Umbrian Delight Walking Tour: Self-Guided

This walking tour of Umbria allows you to appreciate both the natural beauty of the area and its artistic treasures as it includes visits to some of the major city centers and towns of this very special region. Umbria is a mystic land and a great serenity can be felt in the air, in the soft colors of the landscape: the grey stone houses, the silvery green olive trees, the soft powdery color of the earth. Walking through Umbria’s sensual rolling terrain with all its sweet power and its magic is a gift to yourself you’ll treasure for a lifetime! On this tour you will enjoy visits to the impressive towns of Assisi, Spello, Bevagna and Perugia with their typical medieval appearance; exquisite hilltop villages scattered over Umbria’s green hills; century-old farms and churches especially the unforgettable Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi; sweeping views over the unspoiled Umbrian landscape, a patchwork of wild flower fields, olive groves and woods; mild climate and delectable Umbrian food and incredible art.

Daily Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival on your own at the Perugia train station.
Here you’ll find a metro ride (the Minimetro) directly to the center of town and your comfortable hotel. Perugia is the capital city of Umbria and is the seat of major cultural institutions. It was an Etruscan stronghold before it became a Roman colony and was an important walled city in the middle ages, built high up on the hilltop to repel invaders. The streets are precariously narrow. The splendid 14th-century Palazzo dei Priori sits at its highest point and houses the Galleria Nazional di Umbria and its many treasures. The nearby Corso Vannucci is ideal for strolling and people watching. Don’t forget to try the chocolates Perugia is so famous for! In the late afternoon you will meet the guide and the other tour members for a short orientation meeting. Dinner is on your own tonight.

Day 2: Valfabbrica – Assisi – 5 hours of walking
In the morning we transfer from our hotel to Valfabbrica, a quiet and charming village with ancient origins where we’ll find the start of the hiking trail. The beginning of the walk is a bit tough today but then it becomes easier. You’ll walk over rolling hills and through thick woods and are rewarded with a breath-taking view of Assisi. Our Assisi hotel is just outside of the center of town and within walking distance of the basilica. From the terrace you have a wonderful view over the surrounding hills. You’ll enjoy a refreshing dip in the hotel pool at the end of a tiring but rewarding first day.

Day 3: Assisi Round Trip – 3 hours of walking
Today we’ll have an optional walk in the “Footsteps of St. Francesco” as we visit the Eremo delle Carceri, a small monastery, located on the spot where St. Francis was fond of retiring in solitude to pray. At the top of the trail, 500 meters from the Eremo, is a nice picnic spot with tables and benches. Today could also be your day to just visit Assisi, a “precious, medieval jewel” set against a lovely natural backdrop. Visit the magnificent Basilica of San Francesco, painstakingly restored after the recent earthquake. The basilica complex is composed of two churches built one above the other, the lower one dating from 1228 – 1230 and the upper one from 1230 – 1253. Entering the lower part of Piazza San Francesco, the vision of the façade of the church with its simple, harmonious lines is unforgettable. Inside the lower church are beautiful frescoes by famous artists such as Lorenzetti and Giotto and the wonderful Chapel of St. Martin, completely frescoed by Martini with scenes of the life of St. Martin. It is one of the most beautiful works of the painter and a masterpiece of Gothic art. You can visit the Crypt and the Chapel of the Relics where St. Francis’ belongings are kept. It is the upper church however where we’ll find Giotto’s frescoes illustrating the life of St. Francis and one of the most important cycles of paintings in the history of Italian art. Unforgettable masterpieces! In the Piazza del Commune we’ll see a 14th century pulpit and the Roman Temple of Minerva, with its well-preserved original exterior. You can also walk up to the Rocca Maggiore, a typical example of a medieval defense castle. Dinner is on your own tonight.

Day 4: Assisi – Spello – 6 hours of walking
We’ll start from the hotel and walk on a trail which cuts through the Natural Park of Mount Subasio, a protected area with serene paths meandering through open meadows with ancient oak and chestnut trees. Mount Subasio is a haven of subtle beauty and spirituality, wonderful walking before we reach Spello. Spello is a lovely walled town, another “medieval jewel” with picturesque, steep, curving cobbled streets and peaceful squares. It is much less touristy and quieter after Assisi. From our hotel you have a view over the whole valley. Dinner is in the hotel tonight.

Day 5: Spello Round Trip – 4 hours of walking
Monte Subasio, with its unusual, flat top, is often called the “roof of Umbria”. It is the mountain of Assisi and St. Francis. Views from the top are magnificent due to centuries of forest clearing for grazing animals. Even today we might meet a lonely shepherd with his flock and feisty, barking dogs. Today we walk first to the Madonna della Spella shrine and then to the lovely hamlet of Collepino where you can have a picnic lunch. From here we walk back to Spello for another night in this enchanting village.

Day 6: Collemancio to Bevagna – 5 hours
We start the day with a 20 minute transfer by van from Spello to Collemancio to begin a spectacular walk to Bevagna. Here we’ll visit the genuine and rustic cellar of the Dionigi family, one of the producers of Umbria’s well known distinctive wines, the Sagrantino di Montefalco (Umbria’s answer to Brunello wines!). Tonight we’ll stay in Bevagna at the Palazzo Brunamonti, once the home of the noble Pietro Brunamonti.

Day 7: Bevagna to Montefalco walk – 4.5 hours
Today’s walk is a loop through the heart of the best wine area of Umbria but first we’ll visit more of Bevagna which is known for its medieval market during the month of June. Then we’ll walk from Bevagna to Montefalco. Montefalco is nicknamed “the balcony of Umbria” because of its spectacular views. Don’t miss the dazzling Renaissance frescoes painted by Benozzo Gozzoli in the 15th century in the huge church of San Francesco. We’ll have lunch at the enoteca on Montefalco’s main square, sample some wine at one of the best wineries of the area and then return to Bevagna for our farewell dinner together in a local restaurant.

Day 8: Departure after breakfast.
Transfer to the Railroad station in Foligno (between Perugia and Spoleto) from where you can take direct trains to both Rome or Florence.

Getting There

Individual arrival at the Perugia train station. Here you’ll find a metro ride (the Minimetro) directly to the center of town and your comfortable hotel. Travel time by train from Rome is a good two and a half hours. For last minute train schedules visit the website of the Italian Railways, www.fs-on-line.com or www.raileurope.com.

Meals

Daily breakfast is included

Prices and Dates

Check out “Italy Tours” in our SELF-GUIDED Tour Calendar

Tour Length

8 days/7 nights

Included
      – 7 nights of double occupancy lodging in mostly 3-star, air- conditioned, hotels with private facilities each night.
      – Daily breakfast
      – Luggage transfers
      – All transportation during the tour
    – All taxes and gratuities for the hotel and restaurant portions of the tour
Level of Difficulty

The average distance is between 3 and 6 hours of walking per day. The terrain is moderately rolling with some short steep hills, upwards and down wards; walking is mostly on small footpaths and some country roads. Well fitting, supportive “broken in”, hiking boots are very strongly recommended for this tour, not because it involves dangerous mountain hiking but because they give a better grip on the occasionally loose, rocky surface. Rating of this tour is moderate.

Excluded

– Airfare
– Alcoholic and bar beverages
– Lunches and dinners
– Transportation other than scheduled transfers

Weather

Average daytime temperatures in Italy in April and May are 55-75. June, July, and August range from 65-85, and September and October from 60-75. It rains about 7 days per month, with more rain in September and October and less rain in July and August.

Comments are closed.