Umbria, Italy

Italy’s landlocked heart lies dead centre between Florence and Rome – a bucolic blanket of hills, peaks and plains. Populous Perugia is the region’s epicentre, industrious Terni its southern hub. But it’s away from the larger towns that Umbria excels: its terracotta-topped villages line up like a pageant of fortified beauties – ancient, and abundant in churches and castles. Cultural heritage is not Umbria’s only rich vein – the Slow Food movement is strong in this produce-laden province. If it’s not the wild boar and truffles of its woods supplying your plate, it could just as easily be lamb from the mountains, trout from its rivers, or a tipple from its many wineries. Too long has Umbria lived in Tuscany’s shade – the region’s diverse attractions making it as well-rounded as the vowels in its melodious name.

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Areas in Umbria

When to go

June onwards brings a festival fest to the region, adding extra colour to your visit. For a balance of crowds versus weather, spring months March to May are favourable, beating September and October by a whisker. If you don’t mind cooler temperatures, have Umbria to yourself, December to February.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    Perugia is the hub airport for Umbria; from the UK | Rynair flies there from London Stansted ( The region is roughly in the middle between Rome and Florence (around 150km to each) for other flight options.
  • Trains

    Terni and Orvieto can each be reached from Rome in an hour; Foligno is one hour 40 minutes from Ancona by rail (
  • Automobiles

    It’s handy to have wheels for exploring this rustic region. At Perugia airport companies including Avis have desks (
  • Taxis

    In Orvieto, try Catarcia Simone Taxi Service (+39 360 433016; For cabs around Norcia, Piazzale Giovanni Polvani operates out of Spoleto (+39 0743 220489).

Room 4 at Palazzo Bontadosi, Umbria, Italy

Room 4 at Palazzo Bontadosi, Umbria, Italy

It takes one look at Cardinal Bontadosi’s former home in Montefalco to see that men of the cloth had a good time in mediaeval Italy. All domed ceilings and ancient art, this 15th-century palace has been restored to full Renaissance glory – stone staircases, iron chains in frames and mounted mediaeval artefacts – with a contemporary frisson, thanks to the modern art gallery attached. Junior Suite 4 is certainly a room with a view: gaze at the colonnaded square below from the window, admire the frescoed, chandeliered ceiling from the comfort of the huge bed, or spy on your roommate in the freestanding egg-shaped bath tub in the corner…

Find out more about Palazzo Bontadosi
Palazzo Bontadosi

Palazzo Bontadosi

Leave Tuscany in favour of Umbria and make your way to the picturesque town of Montefalco, a quintessential Italian countryside town, surrounded by vineyards and with a museum set in a former church. Spend three nights at Palazzo Bontadosi Hotel & Spa, the fresco-packed former residence of a 15th-century clergyman, that has, naturally, its own art gallery.

Worth getting out of bed for
– Explore the Museum of Montefalco, set in a former church
– Wine-taste at acclaimed local wineries, such as Arnaldo Caprai and Paolo Bea
– Visit the famously pretty town of Bevagna 

Learn more about Palazzo Bontadosi