Umbria & Abruzzo
Off the beaten track and often over-shadowed by its famous neighbour, Umbria is less discovered and the green heart of Italy. Like Tuscany, this is a land of ancient churches, hamlets and vineyards with hidden treasures and beautiful landscapes. Take a pilgrimage to Assisi (UNESCO World Heritage site). Discover spectacular medieval hilltop towns including Spoleto, Todi, Spello and Orvieto and visit the university town and capital Perugia, also home of perugina chocolate and the famous annual Umbrian Jazz Festival. Witness the ‘bloom of Norcia' wildflowers in June each year – a sight to behold.
Looking for roads less travelled? Abruzzo is the real Italy. Mountainous and rugged, situated between the Apennines and the Adriatic Coast, it is a remote region with a wealth of castles, monasteries and medieval towns, as well as seaside towns, ports and beaches. Off the beaten tourist track, on Italy’s east coast, Abruzzo is full of simple food, wines, traditional Abruzzese cooking, undiscovered cultural riches and artisan crafts… and a slower pace of life. Abruzzo is an unspoilt, hidden gem in the heart of central Italy. Home to Italy’s most beautiful and pristine National Parks, Gran Sasso NP, with the highest peak in the Apennines, abundant nature, even wolves, deer and brown bears still roam free.
When to visit
Umbria & Abruzzo is a truly ‘year-round destination’, with ancient villages, castles, lakes and rivers nestling between soaring mountains that in the winter months offer some of the best skiing in the country, some of them only 30km from a pristine coastline.
The climate is Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers and cold winters. However, each season has its own charm, the spring and summer period bring pastel-coloured fields with red and purple flowers, an endless calendar of events in charming medieval towns with warm terracotta roofs and, of course, packed beaches. July and August can often be relentlessly hot and dry for long periods, with daytime temperatures typically reaching 38–40°C.
During winter, the region opens up to lovers of winter sports, especially during the months of December to February. Sunny winter days can be magical in the mountains and the snow gives the towns and villages a fairy-tale appearance.
Some popular Umbria & Abruzzo Packages
Indulge in the wonderful flavours of Italian cuisine during this 4-day packaged tour in Sorrento. Learn how to create regional dishes with a hands-on cooking class and visit a charming lemon garden and discover the famous Sorrento lemon.
Explore the real Sicily through its ancient Greek and Roman ruins, magnificent architecture, medieval villages and sumptuous cuisine during this exciting, 8-day escorted tour.
This small-group tour is a real feast for the senses. Soak in the magnificent scenery of Amalfi Coast and learn how to cook authentic Italian dishes during this enthralling, 8-day cooking holiday.
Say boungiorno and learn the beautiful Italian language during this insightful, 8-day language holiday in Tuscany. Stay in a beautiful villa in the Tuscan countryside, receive daily Italian language lessons from a native speaker and explore the lush region or enjoy shopping at leisure.
Savour the best of Piedmont, from the capital city brimming with elegant palaces and square to the lush sloping hills where world-class wines are produced.
Revel in the unparalleled beauty of Italy’s most beautiful coastline through this self-guided walking tour of the Cinque Terre.
Discover the rich cuisine and beautiful landscape of Puglia, the heel of Italy’s “boot” on this week-long cooking class. Learn how to cook local specialities such as orecchiete pasta and explore the coastal towns of Santa Maria di Leuca, Otranto and Gallipoli.