Italy’s “Green Heart” covers 8,456 km² of landlocked terrain smack in the centre of the peninsula. In any direction you look, Umbria’s undulating hills and sunflower fields are peppered with medieval hilltop towns, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Sagrantino vineyards and ancient olive groves.
We may be known as Tuscany Now & More, but we also have decades of experience pairing travellers with their dream villa in Umbria. Each member of our team visits or stays in every property we list. Our villa specialists know the best places to stay and see around Umbria. This is why we keep our portfolio small and curated, and why Condé Nast Traveller says we are the world’s best Tuscany and Umbria villa rental company.
All our villas in Umbria have air-conditioned bedrooms – which come handy in the region’s warm summer. Every Tuscany Now & More villa also has a private swimming pool and free use of our concierge service for pre-trip arrangements. We also operate an emergency number available 24/7 to connect you with our ground staff while you are in-destination.
To make your trip extra special, we can arrange a private chef, daily maid service, or shopping delivered to your villa. Our selection of expert-led local experiences includes Umbrian cookery classes in your holiday rental kitchen. These are just a few of the reasons why you should book with Tuscany Now & More.
Plus, you don’t need to take our word for it. You can read what real travellers think of our service — and the experience of staying in a Tuscany Now & More luxury villa in Umbria — when you check our verified reviews.
Painted with rolling pastoral scenery, sunflower and tobacco fields and medieval hill-towns, Tuscany’s less-known neighbour remains one of Italy’s best kept secrets. In ancient times, this was a heartland of Etruscan civilization: museums and archaeological sites around Orvieto, Perugia and Todi show off many remaining artefacts left by this ancient people.
East of the Tiber Valley are Spoleto, home to one of Italy’s great classical music festivals; Gubbio, centre of ancient Umbri civilization; and Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis and a showcase for the art of Gioitto and many other great medieval painters and architects.
Alongside Umbria’s 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Umbria must-sees for a first-time visitor include Orvieto’s “Golden Lily of Cathedrals” and Narni Sotterranea, a tour along eerie subterranean passages below an ancient town. For centuries, these served as everything from medieval “fridges” to torture chambers of the Inquisition.
There is so much to see, do, eat, drink and buy scattered across this region — all within easy reach of our vacation rentals and luxury villas in Umbria.
Simplicity is the key ingredient in Umbrian cuisine. Dishes rely on seasonal, local ingredients such as lentils, chickpeas, mushrooms and truffles. The black truffle of Umbria — sometimes nicknamed “the King of Norcia” — is best enjoyed with a plate of traditional Strangozzi pasta or a classic risotto. Gubbio, in northern Umbria, is one of few places where the prized white truffle grows. The town hosts a truffle festival each October and November to celebrate the season.
While many places in Italy cure meat, Norcia in south-east Umbria is famous for its curing artistry. Knowing how to use every part of the pig, combining select ingredients, as well as the right amount of salt, is what gives local Coppa (dry-cured ham), Mazzafegati (liver sausage), Corallina di Norcia (salami) and other Norcinese cold cuts their unique flavour. You will find a traditional “Norcineria” (pork butcher in the Norcia tradition) in towns and villages all over Umbria.
With so much of Umbria covered in dense forest, game is another speciality. Wild boar (cinghiale), wild hare and pigeon are staples in almost every trattoria.
Suckling pig — stuffed with offal and spices then roasted in a wood oven for 4 hours — is a regional delicacy. It is often paired with lentils from Castelluccio, a small town in the Apennine foothills. Chicken cooked in half a litre of red wine — Gallina Ubriaca or “drunken hen” — is a typical dish of Orvieto. The region’s capital, Perugia was once known for roasted lamb’s head — not for those with a sensitive stomach, nor perhaps a squeamish vegetarian.
Umbria is the only region of Italy without a coastline. Yet daily menus still offer an abundance of fish: carp from Lake Trasimeno, trout from the River Nera and eels from Lake Piediluco. Umbrian freshwater fish specialities worth seeking out include carp cooked in porchetta (carpa regina in porchetta) and a local fish stew called tegamaccio.
Strangozzi, sometimes called Strozzapreti (“priest-stranglers”) or Umbricelli, is the most common shape of pasta almost everywhere in Umbria. Slightly shorter than tagliatelle, they are generally served with black truffles or a ragù made with meat or fish. Pappardelle (wide, flat Tuscan-style pasta) with either wild hare or duck ragù is another menu favourite.
Of all Italian regions, Umbria ranks among the smallest wine producers by volume. However, it offers many under-appreciated and great value wines. Crisp, dry whites like Grechetto share space on a classic Umbrian wine list with Sagrantino — a full-bodied, powerhouse of a red made with a grape variety supposedly brought from Asia Minor by Franciscan friars.
Orvieto Classico, Montefalco Rosso DOC and Colli Martani DOC are more names to look for on a label. (For more ideas, read our guide to Umbria’s best wines.)
They say time stopped in Umbria around 1540. Though perhaps not good news for its inhabitants for a few hundred years, this pause and preservation left an astonishing legacy for 21st-century visitors to its towns, cities and countryside.
Orvieto is an undoubted highlight. Once an important Etruscan settlement, it sits high on a turret of volcanic rock. For miles around you can see the intact multicoloured façade of the Duomo di Orvieto. Among our Umbria portfolio, we have a select group of villas near Orvieto.
Around 20 miles east of Orvieto, the hill-town of Todi is another medieval treasure with roots in the Etruscan era. Here you’ll find one of Italy’s most photogenic squares, Piazza del Popolo. We often schedule a lunch stop for a dish of strangozzi al tartufo (long pasta ribbons with truffles or truffle sauce) at a local trattoria.
A good pair of shoes and a sweet tooth is the protocol when visiting hilly Perugia. The region’s capital is best appreciated by walking its steep medieval lanes armed with a little box of Perugina Baci, milk chocolates filled with gianduja.
Art lovers can see Giotto’s iconic artworks on the walls of Assisi’s Basilica di San Francesco. In Gubbio, Umbrian School painter Ottaviano Nelli frescoed the entire apse of the Church of Sant’ Agostino. Perugia’s Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria is the region’s most important art museum. Slowing down to Umbria pace in small towns like Monte Castello di Vibio, near Todi, or Montone, close to Città di Castello, can be just as rewarding. Sip a coffee in the town square and watch local life unfold.
For outdoors enthusiasts, Umbria offers plenty of choice. You can hike to (and climb beside) the Marmore Waterfalls; see Umbria from way up on a hang-glider or hot air ballooning; and raft the River Corno rapids. The Apennine plateau of Castelluccio di Norcia is a mosaic of colour from late May through early July with the fioritura (blooming) of lentils, poppies, violets and many more wildflowers.
Olive oil and wine are a good buy almost everywhere in Umbria. An especially fine Umbrian “green gold” is pressed from fruit grown in the Colli Assisi–Spoleto sub-zone. November is olive picking season. As for wine, Sagrantino di Montefalco is a classic. A good one can age for 30+ years. Organic and biodynamic wineries around Lago di Corbara produce small-batch Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Norcia is a place of pilgrimage for pork lovers. The expert skills of the town’s butchers put it on the map. Keep an eye out for cured cuts and sausage like Mazzafegati, Corallina di Norcia, Capocollo and Coppa.
Handcrafted majolica ceramics are a long-established tradition in Orvieto, Gubbio and Deruta. While each is home to a different style of decoration, they are easily identified in artisan shops by their brightly painted decorative patterns which shimmer under a glaze.
Umbria also produces some of the world's finest cashmere. The area around Lake Trasimeno, dubbed “Cashmere Valley”, houses a circuit of artisans. Pay a visit to any of these outlets: Brunello Cucinelli in Solomeo; Fabiana Filippi in Giano dell’Umbria; or Barna Cashmere in Terni.
Alongside the culinary and cultural highlights, Umbria is a popular spot for spiritual tourism. Those in search of secular calm, peace and quiet — or Christian communion — will find many spots around the region.
St. Francis and St. Clare are forever associated with the orders they founded in Assisi. The former also with Gubbio, in northern Umbria, where legend says he tamed a marauding wolf. St. Valentine (yes, that St. Valentine) supposedly hails from southern Umbria.
You’ll find a contrast in cosmopolitan Perugia: lively student nightlife, Corso Vannucci shopping, and Umbria’s National Gallery of Art with works by superstars like Piero della Francesca and Perugino. For music lovers, outdoor performances of classical concertos and entire operas fill evenings during the summer Spoleto Festival.
Leave space in your luggage for Umbria’s food and wine, souvenirs like handcrafted majolica pottery and fine Umbrian cashmere.
To help you plan the perfect trip around our Umbria villas, we created our own Umbria travel advice pages. Detailed guides to the best Umbrian towns and villages to visit include:
Spring temperatures are pleasant over much of Umbria, including the countryside around our Orvieto villas and Todi villas. Pack for a typical late Spring daytime high of 23℃ (73℉) and lows of 11℃ (51℉) by night.
In May, Italy’s national Cantine Aperte (Open Cellars) wine event is a big deal around Umbrian wine towns like Orvieto, Torgiano and Montefalco. For oenophiles, May is the perfect time to stay.
Summer is almost always warm and sunny region-wide, with the exception of high in the Apennine foothills. In the rest of Umbria, daytime temperature often rise beyond 30℃ (86℉), with 17℃ (62℉) overnight. This is the season for relaxing by your private pool, especially in the afternoon heat. Stroll through a nearby village in the morning or late afternoon.
Despite cooler temperatures, autumn and winter are lots of fun around Umbria. The sun shines most days, with an average daytime high of 13℃ (55℉) in autumn; overnight lows of 4℃ (39℉) are standard.
Autumn in Umbria fills the woods with foragers. Porcini mushrooms and truffles are prized finds. As winter draws in, keep an eye on your favourite weather app. Sharp snowfall is not uncommon, especially on hilltops and close to the Apennine Mountains.
Orvieto’s winter jazz festival — a major Italy event each December — is a great way to see in the New Year.
If you are interested in learning more about what makes us different, you can read the Tuscany Now & More story.
Everyone renting a villa in Umbria with Tuscany Now & More gets free access to our award-winning concierge service. To order shopping to be stocked in your fridge on arrival, or to book a private chef for your special occasion, please contact our concierges directly. They can help make your holiday lettings experience as comfortable as possible.
While you are in Italy, our dedicated, experienced ground staff are available by telephone or WhatsApp.
You should check into your Umbria holiday rental between 4pm and 7pm. We can arrange different arrival times, if you communicate your preference in advance to our villa specialist staff.
Most of our Umbria villas — including those near Orvieto and Todi — are around 2 hours by car from Rome’s major airports. Pisa is an alternative airport for those renting a villa in northern Umbria, near Montone or Gubbio. From here, Pisa and Rome airports are equidistant, just under 3 hours’ drive. Ask one of our travel specialists for advice before you book flights to Italy.
Upon arrival, you will inspect the property in the company of a villa owner or caretaker. They can demonstrate appliances, equipment and utilities.
Check-out on the final day of your holiday rental is scheduled for 10am. The villa owner or caretaker will arrive at 9am to settle outstanding payments, if you have any. If you wish to depart earlier, you need only let us know in advance.
Both the luxury villa and your private swimming pool are cleaned prior to arrival. Some of our holiday villas and farmhouse rentals in Umbria have additional cleaning or pool/garden maintenance scheduled during your stay. Maid service included with Tuscany Now & More vacation rentals offers cleaning and tidying, but not making beds, kitchen cleaning, laundry or ironing. Extra services can be organised via our concierge team.
Our Umbria holiday rentals include bed linens, bathroom and swimming pool towels for every guest. These are provided weekly. Extra services and/or changes can be organised through our concierges. For more details, consult our rental booking conditions.