Hillside towns, rich historic heritage and sweeping green vistas make Umbria a beautiful destination that is easily explored. This exciting new holiday uncovers the region’s most picturesque spots and its enthralling past from the influence of the Romans, through the medieval period and to the modern day. Follow this incredible route to ancient Roman ruins, well-preserved churches, historic squares, medieval fortresses, Gothic and Renaissance monuments, the cascading Marmore Falls and breathtaking viewpoints that bring together the whole region.
7 nights in hotels (accommodation as specified or similar)
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your journey to London Heathrow Airport for a direct, scheduled British Airways flight to Rome. We transfer to Spoleto our base for the next four nights and the Hotel Clitunno (3T). If time permits en route, we will stop in Montefalco, a picturesque medieval town with a location that provides stunning views over the heart of Umbria, earning it the name of ‘the balcony of Umbria’. We have time to settle into our hotel before dinner this evening.
Day 2 Spoleto - Bevagna
After breakfast, we enjoy a delightful walking tour of Spoleto, the hillside town where natural beauty and stunning architecture beautifully collide. Discover the main square - the venue of the annual ‘Two Worlds Festival’ of art and culture; St Mary’s Dome, with an 11th century mosaic that decorates the façade; the market square, built on the ruins of Roman Foro; and the Roman Theatre. This afternoon, we enjoy a walk in the medieval village of Bevagna, where you are free to leisurely explore the sights including the beautiful main square, two outstanding Romanesque churches of St Michele and San Silvestro, and the Consoli Palace.
Day 3 Todi
This morning we embark on an exciting excursion to Todi, a picturesque town situated on a hill above the charming east bank of the river Tiber. Not only is the town gifted with glorious views of the calm waters below but collections of stone houses, intertwining steep backstreets and medieval architecture adds to the unique fairytale appearance. We roam the enchanted streets discovering the main square bound by beautiful aristocratic palaces, the medieval district and the San Fortunato Church - built on the site of an ancient Roman temple, this remarkable Catholic church hosts both Gothic and Renaissance styles. Just outside of the walls of the city we visit the Renaissance-styled Santa Maria della Consolazione, a stunning domed church designed by Donato Bramante with construction beginning in 1508 and taking a century to complete. On our departure journey we pass the mesmerising Marmore Falls, the cascading waterfall set in deep green forest scenery is an image of incomparable beauty credited to the artificial work of the ancient Romans - the Velino River created a wetland which was considered unhealthy, therefore Roman consul Curius Dentatus ordered a canal to be constructed diverting the water to Marmore cliff thus creating the attractive falls.
Day 4 Orvieto - Amelia
We visit Orvieto today, one of the most important Etruscan cities, situated high on the summit of volcanic rock above stunning green fields of vine, olive and cypress trees. A local guide will show us the highlights including the incredible 14th century Gothic Cathedral, a remarkable structure built under the order of Pope Urban IV to commemorate the Miracle of Bolsena, the religious design is displayed in the large windows, golden mosaics, two magnificent chapels and five Renaissance bells. On our return we stop in the historic town of Amelia located on top of a scenic, rocky hill and a historically-strategic location for the Romans. It’s easy to marvel at the sheer beauty of this historic city, with its dramatic scenery, ancient buildings and incredible town walls dating back to the 3rd century BC.
Day 5 Spello - Assisi
After breakfast we embark on a day excursion to another of Umbria’s medieval towns, Spello. The quiet town has plenty of historic sights to admire including the thick Roman Walls that surround it, the immaculate Church of St Andrew, the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Maggiore and the idyllic Belvedere, a stunning terrace providing unforgettable views of the town’s glorious countryside. We depart Spello stopping en route at an olive oil mill for a tasting before arriving in peaceful Assisi, the birthplace St Francis of Assisi - a patron saint of Italy and creator of the Franciscan order. Explore the religious heritage when walking through the narrow, picturesque lanes decorated with medieval architecture and discover the Basilica of St Francis of Assisi, a UNESCO-listed structure consisting of two magnificent churches: the Upper Church and Lower Church. The churches hold outstanding frescoes decorated by renowned medieval painters such as Simone Martini, Giotto and Cimabue. Later, explore the majestic main square - Piazza del Comune - and marvel at the magnificent structures including the Palazzo dei Priori, Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, Torre del Popolo and the beautiful Temple of Minerva - a grand Roman building built in the 1st century BC. This afternoon we check into our hotel for the next three nights, Dal Moro Gallery Hotel (4T).
Day 6 Gubbio
This morning we embark on a full-day excursion to Gubbio, one of Umbria’s most historical towns having been inhabited since the Bronze Age, and most beautiful due to its location on the lower slope of Mount Ingino. Magnificent monuments signifying its long past fill much of the picturesque town, for example the historic Palazzo dei Consoli hosts a wonderful archaeological museum exhibiting collections from Umbrian civilisations dating back to the end of the 2nd century BC including seven bronze engraved panels of the Eugubine Tablets. Other sights visited this morning include the medieval church of San Francesco and the beautiful Gothic Cathedral. Continue to the amazing natural wonder of the Frasassi Caves, an enchanted system of karst caves discovered in 1971 by a group of speleologists and geologists.
Day 7 Perugia
Spend your final day exploring Umbria’s capital and largest city, Perugia, perched on a panoramic hill above the picturesque valley and glistening River Tiber. Our guided visit begins at the city’s first ever fortress, Rocca Paolina which was built for Pope Paul III, followed by the beautiful Fontana Maggiore, and Priori Palace - memorable for its incredible pink gothic-style windows and ornate portal. Our visit also includes the city’s monumental Etruscan Arch and Collegio del Cambio, a well-preserved Bankers Guild of incredibly-detailed Renaissance design. We conclude our day with an afternoon visit to the Perugina Chocolate Museum and Factory, to learn of the secrets and techniques used to create their famous sweet treats as well as enjoying a delicious tasting of the mouthwatering chocolate.