As is often said "Good things come in small packages" and this is certainly true of the Umbrian wine region; Italy’s fourth smallest region which produces only a third of the wine that Tuscany does.
Umbria connects history, people, nature, civilizations and traditions and is deeply rooted in ancient farming cultures. This is a land known for its heady fragrances, the simplicity of its cuisine and its deep genuine flavours. The land of olive oil and wine roads with 22 sites recognized as the most beautiful villages in Italy and 9 “Orange Flag” award villages which represent an eco-tourist award for small towns that represent sustainable tourism.
What inspires people to visit Umbria and to come back time again, is the opportunity to head off on a journey that utilises the five senses. In Umbria you are privy to see rare beauty, hear forgotten noises and sounds, touch the treasures of distant civilizations, smell the various fragrances of changing seasons and most important taste and savour the food and the wine. There are few places such as Umbria where you can find the best cultural expressions of the past and the present with the utmost respect for a natural environment with precious gems like Trasimeno Lake, the Clitunno Springs, the Marmore Waterfalls and the Castelluccio Plains.
Umbria can be visited any time of the year (wineries stay open all year round), however from April to October, is the best time to experience a wine tour as the vineyards in Umbria are in their growing season.
If you go in late June, you must visit the "Flowering" in the Castelluccio Plains which happen only at this time of the year. This magnificent natural event attracts thousands of tourists each year and consists of simultaneous blooming of dozens of flowers that create a multicolour flower carpet covering the whole of the valley. Summer time is full of events including medieval festivals and typical town festivals where food and wine are the main attraction. The “Infiorata” at Spello, which falls on the day of Corpus Domini, decorates the streets of the city with multi-coloured floral compositions. Nearby in Bevagna, a similar festival the “Mercato delle Gaite” takes place in late June and aims to re-create its medieval past. In November, a new vintage of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is released, providing a great opportunity for tourists to visit the olive oil makers and wineries, which often produce olive oil themselves too.
Wine and food lovers should consider visiting the region for at least 3 days with a base between the Perugia and Montefalco areas. Time permitting, 5 days are strongly recommended with two nights in Orvieto and three nights in the Perugia or Montefalco area.
There are four officially recognised wine road itineraries in Umbria which are important guides for discovering the vineyards, villages and cultural aspects of Umbria.