The Hilltop Towns of Umbria
5 days from £689 per person*
*based on sharing on a twin/double basis and a minimum of 40 paying passengers
Umbria has its own character and identity. Known as the “Green Heart” due to its lush rolling hills and fertile plains, studded with picturesque towns and monasteries, it is less well known than neighbouring Tuscany but still as has a deep heritage, inimitable art and architecture and fine cuisine. Discover such hidden, unspoilt gems as the ancient towns of Spoleto with its defensive walls dating back to the 5th century BC and Orvieto with its dramatic Duomo striped in white travertine and greenish-black basalt. Our tour also leads us to St. Francis of Assisi and a number of other medieval hilltop towns steeped in local history and culture.
Fly from the UK to Rome and meet a local coach and guide. Flight times permitting, en-route to the hotel, we will stop at Narni – a lovely unspoilt hill town. Most of the sights are in close proximity to each other. It is home to a Cathedral and a number of impressive palaces and historic piazza’s. Heading out of the town, travelling over the River Nera, is a wonderful observation point to admire the Roman Ponte d’Augusto in the middle of the river. We may also have the chance to view the fortified Benedictine Abbey of St. Cassiano; one of the most important of the religious buildings in the area. We continue to Spoleto to check into our hotel for 4 nights. A pre-dinner drink and evening meal will be at the hotel this evening.
After breakfast we visit, with a local guide, the hill top towns of Orvieto and Todi. Orvieto sits astride a volcanic plug of rock above fields streaked with vines, olive and cypress trees. History hangs over the cobbled lanes, medieval piazzas and churches of this beautiful city with one of the highlights being the Gothic cathedral with its layers of exquisite detail and the impressive cycle of frescoes by Signorelli. There will be a guided tour of the city including entrance into the Cathedral as well as a visit to “Orvieto Underground”. Created by its ancient inhabitants over about 2500 years of
uninterrupted digging, this is a group of caves that were used as workshops and storerooms. Todi is a collage of soft-stone houses, palazzi and belfries pasted to the hillside. The centre looks very similar to as it would have done during the Middle Ages, and there is an excellent example of a well-preserved medieval square. There will be a guided orientation tour of the centre.
This morning we will have a guided tour of the charming and historical city of Spoleto. Considered one of the most important cities in Umbria and home to a host of fine monuments. Our tour will include the city highlights such as the Roman Theatre; entrance to the 12th century Cathedral; Palazzo Mauri, which is home to 6th century mosaics and a library that owns remarkable array of ancient books; and Palazzo Collicola with its art collections, hallways with embedded ceilings, golden carvings and decorated doors. There will be some free time in the city to explore independently.
After breakfast we set off for Assisi, one of the best preserved medieval centres in the world and the birthplace of Saint Francis. Francis was the son of a wealthy merchant who gave all he owned to the poor and founded a humble community based on poverty and simplicity. We shall have a tour of the city including entrance to The Basilica of San Francesco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which boasts fantastic frescos by Lorenzetti and Giotto. Other highlights of the city include the Duomo (San Rufino), Santa Chiara and the Temple of Minerva. There will also be time at enjoy the city independently. We return to the hotel for dinner in the hotel this evening.
We depart Spoleto today and head towards Trevignano. This is a small and welcoming town of the edge of Lake Bracciano, and lovely spot to stop at en route back to the airport. The Etruscans, whose area stretched from Lazio to Tuscany, left unique masterpieces of architecture, painting, carved ivory, pottery and gold jewellery. Much of this has been found in three necropolises behind the town and is now housed in the small, but interesting, Civic Museum. We then return to Rome for our flight back to the UK.
Hotel Dei Duchi
The Hotel Dei Duchi is a 4* family-run hotel located in the centre of the medieval town of Spoleto, overlooking the Saint Agata valley. Each of the 49 rooms offer a lovely view either over the valley or The Roman Theatre and are furnished with care and attention to detail. The hotel offers a friendly welcome and a peaceful atmosphere served up with quite simply wonderful regional cuisine. Half board throughout is available at the hotel.
• Return flights from the UK
• Return airport transfers in Italy
• 4 nights bed & breakfast accommodation in Spoleto
• 1 pre-dinner drink
• 2 dinners at the hotel
• Excursions as per itinerary
What’s not included
• Single supplement
• Travel insurance
• Tips & gratuities
Any of our tours can be tailored to suit your particular groups requirements.
For further details please contact one of the team on 01225 764205 or firstname.lastname@example.org