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Umbria

Because Umbria is the only Italian region that does not touch another country or the sea, it is referred to as the "Green Heart of Italy."  While less famous than its western neighbor, Tuscany, it features just as many beautiful hill towns, fantastic rustic yet refined food, pilgrimage sights, and quality wine (such as Sagratino, its answer to Tuscany's Brunello).  Smartertravel.com's excellent description refers to Umbria as "Tuscany without the crowds."

Perugia

A university town and captial of Umbria, Perugia is also famous for its annual Eurochocolate and Umbria Jazz festivals.

Places to Eat

  • Civico 25 - via della Viola 25, 075-571-6376, www.civico25.com, closed Sun, dinner only, not far from the center, seasonal Umbrian traditions, menu changes often, rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, Espresso
  • Stella Ristorante - Localita Casaglia, via dei Narcisi 47a, 075-692-0002, www.stellaristorantevineria.it, closed Tues, dinner only (except Sun), typical Umbrian cooking with creative influences, homemade pastas, rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, Espresso
  • Wine Bartolo Hosteria - via Bartolo 30, 075-571-6027, closed Wed, dinner only (except Sun), in an old underground wine cellar, convivial place with very traditional cuisine, pasta and bread made on the premises, rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, Espresso.
  • Altromondo - rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia
  • Osteria la Lumera - Corso Bersaglieri 22/26, 075-572-6181, www.lalumera.it, closed Mon, dinner only (lunch with group reservations), rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, in university quarter
  • Giò Arte e Vini - rec'd by Gambero Rosso, TCI, also hotel, www.hotelgio.it
  • Castello di Monterone (Strada Montevile 3, a ways E of town, 075-572-4214, www.castellomonterone.com) has two restaurants:
    • Gradale - rec'd by Gambero Rosso
    • Il Postale - fancy haute cuisine, rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Espresso, Michelin (1 star), TCI
  • L'Officina Circolo Culturale - www.l-officina.net, rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Espresso
  • Osteria a Priori - www.osteriaapriori.it, rec'd by Gambero Rosso
  • Osteria del Gambero - www.osteriadelgambero.it, rec'd by Mangiarozzo, Espresso, TCI
  • Osteria Il Gufo - www.osteriailgufo.it rec'd by Mangiarozzo, Alice
  • Trattoria del Borgo - rec'd by Mangiarozzo, Alice
  • Pastry shop: Sandri, corso Vannucci 32, rec'd by Slow Food
  • olive oil: Giovanni Batta - via San Girolamo 127, 075-572-4782, 335-817-6332, www.frantoiobatta.it
  • Todi (hill town with gorgeous view, 45 km/40 min S of Perugia, 40 min NE of Orvieto, 30 min off A1)
    • Pane e Vino - via Ciuffelli 33, 075-894-5448, closed Wed, www.panevinotodi.com, near San Fortunato basilica, also rents 5 rooms, rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia
    • Roccafiore - Fior Fiore - Località Chioano (3 km outside Todi's historic center), www.roccafiore.it, beautiful view of the city, 075-894-2416, closed Tues, quality organic ingredients, often produced on site, 13 rooms for rent, pool
    • Agriturismo I Rossi - frazione Pesciano 42, 075-894-7079, 329-497-0325, www.irossi.com, rec'd by Mangiarozzo
    • Ristorante La Mulinella - località Pontenaia 29, 075-894-4779, rec'd by Mangiarozzo, TCI
    • Ristorante Rosa dei Venti - località Fiore 3c, 075-894-4647, 338-882-9214, rec'd by Mangiarozzo
    • Trattoria Cibbochi - Strada Provinciale di Pontemartino 67, 075-894-5425, 075-894-2949, www.trattoriacibocchitodi.com, rec'd by Mangiarozzo
    • Gelato: Bar Pianegiani - Corso Cavour 40, 075-894-2376, closed Mon, www.barpianegiani.itLonely Planet rec's the black cherry (spagnola) and hazelnut (nocciola) gelato
      • ...also check out Gran Caffe' di Foglietta on Piazza del Popolo?
    • olive oil (in Collevalenza): Frantoio La Casella
  • Torgiano (hill town 15 km/18 min S of Perugia)
    • I Birbi - Localita Le Casacce Miralduolo di Torgiano, 075-988-9041, closed Mon, dinner only except weekends, in country farmhouse, rustic plates with Tuscan influences, rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, Espresso
    • Le Tre Vaselle - Le Melograne - fancier place, rec'd Gambero Rosso, Espresso, Michelin, TCI
    • olive oil: La Montagnola - www.lamontagnola.it
    • Wineries
  • Deruta (hill town known for its ceramics, 19 km / 20 min S of Perugia, near Tevere)
    • L'Antico Forziere - hotel/restaurant, rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Michelin
    • Osteria il Borghetto - via Borgo Garibaldi 102, 075-972-4264, closed Sun, rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, Mangiarozzo
  • San Feliciano in Magione (town on E shore of Lake Trasimeno, 22 km/22 min W of Perugia)
    • I Bonci - Lungo Lago Alicata Antonino 31, 075-847-9355, closed Mon, nice place with young, friendly staff, traditional dishes based on lake seafood
    • Rossa di Sera - via F.lli Papini 79, 075-847-6277, closed Tues, dinner only except Sun, nice view of lake, lake seafood from the fishermen's cooperative, rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, Espresso.
  • Castiglione del Lago (town on outcropping on W side of Lake Trasimeno, beautiful view of lake, 48 km/38 min W of Perugia or ~30 min off A1 near border with Tuscany...ferries connect with other towns/islands on the lake)
    • L'Acquario - via Vittorio Emanuele 69, 075-965-2432, 335-608-0575, www.ristoranteacquario.it, closed Wed, rec'd Gambero Rosso, Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, Mangiarozzo
    • Vinolento - via Vittorio Emanuele 112, closed Wed lunch, Mon, rec'd Gambero Rosso, Espresso, TCI
    • Locanda della Mercanzia - via del Sccorso 9d, località Baldelli, 075-965-9552, 333-336-0682, 338-872-2488, www.locandamercanzia.it, closed Tues/Wed lunch, Mon, November, rec'd by Mangiarozzo
    • Gelato: Be Bop, viale Umbria 25, 075-951-988
    • Wineries
      • Duca della Corgna - via Roma 236, 075-965-2493, www.ducadellacorgna.it, Colli di Trasimeno "Baccio del Rosso" and "Gamay Divina Villa" are rec'd by Slow Food
  • Panicale (medieval hill town 37 km/42 min SW of Perugia, ~30 min off A1 near Chiusi, S of Lake Trasimeno)
    • Lillo Tatini - Piazza Umberto I 13/14, 075-837-771, closed Mon, info@lillotatini.itwww.lillotatini.it, outside seating in summer, menu changes with the seasons, traditional regional dishes, rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, Espresso, TCI
    • nearby in Paciano: Ristorante Il Casale - www.ristoranteilcasale.it, rec'd by Mangiarozzo, Alice
  • Città della Pieve (43 km/45 min SW of Perugia, just off A1 near Chiusi, ~30 min S of Castiglione del Lago)
    • Hotel Vannucci - Zafferano Ristorante Gourmet, rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Espresso, Michelin
    • Locanda della Picca - enoteca/hotel/restaurant, Localita il Poggio 2/4, 057-829-9403, rec'd Gambero Rosso, TCI 

Orvieto

A beautiful, relatively large hill town that is conveniently located right on the highway and railway lines, Orvieto has wonderful history and sights, including its medieval duomo (cathedral), which has an amazing façade and some cool frescos inside.  Great for a quick weekend trip from Napoli or as a stopping point on your way to/from destinations further north.  See Rick Steve's Orvieto page and tv clip for a taste of what you'll see.
  • Getting There - if you're driving (~3 hours from Naples), you can park in the free lot behind the train station and take the funicular up; otherwise, you can park in the upper pay lot and ride the free escalators/elevator up (a better option only if you're staying a few hours).  If you take the train (fast trains from Naples change in Rome and take 2.5-3 hours, while IC direct trains take about ~3.5 hours leaving at 0555, 0818, 1024, and 1418 [as of 2010]--since the IC are about half the price it's usually worthwhile to take those), just head up the funicular.
  • Carta Unica Pass - if you're into sightseeing, consider this all-inclusive city pass: for €18 (€15 for students, seniors over 65, or groups larger than 15...it's free for kids under 10) you get free admission to pretty much all of the city's museums (including all the cool "underground" tours and the great view from the top of the Toree del Moro) as well as a free ride up & down the funicular (or 5 hours in the upper parking lot).  The card is good for a year, so if you don't check out all the museums on your first visit, you can come back later.  If you get this card, it gives you an extra incentive to check out some of the lesser-known sites.  Unfortunately the Carta Unica website only appears to work in Italian, but the tourist bureau people at the base of the funicular can explain how it works, and have English brochures.
  • Gelato: Pasqualetti - with two locations (the bigger one is to the left of the Duomo as you face the façade), this shop has fresh, bold flavors and is a must even if you're in town for a few hours.  There's always room for gelato!  Piazza del Duomo 14, 076-334-1034 and Corso Cavour 56, 076-334-2342, rec'd by Slow Food.
  • Restaurants
    • Trattoria la Grotta - via Signorelli 5, 076-334-1348, closed Tues, in 15th century former stables, the oldest trattoria in Orvieto, classic recipes, rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, TCI
    • La Palomba - Via Cipriano Menente 16, 076-334-3395, closed W and part of July/Aug, rec'd by Rick Steves, Slow Food, Frommer's, Mangiarozzo, and various other guidebooks, this no-nonsense trattoria just around the corner from Corso Cavour serves up good, homestyle food including Orvieto delicacy piccione (pigeon).  A must for truffle lovers: the hammy waiters grate half a truffle on each plate in front of you!
    • Enoteca Vinosus - rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Espresso
    • I Sette Consoli - more expensive, rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Espresso, Michelin, TCI
    • Piazza del Popolo - rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Espresso
    • Osteria Numero Uno - rec'd by Mangiarozzo
    • Trattoria del Conte (in Buon Respiro) - rec'd by Mangiarozzo, Alice
    • Bakery: Il Dolce Forno - via Manente 20, rec'd by Slow Food
    • Porano (nearby): Il Boccone del Prete - via Bellini 12/16, 076-337-4772, www.ilbocconedelprete.it, closed Mon, in a romantic grotto, homemade bread/oil/pasta, rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia  Mangiarozzo
  • Events: Umbria Jazz - the Perugia-based festival moves to Orvieto in late December/early January--book your rooms ahead early if you plan a trip during this period!

Assisi

Perched in the foothills of Mount Subasio, Assisi's medieval lanes glow in pink sandstone.  Now a pilgrimage site, thousands flock here to walk in the steps of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Claire (of the Poor Claires).  Even if you're not religious, it is truly something to see its enormous churches and experience a peaceful serenity that is preserved even though it is swarming with tourists from around the world.  Also, late at night, or if you dart a street or two off the main roads, you have this too-beautiful-to-be-true town to yourself.
  • Budget Lodging: Camere Annalisa Martini - Via San Gregorio 6; 075-813-536, rec'd by Rick Steves, these dirt-cheap rooms are rented out by the very friendly Signora Martini ("my name is like the drink!") right off the main square.  Not luxury (e.g. you share a bathroom down the hall) but clean and convenient.
  • Hiking: Mount Subasio - follow in the footsteps of St. Francis on this hike up the hill where he and his disciples lived in caves (which you can still see).  Halfway up the mountain is the Eremo delle Carceri (the "hermitage of the incarcerated," since the early Franciscans had "incarcerated" themselves in caves), where you can see Francis' cave and pray with the modern-day Franciscans in a monestary nearby. Maps/directions available here (in English) and here (in Italian, but with KML files)
  • Resource: Sacred Destinations - has an excellent Assisi webpage with links to in-depth looks at the major churches in Assisi (including the Eremo delle Carceri).
Places to Eat:
  • Pallotta - vicolo della Volta Pinta 6, 075-812-649, 075-812-307, www.pallottaassisi.it, closed Tues, Balducci family runs this trattoria with fresh, local ingredients (strangozzi with musrooms, tagliatelle with truffles, farro/lentil soup, pigeon, rabbit with wild herbs, etc.) rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, also a hotel a few blocks away at Via San Rufino 6 (has a nice tower with a 360° view)
  • Da Ermino - via Montecavallo 19, 075-812-506, www.trattoriadaerminio.it, closed Thurs, classic local cuisine such as strangozzi and grilled meats, rec's by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia and Michelin
  • La Stalla - via Eremo delle Carceri 24 (~1 mile east of town on the way to the Eremo delle Carceri), 075-812-317, www.fontemaggio.it, closed Mon, medieval building, rustic, also agriturismo with camping, rec'd by Mangiarozzo, Frommers (says "it just may be one of your most memorable and authentic Umbrian meals")
  • Nuova Osteria La Piazzetta dell'Erba - via San Gabriele dell Addolorata 15b, 075-815-352, 347-864-5865, closed Mon, in medieval square, innnovative takes on typical dishes such as caramels of fresh pasta with pear & pecorino, bocconcini with curry, beef filets with fine herbs, rec'd by Espresso, Mangiarozzo
  • Bistrot Brilli - in valley of Sant Maria deglia Angeli, via Los Angeles 83, 075-804-3433, a bit fancy, rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Espresso, Michelin
  • Buca di San Francesco - via Brizzi 1, 075-812-204, closed Mon, the "most beautiful restaurant in the city" in 14th century palace, simple local flavors, rec'd by Michelin and TCI
  • La Fortezza - vicolo La Fortezza 2b, 075-812-8993, www.lafortezzahotel.com, closed Thurs, in medieval fortress area, various local influences, homemade desserts, rec'd by Michelin, also rents out rooms (no longer any good?)
  • San Francesco - via San Francesco 52, 075-812-329, closed Wed, somewhat fancy restaurant with view of the basilica, traditional cuisine, great desserts, rec'd by Michelin and TCI
  • Enoteca San Pietro - via Borgo San Pietro 18b, 075-813-303, closed Tues, Umbrian specialties with creativity rec'd by Alice, inexpensive (€15-25, "light" menu €8.50)
  • Pozzo della Mensa - via Pozzo della Mensa 11b, 075-815-5236, open every day, seasonal food rec'd by Alice, inexpensive (€18-30)
  • Cheese: Caseificio Brufani in Santa Maria degli Angeli, Via Los Angeles 31, 075-804-2789, rec'd by Slow Food
  • Wineries
    • Saio - via della Passerella 9, 075-812-940, www.saioassisi.it, ...wine shop is via campiglione 94/A, 075-812-305, closed Sun afternoon and Mon/Tues, open 10-12:30 and 4-7:30, only does white wine
    • in Bastia Umbra, just NW of Santa Maria degli Angeli: Antigniano Brogal Vini, via degli Olmi 9, www.brogalvini.com ...also olive oil at Franco Betti, www.francobetti.it (in same town, Mangiarozzo rec's Bottiglieria con cucina Fratelli Bovini)
  • Nocera Umbra (hill town 33 km/34 min E of Assisi, on other side of Mount Subasio)
    • Cantina della Villa - Localita La Cupa Colle di Nocera Umbra,  43.16700° N, 12.79738° E, 074-281-0329, www.cantinadellavilla.com, closed Wed, dinner only except Sun (with groups of ≥25 can also open for lunch other days), ancient traditions of the Appenines, especially beans/farro, also rent out rooms and space for camping, rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia
    • L'Angolo del Buongustaio - rec'd by Mangiarozzo
    • Ristorante Bar Camping Pian delle Stelle - rec'd by Mangiarozzo
  • Spello (popular hill town, 12 km/16 min drive S of Assisi)
    • La Bastiglia - fancy place, dinner only (although less-expensive Osteria is next door and open for lunch and dinner), rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Espresso, TCI, 1 Michelin star
    • Ristorante La Cantina di Spello - www.lacantinadispello.com rec'd by Mangiarozzo, Espresso
    • olive oil
    • Wineries
      • Sportoletti - via Lombardia 1, 074-265-1461, www.sporteletti.com, Assisi Grechetto and Rosso wines
  • Montefalco (home of famous Sagrantino wine, 37 km/36 min S of Assisi)
    • L'Alchimista - Piazza del Comune 14, 074-237-8558, closed Tues, changing menu that features Sagrantino, rec'd by Gambero Rosso and Slow Food Osterie d'Italia
    • Spiritodivino - Piazza Mustafà 2, 074-237-9048, closed Mon, B&B and bistrot rec'd by Gambero Rosso and Espresso...also related to Piazza Onofri place in Bevagna
    • Il Coccorone - Largo Tempestivi 11, 074-237-9535, closed Wed, part of October, www.coccorone.com, highly rec'd by Mangiarozzo, also rec'd by Michelin
    • olive oil: Villa Umbra - via Colle San Clemente 2, 074-237-9124, www.agritursimovillaumbra.it
    • Wineries
      • Omero Moretti - in Giano dell'Umbria, just SW of Montefalco, via San Sabino 19, 074-290-433, www.morettiomero.it,  their Montefalco Rosso was named one of the best reds under €10 in Umbria (by Slow Food)
        • even better, they have some wonderful "Millenario" olive oil made from olive trees that are all over 1000 years old (!)...you can drive to the trees too (one of them is at 42.8459412,12.5875958 near Macciano)
      • Perticaia - località Casale (just W of town), 074-292-0328, www.perticaia.it, their Montefalco Rosso was named one of the best reds under €10 in Umbria (by Slow Food)
      • Rocca di Fabbri - località Fabbri (SE of town), www.roccadifabbri.com
      • Madonna Alta - località Pietrauta (NW of town), www.madonnalta.it
      • Arnaldo Caprai - località Torre (10 min N of town), www.arnaldocaprai.it
      • Cantina Novelli - località Pedrelle (10 min SW of town) on via Molino Capaldini, www.cantinanovelli.it
      • Antonelli San Marco - località San Marco 60 (10 min W of town), www.antonellisanmarco.it
  • Foligno (19 km / 24 min S of Assisi)
    • Nuovo Ristorante da Remo - via del Campo 4, 074-234-0422, 339-301-8085, closed Mon, in old palace in center of town, rustic plates of Umbrian traditional dishes, rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia  Mangiarozzo
    • Premiata Officina del Gusto - Piazza Don Minzoni 1 (at Via Gramsci), 074-262-0452, closed Tues, in center of town, elegant and creative, rec'd by Gambero Rosso
    • Villa Roncalli - località Sant'Eraclio, via Roma 25, 074-239-1091, closed Mon, 19th century place on outskirts of Foligno, near park/pool, relaxing place that reminds one of historic splendor, rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Espresso, Michelin, TCI, food blog (also a hotel?)
    • Agriturismo Borgo La Torre - www.borgolatorre.com, rec'd by Mangiarozzo
    • Hostaria Sparafucile - rec'd by Mangiarozzo
    • La Locanda dei Due Apostoli - rec'd by Mangiarozzo
    • Osteria del Teatro - rec'd by Mangiarozzo
    • Olive Oil
  • Cannara (riverside town 14 km / 22 min SW of Assisi)
    • Perbacco Vini e Cucina - via Umberti I 16, 074-272-0492, closed Mon, dinner only starting at 7:30 PM, enoteca and restaurant, rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, Espresso, Michelin, Mangiarozzo
    • nearby, in Bettona, rec'd by Mangiarozzo: Il Poggio degli Olivi -  www.poggiodegliolivi.com (also rec'd Michelin) and Osteria dell'Oca www.osteriadelloca.com
    • Wineries
  • Bevagna (riverside town 24 km / 31 min S of Assisi, SW of Foligno)
    • Albergo L'Orto degli Angeli - Redibis - via Dante Alighieri 1 / via del Teatro, 074-236-0130, closed Tues, hotel/restaurant old traditional recipies, changes with the seasons, rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Espresso, Michelin, TCI
    • La Tavernetta di Porta Guelfa - via Raggiolo 2, 333-430-0722, closed Mon, dinner only (lunch possible with reservations), nice tiny place to try traditional flavors, daily changing menu, rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia
    • Piazza Onofri - Piazza Onfori 2, 074-236-1926, closed Wed, dinner only except weekends, www.spiritodivino.net/ristorante-bevagna old 13th-century olive oil house now holds this enoteca/restaurant, traditional dishes, also rent 9 rooms, rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, Espresso, TCI
    • Antiche Sere - rec'd by Mangiarozzo
    • La Trattoria di Oscar...e quant'altro - rec'd by Mangiarozzo
    • Le Delizie del Borgo - rec'd by Mangiarozzo
    • Ristorante El Rancho - rec'd by Mangiarozzo, Alice
    • Ristorante La Lumaca d'Oro - rec'd by Mangiarozzo
    • nearby in Gualdo Cattaneo: La Locanda del Prete (country house/restaurant rec'd by Gambero Rosso  Espresso) and La Vecchia Cucina (trattoria rec'd by Espresso, Michelin, TCI) and Ristorante Da Clelia (rec'd by Mangiarozzo)
    • olive oil: Ronci, www.olioronci.it
    • Wineries
      • Adanti - località Arquata, 074-236-0295, www.cantineadanti.com, their Montefalco Rosso Arquata was named one of the best reds under €10 in Umbria (by Slow Food)
  • Spoleto (48 km/38 min S of Assisi)
    • Il Capanno - www.ilcapannoristorante.it rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Espresso, Mangiarozzo
    • Ristorante Apollinare - hotel/restaurant rec'd by Michelin, TCI
    • Tempio del Gusto - rec'd by Estpresso, Michelin, TCI
    • Al Palazzaccio da piero - rec'd by Michelin, TCI
    • olive oil, both organic in Poreta, N of Spoleto towards Trevi
    • just E is Scheggino: Del Ponte - via di Borgo 11, 074-361-131, www.albergoristorantedelponte.com and www.hoteldelpontescatolini.it, closed Mon, restaurant/hotel, in pittoresque medieval village along Nera river, traditional dishes focusing on truffles, homemade pasta, rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, Michelin
    • also E in Vallo di Nera: La Locada Cacio Re, www.caciore.com, rec'd by Mangiarozzo, Michelin
  • Trevi (beautiful hill town, 33 km/32 min S of Assisi)
  • Campello Sul Clitunno (small hill town near freeway S of Trevi/Foligno, 36 km/32 min S of Assisi)
    • La Trattoria di Gabriele - Strada delle Vene 7, 074-327-5797, www.latrattoriadigabriele.it, closed Sun dinner, Mon, lots of attention to using good ingredients, rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia  TCI, Mangiarozzo
    • nearby in Castel Ritaldi: Locanda Rovicciano - www.locandarovicciano.it, rec'd by Mangiarozzo, Gambero Rosso, Espresso
    • olive oil: Marfuga, www.marguga.it
  • Massa Martana (51 km/1 hr S of Assisi)
    • Fontana delle Pere - Vocabolo Perticara 138, 075-889-506, 348-592-9826, 347-720-4834, www.fontanadellepere.it, closed Sun dinner, agriturismo in Martani mountains, olives and grapes, €24 fixed menu that changes with what's fresh, only open on reservation, they have a pool and horses, rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia
  • Norcia (81 km/1 hr S of Assisi, 42 km/38 min E of Spoleto...the birthplace of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica, known for pork products, suffered very bad earthquake in 2016)
    • Beccofino - rec'd by Espresso, Michelin, TCI
    • Hotel Grotta Azzura, Granaro del Monte - rec'd by Michelin (Bib Gourmand), TCI
    • Vespasia Palazzo Seneca - Gambero Rosso, Espresso, TCI
    • Locanda de'Senari - www.agriturismosenari.it rec'd by Mangiarozzo
    • Rifugio Perugia - www.rifugioperugia.it rec'd by Mangiarozzo
    • Taverna Castelluccio - www.tavernacastelluccio.it rec'd by Mangiarozzo, TCI
    • Trattoria dei Priori - www.trattoriadeipriori.it rec'd by Mangiarozzo
    • Birra Nursia - a brewery run by mostly American (!) monks
    • Castelluccio di Norcia - high-altitude village in Parco dei Monti Sibillini, known for lentils and wildflowers in late spring/early summer (also has the Festa Fioritura [blossoming festival] usually held the 3rd Sunday in June)...you can also hike up Monte Vettore
  • Preci (beautifully situated hill town near Parco dei Monti Sibillini, N of Norcia, ~1 hr S of Asisi)
    • Il Castoro - via Roma 45, 074-393-9248, www.ristoranteilcastoro.com, closed Thurs, many ingredients are grown by proprieters, open in August, rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia
    • Al Porcello Felice - www.ilcollaccio.com rec'd by Mangiarozzo

Hill Towns

A number of small hill towns dot the Umbrian countryside; everyone has a favorite.  Here are some of the most well-known:
  • Trevi - near the train line, one of the "most beautiful villages in Italy"
  • Spello - near Assisi, very highly rated by various writers
  • Spoleto - home of a famous summer music festival that inspired an offshoot in Charleston, South Carolina
  • Gubbio - one of Rick Steves' favorites, see "Northern Umbria" for more
  • Montefalco - home of the famous Sagratino wine
  • Bevagna - also south of Assisi
  • Civita di Bagnoregio - Rick Steve's favorite hill town, near Orvieto (technically in Lazio, not Umbria, although right across the border just S of Orvieto); see his description.
Also check out Rick Steves' list of recommended hill towns in Tuscany, Umbria, and Le Marche.  Marmore Falls is a cool manmade waterfall south of Spoleto.  Key to Umbria City Walks is a great site for learning about walks and hikes in and around various towns in Umbria.

Northern Umbria

The region north of Perugia, between Città di Castello and Gubbio, has some great towns and is close to Tuscany, Le Marche, and Emilia Romagna.
  • Casa della Pace
  • Umbertide - riverside medieval town, along Tevere
    • Locanda di Nonna Gelsa - Localita Niccone (towards Trasimeno/Cortona), via Caduti di Penetola 30, 075-941-0699, www.locandadinonnagelsa.com, closed Tues, vegetables and grilled meats, truffles when in season, Alice rec's going after summer, so there are fewer foreign tourists :-), rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, Mangiarozzo
    • San Giorgio - via Mancini 3, 075-941-2944, in center of town, quality local ingredients, vegetables from the garden, rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, Espresso
  • Gubbio - one of Rick Steve's favorite hill towns (42 km/49 min N of Perugia)
    • Alcatraz - Localita Santa Cristina, 075-922-9911/9914/9938/9939, info@alcatraz.it, www.alcatraz.it, natural, quality, local ingredients (many of which they make themselves), very kid friendly, large tables with buffet-style service, €25 fixed price, also rent out rooms (or campsites), reserve ahead!
    • Piatto d'Oro - località Branca 205, 075-925-6238, closed Fri, rec'd by Mangiarozzo
    • "Gubbio Gelati"  and "L'arte Golosa" di Paolo Bettelli are rec'd gelaterie
  • Città di Castello (~50 km / 40 min N of Perugia, 68 km / 52 min N of Assisi, 50 min off A1, Monte San Savino exit)
    • Lea - via San Florido 38, 075-852-1678, closed Mon, central location, very traditional food, homemade desserts, rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia
    • La Molenda - via Cortonese, 075-844-6028, closed Mon-Wed, dinner only except Sundays (but with groups of ≥20 can open other times), old millhouse now houses restaurant with local traditional dishes, homemade dsserts, rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia
    • Miniera di Galparino - Localita San Secondo, Vocabolo Galparino 36, 075-854-0784, www.galparino.com, closed Sun-Wed, dinner only, agriturismo in 12th century farmhouse, only 20 "fortunate people" can eat at a time, traditional dishes with innovative twists, menu changes every night, 5 rooms available to rent
    • Caffè Accademia - via del Modello 1, 075-852-3120, 333-246-5882, closed Mon, dinner only (lunch available with reservation), chef Mirko adds his personality to traditional dishes, live music on Thursdays, rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia
    • Il Bersaglio - rec'd by Espresso, Michelin, TCI
    • Trattoria degli Amici Miei - rec'd by Mangiarozzo, TCI
    • Hotel le Mura - Raffaello - closed Sun, rec'd Michelin, cheap
    • San Secondo - La Miniera di Galparino (Locanda Italia with "exemplary traditional cuisine")
    • Food shop: Alimentari Il Girasole - via Liviero 2M, Slow Food rec's
    • olive oil: Dante Sambuchi - frazione Ronti, via Casanova 15, 338-293-6982, www.aziendaagricolasambuchi.it, organic

Southern Umbria

The region in Terni province borders Lazio to the south and includes Corbara lake (and Orvieto, covered above).  Just E of Terni itself is the Cascata delle Marmore, a huge, manmade waterfall that gets turned on and off several times a day.
  • La Clessidra - rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Espresso
  • Oste della Mal'Ora - www.ostedellamalora.it rec'd by Gambero Rosso, Espresso, Mangiarozzo
  • Trattoria La Mora - Strada S, Martino 44, 074-421-256, clsoed Tues, tiny family-run trattoria, traditional regional cuisine, rec'd Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, TCI
  • Zenzero - via Fratini 34/36, 074-408-1944, closed Sun, dinner only, creative takes on regional cuisine, rec'd Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, Espresso
  • Ristorante Tacitus - rec'd by Mangiarozzo
  • Trattoria Teresa - rec'd by Mangiarozzo
  • olive oil: Eroli di Anna Minciarelli, www.olioeroli.it
  • Chocolate: La Cioccolateria Artigiana Fani - Corso Vecchio 145, rec'd by Slow Food
  • Monteleone di Spoleto (SW of Scheggino/Spoleto): Trattoria Da Gigetto, rec'd by Mangiarozzo
  • Acquasparta (S of Todi, N of Terni)
    • L'Umbriaco - rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia
    • Madre Terra - rec'd by Gambero Rosso
  • Amelia (W of Terni)
  • Avigliano Umbro (hill town, NW of Terni, 1 hr S of Perugia, ~30 min S of Todi)
    • Il Castagneto - rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia
    • La Casareccia - rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia
    • La Posta - via Matteotti 19, 074-493-3927, www.ristorantelaposta.net, closed Mon, Tues, only dinner (except Sun), near fossilized forest of Dunarobba, lots of dishes, personal touch on traditional cuisine, rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, Gambero Rosso, TCI, Mangiarozzo
  • Ferentillo (NW of Terni, not far from Marmore)
    • Piermarini - rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, Michelin
  • Montecchio (hill town just S of Corbara lake, just off A1)
    • Semiramide - rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia, ingredients come from their family garden
    • olive oil: Agricola Beatrice, via Sandro Pertini 3
  • Narni (SW of Terni)
    • Da Sara - rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia
    • Il Pincio - rec'd by Slow Food Osterie d'Italia
    • Trattoria Il Cavallino - rec'd by Mangiarozzo
  • Stroncone (medieval hill town S of Terni)

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