Sightseeing

Umbria and neighbouring regions provide sightseeing opportunities to suit all tastes and interests. The geographic location of Montone in central Italy means that you are never very far away from a large number of places of interest. Whether you enjoy architecture, history, ruins, art or scenery, this part of Italy will not disappoint.

Below we will try to give you an idea of some places to visit. We also suggest that you take time to do some research using one of the many available guide books on Umbria, Tuscany and Marche. There are guidebooks and tourist information pamphlets in the bookcase and visitors' pack that you can also refer to for ideas. We have found the following books to be excellent sources of information.

The local tourist information office in Umbertide (Piazza Caduti del Lavoro, Tel. 075 9417099) is also a good place to visit. It is open Monday to Saturday 08:30 - 13:30 and Friday and Saturday 15:00 - 18:00.

The Bella Umbria and Umbria Online websites are packed with useful information on the Umbria region and are an excellent place to look for additional inspiration.

Local Day trips

Montone

Montone, which in Italian means "Aries" or the "Ram", is a small medieval village unchanged throughout the centuries and beautifully preserved. It is surrounded by sturdy walls and has a network of narrow streets, alleys and stairways. Its origins date back to the 10th century and in recent years the traditions of the medieval period have been brought back to life during re-enactments of historical events.

Festivals and events

Visit the Montone town website

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Umbertide

Umbertide is dominated by its imposing medieval fortress, La Rocca, which today houses contemporary art exhibitions. Nearby is the octagonal Collegiata church, built in the 16th Century.

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Perugia

Perugia, the capital of Umbria, is a stylish and busy hilltop city with strong cultural traditions and fine monuments. It is home to the national gallery for early church paintings and icons and has a magnificent Romanesque cathedral as well as many art treasures. Its people are famed for their politeness, urbanity and good taste. It is a centre for chocolate, ladies shoes, language schools and Jazz music. The Umbrian Jazz festival is held in July and there are performances in the city's cloisters and squares. At other times the large student population brings in numerous concerts, films and other performances.
Corso Vannucci is the main shopping street and has many designer boutiques and a very fancy pastry shop "Pasticceria Sandri" with frescoed ceilings and designer cakes.

Festivals and events

Visit the Perugia city website

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Anghiari

Anghiari is a fine old town high on a hill overlooking the Valtiberina. It was the site of a victory in 1440 of the Florentines over the Milanese. Leonard da Vinci chose the battle as the subject matter for a fresco in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. There is a museum which has exhibits relating to traditional crafts of the upper Tiber valley.
The main steet which runs from the top of the hill to the valley floor is an extraordinary example of a perfectly straight roman road.
You can also visit the famous Busatti factory where beautiful handcrafted textiles and linen are made.

Restaurants

Visit the Anghiari town website

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Gubbio

Gubbio is a rugged mountain town, but also a town of culture, one that had its own school of painters. Over 2,500 years old, it has clung to the hillside throughout centuries of conflict. Today it retains some marvellous medieval festivals that fill the streets with colour. The most famous is the "Festival of the Candles", held on the 15th of May. On the last Sunday in May, crossbow-men from Sansepolcro come to compete in the "Palio della Balestra", a fiercely fought contest dating back to 1461.

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Citerna and Monterchi

Citerna is perched high on a hill with panoramas of the Tuscan and Umbrian upper Tiber valley. Along the central street, Corso Garibaldi is the San Francesco church, the Piazza, an old Francescan convent and a great cistern for water collection. The town has many fine works of art and a small theatre.

Monterchi is a small town famous for its work by Piero della Francesca 'Madonna del Parto' (Madonna with Child), a rare example of the pregnant virgin in Italian art.

Restaurants

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Cittą di Castello

Cittą di Castello is the most northerly town of Umbria and in the 15th century attracted some of the best renaissance artists to help in its decoration. Today, behind its 16th century walls, it makes a living from furniture making and tobacco farming.

Restaurants

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Cortona

Famous as a jewel among hill towns, Cortona was an important Etruscan city and Roman town. Today the town has many antique shops and holds the national antique furniture market in August/September. Another speciality is hand made copperware. The 15th of August is the time of the "Sagra di Bistecca" (the Festival of the Steak), with a huge outdoor grilling of the Valdichiana's famous beef.

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Montepulciano


Montepulciano is the home of the delicious Vino Nobile wines. It has to be experienced on foot to admire its beautiful streets, plazas and red brick buildings and particularly the magnificent church of San Biagio on the outskirts of town.

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Pienza and San Quirico d'Orcia


Pienza and San Quirico d'Orcia are charming little villages worth a visit in the province of Siena, principally because of the exquisitely beautiful environment in which they are located. Their surroundings offer expansive, rolling Tuscan landscapes ideal for photography and painting. Both villages are also trading centres for the delicious Pecorino cheese (made from sheep's milk).

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Sansepolcro

Sansepolcro was founded in the year 1000 and like Anghiari belonged to the monks of Camaldoli until the 13th century. Today it is the largest town of the Valtiberina famous for its lace and pasta. In September the annual Palio della Balestra, a crossbow competition, takes place with participants dressed in medieval costumes.
Admirers of Piero della Francesca will want to visit the Piero museum in the town where the renaissance painter was born and worked. The museum contains many of his important works which have been brought together from nearby village churches and chapels where he practiced his art.
The Buitoni pasta factory is situated on the outskirts of the town.

Restaurants

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Spello

Spello is a beautiful town, close to Assisi and built in the same pink and cream stone. It has ruins of a Roman amphitheatre and walking the medieval streets of Spello is a delight. The town celebrates "Corpus Domini" in May/June with the flower festival or "Infiorata", when the streets are decked with beautifully designed flower carpets.

Restaurants

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Spoleto

More than any other Umbrian city, Spoleto has a remarkable past. Prominent in classical times and in the middle ages, it became one of the most powerful states in Italy. Nowadays it is famed more for its music and art festival, "The Festival of Two Worlds", held over 3 weeks in June and July.

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Torgiano

This village famous for its wine, has an interesting wine museum which demonstrates wine growing traditions in Umbria since the Etruscan times. There is also an olive oil museum and the famous Tre Vaselle restaurant.

Restaurants

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Todi

Todi is a small but vibrant hill town with a Cathedral, exceptional medieval buildings and a long and tortuous history. At the beginning of September, the town holds the "Festival di Todi" which includes opera, ballet and theatre. Modern Todi is a sophisticated little town, known for its carpentry and woodworking. In April, it holds one of Italy's major antique fairs, and in August/September there is a national crafts fair. It is famous for its food, its hospitality and its wine - Grechetto di Todi.

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Arezzo

Arezzo has one of the biggest jewellery industries in Europe. Its second most notable industry is furniture making and the marketing of antiques. On the first Sunday of every month, the Piazza Grande becomes the site of an enormous antiques fair. In Arezzo you can view the newly restored Piero della Francesca murals in the church of San Francesco depicting the Battle of Anghiari and the "True Stations of the Cross".

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Lake Trasimeno area

Lake Trasimeno is the fourth largest lake in Italy. It is a great location for swimming, fishing, water sports and horse riding. A drive around the lake takes about 40 minutes.

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Assisi and Deruta

The walled city of Assisi, closely associated with St. Francis, is situated on the slopes of Monte Subasio. It retains its medieval character and houses innumerable artworks.

Famed for its blue and yellow pottery, Majolica, which is still made in modern factories in the new town. In the old town is the Palazzo Comunale which houses the museum with displays of Majolica.

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