Umbria: an open-air museum for masterpieces by great artists who made Italy famous throughout the world. The charm of Umbria derives from its fusion of art, nature, peace and calm, the inspirations behind its various localities that comprise Renaissance masterpieces and small Medieval towns embedded in the hills.
Are you looking for emotions? Hold your breath and dive underground among karst caves, Etruscan wells and Roman cisterns and aqueducts. Come back up. Breathe – find Giotto, Perugino, Raphael, Signorelli, Buzzi, Burri, and Pomodoro right in front of you...
Organization of guided tours or information on itineraries in the most suggestive areas
- IN THE LANDS OF PERUGINO
A "ring" itinerary, from the dawn to the dusk of the life and the career of Pietro di Cristoforo Vannucci, also known as "Perugino" and "the Divine Painter", among the towns and the small hamlets that preserve his works and the artworks of his best pupils. Start this route from where it all began, in Città della Pieve, the hometown of Perugino. His perhaps best-known artwork, The Marriage of the Virgin, now on display in Caen (France), was originally exhibited in the Church of Saints Gervasio and Protasio, precisely in his hometown. But the art of the Umbrian Master is still present in the rich Cathedral with two great artworks, a Madonna in glory among Saints (1514) and a Baptism of Jesus (1520). Even more evocative is however the artwork of Perugino preserved in the Oratory of Bianchi, a few minutes from the Cathedral: the first room of the building, the only one open to the public, welcomes visitors with the famous Adoration of the Magi, a fresco of 1504 in which the grace of the figures in the foreground is accompanied by the gentle hilly landscape of the background, a typical element of the Umbrian school of painting. Enjoy live the green hills of Umbria and leave Città della Pieve: a short distance away you will find Panicale, a small town among the most characteristic ones of the Region and one of the most beautiful Villages in Italy. Here, in the Church of San Sebastiano, an entire wall is occupied by the majestic fresco depicting the Martyrdom of San Sebastiano (1505). Among the many artworks in the Collegiata Church of Michele Arcangelo you will find an Adoration of the Shepherds (1519) by Giovanni Battista Caporali (pupil of Perugino's and Luca Signorelli's workshops). Continue your journey and head towards Foligno to reach the "railing of Umbria", as Montefalco is nicknamed for its beautiful landscape. In this village, one of the "most beautiful Villages in Italy", especially famous for the quality of its wine, there are many examples of the rich Renaissance art in Umbria, concentrated in particular in the Museum Complex of St. Francis. Here, among the many preserved artworks you can admire the Stories of St. Francis, a fresco of the mid-fifteenth century by the Tuscan Benozzo Gozzoli, some of the major artworks of Francesco Melanzio, born in Montefalco and influenced by the pictorial style of Perugino, as well as of one of the most famous pupils of the Divine Painter, Bernardino di Betto Betti called "il Pinturicchio"; and especially the beautiful decorations of the Church itself, commissioned first to Gozzoli and later to Perugino. You will find another museum complex dedicated to the Saint of Assisi in Trevi, the next stop on the itinerary: admire the artworks that are preserved there, then visit the beautiful and ancient village, and finally stop at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Tears. Here there are two artworks, signed by Perugino and Spagna, respectively authors of the decorations of the Magi's Chapel, including the fresco of the Adoration of the Magi (1521), and the Transport of Christ to the Sepulchre (1518).
- DISCOVER THE ROCCHE (FORTRESSES) ALBORNOZIANE IN UMBRIA
Immerse yourself in the 1300 history, to discover the fortresses wanted by the Spanish Cardinal Egidio Albornoz, to feel like a medieval knight or a dame. Egidio Albornoz was a Spanish cardinal, politician and leader. He arrived in Italy at about the second half of the 1300 according to the will of Pope Innocenzo the 6th who, at that time, was in Avignone, with the aim of consolidating the power of the Pontifical State. The Cardinal was responsible for reconquering wide territories of the central Italy, carrying out a policy of control also thanks to the so called "Fortresses". Indeed he had numerous fortifications built with the aim not only of reinforcing the Papal state at the military level, but above all to allow a control over communication roads as well as over the population. After this quick historical outline, you can start the tour crossing all Umbria to discover the Rocche (Fortresses) Albornoziane in Narni, Spoleto and Assisi, that dominate the underlying cities in a perfect state of conservation.
- THE POETS' SPRINGS: FROM PORETA TO TREVI
Discovering the Poets' Springs: an itinerary from Poreta to Spoleto via the Fonti del Clitunno. The green and peace of Umbria have always been a source of inspiration for poets and artists: we propose an itinerary through places which inspired some of the verses of Lord Byron and Carducci, and which are depicted in the paintings of Jean-Baptiste Corot. You may follow this route both by car, stopping at each proposed point or on foot following the hiking trail. Head towards the centre of Poreta, near Spoleto: your itinerary begins from this little village. Travelling along country lanes and little unmade roads you will arrive in the vicinity of Campello. Once you have wandered around the little streets around the castle, head towards the Fonti del Clitunno. The small but luxuriant park which you will find upon arrival will captivate you with its greenery and unconditional peace. You will find a lake with very cold, crystalline waters: it is precisely the source of the Clitunno which has also formed small islets in the lake, between the grassy banks enclosed by weeping willows and poplar trees. Let yourself be enchanted by the fairy-tale setting of this park and take a stroll to the Tempietto del Clitunno (Temple of Clitumnus): an early-Christian church in the form of a temple with four columns holding up a tympanum, which overlooks the Clitunno from slightly raised ground. The building, one of the places of interest of Lombardic Italy, was of inspiration to Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Benozzo Gozzoli, Palladio (who believed it to be Roman) and was mentioned in the verses of Lord Byron.Your route now continues towards the Castello di Pissignano: the original construction dates back to Roman times (it was indeed on the via Flaminia), but owes its development to a group of Benedictine monks who occupied it several centuries later. Passing through Pigge, an ancient walled village which crosses the Clitunno, you'll reach Trevi: the town is enclosed by two circuits of medieval walls giving it a characteristic spiral shape. Let yourself be guided up-hill by the narrow streets and discover the old town centre.
- PERUGIA, A CITY WITH A THOUSAND SURPRISES
There's no better way to get to know a city that walking along its streets and popping into hidden alleys. Here are some routes that will help you get to know the beauty of the ancient city of Perugia. The Three-coloured walk in the heart of the historical centre is an itinerary that leads to piazzas and streets dedicated to the heroes of the Risorgimento and the fight for independence. From the old Rocca Paolina fortress you will reach Piazza Italia lined with elegant 1800s buildings and then go to Borgo XX Giugno. From Porta San Costanzo walk down via Roma to reach Piazza Garibaldi; then walk along viale Indipendenza, via Caporali and via Bonazzi to reach Piazza della Repubblica. From here, enjoy the classic Perugian pastime of the vasca, or strolling down the main Corso Vannucci, to the Cathedral of San Lorenzo on Piazza IV Novembre and then finish your excursion with a walk down Via dei Priori. The Senses route of echoes and old memories starts at the old Rocca Paolina fortress and, walking along Via Oberdan, you'll reach Piazza Matteotti, where you go down Via Alessi, and then Via della Viola to get to know the real heart of Perugia. Continue down Via Pinturicchio and then get onto the panoramic Via Cesare Battisti. The route continues on Via della Sposa, Via della Cupa, Via Caporali and ends at Piazza della Repubblica. Walking from water source to fountain is a 5 km walk that follows the underground water system of the city. It starts at the most famous of fountains, Fontana Maggiore on Piazza IV Novembre, and leads to the Fontana di Via Maestà delle Volte, the fountain at the Etruscan Arch and the fountain at Piscinello to end at the fountain of Piazza Italia. The walk to discover the smaller water sources, on the other hand, lets you enjoy gorgeous views of the landscape that surrounds the city. To get to know A new Perugia: the secret rooms, start at the what was once the old Church of Santa Maria della Misericordia, on via Oberdan. During your walk you'll see Piazza San Francesco and the XIV century church of Sant'Ercolano and, finally the Basilica di San Domenico, which houses the funerary garments of Pope Benedict XI.