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UMBRIA|TUSCANY TRAVEL GUIDE

MAP of favourite spots on the Umbria Tuscany Border & Beyond

TOWNS OF THE UMBRIA TUSCANY BORDER

CHIUSI

Chiusi is the border town where Southern Tuscany meets Northern Umbria. Today it is a sleepy village that sunbathes sleepily on a hill overlooking the Valdichiana valley. It is hard to imagine it was once a major player in the Etruscan League of Twelve Cities; the Dodecapoli.
A lot of myth and mystery surrounds the origins of the enigmatic Etruscans who first farmed these fertile lands. But one thing is certain: all the ancient highways and byways, that exist to this day on the Umbria Tuscany border, were first trodden by Etruscan feet. READ MORE

The enigmatic Etruscans were Umbria and Tuscany’s first significant inhabitants; arriving around 9BC. They have kindly left behind them a plethora of burial grounds, artwork and tuffa rock topped towns to explore. Walls crafted by ancient Etruscan hands form the foundations of many towns… But more importantly perhaps, to some, (ahem) it is the Etruscans who first cultivated grapes and began trading wine in Europe! Love those Etruscans!

LAKE TRASIMENO

Pescatore Cafe

Italy’s third-largest lake has clear waters and sandy beaches in the middle of land-locked Umbria. Bronzing Italians do what bronzing Italians do best: la dolce vita beach culture. Under sun umbrellas, in deck chairs, sipping espresso or an Aperol between rounds of beach volleyball and a swim. On and around the lake, holiday making activities also include pedalos, kitesurfing, canoeing, golf and fishing.

Water Sporting Activities on Lake Trasimeno
Fun on Lake Trasimeno
Pedalos at Pescatore Cafe

On and around Lake Trasimeno sporting activities include pedalos and canoeing. The lake’s large size, shallow depth and seasonal winds are ideal for kitesurfing, wakeboarding and windsurfing.
Kitemaniak School instructors are FIV and IKO (International Kiteboarding Organization) certified.

Hiking around Lake Trasimeno

Spectacular walking and cycling trails tempt the active. There are 44 hiking routes – in total 35 hikes and 9 pilgrim walks. Click HERE to find an excellent overview of the best hiking routes around Trasimeno.

Lake Trasimeno at sunset
Sunset on Lake Trasimeno
Cycling and Mountain biking

Spectacular cycling trails criss-cross the hills and villages of the Umbria Tuscany border and Lago Trasimeno. Whether you chose to go on two legs or two wheels there are many outdoor adventures around the lake – from Città della Pieve, Paciano and Panicale to Castiglione del Lago. There are also large helpings of culture to be tasted on the way: ancient churches, frescoes by lauded masters, the ancient battleground of Hannibal Vs the Romans, crumbling fortresses and castles as well as the sweetest rolling hills known to humankind. There are 99 cycle routes around Trasimeno. 34 bike rides and 65 mountain biking trails. Here’s a great resource showing the best cycle routes around Trasimeno
Vespas for HIRE
Bicylcles for HIRE

Fishing on Lake Trasimeno

A community of fishermen know as ‘The CO-OP’ (not to be confused with the supermarket of the same name) use sustainable net-fishing techniques to catch eel, tench, pike and carp. Better yet, they can arrange sunrise fishing trips, family and nature excursions along the coast to find hidden spots to swim, fish and enjoy gorgeous views.

Island Hopping
Ferry to Islands of Lake Trasimeno
Ferry to Isola Maggiore

Blue and white ferries carry travellers to the lake’s three tranquil islands Maggiore, Minore and Polvese, to enjoy nature walks, swimming and, of course, lunch. Find the ferry timetable HERE

Horse Riding

Why not discover Chiusi, Montepulciano, Pienza, Chianciano Terme, Val d’Orcia, Città della Pieve, Castiglione del Lago and Trasimeno Lake on four legs instead of two? You can explore the Tuscan and Umbrian countryside on horseback. Trekking, excursions and trips for beginners through to experienced riders through vineyards, woods, olive groves and rolling hills. Find out more HERE

Sailing

Acqua Dolce Sailing has sailing boats, inflatable motorboats and kayaks for hire, group and private classes for those that want to learn. Lessons are tailored to the students. Although the odd tempest is known to roll in over the Umbrian hills – the lake is a safe fun environment to get some new water skills. Find out more HERE

Lake Trasimeno

Flying around the Umbria Tuscany Border

There can surely be no more glorious way to experience Lake Trasimeno and the surrounding area, the glistening lakes, rolling hills, bursting vines, shimmering olive groves and ancient castles – than an adventure in the air.
There are two flying schools in the area on opposite sides of the Lake.
The Serristori Aero Club, near Cortona in Castiglion Fiorentino is VDS / VM flight school certified. It has large hangars, a fuel station (Verde and Avio), a weather station (that can be consulted 24 hours a day online) and an authorized workshop Rotax for overhauls and maintenance. The Club is the headquarters of the Italian Federation of Disabled Pilots and the “Baroni Rotti” Association.
Flying classes, pleasure and sport flights as well as Drone training can be arranged at affordable prices.

Fly Felix Flight School offers training for aircraft and drone pilots a VDS certificate (licence for ultralight piloting) and qualifications for two-seater; Advanced and Aeronautical Voice. They have an “I Want to Fly” initiative “to entertain you and at the same time try to identify new pilots.” An instructor allows you to operate a flight familiarization with confidence (with certified dual controls!) for around 30minutes.

CASTIGLIONE del LAGO

Castiglione del Lago

Castiglione del Lago’s, Castello di Leone castle, stands proudly on the hill, still casting a protective eye over the waters and providing a spectacular historical backdrop to all the modern day comings and goings of the area.
There are many restaurants and ‘duelling charcuterie’ shops that line the streets. Known as one of Italy’s borghi piu belli (most pretty towns), its reputation is well deserved with a medieval castle, frescoed churches and sweeping views over Lake Trasimeno
Florence and Rome are both a train ride away.

PERUGIA

UMBRIA JAZZ FESTIVAL

Perugia is an enchanting town with Etruscan roots, Medieval streets, modern shops, alfresco restaurants and the unmissable annual Umbria Jazz festival in July. Attracting some of the world’s biggest acts. Corso Vannucci, the main street becomes jammed with high spirits and fantastic music. Every morning Funk Off Marching Band opens the festivities at 11:30 a.m. The music on the free stages ends around 1 a.m. then transitions to ‘Jazz Club Méliès’, which goes until 4 a.m. In 2019 the estimated turnout was 500,000 people at 300 events, 12 venues, 95 bands and 500 musicians. Book early!!

EUROCHOCOLATE FESTIVAL

The largest sweet-toothed festival in Europe also happens in Perugia. Chocolate lovers will definitely not want to miss the Eurochocolate Festival in Autumn. There is no entrance fee and chocolate sculptures free tastings in the streets.
Park at the huge free car parking at, ‘Rocca Paolina’ and shoot to the top on the MiniMetro.

Assisi

TRUFFLE HUNTING ADVENTURE

There are two types of truffle experience: The first is to eat them in a local restaurant. The second is to go out and dig them up.

Umbria produces the highest number of black truffles in Italy. In the forest covered mountains with a farmer, a small pick, a leather bag and ‘Lagotto Romagnolo’ dogs who enthusiastically track the intense musky scent. www.viaggisenzafretta.com

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