Visit Foligno / Umbria
Umbria is a small region in central Italy often referred to as the "green heart of Italy". This is a region seeped in history and impregnated with romantic charm: here you can find captivating landscapes -a blend of rolling hills, uneven forests, rushing rivers, lush valleys, and hillsides laced with vineyards. It’s not just the landscape that makes Umbria such an untouched and desirable destination: it also features a large number of artistic and architectural treasures such as medieval castles, renaissance cathedrals, ancient monasteries, art treasures, fine wines, beautiful ceramics and captivating villages. His eastern side is wilder and mountainous, with the Monti Sibillini National Park and the Valnerina Valley.
Historically, Umbria is known mostly for its religious traditions, for Saint Benedict and Saint Francis of Assisi: this is also why the region is known as the mystical land of Saints. Umbria was also known to Tibetan populations as a Centre of Energy. The landscape itself has probably contributed a lot to this mystical consideration: adding further to Umbria’s magic is, in fact, that its hills and valleys radiate a soft mellow light, gleaming gently in the sun, turning this small region into one of Italy’s most fascinating places.
Visit Foligno / Do
Besides hiking destinations and tours in the nature, Umbria has dozens of villages worth visiting, and in each one numerous artistic and historical must-see sites.
Foligno lies in the heart of the Umbrian Valley, central Italy, and for this is renamed by his inhabitants as ‘ Lu Centru de lu munnu’ ( The centre of the world). Unlike most of the Umbrian hill towns, Foligno has a flat surface and therefore is easily and pleasantly walkable. Foligno is home to many architectural monuments such as the Cathedral of San Feliciano, the Basilica of Santa Maria Infraportas, Palazzo Trinci (with precious frescoes from the early 15th century), Palazzo Comunale, Palazzo Orfini, Ponte di San Magno and the CIAC, Italian Centre of Contemporary Art. If you have some spare time, not far from Foligno’s outskirts is the beautiful Sassovivo Abbey, a Benedictine monastery submerged in the nature and founded around 1070. The two small villages of Bevagna and Montefalco, not far from each other, hidden gems of the region with a gastronomic and wine tradition, filled with artistic treasures and craftsmen small boutiques.
Perugia is Umbria’s main town and, unlike the majority of Umbrian towns, is big and ringed with busy roads and suburbs. However, its historic centre is as exciting as any in Italy, filled with Etruscan, Roman and medieval monuments. Perugia’s most important palace, the gothic Palazzo dei Priori, is home to the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria, a superb gallery of Umbrian, Italian –and not only- art covering several centuries, with works from the medieval central Italy minor schools to Perugino, Piero della Francesca and Beato Angelico among the others. Also, pay a visit to San Severo, with its chapel frescoed by Raffaello, and San Pietro, one of the nation’s most luxuriously decorated churches.
Descending from Perugia to southern Umbria you will find the famous medieval and pink-stoned Assisi. This spiritual town would be noteworthy even without the San Francesco legacy, thanks to which the town’s breath-taking landscape is mainly surmounted by the majestic San Francesco Basilica. The Basilica, mid thirteenth century, besides being architecturally remarkable is filled with beautiful frescoes by Giotto, Cimabue, Simone Martini and others. Have a walk around and pay a visit also to the Santa Chiara Basilica, the Rocca Maggiore (particularly recommended for its stunning sights) and the temple Tempio di Minerva ( with its Roman façade) , deeply admired by Goethe.
TODI and ORVIETO
Etruscan Orvieto might be a little detached from other Umbrian towns, but is easily reachable by train. The town’s magnificent Duomo is certainly the main draw and one of the highest Italian artistic masterpieces, partly by virtue of its dazzling, stunning façade and partly because of Luca Signorelli’s frescoes of The Last Judgement in the San Brizio Chapel. If you prefer a more subtle, non-touristic visit of the region, you might want to consider Todi’s elegant and uncontaminated hill, or Gubbio, one of Italy best preserved medieval centre with his beautiful roman theatre.
Shelley’s beloved Spoleto, intimate, charming, urbane, containing several genuine artistic treasures; with his gem cathedral containing a well-known cycle of frescoes by the Florentine master Filippo Lippi.
SPORT & NATURE
Amongst the most attracting Umbrian areas, certainly the Valnerina, a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains and hill towns; Castelluccio, where springtime the spectacular blooming takes place in springtime; Terni. Umbria’s second largest town; the Cascata delle Marmore, where the adventure lovers can rafting on the Nera river and admire the waterfalls; the Trasimeno lake, central Italy largest lake, where a series of water sports can be practiced.
EAT & SLEEP
If there is something you really do not want to miss during your stay in Umbria, that is certainly the local cuisine. Not only each Italian region has its very own particular dish, every single one of them is always specifically crafted and prepared in consideration of the seasonal and local tradition. One of the Umbria greatest and most well known culinary delights is the black truffle, which is to be found often in both basic and elaborated dishes. To keep it simple, ‘strangozzi al tartufo’ are a typical pasta dish you can find everywhere in the region, from the small-family-run restaurant to the large, hotel ones. The seasonal recipes that are offered by average restaurants are usually made up of ingredients such as wild mushrooms and asparagus, cereal soups, locally grown legume and lentils. Umbria’s butchers shops are usually provided with many types of seasoned, plain or spiced meat, such as ‘porchetta’, ‘ciauscolo’, ‘salame’ and so on: the only real way of finding out is to walk in and ask for it. Italian butchers are usually very happy to sell cheap, fresh sandwiches with their meat to curious tourists. Dolci wise, the most famous ones are the Foligno ‘rocciata’, Spoleto ‘cresionda’ , Terni ‘pamepato’, and umbrian tozzetti. Perugia is also home to the historic Umbrian chocolate company, La Perugia, famous for its nut choc bonbons ‘baci perugina’. These are only a few examples, you really need to go on the hunt!
In Umbria, you can sleep in a renovated ancient farmhouse in the countryside or inside an historic building just inside the town. The real delight of sleeping in such a pacific and rural region such as Umbria is, besides the healthy air of the countryside, is the silence. Here you will find the list of facilities with the festival: Accomodations.