Category: Umbria

The Man, the Myth, the Legend: Saint Valentine of Terni

Basilica di San Valentino (facade)

Not many tourists make it to Terni. But many of those who do come to Umbria’s second largest town come specifically to see the church of Saint Valentine.

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Will Work For Wine: Luca Signorelli’s Orvieto Duomo Contract and His Intoxicating, Apocalyptic Fresco Cycle

Orvieto Cathedral

In 1499, Tuscan artist Luca Signorelli signed a contract to paint two remaining sections of the Cappella Nuova (new chapel) of the Duomo in the Umbrian town of Orvieto. By 1502 (or 1504, depending on which documentation you read), he had completed his “End of the World” fresco cycle in what is now known as the …

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More Hill Towns of Umbria

In my first round-up of the Hill Towns of Umbria, I discussed the towns of Assisi, Gubbio, Montefalco, and Orvieto. The list of hill towns in Umbria is, in fact, exhaustive, and also includes the region’s capital Perugia. In this post, I wanted to focus on a few more worth visiting. They are Spello, Spoleto, …

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Perugia in the Spotlight

Perugia has been in the news a lot lately but for all the wrong reasons. The picturesque capital of the region of Umbria has been the location of the media circus that has been the Amanda Knox/Raffaele Sollecito trial. And with the two having been convicted for the murder of Meredith Kercher, Perugia will certainly …

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World’s Biggest Christmas Tree

Rockefeller Center has nothing on this tree. The largest Christmas tree in the world is, in fact, in Gubbio, Umbria. But this is not any tree. No, this is not a tree at all. Gubbio’s Albero di Natale is a dazzling neon feat – and Guinness Book of World Records holder – that has been …

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The Hill Towns of Umbria

No matter where you go in Italy, if you find the highest point in a particular city or region you will likely find some interesting history. Umbria, the region right in the heart of central Italy, is particularly blessed with beautiful hill towns. Etruscans, Romans, and subsequent civilizations built many of their cities on hills in …

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Keeping Up With the Antinori

Italian wine enthusiasts (that includes most of us, right?) may find this past weekend’s 60 Minutes story on Italy’s Antinori family intriguing. Considered one of Italy’s premier winemaking clans, the Antinori have been in the wine business for more than 500 years. Today, even the Antinori daughters are in on the act. To learn more …

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The Ultimate Italian Driving Adventure

If you’re the type of traveler who likes to go it alone and doesn’t mind injecting a little technological know-how into your trip, then a GPS-driven self-guided tour may be the ticket. Information about Zephyr Self-Guided Adventures through Italy just crossed our desks over the weekend. The company offers walks, biking, and driving tours through …

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Dirty Weekends in Italy

The Times UK’s Stephen Bleach had a fun article about romantic getaways in Europe this weekend titled “The Dirty Weekend Guide to Europe.” Bleach argues that a “place of [one’s] own” makes or breaks a romantic holiday and highlights a “dozen of the slushiest, smoochiest and downright sexiest hideaways on the Continent.” No surprise to …

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Unofficial Guide to Central Italy, 4th Ed., is Here!

We are pleased to announce that the 4th edition of The Unofficial Guide to Central Italy: Florence, Rome, Tuscany & Umbria arrives in stores – and is available for shipment from Amazon – today! Like previous editions, this UGCI has the best information about travel in Tuscany, Lazio, Umbria, and the Marches (Le Marche). But it …

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20 Things We Love About Italy – Part 2

We hope you enjoyed yesterday’s run-down of part 1 of 20 Things We Love About Italy. Hopefully, the list has given you more travel ideas and the inspiration to learn more about all of Italy’s 20 regions. Now, without further ado, the remaining 10 favorites on our list: 11) Termoli, Molise. If Puglia (see #13) …

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Coloring the Skies

This weekend, the incredibly picturesque town of Castiglione del Lago, located on the banks of Lake Trasimeno in Umbria, will become even more beautiful. The event is called Coloriamo i Cieli, and it features some of the world’s most interesting kites as well as its most adept kite fliers. Since its inception, in 1982, the …

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Art Teacher in Your Pocket

Art history junkies take note: learning about Italian art is easy with Jane’s Smart Art Guides. Order a CD set – or, even better, download the MP3s to your iPod – and you can learn more about St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome’s Santa Maria del Popolo, or the Fra Angelico fresco cycle in Florence’s San Marco …

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Jazz in January

Winter means the music season for most of Italy. Opera productions and church-sponsored chamber music events are typical fare from Liguria to Lecce, but you’ll also find jazz and blues in the mix. Umbria, which has been home to Umbria Jazz and Umbria Jazz Winter for about a decade, is also host to Terni in Jazz, a festival …

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