Umbria – among fairytale villages and cultural cities

Umbria is sometimes called the green heart of Italy, and there is something to it. Inside the long narrow body of Italy is this small region, which is partly made up of wooded hills. Umbria has no coast, but instead there is Italy’s fourth largest lake, Lago Trasimeno, where you can swim, paddle and go boating. The lake is bordered by several cozy villages. A favorite is picturesque Passignano sul Trasimeno, where you can stop for lunch at one of the restaurants serving local fish, such as Il Molo.

Villages on the hills

There are also plenty of nice villages in this region. Many of them seem taken from classic fairy tales, where they sit like medieval castles high on the verdant hills. A typical example is the lovely Trevi. Other fantastic villages are Corciano and Spello, with their walls, church towers and narrow lanes.

Assisi is still the most famous of the Umbrian villages. The Franciscan Order was founded here in the 13th century by Saint Francis. The Basilica of Saint Francis is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and is visited every year by crowds of tourists and pilgrims.

Lively provincial capital

For many who have studied languages in Italy, the regional capital Perugia has a special place in their hearts. Italy’s oldest university for foreign students is located here. It is a lively cultural city, with a wide range of restaurants and museums. Umbria Jazz, one of the biggest jazz festivals in the world, is organized in the city every year. Those with a sweet tooth should instead visit Perugia during the Eurochocolate chocolate festival, when, among other things, you can taste goodies from the local chocolate manufacturer Perugina.

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