Because Umbria is the only Italian region that does not touch another country or the sea, it is referred to as the "Green Heart of Italy."  While less famous than its western neighbor, Tuscany, it features just as many beautiful hill towns, fantastic rustic yet refined food, pilgrimage sights, and quality wine (such as Sagrantino, its answer to Tuscany's Brunello).'s excellent description refers to Umbria as "Tuscany without the crowds."


A university town and capital of Umbria, Perugia is also famous for its annual Eurochocolate and Umbria Jazz festivals.

Places to Eat

Towns near Perugia


A beautiful, relatively large hill town that is conveniently located right on the highway and railway lines, Orvieto has wonderful history and sights, including its medieval duomo (cathedral), which has an amazing façade and some cool frescos inside.  Great for a quick weekend trip from Napoli or as a stopping point on your way to/from destinations further north.  See Rick Steve's Orvieto page and tv clip for a taste of what you'll see.


Perched in the foothills of Mount Subasio, Assisi's medieval lanes glow in pink sandstone.  Now a pilgrimage site, thousands flock here to walk in the steps of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Claire (of the Poor Claire religious order).  Even if you're not religious, it is truly something to see its enormous churches and experience a peaceful serenity that is preserved even though it is swarming with tourists from around the world.  Also, late at night, or if you dart a street or two off the main roads, you have this too-beautiful-to-be-true town to yourself. 

Places to Eat

Towns near Assisi

Nocera Umbra

Hill town 33 km/34 min E of Assisi, on other side of Mount Subasio, which has a cool medieval core


Popular hill town with a medieval core, beautiful views, much of the same pink sandstone as Assisi, and a famous "infiorate" festival on the Feast of Corpus Cristi when they decorate the streets with flowers, 12 km/16 min drive S of Assisi


Home of famous Sagrantino wine and its more approachable/less aged cousin Rosso di Montefalco, a nice but small medieval town, 37 km/36 min S of Assisi


One of the few towns nearby that's in a valley, not on a hill; 19 km / 24 min S of Assisi


Riverside town 14 km / 22 min SW of Assisi


Riverside town 24 km / 31 min S of Assisi, SW of Foligno


Beautiful hill town known for its "festival of the two worlds" which has its twin in Charleston, South Carolina; 48 km/38 min S of Assisi


Beautiful hill town with a nice view, near the train line, one of the "most beautiful villages in Italy", 33 km/32 min S of Assisi

Campello Sul Clitunno

Small hill town near freeway S of Trevi/Foligno, 36 km/32 min S of Assisi

Massa Martana

51 km/1 hr S of Assisi


81 km/1 hr S of Assisi, 42 km/38 min E of Spoleto...the birthplace of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica, known for pork products, suffered very bad earthquake in 2016


beautifully situated hill town near Parco dei Monti Sibillini, N of Norcia, ~1 hr S of Asisi)

Northern Umbria

The region north of Perugia, has some great towns and is close to Tuscany, Le Marche, and Emilia Romagna.


Riverside medieval town along Tevere (Tiber) river


One of Rick Steve's favorite hill towns (42 km/49 min N of Perugia)

Città di Castello

~50 km / 40 min N of Perugia, 68 km / 52 min N of Assisi, 50 min off A1, Monte San Savino exit

Other Destinations

Southern Umbria

The region in Terni province borders Lazio to the south and includes Corbara lake (and Orvieto, covered above).  Just E of Terni itself is the Cascata delle Marmore, a huge, manmade waterfall that gets turned on and off several times a day.



S of Todi, N of Terni


W of Terni

Avigliano Umbro

Hill town, NW of Terni, 1 hr S of Perugia, ~30 min S of Todi


Hill town just S of Corbara lake, just off A1


SW of Terni

Other Towns