Umbria Journals

Umbrian Sojourn

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A March 2004 trip to Umbria by moatway

Duomo di Spoleto (Santa Maria Assunta) Photo, Spoleto, Italy More Photos
Quote: We settled down near Assisi for a week and used the location as a hub for our travels through Umbria and eastern Tuscany.

Umbrian Sojourn

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Overview

Quote:
I can't say enough about Assisi. . . it was easily the most pleasant place we visited and there is enough to do to keep you busy for a day or two. The visitor really must make his way up to the Rocca Maggiore, the fortress that dominates the town. The views from the octagonal tower are amazing and on a nice day, you will just want to sit there and enjoy life. Put aside some time to sit in the Piazza Del Comune and wonder what it would be like to live in such a charming place. The Basilica San Francesco is the town's other must-see. My second pick would be Orvieto. Nowhere else will you see a city so defined by its geography. The sides of the plateau fall fairly quickly on all sides of the city. M...Read More

Carpedium Assisi Living Club

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Hotel

Carpedium Assisi Living Club Photo, Umbria, Italy
Quote:
Best Things Nearby:The resort is ideally situated for the exploration of all of Umbria. It is five kilometers to Assisi, perhaps the nicest of the Umbrian hill-towns and just down the road from Perugia, Umbria's main city. From here we were able to travel to Orvieto, Gubbio, Spoleto and into Tuscany as far as Siena. . . it is an ideal location. If you can find an excuse to drive down the road to Gualdo Tadino you will be rewarded by wonderful views.Best Things About the Resort:The resort is attractive, well-maintained, and well staffed. It offers a couple of day trips to Rome and Sienna/San Gimignano and a shuttle service into Assisi, but I wouldn't want to be here without a ca...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 6, 2004

Duomo di Spoleto (Santa Maria Assunta)

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Attraction | "Cathedrale Santa Maria Assunta (Spoleto)"

Duomo di Spoleto (Santa Maria Assunta) Photo, Spoleto, Italy
Quote:
The premiere site in Spoleto is its duomo, sitting as it does before a large piazza. As you enter, to your immediate right is the Capelle Annunziata – a chapel full with age and beauty – featuring a worn stone-bench surround and wonderful frescos around the portrait of the Virgin. . . a crucifixion scene, Saint Jerome and the Lion, St. Michael driving Satan into darkness and so much more. Part of the charm of this church is the patterned, tile floor, which is worn with age. Large artworks adorn the side chapel, most of them 18th century and framed with marble columns and pediments. To the right, in the transept, is the bishop’s tomb. To the right of the chancel there is the magnificent...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 6, 2004

Duomo di Spoleto (Santa Maria Assunta)
Spoleto, Italy
Spoleto, Italy

Cathedral of Orvieto (Orvieto Duomo)

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Attraction | "Duomo (Orvieto)"

Duomo di Spoleto (Santa Maria Assunta) Photo, Spoleto, Italy
Quote:
Do buy the ticket for the extra chapel at the tourist information office. The Capella di San Brizio costs 2 Euros and has serious "Wow" factor. Around the walls, the works of Fra Angelico, Benozzo Gozzoli and Luca Signorelli. Signorelli created a fresco work in which the anti-Christ speaks, mankind devotes itself to worldly pleasures, the world ends and then man is resurrected – some sent to hell by the angels and some receiving reward in heaven. It’s the light, the subject, the three-dimensional figures, the extraordinary quality and size – it’s brilliant. On the other side of the church is another chapel which features a large reliquary on its altar. It was nearby that the event inciting the ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 6, 2004

Cathedral of Orvieto (Orvieto Duomo)
Via Di Piazza Del Popolo 13
Orvieto, Umbria

Cathedral of Orvieto (Orvieto Duomo)

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Attraction | "Underground Orvieto"

Quote:
Probably the first thing you should do on arrival in the town is to book your tour for the Orvieto Underground. It is possible to take the tour in English and there is a lot to learn. Orvieto is a natural fortress and was first settled by the Etruscans. The plateau is soft volcanic rock with a layer of hard clay at the bottom. Etruscans dug wells through the soft rock for as much as 90 meters. . . you will see such wells in your tour. Over a thousand underground rooms and room complexes have been discovered so far, dug in Etruscan times continuing right through into the middle ages. Your tour will visit two such complexes. In the first, you will see what may have been an Etruscan cave turned int...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 6, 2004

Cathedral of Orvieto (Orvieto Duomo)
Via Di Piazza Del Popolo 13
Orvieto, Umbria

Basilica of Saint Francis

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Attraction | "Basilica of San Francesco (Assisi)"

Basilica of Saint Francis Photo, Assisi, Italy
Quote:
At the city’s extremity sits a 13th-century church, the construction of which was started soon after the death of Saint Francis in the optimistic belief that he would be beatified. It is single nave; completely covered in the murals of the stories of the life of the saint, with four arches before the transept, each arch containing a double Gothic stained glass window. There is a beautifully carved choir in the transept and the chancel. In the right transept there is a new work –St. Francis before a crucified Christ, the "Continuate" by Silvio Amelio. It’s quite stark and quite beautiful. At each end of the galleried transept there is more stained glass. . . and that’s just the upper church, so it’s ba...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 6, 2004

Basilica of Saint Francis
Town Center Halfway Up The Hill
Assisi, Italy

Wandering Perugia

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Story/Tip

Perugia Photo, Perugia, Italy
Quote:
Driving into Perugia from the south isn’t particularly difficult for although the city sprawls over a considerable area, the historical city center is actually quite small. If you follow the signs to the Piazza d’Europe, you will come to a large parking garage priced at less than a Euro an hour. You should be able to find a couple of escalators to help you get the rest of the way up the hill and signs to "Centro" abound. It’s only a short walk up the Corso Cavour before you pop out onto the Piazza IV November. Another parking option is at Piazza dei Partigiani where an escalator will take you right up to Rocca Paolina.Rocca Paolina was a large fortress built by the papacy to con...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 6, 2004

Galleria Nazionalle del'Umbria (Perugia)

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Attraction

Galleria Nazionale del'Umbria, Perugia Photo, Perugia, Italy
Quote:
We were fortunate enough to be in Perugia when the Umbrian Gallery had brought together a retrospective of the work of the late-15th century Umbrian artist, Pietro Vannucci detta Perugrino (whose work is absolutely adored in this city). Perugrino was a mentor of Raphael and his school produced marvelous work. The price for this display was 12 Euros plus 5 Euros for the audioguide – and worth every penny. (Normally, the admission is 4 Euros for a notable collection.) Perugrino’s works were on loan from museums all over the world, and brought together in one place provided a wonderful example of the evolution of a great artist. There were portraits, altar pieces and many religious scenes...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 6, 2004

Wandering Castiglione del Lago

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Attraction

Castiglione del Lago Photo, Umbria, Italy
Quote:
Much of the drive around Lago Trasimeno is very pretty. The lake is impressively large and its shores are dotted with fortifications, towers and towns. In the midst of all this is the sleepy little town of Castiglione del Lago. (At least on a sunny April 1st, in summer it’s a resort.) Access is easy, there seems to be plentiful parking and the very visible tower of Rocca del Leone will draw you through the historical center of this attractive town. In a small square on the Via Victor Emanuele you will find a fountain, an old tower, and the tourist information office. Further down the street, you will come to the Piazza Antonio Gramsci where for three Euros you can v...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 6, 2004

Wandering Gubbio

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Story/Tip

Gubbio Photo, Umbria, Italy
Quote:
Gubbio is just north of Assisi and may be the antithesis of the latter. . . not as heavily developed, but to be fair, without the same power to attract. It is a steep town, and with that in mind, if you leave the Piazza 40 Martiri (where there is a car park and the Chiesa di San Francisco) and go up to the Via della Repubblica, you will find the first of two elevators that allow you to move up to the top of the town in relative comfort. That is not to say that you will face no climbing, but you will face less climbing. Halfway up the hill, you will find the Piazza Grande on one side of which sits the Palazzo Consoli. Thanks to the broad square in front of it, this crenellated, white building fro...Read More

Wandering Orvieto

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Story/Tip

Orvieto Photo, Umbria, Italy
Quote:
The smart way to arrive in Orvieto would be by train or bus – the train station is right at the foot of the funicular to the town. If you’re coming in by car, search out the "Parking funicular" sign – the free parking is in an immense lot behind the train station. In summer, there is tourist information and ticketing right at the parking lot. If you miss the lot and go up the hill (as I did initially), there is enclosed, pay-parking at the Campo della Fiera… I did find that most of the parking in the upper garage was reserved. In Orvieto, you can purchase a billieta unico – a ticket that for one price, will cover most of your attractions and the funicular. In winter however, proceed to the funic...Read More

The Churches of Assisi

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Story/Tip

Assisi Photo, Umbria, Italy
Quote:
Apart from the Basilica of San Francesco, Assisi is the home of numerous churches including two former cathedral churches. The original cathedral was San Rufino in the Piazza San Rufino. It is dedicated to St. Rufinus who originally brought Christianity to Assisi. The nave isn’t wearing its age very well as the walls have lost their frescos. When we visited, the apse was closed for repairs but the marble altar stood in front of the tented area and is very large as are the side altars under each of which there is a sarcophagus. A lot of people pass on the crypt and the displays below the church, deterred by the 3 Euro fee. Unfortunately, many of them also pass by the magnificent Capella del Sacr...Read More