Umbria
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Umbria Culture & History

Assisi: 3-Hour Private Walking Tour and St. Francis Basilica

1. Assisi: 3-Hour Private Walking Tour and St. Francis Basilica

Explore the birthplace of St. Francis on this private guided walking tour of the historic city, and learn more about one of Italy’s most famous patron saints. Explore the oldest part of the city to admire Roman ruins that have been perfectly integrated into medieval houses, and are still lived in by locals. Go to Assisi Cathedral, dedicated to Rufinus of Assisi, and see the ancient stratifications of the church where Francis was baptized. Following a light lunch (6 hour tour only) made with typical produce from Umbria in a restaurant or wine bar in the Old Town (optional and not included in your tour price), go to the Basilica of Saint Francis, the sumptuously decorated 13th-century double church built in his honor. Your guide will lead you on an interactive and immersive tour of the church and the life of St. Francis, founder of the Franciscan religious order, that will be anything but dry and dusty.

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Assisi: Self Guided Audio Tour

2. Assisi: Self Guided Audio Tour

Explore Assisi on a smartphone tour. Learn about iconic landmarks like the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi, the Basilica di Santa Chiara, and the castle of Rocca Maggiore. Download the app and start your self-guided adventure. Use the navigation function to easily find sights and photo hotspots. Stroll along planned routes and immerse yourself in the history and culture of this ancient town. View the UNESCO World Heritage site where Saint Francis died at the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi. See where Saint Clare's remains were found at the Basilica di Santa Chiara. Admire the 800-year old stone castle of Rocca Maggiore. Tune in to the audio commentary to hear about tourist attractions. Start or pause your tour whenever you wish. Have the freedom to design your own schedule.

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From Rome: Orvieto & Civita Bagnoregio Coach Tour

3. From Rome: Orvieto & Civita Bagnoregio Coach Tour

First, get picked up from your hotel in central Rome or head to the meeting point in the city center. Board the coach and depart at 8 AM, setting off towards the ancient city of Bagnoregio in the Province of Viterbo in central Italy.  When you arrive, take a stroll around Civita di Bagnoregio which was founded by Etruscans more than 2,500 years ago. The town is noted for its striking position on top of a plateau between the two valleys called Fossato del Rio Torbido and Fossato del Rio Chiaro. Find out about how the settlement is also known as the 'dying town' and was historically accessed by a single road that led from the Tiber valley to Lake Bolsena.  Then, stop for a delicious lunch at a local Italian restaurant. In the afternoon, continue the tour to Orvieto, another small town of Etruscan origins where you can admire the magnificent 14th-century cathedral, a masterpiece of gothic architecture. Visit the remarkable Pozzo di San Patrizio, a historic well that was built by architect-engineer Antonio da Sangallo the Younger of Florence in the 16th Century.  Finally, return to Rome where you will be dropped off at the meeting point in the city center.

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Assisi & Orvieto Day Trip from Rome

4. Assisi & Orvieto Day Trip from Rome

Escape Italy's busy capital for one day on this trip to Assisi and the Umbrian hill town Orvieto. On this tour, you will unveil the religious architecture of Umbria (such as the famous Cathedral of Orvieto) and discover the wines and local products of Tuscany. Leaving Rome in a northerly direction and driving along the Tiber Valley, reach Orvieto as your first stop, a small town of Etruscan origins where you will stop to admire the magnificent 14th century cathedral, a masterpiece of gothic architecture. The tour continues through the green Tuscan Hills covered in olive groves and vineyards. This is the land of some of Italy’s best known D.O.C. (quality controlled) wines, which include Orvieto, Chianti and Brunello di Montalcin. You will then have a further stop, where you will taste some local wines and other typical Umbrian and Tuscan products. Afterwards, enjoy lunch, consisting of traditional local dishes. In the early afternoon you will continue your journey and drive along the shores of Lake Trasimeno. Finally, reach Assisi, which is located at the foot of Mount Subasio. Assisi is famous for being St. Francis' birthplace. You will see the Church of St. Claire*, St Francis’ birthplace and his childhood home, the Townhall Square. Around the Townhall Square, you will see the People’s Palace and the Roman Temple dedicated to Minerva. One highlight of the tour will be the visit of St Francis’ Basilica, located close to the ancient city walls, with its magnificent frescoes painted between the 12th and 14th centuries. Leaving Assisi, stop at the town of Santa Maria degli Angeli, where St. Francis died in 1226. You will reach Rome around 19:30/20:00, where you will be dropped-off in the vicinity of your hotel.

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From Civitavecchia: the Dying City and Monster Park Tour

5. From Civitavecchia: the Dying City and Monster Park Tour

Civita di Bagnoregio is located in Tuscia on the border between Tuscany and Lazio. It is called the "dying city" because the land on which it stands is slowly falling away and will inevitably disappear when the final pieces crumble into the spectacular Valle dei Calanchi below. Knowing this, and knowing that nothing can be done to prevent it makes your visit all the more special, eternal and timeless. This is the feeling that makes it unique and marvelous to the people who have experienced the dying city. Connected to the rest of the world by a three hundred meter bridge, Civita di Bagnoregio is a charming village which will make you feel you are visiting a world that no longer exists. Made up of old houses, narrow streets and surrounded by beautiful landscapes, discover a walk through the scenes and stories of this place and choose the corner that sparks your intrigue the most. You can explore the Romanesque Arch at the entrance to Civita, the Renaissance Palace or the large Piazza (which is the site of donkey races on the first Sunday in June and the second Sunday of September and where all the remaining locals come to socialize in the evenings). After visit the dying city, you will head on to discover the Monster's Park situated in the town of Bomarzo. It is also called "Sacred Wood", and was designed by Prince Vicino Orsini and the great architect Pirro Ligorio in 1552. The park is unique and represents refined Italian style gardens that follow geometric and perspective rationality with embellishments such as wide terraces, fountains with water games and mannerist sculptures. You will also discover here eccentric wood blocks of peperino, emerging from the ground and sculpted into enigmatic figures of monsters, dragons, mythological subjects and exotic animals.

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Perugia: Market Tour, Cooking Class, and Name Your Recipes

6. Perugia: Market Tour, Cooking Class, and Name Your Recipes

Try food shopping at a local market and traditional food shop along with your expert host. See the amazing produce and get inspired about the ingredients you’d love to experiment with. After choosing your ingredients, head back at your host's home in order to create and name two of your very own recipes. Using the 3-5 staple ingredients that captured your imagination, immerse yourself in a private cooking class. With expert guidance, you will learn how to prepare your chosen ingredients and make two of your own Italian creations.   Cultivate your creativity and confidence in the kitchen by adding an Italian flair to your dishes. Then, taste everything you have prepared accompanied by a selection of red and white local wines.

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Assisi 3-Hour Small Group Tour & St. Francis Basilica Visit

7. Assisi 3-Hour Small Group Tour & St. Francis Basilica Visit

Explore Assisi on a 3-hour walking tour with a guide who will tell you about the history, art, and local traditions of one of the most famous hill towns of Italy. Meet your guide and head to the ruins of the ancient Roman amphitheater, which was later put to use in the Middle Ages as a quarry for stone to build local houses. See how the amphitheater later was turned into a private neighborhood. From this vantage point, the view of the Rocca Maggiore medieval castle is one of the best in the city. Continuing along narrow alleys and through medieval squares you’ll reach the Cathedral of Saint Rufino Cathedral, the Basilica of Saint Claire, and Piazza del Comune, the main city square. At the square you’ll see the Minerva temple, one of the best-preserved Roman temples in Italy. It is surrounded by imposing medieval government buildings. The tour then continues on to the Saint Francis Basilica, which is well known for its 13th and 14th-century frescoes created by Italian masters of the time, including Giotto.

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Best of Italy: 5-Day Escorted Tour from Rome

8. Best of Italy: 5-Day Escorted Tour from Rome

Over the course of five days, visit the most enchanting locations of Italy, soaking up art, culture, cuisine and the famous Italian romance. Led by a friendly guide, depart from Rome and visit Assisi, Siena, Florence, Pisa, Bologna, Padova, Venice and Montepulciano. See masterpieces from the likes of Michelangelo, Giotto, and Cimabue. Roam ancient cobbled streets, marvel at magnificent cathedrals, and taste delightful wines. This tour aims to inform and entertain you at the same time. Staying in comfy accommodation and traveling by deluxe bus, touring Italy couldn’t be easier. With 4 meals provided for you, plus an excellent itinerary and knowledgeable guides, sit back, relax and "get Italian". Day 1 Depart from Rome at 7:15 AM heading towards Assisi. Explore this tiny town dating back to the Middle Ages. Visit the Basilica of St. Francis and see works by Giotto and Cimabue. Afterwards drive towards Siena, whose highlight is Piazza del Campo. Continue to Florence where you will check in at your hotel before enjoying dinner (included) and a well-deserved night of rest. Day 2: Florence After breakfast, spend the day exploring Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance. Visit the Duomo, the Campanile Tower, Palazzo Vecchio and the Basilica of Santa Croce. Lunch (for free) in a typical Tuscan restaurant in Piazza Santa Croce. In the afternoon, wander the cobbled streets or take a short, optional trip to Pisa where you could enjoy a tour of the Square of Miracles, the Leaning Tower and the Duomo. Dinner is at your leisure. Back in Florence rest in your hotel and recharge your batteries for the next day. Day 3 Depart for Bologna after breakfast in Florence. Wander through the city’s 38 kilometers' worth of elegant arcades, for which it is famous. From Piazza Malpighi, walk to Piazza del Nettuno and Piazza Maggiore in the heart of the city. In the afternoon, continue towards Padova, with its original Sant’Antonio Basilica. Later, you will arrive in Venice, famous for its quaint gondola boats and intricate architecture. Check in at your hotel and enjoy your first Venetian dinner (included) and overnight stay. Day 4: Venice Hit the water and board a private waterbus to enjoy a cruise through the canals of Venice. Stop off at Murano to learn about the ancient art of glass blowing. Continue on to St. Mark’s Square for an exterior visit of the splendid cathedral. See the Doge Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. Spend the afternoon roaming along Venice’s canals at your leisure and then return to the hotel for an overnight stay. Day 5 After breakfast, departure from Piazzale Roma heading to Tuscany, world-known for its landscapes, its churches, castles and its delicious wines. Proceed to Val di Chiana with a stop in Montepulciano, a medieval town rich in history and art. Known for its “Noble” wine, on purchase in local wine houses, Montepulciano also hosts an annual jazz and wine festival every July. Lunch in a typical restaurant included! Spend the afternoon discovering Montepulciano at your own pace, enjoying free wine tastings in many wine shops and free time for shopping. In the evening, you will arrive in Rome, where the tour ends.

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Assisi: Market Tour and Meal in a Local Home

9. Assisi: Market Tour and Meal in a Local Home

Uncover the secrets of the Italian cuisine on your travels through Assisi in the company of a local chef who will share with you their family recipes which have been passed down through generations. Start your experience with a visit to the local market. Soak up the unique atmosphere of an Italian food market and learn how to recognize the best products by sight.  When you return to your cook’s home, attend a private cooking demo where your cook will share the secrets of her family cookbook while preparing one of the dishes right in front of you. Sit at an authentic Italian table and enjoy a 4-course seasonal menu including starters, pasta, main course with a side dish, and dessert. Sip on your choice of water, red or white wine, or coffee. Feel the warmth of Italian hospitality as you connect with local people.

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Assisi and Spello Full-Day Sightseeing Tour

10. Assisi and Spello Full-Day Sightseeing Tour

Tour the holy shrines of Assisi on this full-day tour of Umbria, with pick-ups from Foligno, Spoleto, Todi, Perugia, and Gubbio. Explore the birthplace of St. Francis and learn more about Italy’s famous patron saint. Admire Roman ruins integrated into medieval houses, they're still lived in by locals! Among the historic monuments of St. Francis you will visit is the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, where he first renounced the world to live in poverty. Go to the Convent of San Damiano to learn about Saint Claire, founder of the Order of Poor Ladies, and visit the Eremo delle Carceri (Carceri Hermitage) in the forest gorge above Assisi, where St. Francis came to pray. After lunch, drive to the walled town of Spello on the slopes of Mount Subasio, with commanding views of the Umbrian plains, groves of olives, and vineyards. There will be the chance to taste wines and olive oils during your tour, and if it’s a market day you can see the thriving trade of these ancient products still carried on to this day. You will also stop at the tiny hamlet of Collepino, perched in the forests between Assisi and Spello, it's a former settlement of shepherds and woodcutters.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Umbria

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What people are saying about Umbria

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 302 reviews

Mauro was incredibly knowledgeable, helpful, and accommodating. Because it was just our party, he was able to make personalized adjustments to the schedule to make the day ours (push back the start time, detour for coffee and breakfast before hitting the road, adjusting the Orvieto itinerary to include the well). He was kind and patient in every regard, and provided above and beyond assistance at multiple points throughout the day. Despite the somewhat unseasonably chill and rainy weather, these 2 cities were each beautiful and unique, and well worth the visit. Having Mauro as a facilitator and guide was a great enhancement, allowing us to focus on the experience rather than the logistics. Great day!

Andu was wonderful, his knowledge and understanding of Assisi was exceptional. It enriched our visit and we were glad we did it on our first day as we could revisit locations we were intrigued by on the following day. Thank you, Andu - we really enjoyed our walking tour.

Lovely tasting with delightful wines and accompanying foods. Friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable host. Organic wine is the future!

Fantastic guide, knowledgeable, fun and generous - She spent more time with us than bargained for. Would recommend her to everyone.

Very enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide who took more time than agreed to catch up and tell everything interesting.