Secret Places of
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- Day 6
Being the seat of one of Italy’s oldest universities, Perugia has a lively atmosphere day and night. Its hills offer magnificent views of the entire Umbria region.
Wander through Perugia artistic and architectural gems of exceptional value. Make sure to include in your itinerary a visit to the laboratory of the Master Glass Painters Moretti Caselli, their window glasses decorate the walls of most cathedrals of Umbria and beyond.
I also highly recommended a visit to the Museum Atelier Giuditta Brozzetti, where the ancient techniques of weaving are faithfully preserved and the timeless textiles that are created carry with them the history of art of the region of Umbria.
Treat yourself to a special dinner at the restaurant of a castle where the simplicity of homemade pasta, of fresh and genuine vegetables, of the extra virgin oils made in the surrounding lands, are the basis of the cooking proposal. Settled in the cozy dining room or on the covered terrace, overlooking the Umbrian countryside, you can taste the gastronomic experience designed by the chef.
Spello and Assisi
Lying on the slopes of Monte Subasio, on the opposite side of Assisi, pink-stoned Spello is all about quiet alleys and unexpected panoramic views. Its most distinguished sight is the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, which houses art treasures that alone are worth a trip to Umbria. The church displays a number of frescoes by Perugino and the Baglioni Chapel is decorated with a cycle of frescoes by Pinturicchio along with a self-portrait of the artist himself
Before getting to Assisi make a stop at a winery to taste the local wines. Assisi is the most famous Umbrian town in the world, birthplace of S. Francesco and S. Chiara. The most famous work is the Basilica del Santo which preserves a cycle of frescoes among the most beautiful in the world. Walking through the streets, you will realize how the town retains its medieval aspect intact, from it you can enjoy splendid views, in particular from the square of the Church of S. Chiara where the crucifix that spoke to S. Francesco is preserved.
Learning how to cook in a local home is a wonderful way to gain insight into Italy’s real culture. Get ready for some serious cooking… and eating as you’ll be cooking in a real Italian kitchen with an expert local.
Gubbio and its artisans
The name of Gubbio is inextricably linked to S. Francesco,the traces of the town ancient history are clearly visible. The symbol of the city is Palazzo dei Consoli, an imposing complex dating back to the 14th century, the current seat of the Pinacoteca and the archaeological museum while Palazzo Ducale, built at the behest of Federico da Montefeltro, stands in front of the Cathedral. You can’t miss a trip to Mount Ingino on board the wire cages to admire the amazing views.
Get ready to ‘get your hands dirty’ because you will visit the workshop of a craftsman who works with plaster dust and makes beautiful stuccoes that are true works of art.
Spoleto and the Clitumnus Springs
“Spoleto is the most beautiful discovery I have made in Italy”, wrote Herman Hesse but not even his words will prepare you for the enchantment you will feel when you see Spoleto. The majestic Rocca Albornoz connected to Monteluco by the impressive Ponte delle Torri dominates the city, from there you can enjoy a splendid view of the Duomo and the historic center.
North of Spoleto I suggest you stop at the Clitumnus Springs. This lake fed by underground springs and shaded by poplars and weeping willows is pure, languid romanticism. The Temple of Clitumnus, in the shape of an early Christian temple, has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lord Byron remembered the springs in his “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage” and described them as «… the most living crystal that was e’er the haunt of river nymph to gaze and lave her limbs…».
Discover the medieval villages of Umbria, among them Bevagna, Trevi and Montefalco.
The ancient medieval village of Bevagna, still surrounded by historic walls that partly recall Roman remains, is distinguished by the richness of its monuments, the quality of its historical craft products, its renowned gastronomic and wine culture, and its cultural and recreational life.
The village of Trevi lies right at the heart of Umbria’s extra-virgin olive oil production. With their incredibly long life span and slow growth rate, olive trees embody Umbria’s commitment to preserving its century-old traditions, handed down from one generation to the next.
Montefalco is also known as “The Balcony of Umbria”, a tribute to its elevated position and breathtaking panorama over the entire Umbrian valley. A narrow street lined with vintage clothing stores leads to the main square, the heart of the city, with its historic buildings, small shops selling home-made items, and wine shops. The city has achieved international renown for its wine, the Sagrantino.
Dinner in one of the village’s traditional restaurants is the perfect conclusion of a trip that will remain in your heart.
Your discovering journey through Umbria has come to the end, certainly too quickly. You will cherish memories of a region where time seems to stand still, guardian of ancient traditions, with villages that are among the most beautiful in Italy and rolling hills that hide wineries and oil mills representing Italian food and wine excellence.