The hidden secrets of Umbria! Medieval villages where stone buildings with heavy wooden doors line the cobblestoned streets. Charming little trattorias beckon you in for fresh pasta and just-harvested olive oil and truffles. No, this isn’t Tuscany. This is Umbria, and it looks a lot like Tuscany did before it became overrun with tourists. This enchanting region has miraculously remained under the radar and extremely well preserved. Please stay tuned as more places will be added in Spello, Foligno, Bevagna, Montefalco, Assisi and Perugia
Caffè Bar Pasticceria Tullia Sas Di Carpanacci Assunta & C. - Spello
“Gelato tastes a lot like ice cream, but it’s just better for some reason.” – Winston Churchill – My favourite is the home made gelato of Assunta. closed on MondayCall
Shop La Tavola dell’Umbro - Spello
Corrado’s is my go-to grocery shop. I love this place for bread, groceries and wines (good selection of Umbrian red and white wines).
Activities Farmer's market - Spello
Wednesday is market day in Spello. I come here in the morning for fresh zucchini flowers or artichokes, the king of Italian vegetables. Artichokes are delicious fried or steamed with a glass of Umbrian white wine.
Shop Oro di Spello
The perfet place for beauty ideas and resources. This little shop in the heart of town offers products made from olive oil, labelled “Oro di Spello”.Website
Shop La Bottega degli Intrecci - Spello
For many years this workshop has been offering traditional craftmanship such as hand/loom weaving, tatting, macramé, and products like crocheted and knitted creations, jewellery, vintage, and more.Website
Culture The famous Gates of Spello
1. Porta Consolare (Consular Gate). This ancient gate dates to Roman times and is beautiful and imposing. 2. Porta Venere is another ancient gate in Spello with the imposing towers called Torri di Properzio. The gate and towers are open at the weekend in the summer season only, usually morning and evening.
Culture The Villa of the Mosaics - Spello
The Villa of the Mosaics in Spello is one of the most extraordinary archaeological discoveries in Umbria. The nearly 500 square metres recovered site include 10 rooms with amazing mosaic floors of geometric decorations, wild and fantastic animals, human figures and scenes of life. Stone ‘carpets’ of rare beauty.Website
Culture Civic and Diocesan Art Gallery - Sello
The art collection is located in the rooms of the Palazzo dei Canonici. The works on display include some magnificent examples of Gothic and Baroque jewellery, an interesting section of Medieval and Renaissance wooden sculpture and paintings ranging from the late 13th to the 18th Century with some superb examples: a triptych by the Master of the Assumption of Amelia, a diptych by Cola Petruccioli, some panels of the choir by Zaccaria di Filippo Mazzola, brother of the more famous Mannerist painter Parmigianino, and a splendid fresco by Andrea d'Assisi called Ingegno.Website
Culture The many churches of Spello
Capella Tega; a small chapel with frescoes from the XIV century Collegiata di Santa Maria Maggiore, a wonderful church from the 1200s especially famous for stunning paintings by Pinturicchio, Perugino and some Deruta ceramics.. Cappella Baglioni, Spello’s most significant chapel which is known for its Renaissance frescoes by Pinturicchio (1500). Also worth seeing is the little Hortus, the garden beside the church. Sant’Andrea, which has a stunning frescoed chapel with beautiful blue vaults. Church of San Lorenzo has interesting woodwork and outside the city walls visitors can admire the Romanesque church of San Claudio and Villa Fidelia.
Culture Finestre, balconi e vicoli fioriti
Spello has a long-lasting tradition taking place each summer between May and mid-August: a flower competition that sees the town’s alley compete with one another for the most beautiful flower display. The facades, steps and courtyards are decorated with flowers of all colors. The result is an extravaganza of colors and smells that make the town an absolute delight.
Culture Infiorata di Spello (June)
Infiorata is a very ancient tradition; the streets get covered in flower art and turn into real canvases colored by flowers of all types!
Activities Cooking classes - Spello
When staying in one of the Plinius Properties in Spello, we can organise Cooking classes in a nearby farmhouseWebsite
Activities Olive Oil Tasting - Spello
Olive oil tasting is similar to wine tasting: just like wines, olive oils have a very wide variety of tastes and aromas. A tasting can both sharpen your palate and allow you to identify what kind of oil you prefer. The three basic categories to consider when tasting olive oil are delicate, medium, and intense. To really impress your fellow tasters, we suggest throwing out terms like fruity, pungent, bitter, herbaceous, buttery, grassy, peppery, and so on. When staying in one of the Plinius Properties in Spello, we can organise this for you.
Activities Wine tasting - Spello
Umbria is home to native red grape Sagrantino, as well as Sangiovese, Colorino and other indigenous Italian varieties. A wine tasting is simply a must! When staying in one of the Plinius Properties in Spello, we can organise this for you.Website
Activities Truffle hunting - Spello
Truffle hunting is a unique and extraordinary Italian adventure. Spend a day in the magnificent Umbrian countryside with the truffle dogs, which for many has been an unforgettable experience. When staying in one of the Plinius Properties in Spello, we can organise this for you.Website
Restaurants Villa Roncalli - Foligno
Villa Roncalli comes highly recommended by the owner of Buonanotte Barbarena; "Luisa Scolastra, the owner, is in my opinion the best chef in Umbria". Everything here is homemade and all ingredients come from Luisa’s vegetable garden. Villa Roncalli is also a hotel with a large garden and swimming pool. If you’d like to go there for a swim and/or meal and you are staying in a Plinius property, please let us know and we will contact Luisa in advance. closed on Monday, open only for dinnerWebsite
Restaurants Cucinaa - Foligno
Recently opened by three renowned Italian chefs, Cucinaa is restaurant, selected foods shop, luxury take away. I love to come here for breakfast and lunch. You will also find a large selection of Italian cheese and bread, as well as Italian and French wines, artisan beer, pasta, olive oil and much more. open from 8am to 9pm dailyCall Website
Caffè Umami - Foligno
If you don’t have time for a full Italian lunch, pop into this friendly bar. Paninis, fresh juices, gelato and a glass of wine or beer. This place draws a young crowd.Website
Shop Duemme - Foligno
The best shoe store in town. Mariangela, the owner, is very well known for her wide choice of shoes for women and men. She also sells beautiful handbags and leather clothes. Prada, D&G, Car Shoe, Miu Miu, and more.Website
Shop Francesca Greco - Foligno
This talented young woman has a beautiful shop filled with her artwork: paintings, books, T-shirts, key holders, painted wooden boxes, and much more. Wander inside and you are bound to find something uniqueWebsite
Culture Palazzo Trinci - Foligno
The city’s greatest identifying symbol is Palazzo Trinci, named after the family that ruled the city from 1305 to 1439, currently home to the Civic Museum, Art Gallery and Joust Museum. The building houses a cycle of 15th century frescos that were recently confirmed as the work of Gentile da Fabriano, major representative of international Gothic painting.Website
Culture Nunziatella Oratory - Foligno
Be sure to visit the Nunziatella Oratory with its fresco by Perugino. The Oratory was built at the end of the 15th century at a wish of the municipality, perhaps by the architect Francesco Bartolomeo da Pietrasanta, in honour of the Annunciated Virgin, who had accomplished a prodigious event. As a compensation for building the Oratory the municipality expected a particular protection from the Virgin for the town. The most notable fresco is the "Battesimo di Gesù" by Pietro Vannucci called "Il Perugino". It dates back to 1513 and it is similar to the one realized by this universally known painter in the Sistina ChapelCall Website
Culture Santa Maria Infraportas - Foligno
Santa Maria Infraportas is a medieval church and chapel in Foligno. The chapel of the Assunta (Madonna after Assumption), to the left of the facade, is the oldest part of the structure and may date to the 7th or 8th century. Tradition holds that St Crispolitus, a disciple of St Peter and the first bishop of Foligno and Bettona, consecrated the church in 58 AD. The church and chapel are famous for their medieval frescoes, including works by Pierantonio and Bernardino Mezzastris, Marco di Paolo, Pietro di Domenico da Perugia, Giovanni di Corraduccio
Culture Auditorium San Domenico - Foligno
The Church of San Domenico, with the adjacent monastery, is one of the most significant architectural monuments in Foligno. During the 1980s the Municipality of Foligno, who owns the property, decided to start a comprehensive renovation to create an Auditorium. The project was supervised by architect Franco Antonelli. In 1996 a new phase begun for San Domenico: it became an extraordinary venue for events of high artistic value. An excellent group of restored frescoes decorate the walls of the nave. With its 150 performances every year, this is now one of the most important concert halls in Umbria. Book tickets / see programWebsite
Culture Luigi Frappi - Painter - Bevagna
Frappi, creator of the beautiful curtain in Bevagna’s Torti Theatre, paints splendid landscapes and still lifes. The subjects of his works are not copied from reality, but evoked from the heart. The art critic Vittorio Sgarbi has stated that Frappi “brings forth the signs of this land, not in the representation of the landscape or the still lifes as much as in the rendering of the thought which inspired them” - By appointment onlyCall Website
Restaurants La Bottega di Assù - Bevagna
It would be easy to walk past this tiny, shabby-chic spot in Bevagna's historic center, but it's well worth a stop for the warm, relaxed vibe and classic Umbrian food.The crowd is mostly locals and some visitors serious about fresh ingredients. It has a typical boisterous Italian vibe. It comes highly recommended by the owner of Buonanoto Barberena; " Assunta is a lovely lady and an excellent chef. In her Bottega everything is homemade. This is my favourite trattoria in Umbria – and so charming! Here you can also buy good olive oil, excellent Italian wines and souvenirs. A place you should not miss!" Closed on Wednesday – open for lunch onlyCall
Aperitivo N’Anticchia - Bevagna
Just 10 meters from the Bottega of Assù A nice place for aperitivo and small snacks.
Culture The Mercato delle Gaite - Bevagna
A unique event; For 30 years, the Mercato delle Gaite has been the rediscovery and revival of medieval daily life between 1250 and 1350. It is a competition in which the four districts, in which Bevagna was split (in the Middle Ages were called Gaite), challenge each other, playing the role that they covered in the Middle Ages and recreating, in detail and historical accuracy, the daily life of the thirteenth century. The Palio della Vittoria is awarded on the last day at the end of four competitions: the market, the crafts, the gastronomy, the sports competition in archery.Website
Culture Piazza Filippo Silvestri - Bevagna
Piazza Maggiore is one of the most beautiful squares in Italy. Marvellous buildings embrace the square’s unique shape: the Palazzo dei Consoli’s majestic staircase leads to the 19th century Torti Theatre and to the Church of San Silvestro, a gem of Umbrian-Romanesque architecture. On the opposite side of the square, the Church of San Michele Arcangelo stands proud with its Romanesque facade and precious portal.
Enoteca Paolo Bea - Montefalco
This place comes highly recommended by the owner of "La Cassette" (Spello). " I love all of Paolo Bea’s wines, but my favourite is Montefalco Sagrantino Passito. It’s a sweet version of Sagrantino, perfect with tozzetti for dessert. It also pairs beautifully with chestnuts and strong cheeses."Call Website
Shop Montefalco DOC
A pilgrimage for wine lovers. The Municipal Historic Archive of Montefalco preserves numerous documents that testify the care with which, long ago, local wine growers dedicated themselves to “fields planted with vines”, and Montefalco was one of the only Italian towns to practice vine-growing inside the town centre. The cultivation of grapes in the territory dates back to Roman times, and Pliny the Elder tells of a vine of special prestige drawn from the Itriola grape. But it is the Sagrantino grape, brought from Asia Minor by Franciscan friars, that blessed the City of Montefalco with oenological fortune. Although it almost disappeared from Umbrian vineyards in the 1970s, the Sagrantino was recovered thanks to the dedication of a few agricultural entrepreneurs and wine growers, who succeeded in obtaining Montefalco DOC recognition for the wine in 1979, followed by DOCG in 1992.
Activities Nun Spa Museum - Assisi
Relax & get pampered! For more than 2000 years this timeless space has been dedicated to the cult of water, and now houses a unique spa experience. The treatments are under the direction of the Indian master Dipu, expert in healthy therapy and oriental disciplines exploring the harmony between body and mind. Nun Spa offers an array of rituals and treatments: Ayurvedic, Plantar, Thai, anti-stress and relaxing massages, drainage, slimming and firming treatments, facial treatments, soft lifting biolux, manicure, pedicure, make-up and more. Book an appointment a few days before your arrival to ensure access. Open from Monday to Thursday: 10am – 1pm and 3pm – 8pm, Friday to Sunday 10am – 8pm.Call Website
Shop L’arte dei Vasai - Perugia
Umbria is known for its pottery, and in this shop you will find beautiful gifts to take home. You can even ask them to personalize something for you, like a plate or a ceramic Christmas tree ornament. They can ship their creations home, wherever home is. Insta: @lartedeivasai - Ceramics Outlet of @labottegadelvasaioWebsite
Culture Civita di Bagnoregio
Of course you cannot leave Carma Relais without visiting the beautiful village you view from your window. It has become a very popular place with tourist, because of its mystic location. Its lays completely isolated on a hilltop surrounded by air that, especially in the mornings when the clouds surround the village it magical! Make it seem like it’s floating over the extensive canyons. It is connected only by a small pedestrian bridge (there are no cars on the island). One of the great things you can do if you stay at the estate, is to visit Civita early in the morning before the day-trippers arrive or, in the evening when te town empties of day visitors. You will have the mystical village all to yourself (except for the 9 habitants), to enjoy peaceful strolls in the streets that end in a stunning abyss.
Restaurants Osteria da Mamma Angela
Simple but delicious Italian food in Orvieto, a family set up which is particularly good for cured meats and cheeses.Website
For incredible views, head to Todi. It’s an enchanting town on a steep hillside. Every corner is spectacular, from the main square, Piazza del Popolo, to the stunning Duomo and Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi, just off it, with panoramic vistas across the valley.
Restaurants Il Casaletto
Family run farmhouse for a real experience of local authenticity. (Slow food)Website
Restaurants Ristorante La Panatella
Located in Allerone, one of the most beautiful small towns in Italy. A walled town, which used to be a medieval castle. It has outstanding views of the surrounding valleys and countryside. Have Have lunch on the terrace of Ristorante La Panatella , which they prepare prepare delightful twists on local specialties.
Restaurants La Pergola
A warm and welcoming environment with a beautiful pergola for the summer where you can enjoy tagliatelle with duck, lamb in wine or cod "all' Orvientana".. (Slow food restaurant)
Restaurants La Palomba
Cosy family restaurant in Orvieto, which offert local specialties with local sourced ingredients. This is a slow food restaurant.
Restaurants La Tana Dell'Orso
A restaurant from which you can enjoy great panorama views on Lake Bolsena. You can have an amazing dinner outside on their terrace. Dishes listed on the menu are their Bolsenese ribollita and whitefish cooked in pan. (Slow Food restaurant)
Enoteca Madonna del Latte
Madonna del Latte a tiny family-owned winery in the hills between Orvieto and Lake Bolsena. Founded in 2000 by Manuela Zardo and Hellmuth Zwecker. After travelling all over Italy as food and wine writers, they found the ideal location in Umbria to start producing their very own wine.Website
Enoteca Mani di Luna
Mani di Luna is a biodynamic winemaker in the Torgiano area. Their wines are absolutely delicious, innovative and ‘different’ from anything else you will have in Umbria.Website
Shop Musica Musica - Perugia
Mom might appreciate the Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli… or maybe Jovanotti is more her style. In any case, come here and the magical Fofo will help you pick out some tunes.Website
Shop Niba - Perugia
Fashion for men and women: Miu Miu, Chloe, Junya Watanabe, Celine and many other designersWebsite
Shop Cashmere Vally - near Perugia
The creation and love of beautiful things seems to be in the DNA of the Umbrians, and the region now boasts around 500 companies specializing in the noble art of cashmere-making. Recommended outlets: Lamberto LosaniWebsite
Shop Brunello Cucinelli Cashmere Outlet
Our favourite Cashmere outlet, situated in the beautiful 13th century hilltop hamlet of Solomeo, near Perugia.Website