BeanScene Magazine

Uncovering Umbria

From the November 2014 issue.
Uncovering Umbria

Affectionately known as the green heart of Italy, Umbria is a fascinating land filled with so many hidden gems – from lush green valleys and picturesque medieval hill towns to age-old festivals and extraordinary culinary delights.

By Danielle Gullaci

Located in the heart of Italy’s geographical centre, Umbria is an enchanting Italian region with much to see and explore.

With the word now out on some of its most enticing treasures, more and more tourists are adding Umbria to their Italian travel itineraries.

Surrounded by Tuscany, Marche and Lazio; Umbria is the only Italian region not to be bordered by any coastline or international borders.

Its landscape is both lush and diverse – just over half of the territory is covered by mountains, with a large portion of the remaining area filled with rolling green hills. The region is characterised by olive trees and cypresses, rivers and lakes, and the Cascata delle Marmore, one of Italy’s most spectacular waterfalls.

Umbria is also a gastronomic paradise, famed for its prized truffles, olive oils, wild boar, porchetta, cured meats and wines.

There are just two provinces in Umbria – Terni and Perugia – and the region’s capital city is Perugia.

Home of the famous Baci Perugina chocolates and the annual Eurochocolate international chocolate festival (held each year in October), Perugia stands alongside Turin as one of Italy’s most celebrated chocolate capitals.

Perugia is the larger of Umbria’s two provinces, taking up two thirds of the region and running along the entire eastern side.

A good place to begin a tour of this province is in the wonderful city of Perugia itself. Its main square is Piazza IV Novembre, with the impressive 13th century Maggiore Fountain in its centre.

As we head over to the Terni province be sure to visit the city of Terni – the birthplace of St Valentine, who is the city’s patron saint and the patron saint of love.

Although Terni is considered one of the area’s main cities, Orvieto is perhaps the most well known. It is built upon a large volcanic rock made of tufa.

A focal point of Orvieto is the Duomo in Piazza Duomo, which has become a symbol of the town.

Somehow, Umbria seems to blend the old world with the new ever so seamlessly. The region pays the utmost respect to tradition – with countless festivals held to honour its past, and age-old crafts like embroidery, glassmaking and woodwork still practiced today.

To read the full story, pick up your copy of the November/December 2014 issue.

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