When you arrive, you will find a booklet, which will tell you about wonderful local “must go to” markets, where to shop, eat, not eat etc. It is tempting to stay in the house and garden but we strongly recommend exploring at least some of the beautiful and historic towns in the area. You will enjoy and admire the colours, the scenery and the way of life. There really is plenty for people of all ages, from sports to museums and much more.

Our favourite days out with excellent lunch:

  • Cortona: Taverna Toscana (closed Tues.)
  • Perugia: La Taverna (above average). Best way to visit is on local train
  • San Sepolcro:
    • Da Beppino (Orfeo)
    • Piero della Francesca Museum – a must
    • Aboca Herb Museum  – a must
  • Bevagna/ Montefalco:  Alchemista
  • Torgiano/ Deruta:  Si.Ro
  • Monte Santa Maria Tiberina:  Oscari

Here are some other suggestions to go on with:

Trestina

There are regular weekly markets in Trestina (2 miles), Umbertide and Città di Castello (both only eight miles away). If you enjoy music, you can choose from the Umbria Jazz Festival to a host of classical concerts, often times in the hill villages and frequently at no charge.

Perugia

Take a train from Trestina station on the single-track line. It stops 10 times and takes an hour, but takes you to the centre of this historic town, and avoids parking difficulties. From here there is a great view of Assisi.

Assisi

The Basilica of St Francis is, after St Peter’s, probably the holiest Catholic place in Italy, and one of extraordinary beauty. Only 40 minutes from the house, you might combine the visit to Assisi with other places in the area such as Lake Trasimeno.

Montone

A beautiful hilltop town, about 20 minutes away, strongly recommended as the sun goes down.

Florence

2 hours. A good idea to book to see the Uffizi Museum.

Ravenna

2 hours north, but filled with sixth century mosaics in a most attractive town.

Monterchi

30 minutes towards Arezzo and home to Piero della Francesca’s famous pregnant Madonna. Free entry if you are pregnant!

Spello (50 mins), Montefalco, and Bevagna (60 mins) are all south and can be combined.
Gubbio is 40 mins, Arezzo 50 mins as is Cortona. Visit the Aboca Herb Museum in San Sepolcro (30 mins north east), Deruta for pottery or the Lungarotti cantina in Torgiano (40 mins)

SHOPS

Most shops open early, at around 8 am, closing mid-day between 1 and 4 pm and usually reopening until 8 pm.

Città di Castello has a vibrant market with some very good value clothes. The scarf man – you will always find something irresistible; Marcello who has last year designs greatly reduced; stalls with amazing value bed covers, tablecloths, jewellery, etc. Abundant local produce i.e parmesan, pecorino, prosciutto, porchetta and vegetables in season.

Some interesting factory outlets:

  • Etrusca (they make shirts for Harrods)
  • Busatti – fine linen made locally
  • Deruta – majolica, ceramics, terracotta.

Each nearby town has a market at least once a week.

SAGRAS (FESTIVALS)

You will find that it’s very hard not to find, or better yet, run into a festival in Umbria throughout the year:

  • May : Gubbio
  • June: Bevagna
  • June/July: Perugia (Umbria Jazz Festival) / Spoleto Festival / Sienna: Palio
  • July: San Secondo
  • August: Perugia
  • September: Cannara (onions) and San Leo (Mushrooms)
  • October, November: Chestnuts & Truffles