Places to Visit – OLD

By the end of our trip our friends and family had all fallen in love with the villa and Umbria, we can't wait to return
J.P. 30/6/16

Below is a brief outline of some of the places that are an easy day trip from Chiesa Del Carmine. Please do not hesitate to ask us if you would like any more information on any of these places.

Arezzo – Tuscany (approx 45 mins)

Famous Tuscan city with a magnificent square and many wonderful restaurants to sit and enjoy the views. Visit the Bacci chapel in the Basilica of San Francesco to view the fresco cycle of the Legend of the True Cross by Piero della Francesca. A scene from the film The English Patient was shot here. Arezzo also features in the setting of the film A Beautiful Life. There is extensive antique market the last weekend of every month.

Assisi – Umbria (approx 30 mins)

The birthplace of St Francis of Assisi is of course a must on a trip to Umbria. The crowds can be overwhelming but I don’t believe much can take away from the magnificence of the Basilica.

Above Assisi is the Eremo di Carcere (Hermitage) which is an old monastery built around the caves used by St Francis, and the tree where he preached to the birds. It has a very peaceful atmosphere and is shady and cool on a hot day.

Cortona – Tuscany (approx 45 mins)

Beautiful Tuscan hill top town, with a wonderful square and a great walk to the top of the town. From the top there are magnificent views across the countryside. Famous for France’s Maye’s book Under the Tuscan Sun, and the subsequent film.

Florence – Tuscany (approx 1 1/2 hours)

It is possible to take a day trip to Florence, either by driving or train. It takes approx 1½ hours to drive there and we can direct you to a good car park on the outskirts which has a shuttle service into the centre. Alternatively it is possible to take a train from Tertontola station and leave your car there.

Gubbio – Umbria (approx 30 mins)

Gubbio is one of the most perfect of Umbria’s medieval hill towns, as its atmospheric streets and alleys are unspoiled and not on the main tourist trail. The town is set at the feet of the Apennines and the views from all around are quite spectacular. The main square is halfway up the town and houses the Palazzo dei Consoli, which is a vast 14th century palace.

There is a great walk to the Basilica which is high above Gubbio. It takes a good hour or so but there is also a funicular (cable car) that will take you there – either way it is worth it for the views.

Lago Trasimeno – Umbria (approx 20 mins)

In addition to the water sports on offer (see section on activities), towns such as Passignano and Castiglione del Lago are the most appealing and you can take boat rides out to the islands of Maggiore and Polvese. On Isola Maggiore the old ruined castle and church are worth a visit.

Montone – Umbria (approx 15 mins)

A small, but just perfect hill-top town. There are some great restaurants here and quite often the town will be hosting an event, including dancing in the square on New Years Eve, and the summer fiesta. It is famous for its film festival.

Norcia – Umbria (approx 1 1/2 hours )

Said to be Umbria’s gastronomic capital, famed for its hams, salamis and wild boars. The town gives its name to the Norcineria, the pork butcher’s shop and the Norcini, the butchers themselves.

Orvieto – Umbria (approx 1 hour)

Orvieto is home to what is said to be Italy’s finest Gothic Cathedral and the façade is truly magnificent. Inside is Signorelli’s fresco cycle of The Last Judgement, for which you have to buy a ticket in the information shop opposite the cathedral. It is a bit further, but worth it for the cathedral (one of Umbria’s key sights), and could be combined with a wine tour of the area.

Perugia – Umbria (approx 20 mins)

Perugia is the capital of Umbria, and is famous for the Umbrian Jazz festival which is held at the end of July. It has the normal ugly suburbs and a mad traffic system. But the ancient centre is wonderful, full of monuments to its Etruscan, Roman and medieval past. The best car park is at Piazza Partigiani, where you can take the escalators up through the original walls of the fortress of Perugia.

The Corso Vannucci is the main (pedestrianised) street, where you will find some great shops and where you can join in the evening ‘passeggiata’. On the Corso, which are all well worth visiting are: Palazzo dei Priori, the Collegio di Cambio, Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria and the Duomo.

Spello – Umbria (approx 40 mins)

A beautiful hill top town at the base of Monte Subasio just a few kms from Assisi. It has wonderful little streets to wander around, many gournet restaurants and stunning views.

Spoleto – Umbria (approx 45 mins)

A rather chic hill town known for it summer arts festival and with plenty of artistic, historical and cultural interest. There is a spectacular medieval aquaduct which is worth seeing.

Todi – Umbria (approx 45 mins)

Todi has a magnificent position perched on top of a hill with picture postcard views all around. It is home to quite a large proportion of ex-pats and has a high tourist profile, with a main square of austere beauty, some wonderful streets and alleys and some good shops and restaurants.

Urbino – Le Marche (approx 1 hour)

A classic hilltop town with the Ducal Palace well worth a visit ,and it gives the opportunity to further explore some areas of Le Marche, which as yet is not really on the tourist trail but has beautiful places to visit.