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Viaggio in Italia: Umbria


Tour of Umbria

Artemest is proud to present the ninth stop in its ultimate insider’s guide to Italy: Umbria. Known as the green heart of Italy, the region offers stunning glimpses of pristine natural landscapes, dotted with small hamlets and castles full of history, art and culture. Explore Umbria to discover one of the most authentic regions of Italy.

Bordering the regions of Tuscany, Marche and Lazio, Umbria is a luscious green paradise in the very heart of Italy. Full of natural treasures, with its hilly landscape, lakes and waterfalls, the region is characterized by a rural charm and a significant historical heritage.

Small hamlets and charming medieval towns have preserved their original architectures and each part of the region keeps a strong identity, forged in time and history. Split in half by River Tevere, Umbria jealously keeps some of the most breathtaking views of Italy: from immaculate vineyard and olive groves to picture-perfect towns and cobbled street villages. For centuries the region has been a land of artists and artisans that handed down their heritage to the present and shaped the local culture as we see it today.

Illustration by Francesca Consonni
Illustration by Francesca Consonni

The Upper Tiber Valley is a natural amphitheater, where the plains are surrounded by the majestic Apennines, with fields alternating with the lush woodland. This area’s long history begins during the Roman age, through ancient medieval streets to the splendor of Renaissance. Following the intricate path of the river you can cross the entire region, passing through beautiful towns rich in history. The first stop is Città di Castello. Founded by the ancient Umbrians, the city is enclosed by long stretches of walls built in the 1500s and here you can truly breath the artistic culture of this region in the enchanting atmosphere of the historic center characterized by Renaissance architectures, courtyards, noble mansions such as Palazzo Vitelli alla Cannoniera and the monumental Cathedral. Here in this artistic ferment, Andrea Mercati and Marco Rubini give life to contemporary ceramic artworks inspired by century-old techniques.

A view of Tevere River
A view of Tevere River

The route between one village and another is dotted with beautiful landscapes where the nature is the real protagonist. Keep to the main path marked by the river and reach Umbertide to visit Rometti’s workshop, where ceramic have been worked on since 1927, and continue your itinerary up to Gubbio. This is one of the most ancient towns of the region where marvelously well-preserved architectures offer a privileged view on Medieval history: visit Palazzo dei Consoli to discover the great artistic heritage of Umbria and Santa Maria Nuova Cathedral to enjoy a majestic example of Roman architecture. Just outside the city walls, in Gualdo Tadino, find Maurizio Rubboli’s workshop. Here, the artisan works the ceramic with the ancient technique of “maiolica a lustro”, inherited from his family and passed down for generations. This unique art is a tradition for the local artisans and also Lidiana Brunetti, founder of Iridescenze, applies it in the making of her ceramic artworks.

Located on the border with Tuscany, Lake Trasimeno is a true natural paradise. Designated Regional Park in 1995, the lake has always been one of the natural treasures of Italy, that has charmed poets, painters and travelers. Lord Byron compared it to a “silver veil” and the beautiful towns all around it gives you different perspectives of this enchanting body of water. Here the visitors can enjoy the real essence of Italian countryside and the slow living of small ceramic ateliers and local shops spreading the flavor of regional delicacies in the streets. Not far from the lake, stands proud Castello di Reschio, a stunning estate immersed in the Umbrian countryside where architect Benedikt Bolza works in the creation of elegant pieces of furniture that recall the rural style of the region.

Discover Umbrian Craftsmanship


Many centuries of history, art and culture have crossed the streets of Perugia, from its squares to its tiniest alleys, here you can breathe a unique atmosphere. Once in Perugia visit Piazza IV Novembre, one of the most beautiful squares in Italy, and Palazzo dei Priori, an elegant Gothic building home of the National Gallery of Umbria. Here you can find some of the gratest masterpieces of Italian art, including works by Piero della Francesca and Perugino, evidence of the artistic spirit of the city.

Well-known worldwide for the exquisite local cuisine, the wine and the chocolate, the city is also an important cultural center. The best way to experience the town’s historical center is by joining the local ritual of “passeggiata”, in this way you can appreciate the city’s Etruscan, Roman, medieval and renaissance heritage all blended in elegant harmony. Walk along Via dei Priori to discover a curious selection of small shops and atelier. Stop at Materia Ceramica and Bottega del Vasaio to browse beautiful ceramic pieces from Deruta or go to Blueside Store for a selection of glass artworks. Scattered throughout Perugia, many other ceramic ateliers and shops carry on this artisanal tradition: Giovanni Mengoni is a master ceramist specialized in Etruscan Bucchero, Mati Casa is an atelier where ceramic is worked to create colorful contemporary pieces and Toniol designs refined majolica plates.

Deruta Ceramics

The great geographical position of Deruta, near mainland and Tiber River, and the abundant availability of the clay in the nearby hills, boosted the development of the Deruta potters. The art of ceramic in town was born in the 16th century and has developed over time acquiring unique characteristics and becoming more and more precious. Deruta ware has a special mother-of-pearl, metallic lustre that makes it one-of-a-kind and this ancient technique has been refined and passed down for generations.

In the small hamlet of Deruta you will find some of the most important ceramic ateliers. At Idea Ceramica and Sambuco’s workshop master ceramists realize classic style décor, hand-drawn with bright colors and exquisite taste and the same approach is used by Mario Segoloni, founder of Estroflesso.

View of Perugia
View of Perugia

Move on the way to Assisi, declared part of the UNESCO World Heritage, and take a walk in the magic atmosphere of the historic center. From the Basilica of St. Francis to the Cathedral of San Rufino, this is a place with a deep sense of spirituality. Down the cobbled streets, among restaurants and shops it is very easy to run into artist studios or ateliers where the finest objects are crafted. Emanuel Gargano has his workshop here and designs exclusive candles and lighting pieces.

Continue your road trip from north to south and cross the region through idyllic green landscapes, medieval citadels and rolling valleys to reach the border with Tuscany. Stop at Monteleone d’Orvieto and stay at Mazzini 31, a centuries-old palazzo with dreamy frescoes and a touch of contemporary charm. Reach Lispi’s workshop in Città della Pieve to discover the tradition of iron forging and the exceptional knowledge of their master artisans.


Orvieto stands on a rocky volcanic hill, surrounded by the Umbrian countryside. Its ancient roots dates back to the Etruscan, who built a cave underneath the city, laying the basis of its historical culture. With miles of unspoiled countryside adorned with vineyards all around, the town has a great heritage in wine production and represents a real institution in the field. Once here, visit the Gothic Cathedral to have a taste of the artistic grandeur of the town and don’t miss the chance to visit the artisanal atelier all around it. Bottega Conticelli is internationally renowned for artisan excellence in leather processing, designing original objects with the best quality materials. Not far from Orvieto find Luca Leandri’s art atelier, a place where the artist creates stunning pieces with ceramic.

To experience the real essence of this land and the spirit of Umbria, visit Eremito, a medieval retreat on the top of a hill, overlooking the uncontaminated valley of the river Chiani. Then move to Amelia - a small town where Talenti artisans designs sculptural pieces of furniture – and reach Terni. Located in the southern eastern Umbria, the city is spread over a large plain, surrounded by a natural amphitheater of hills. Near the city you can find Menta Creative Lab, a small workshop where Martina Lignini experiments with ceramic.

To experience the real essence of Umbrian nature, reach the beautiful Marmore Falls, among the highest in Europe. They were created by the Romans and offer spectacular views and an endless series of trails for the adventurers.

Close your itinerary with one of the greatest natural treasures of the region: Castelluccio di Norcia. The small village in the National Park of Monti Sibillini is placed on the top of a hill where it is possible to admire thousands of flower blooming in an incredible show.

Plains of Castelluccio di Norcia
Plains of Castelluccio di Norcia

Our Destinations Around Umbria

​Explore some of the best destinations and historic retreats in Umbria and add a touch of authentic Italian style to your travels. From north to south you can find charming hotels in the heart of warm hamlets, beautiful resorts and magical retreats surrounded by the lush nature.

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