from £1262 pp
A step back in time, an escape from the rush of modern life, an echo of a bygone era, all of these phrases help to perfectly sum up Umbria. It’s own bubble, bordering neither the sea or another country, it’s a magical region of truly authentic Italy.
Expect isolated hilltop towns nestled among rolling hills, built there in medieval times and looking as if they haven’t changed in all those years. Wandering through their streets you’ll see residents rolling pasta by hand, neighbours walking freely into friends’ houses, and a sense of community that is dying out all over the world.
Then there’s the natural beauty and the fantastic food it produces, as dogs hunt for truffles, wild boar roam and vines grow in the incredible countryside. The result? Homely and exquisitely balanced pasta and stews, combined with wholesome, world-class wines.
Your best bet for visiting Umbria is, like Tuscany, in the Spring and Autumn. Although not as busy as its more popular neighbour, you’re still more likely to encounter crowds of tourists and baking temperatures in the summer, particularly in August.
In the winter, Umbria is beautiful and quiet. However, as it’s a little less popular than Tuscany, you may find many shops, restaurants and attractions closed, so plan with care. That said, the snow-dusted streets and local hangouts will be all yours, and the area can feel truly magical.