(Last Updated On: January 14, 2023)



Umbria, the green heart of Italy, with undulating hills, vineyards, and fertile landscapes, interspersed with picturesque hill towns and villages, is a wonderful region to explore. 

Add in some of Italy’s finest wines and delicious foods, and you’ll understand why I totally fell in love with Umbria. 

Here are some of the best towns in Umbria that I have discovered so far. Most are easily accessible by train (my preferred choice of travel ), although, for Bevagna and Montefalco, a car would definitely be more convenient. 

Assisi 

Assisi old town at sunset.
Assisi

If you only visit one town on your trip to Umbria, visit Assisi, and you won’t be disappointed.

If you’re only planning a day trip, I highly recommend taking this three-hour guided walking tour of the city. It was a fascinating walking tour that led you through back streets, visited tiny art galleries, the main churches, and the town’s piazzas and took you to places you probably wouldn’t have found by yourself. 

The town of Assisi is easy to get to by train, although the town itself is quite far from the train station, about a 50-minute walk. So to avoid the uphill climb, you will need to purchase a bus ticket and take Line C up to the historic centre. Tickets can be bought at the station, and the bus stop is right outside. 

Also worth a visit and just a short walk from the station is the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli. It’s a beautiful church that shelters the Porziuncola, a small chapel where the Franciscan movement first started and is the most sacred place for the Franciscan order.

Recommended restaurant – Enoteca Mazzini 

Fancy staying in Assisi? Check here for accommodation. 

Bevagna 

Fountain and historic buildings in Bevagna's main square
Bevagna

Bevagna, like many other towns in Umbria is listed as one of the “Borghi più belli d’Italia” (Most Beautiful Boroughs in Italy). And just for a change, it’s not a hill town, as it’s built on the plains of the River Topino; it’s flat, very flat. 

The town is built on top of Roman ruins, and Roman columns and friezes can be found all over Bevagna. It is surrounded by perfectly preserved Roman and medieval walls, filled with towers and ramparts. 

To enter the town, you pass through one of the four gates. Then wander along the medieval streets to the town’s main square, the Piazza Silvestri (Silvestri Square). The piazza is surrounded by beautiful buildings in white sandstone and churches, and it’s a great spot to relax and enjoy a coffee. 

To get to Bevagna, you really need a car or a lot of patience taking local buses. Plus also, with a vehicle, you can easily visit the local winery Il Carapace di Tenuta Castelbuono, a great place to sample the local wines. 

Recommended Tour – Montefalco and Bevagna Wine Tasting Full-Day Tour

Recommended Restaurant  – Serpillo

Fancy staying in Bevagna? Check here for accommodation

Collepino 

A street with cobbled stones in Collepino
Collepino

Collepino is a tiny hamlet in the Umbrian hills. Yes, it would be easy to drive there, but the fun is in getting there on foot. So, I recommend following the beautiful trail from Spello along the Roman Aqueduct. 

It’s a two-hour walk through the gorgeous countryside. You’ll be rewarded with fabulous views along the way as you pass through olive groves and farmlands. It’s a beautiful walk, and it’s flat for most of the way, except for the last 800 metres up to Collepino, which is a bit steep. 

The entrance to the village is beautifully decorated with pots filled with flowers and a large water trough with delicious cold drinking water. This tiny village will only take a few minutes to explore, and at the far side of the village is a viewing platform from which there are breathtaking views of the Umbrian countryside.

There are two places to eat in the village, and if you have walked, no doubt you’ll be craving refreshments now. The Ristorante Taverna S.Silvestro gets good reviews but was closed the day I was there. But just next door is the friendly Bar La Locanda which serves drinks and sandwiches. 

There are a couple of Air BnB in town if you want to stay over, but I think Spello would be a better overnight choice. 

Foligno 

Piazza della Repubblica in Foligno
Foligno

Foligno is a lovely mix of old and not so old architecture. It is easy to get to by train, and from the train station, it is just a short walk to the historic centre, and an added bonus, the town is flat. 

It’s a lovely town just to wander around aimlessly. Encased by medieval walls, it’s fun to explore the historic centre of Foligno on foot or by bicycle and lose yourself in the maze of streets and alleys that lead to various piazzas. 

You won’t get too lost, and somehow you will always end up at the impressive Piazza della Repubblica and the adjoining Piazza Duomo. You can also enjoy a pleasant stroll alongside the River Topino. 

Foligno probably had the best shops out of all the towns in Umbria I visited, but most close for a few hours at lunchtime. 

Random fact: In April 1472, the first printed edition of Dante’s Divine Comedy was produced in Foligno. 

Recommended restaurant: La Lanterna Dei Trinci

Fancy staying in Foligno? Check here for accommodation.

Montefalco 

The Piazza in Montefalco
Montefalco

Montefalco is another picture-postcard hilltop town in Umbria, with narrow, cobbled streets inside ancient walls. It’s a small town, so it’s hard to get too lost – whichever of the five main gates you pass through to enter the town all lead uphill to the central five-sided piazza – the Piazza del Comune.

Situated 473 metres above sea level, Montefalco is frequently referred to as ‘the balcony of Umbria’ due to its elevated position above the surrounding countryside. Surrounded by olive groves, vineyards, and fields, the view is breathtaking. 

If you love hiking, there are some beautiful trails around here. 

And if you’ve been travelling around Umbria for a while, you’ll know by now that Montefalco is most famous for its wine production and for the Sagrantino grape has grown here since  Roman times. 

You can’t leave Montefalco without sampling some of the wonderful Montefalco Sagrantino (a dry red wine) and Montefalco Rosso wines.

The easiest way to reach Montefalco is by car, but it’s certainly doable by public transport. Take a train to Foligno, then take a local bus.

Recommended Restaurant: Ristorante Il Coccorone

Fancy staying in Montefalco? Check here for accommodation

Orvieto 

Orvieto Cathedral
Orvieto

Another gorgeous town is Orvieto, which is really easy to visit as a day trip from Rome by train. After arriving at Orvieto station, you then take the funicular up to the old town. The funicular is located just in front of the station. Alternatively, you could take a bus up the hill. 

If you prefer to take a tour, this highly-rated tour from Rome combines a visit to Orvieto with Assisi, but it’s actually pretty straightforward to get to Orvieto and explore independently. 

There’s a lot to see in the town, from visiting the impressive black and white striped Duomo to admiring the view from the top of the Torre del Moro and then taking a walk down to the bottom of St Patrick’s Well. 

If you are planning to visit many of the churches and sites in Orvieto, consider purchasing the Carta Unica, which will save you money. 

But like with most towns in Italy, the best part is to step away from the main streets and wander along the backstreets and alleyways.  

There are several excellent restaurants in the town, but the better ones are found away from the Piazza Duomo. 

For a more detailed post on Orvieto, click here. 

Recommended Restaurant: Trattoria La Grotta 

Fancy staying in Orvieto? Check here for accommodation.

Perugia 

Perugia City Centre
Perugia

Perugia is Umbria’s capital and very easy to reach by train. From the train station, save your legs and take the mini metro up to the historic centre. 

An excellent place to start exploring the city from is the Piazza IV Novembre, the main square in the centre of Perugia. 

The piazza has several famous monuments, including the Cathedral of San Lorenzo,  the medieval fountain Fontana Maggiore, and Palazzo dei Priori – the Town Hall of Perugia. 

Take a stroll along Corso Vannucci, a wide, pedestrian street that runs from Piazza IV Novembre to Giardini Carducci and is bustling with bars, cafes, restaurants, street musicians, bars and much more!

Just below the Giardini Carducci, you’ll find Rocca Paolina (Underground Perugia), which is a network of streets that are the remains of a sixteenth-century medieval fortress built by Pope Paul III. 

Perugia is also famous for its Baci chocolate. I bought some as gifts, but weirdly, none made it home! 

Also, being a university town, plenty of cheap eats can be found around the city. 

Recommended Restaurant: Locanda del Bartoccio 

Fancy staying in Perugia? Check here for accommodation.

Spello 

A street in Spello
Spello

Spello was my base when exploring Umbria. Many only visit the town as a day trip, but it’s definitely worth spending a night or two. It’s a beautiful town, but nowhere is flat. You’ll always be either walking uphill or downhill, so be prepared for a good workout. 

The town is most famous for its Infloriata festival, where the streets are turned into floral carpets. 

But it’s a pleasure to explore the town at any time. 

Wander the streets, and the floral alleyways, admire the pretty churches, the tiny museums and the stunning vistas of the Umbrian countryside. If you’re a renaissance art fan, visit the Baglioni Chapel in the Collegiata di Santa Maria Maggiore to see paintings by Pinturicchio.

Love Roman mosaics, don’t miss the Villa of Mosaics. 

This tiny town has so many excellent restaurants and delightful delicatessens. The food was incredible – you must try the local black truffles, Chianina beef, wild boar, and the most delicious olive oils drizzled over bruschetta. 

For more information on Spello, take a look at this more detailed post here

Recommended Restaurant: La Cantina di Spello 

Fancy staying in Spello? Check here for accommodation. 

Spoleto 

Overlooking Spoleto
Spoleto

Spoleto is a walled medieval hill town that is easily accessible by train. To reach the historic centre, if you can’t face walking, there is a system of escalators which will transport you from the base of the hill to the old town. 

It’s another lovely town to explore on foot, with so many gorgeous churches, historic buildings and piazzas. 

Overlooking the town is a medieval Rocca (a fortress), and just to the side of the Rocca, spanning the deep gorge, is the Bridge of Towers. There’s a lovely coffee shop here with great views of the city and the countryside. 

Do not miss the Romanesque Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in Duomo Square, which has beautiful frescoes by Pinturicchio and Filippo Lippi. 

Just around the corner from the cathedral is the Roman House which dates back to the first century. 

Visit the town on a Friday and sample delicacies at the local market on Piazza del Mercato. 

The town of Spoleto is most well known for its historical Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of two worlds), which takes place during the last week of June and the first two weeks in July and is a tribute to various art forms featuring artists from all over the world. 

Recommended Restaurant: Trattoria “La Torretta”

Fancy staying in Spoleto? Check here for accommodation

Have you visited Umbria? I know there are many more towns and cities to discover, but for now, these are the best towns in Umbria that I have discovered so far. 



How To Travel Around Umbria

I prefer travelling by train wherever possible. For train tickets, I normally book online with Omio, as this means I don’t have to struggle with ticket machines and language confusion.

If I need to rent a car, I usually use Discover Cars.

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