Umbria is Tuscany’s rougher-around-the-edges cousin. It’s smack dab in the middle of Italy and one of the few Italian provinces that doesn’t touch the sea. It’s known as Italy’s “green heart,” because when you think of Umbria you think of forests, of terracotta, and of cucina povera comfort food featuring lots of grains and veg and herbs. I want to curl up by the fire with a good book just thinking about this gorgeously cozy region. The last time I was there was over 15 years ago, but I know nothing has changed! And that’s exactly the reason to go.

Here’s my idea of a dreamboard-worthy weekend in Umbria: Base yourself in Perugia, because it has a buzzy vibe thanks to the university — one of the world’s oldest universities in the world, in fact, founded in 1308. On a day trip, visit a Roman-made waterfall called Cascata delle Marmore. At 541 feet, it’s the second tallest man-made waterfall in the world. Other Umbrian locales on the day trip list are Gubbio (for the Roman ruins) and Assisi (birthplace of St. Francis) as well as Orvieto (the perfect hilltop town).  You can do a loop in this order: Perugia, Todi, Marmore Falls, Spello, Assisi, Gubbio and back to Perugia. Next day, hit Orvieto on your way back to Rome or Tuscany.


Just on the outskirts of Perugia, which makes road tripping to Assisi a cinch, sits the hotel Posta Donini. It has 48 rooms on 5 acres dotted with historical villas dated from 1579. Who can refuse a frescoed ceiling, right? Check out how fine the Junior Suite is! You gotta love an Umbrian deal — the rate would be way more in a Tuscan city.


Let’s get you some Umbrian nibbles. Try Taverna Del Lupo. It’s been humming along since 1968 and is set inside a medieval palazzo in Gubbio. They describe the food as della tradizione Eugubina… and I had to Google the word Eugubina. Of course it makes sense — it’s not just Umbrian food (far too general!). These delights are from the food traditions of Gubbio specifically. Ah, Italy I love you!


Umbria is just a short distance from the Cinque Terre where we host our signature 7-night tour. Think 2022 might be the year you join us in Italy? Reply to this email with any questions, and we’ll tell you all about what’s on offer. Or reply to this email with “2023” and you’ll be the first to know what is in store for next year!


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