Umbria, one of 20 regions that make up Italy, lies serenely between the cities of Florence and Rome. Although these two tourist meccas might only be a 2 hour train ride from the borders of Umbria, it's worlds apart in so many ways.
When you travel to Umbria you'll undoubtedly experience the Italy that fires the imagination of artists and romantics:
• ancient hill towns and rosy-stone villages
• gently rolling hills in countless shades of green
• vineyards and olive groves that seem to stretch beyond the horizon.
But more than that you'll experience what defines Umbria as positively special in a country that's regarded as both the epitome of natural beauty and a temple to the creative accomplishments of its inhabitants:
• honest and kind people proudly maintaining ancient traditions
• a simple cuisine that transforms native vegetables, fruits and meats into culinary delights
• a mystical sense of somehow being closer to the divine.
In other words, to truly experience the authentic Italy sought by so many, you must experience Umbria.
On a street in Spello
Umbria, Italy's Best-Kept Culinary Secret, is Budding (New York Times)
"Umbria is known in Italy as the nation’s “cuore verde,” its green heart, where the landscape still reflects ancient traditions — agricultural, artistic and spiritual. But the rest of the world knows little about the region and its cuisine: its gold-green olive oil, its rich red wines, its diverse grains and its unmatched artistry in salumi."
Why Montefalco is Italy's Best "New" Wine Region (Conde Nast Traveler)
"We are just a small, wild region with good food, honest and kind people, and very excellent wine. We are not Tuscany—the world has not really found us yet."
Paying Tribute to Porchetta, the Ancient Italian Pig Roast (New York Times)
"To foreigners, Umbria and its food are often overshadowed by the high profile of Tuscany, which lies just to the west. But in Italy, Umbria is fondly called “il cuore verde d’Italia,” the green heart of Italy, for its fertile soil and ancient agricultural traditions. Pork from its green hills and deep forests has been prized since pre-Roman times."
11 Secret Italian Villages to Visit Before the Crowds Do (USA Today)
"Escape the crowds in Assisi with a visit to one of the region’s less-traveled Italian villages. Spello is just a 15-minute drive from Assisi but feels a world away as you explore its well-preserved Roman walls and quiet churches."
Designer Brunello Cucinelli Weaves the Magic of Umbria, Italy (Conde Nast Traveler)
“Walk in the woods around Assisi or look up in the cathedral in Spoleto and you’ll find space in every sense. This place is full of peace and solitude. People call it Umbria verde, green Umbria. I call it Umbria mistica.”
In Umbria, an Italian Olive Oil Worth the Accolades (New York Times)
“My ambition is not to sell the most (olive) oil all over the world. It’s to sell my oil to those who appreciate the taste of Umbria in their plate.”
The Heart of Italy (Food & Wine)
"On a pilgrimage to the famed Lungarotti Winery, editor Lettie Teague begins to see why Umbria so confounds Americans."
Bringing Home the Essence of Umbria, Italy (NPR)
"Umbria is quintessentially, almost primally Italian. This is certainly true of its cuisine, which exemplifies the cardinal virtues of all Italian cooking: simplicity, tradition and respect for fresh, local ingredients.”