Umbria: A Hidden Gem for Your Next Trip to Itay

by Christopher Atwood


Where should you go on your next trip to Italy?

You’ve ambled Amalfi.

You’ve feasted in Florence.

You’ve roved through Rome.

One of Italy's most delicious hidden gems is Umbria. Located just 90 minutes from Rome, Umbria feels like you’re stepping back in time. Driving the countryside here, you’ll see medieval hamlets and stone castles rising above the horizon. It's the perfect place to uncover on your second or third trip to Italy.

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As one of Italy’s few landlocked region, Umbria brims with wooded glens and winery-draped hillsides. Visiting Italy in the fall, you'll glimpse the vineyards here shifting from green to bright red — signaling the annual grape harvest. On Umbria’s many farms, you can meet the sheep whose milk makes cheeses like pecorino umbro or ricotta salata. 

Are you hungry for a second helping of Italy? Below you’ll find four activities you can enjoy when you visit Italy's Umbria region:

View 'Undiscovered Umbria' Trip

CHOCOLATE TASTING - PERUGIA

Perugia chocolate

Sweet lovers from across the globe flock to the hilltop Perugia for the annual EurochocolateFestival. But, sugar fiends in-the-know skip the festival’s long lines — visiting the town before or after the cocoa-fueled festivities. Perugia’s stone streets are home to both boutique chocolatiers and the world-famous Perugina chocolate company. With a local guide, travelers can go behind-the-scenes at family-run chocolate shops — observing how cocoa beans are transformed into that most decadent of dolci.

SALAMI & CHEESE MAKING (NORCIA)

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Not far from Perugia, you will find the quaint countryside of Norcia. This area is famed throughout Italy and the world for its porky products — including salami, copa, prosciutto, and capocollo. While some are cured using nothing but salt and air, others are seasoned with local wine or pine juniper berries. Italians rarely eat salami on its own, preferring to pair it with a cheese. Food-loving travelers can spend the day farm-hopping in Umbria, enjoying a tasting of pecorino here and a nibble of prosciutto there — served, naturally, with a glass or two of local wine.

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Outside of Umbria’s towns grows one of the region’s most prized foods — the black truffle. Aided by specially-trained dogs, able to sniff out underground truffles, you can hunt this famed fungus in Umbria’s woods. After a brisk walk in the forest, you return to our guide’s rustic farm — with a bounty of truffles in tow. Once at the farm, you’ll make pasta by hand with the truffle hunter’s 80-year-old wife. Your sauce? You guessed it: freshly shaved truffles.

WINE, WINE, WINE

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Grapes have been grown in Umbria since Roman times. Driving from town to town here, you’ll pass some of the most scenic wine country in Italy — dotted with hilltop towns and rolling vineyards. While the tannin-rich reds are largely made with Sangiovese grape, the whites from the Orvieto area are fruity-but-dry. Less well known to tourists than Tuscany, Umbria boasts countless family-operated wineries. In fact, you can enjoy tastings in Umbria’s private cellars — hearing about the history of wine production in this region from the vineyard owners themselves!

Want to uncover the Italy beyond the postcards?  Click below to download our sample UMBRIA itinerary:

View 'Undiscovered Umbria' Trip

 
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