Umbria’s 10 best towns, and the most amazing things to do in each one


These are unusual times, and the state of affairs can change quickly. Please check the latest travel guidance before making your journey. Note that our writer visited pre-pandemic.

Travel experiences in Umbria are a combination of the cerebral and the sensual, from a plethora of art and architecture – sublime Renaissance paintings and glorious, honey-stoned churches and cathedrals – to excellent regional food and wine and the simple pleasures of wandering around medieval streets or through beautiful pastoral countryside. Better still, you can enjoy variations of these experiences in all of Umbria’s many historic towns – all have one or more superb restaurants, say, or a wonderful little art gallery – as well as finding individual events, such as Spoleto’s annual arts festival, which are among the most renowned of their kind in Italy and beyond.

Soak up medieval charm

Despite its small size, Montefalco offers a variety of amazing things to do and see: there are the views – the name means ‘Falcon’s Mount’; the local wine, such as the high-quality red Sagrantino di Montefalco, with vineyard visits an option; and the charm of its medieval centre where there are a handful of tiny lanes and a stage set of a main square, the Piazza del Comune.

Insider tip: Most visitors to Umbria see Assisi and its famous frescoes: fewer know that Montefalco has an artistic gem, the Museo Civico di San Francesco, with a sublime Renaissance fresco cycle on the Life of St Francis (1452) by Benozzo Gozzoli.

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