun await you on your Umbria villa holidays, and with a colourful and equally fascinating history and culture, you’ll be left captivated and head over heels in love with this glorious region.

The only region in Italy that does not border either coastline or another country, the green heart offers an authentic Italian experience that has not been diluted by globalisation.

For travelers who have visited Italy in the past and already ticked the more renowned destinations off their bucketlist, you may want to consider visiting the beautiful region of Umbria for your next trip. You’ll be pleasantly surprised just how much the smallest region in Italy can offer you!

Why Umbria is the Italian Destination for Experienced Nomads

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History

For many nomads, the main aim of travel is to soak in as much variation of cultures as possible and Umbria has culture and history in bucket loads!

One destination which may fascinate experienced travelers is Assisi. This saintly town calls to those who are fascinated by outstanding architecture with the picturesque, white-stone town sparkling in the soft glow of dusk.

The town itself is the prime destination for many pilgrims, who venture here to feel the spirit of important saint, St Francis of Assisi, who was born in this stunning town in 1181.

Landscapes

Although not surrounded by any coastline, Umbria boasts Italy’s fourth largest lake, Lake Trasimeno, close to the border of Tuscany.

The icy blue 128 sq. km lake is set in the hilly landscape, dotted with olive groves, vines, oak woods, sunflower fields and medieval towns makes for a fantastic view, a great place to take some breath-taking photos or take a dip.

You can also take a relaxing 20-minute boat trip from Passignano over to Isola Maggiore to witness intricate lace being made.

Lake Trasimeno

Lake Trasimeno

Falls of Marmore

The cascading waters of the falls of Marmore is Italy’s highest waterfall. Nestled in the natural landscape, this contrast of man-made and natural elements feel almost surreal.

The waterfall was created by the Romans, when the Velino river became enlarged and its then stagnant waters had become an unhealthy swamp. A canal was created to direct the waters to the Marmore cliffs to create the magnificent waterfall that now resides there (with no more swampy waters!).

Whilst Umbria’s luscious green hills make a great place for hikers or bikers or horse riders, as the terrain is perfectly suited for all these activities. Alternatively, the grounds and climate of Umbria make it the perfect place for vineyards which cover much of the region.

Umbria landscape

Delicacies

Like most of Italy, Umbria is known for its delicacies, from delicious food offerings to the rich, full-flavoured wines. For wine lovers Umbria is an absolute haven. With a Mediterranean climate, ideal for grape growth the Umbrian wine industry is now starting to boom.

The history of Umbria’s winemaking can be traced to the time of the Benedictine monks who first created vineyards in the clay and sandy soil that covers much of the region.

Perugia offers the best of the regions red wines, with Sagrantino black grapes that are native to the region, creating a full-bodied drink. Whilst Orvieto create a peachy and crisp white wine, of the same name, that accounts for nearly 80% of the DOC wines made in the region and exported worldwide.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: Lake Trasimeno by Chris Ford.

    26 Comments

  1. I was in Umbria about 4 years ago and there really is so much to see especially with the smaller hilltop cities like Perugia, Assisi, too many to name – it really is one of my favorite areas in Italy

    • Glad to hear you’re also a big fan Noel! It quickly became my favorite region in Italy too :)

  2. Every inch of Italy is so fabulous, we covered a lot in two trips, but still seems to be so much left unexplored. Umbria is scheduled for the third :)

    • Agreed! Definitely one of those countries which demands multiple trips back! Hope you enjoy Umbria on your return :)

  3. Wow! Italy has so many different spots to discover! Umbria is one of them! It looks pretty amazing!

    • Absolutely – there’s so much within the region to discover and explore :) Hope you have the chance to visit Umbria soon!

  4. There seem to be many offbeat destinations in Italy apart from the popular tourist destinations. With such amazing destinations, I m getting tempted to plan my trip to Italy real soon.

    • Italy is one of our favorite countries, and yes, there are so many amazing destinations off the regular tourist trail which are also very easy to explore.

      Highly recommend booking a trip – it’ll be the best thing you do :D!! Happy travels Sindhu :)

  5. We must be the only people in the world who are not in love with Italy sure we like the ancient buildings and historry but other than that plenty of other places to visit first.Mind you the food and wine from the umbria region does look amazing

    • As with everything in life, whether your gel with a destination or not will always be a personal thing :) But maybe you could give Italy another chance and visit Umbria this time! :D

  6. I never need a reason to visit Italy but these are some great ones. Food and wine… yummm

    • It’s one of those countries right :D!

  7. I’ve only traveled to Rome and Naples, so I would love to go back to Italy. Umbria sounds lovely, especially since it’s more of an authentic experience. Hopefully I can make it there before it gets too crowded.

    • Umbria is a fantastic destination if you’re looking for more of an authentic experience in the countryside. Destinations like Rome and Naples are awesome too, and they’re places every tourist should visit, but it’s nice to explore the real Italy without the mass tourism following you :)

  8. Italy is one of the most beautiful countries so I’m not surprised that Umbria is so breath-taking! Sometimes all you need is good food and wine to make a vacation great and Umbria seems to deliver on both!

    • Umbria definitely delivers on great food and wine. And then throws in a spectacular country landscape to boot :D

  9. Umbria isn’t really part of my list but now you make me want to reconsider it. I am a wine lover and it looks like it’s an interesting place to visit as well. I shall keep this in mind.

    • Glad we could introduce you – hopefully you’ll find yourself with the opportunity to visit at some point in 2017 :)

  10. I’ve never been to Italy, not even close. However, Italy is a place on top of my list. I have 3 good friends from Italy and I have a bet with them. That when they visit India, I’ll visit their birth place. Let’s see when my dream to visit Italy come true? Whenever I visit Umbria will be on top of the list because we don’t love crowds.

    • Glad to hear Italy is at the top of your list Vishal … really is a beautiful destination, and you have the perfect excuse to visit if you have friends there! :D

      Umbria is a great destination if you’re looking to avoid the crowds :)

  11. Hi Megan, Lovely blog!
    Would you rate any of these Italian islands as visit worthy? – https://goo.gl/eEtTkn

    • Thanks Shefali!

      Of the islands you listed, we’ve taken in Sicily and Capri and can recommend both – Capri is great as a day trip from somewhere like Naples. Sicily though you’ll want to spend proper time, we have a post here if you’re looking for a quick guide: https://www.mappingmegan.com/5-reasons-visit-sicily/

      Happy travels!

  12. Umbria is on my travel list for a while now because I want to see the Lake Trasimeno :) Glad to see there are many other reasons I should visit it!

    • Hope you have the chance to travel soon! :)

  13. Great post. I visited Umbria a couple of years ago – so beautiful and not so many tourists (we didn’t visit Assisi but plan to go back one day!)

    • Thanks Dylan! Isn’t is a fabulous region! If you do have the chance to head back, definitely take in Assisi :)

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