Umbria is affectionately known as the ‘Green Heart of Italy’for its undulating hills stretching towards the horizon, thick woods and bubbling streams. The region combines small towns that are oozing with both culture, history and charm as well as having spectacular views on its doorstep. Accommodation includes luxurious villas in umbria with a private pool, high-end boutiques and guesthouses to cater for almost any tourist and interests. If you want a relaxing weekend away in the sun, consider coming to Umbria. And here’s how you can make sure you have an incredible and unforgettable trip.
Rent a Car
To get the most out of your weekend away in Umbria, you should get a car. Having a set of wheels will give you both the flexibility to explore the hilltop towns but also the opportunity to experience the best of Italy’s countryside. Search online,and you’ll find a list of rentals offering affordable cars. Next look at a map and plan where you want to go. If you get your car at the airport, it also makes it easier to get into Umbria.
Splurge, But Don’t Waste Money
Italy and the Umbrian regions have a reputation as an expensive destination. From mid-level dining experiences to beautiful villas in the hills, a trip to this part of the country won’t come cheap. But most visitors who have the chance to experience its beauty and charm often say it’s worth the money. You should, therefore, expect to splash out on your weekend to get a comfortable place to stay and have a trip that’s worth remembering.
Embrace the Romance
Few things can match the romance of strolling through the medieval centres of quaint hilltop towns. Or what about dining al fresco overlooking the green landscapes in front of your eyes. It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone will feel the romance and allure of Italian Umbria. And after a day enjoying the scenery and ambience, why not head to one of the many restaurants and order world-class food with a glass of locally produced wine? Forget Florence and Venice, head to Umbria instead.
Want to Visit the Churches? Dress Appropriately
The region is blessed with several churches, basilicas and cathedrals in its towns and cities. And as with much of Italy, a major highlight is going inside to marvel at the style and decorations. Some have exquisite art donning the walls while others carry an air of elegance. But if you do want to go inside, remember to cover your arms and legs. All religious buildings have a strict dress code.Some even employ security guards at the entrance to prevent those deemed to be wearing unsuitable clothes from entering. And if you do, you’ll get the disapproving glares from the locals.
If Possible, Avoid Summer
Peak season usually starts towards late spring in May and lasts until early autumn in September. This time of the year will see millions and millions of tourists visiting Italy. And a small percentage of these will be packed inside the towns and villagesof Umbria. Weekends are especially busy. If it’s possible, try to avoid travelling at this time of the year. Otherwise, expect cramped town centres, restaurants jam-packed with tourists and everyone stepping on everyone else’s toes. But if it’s unavoidable, there are two options. Either head to the more remote areas far from the typical tourist trail. Or explore in the evening as a sizeable number of tourists visit as part of a day trip.
Enjoy the Wine
As you start to drive through the hills, you’ll notice the grape vines growing in the fields. Italy’s Umbria produces some of the country’s best wine, which can be bought directly from the winery, in supermarkets or enjoyed with a plate of rustic local food. It doesn’t matter if you prefer red or white, you’re sure to find an incredible bottle. And bringing a few back as souvenirs is always a good idea!
Extend Your Trip and Visit Rome
Rome is just two hours south of Umbria and makes a popularspot to either start or end a trip to the Italian countryside. Some people will fly into Rome before renting a car and driving into the region. Others might add an extra day or two and have a long weekend with a night in Rome. Combining a trip to visit both is a top way to experience the best of Italy. And if you’re not driving, regular buses from the capital connect to the hills.
And Remember to be Vigilant
As with most tourist hotspots around the world, Umbria isn’t immune to pickpockets and scammers. While it might seem completely safe to be walking through the attractive town and historical core, there might be some people trying to target you. Despite the surroundings, the intentions of some of the more unscrupulous locals might not match. It’s easy to avoid if you’re smart and vigilant. Just maintain the same level of security and caution as you would in some of Italy’s major cities. And don’t flash expensive gadgets, phones or money. If people don’t see you as an easy target, they’ll move onto someone else.
A Perfect Getaway
From breath-taking landscapes and locally produced wine to charismatic towns, churches and nature, Umbria has everything a tourist could want for a perfect weekend. So whether you’re travelling alone or looking for a romantic weekend away, you’ll find it here. Just remember to avoid the summer, rent a car and to be vigilant of the inevitable pickpockets.