Impressions of our Towns and Villages
Finding a good balance between a relaxing holiday and discovering the interesting spots of our area is a real challenge. From medieval villages and Etruscan towns to the beauty of the countryside, you will find it all within short distances. When you realize that almost twenty percent of the Unesco world heritage is located within a range of 200 kilometres around this area and although it is very tempting to want to see it all within a short time, we very much advise our guests to discover the real treasures in our direct surrounding. To get an impression of what to see and what to expect you find here a list of towns and villages from the nearby surrounding
Assisi was the birthplace of St. Francis, who founded the Franciscan religious order in the town in 1208 and Assisi should be on your list of sightseeing places. Even if you are not a religious person and although the town is a major tourist attraction, it still is a magic place. The view from the valley towards Assisi and the Basilica di San Francesco is stunning !
The ancient village of Bagno Vignoni is located in the heart of Tuscany, in the Val d’orcin Natural Park. Thanks to the Via Francigena (which was the main route followed by pilgrims in antiquity who went to Rome), these thermal waters were found and have been used since Roman times.
Castellucio and Norcia
The fields on the slopes below the village are cultivated; the town is known for its excellent lentils. In springtime the nature of the fields is in lavish color, with red poppies and yellow rapeseed. The plains grassland is ideal for sheep husbandry. There is a lot of ski- and trekking tourism. Norcia. The area is known for its air and scenery. It is also widely known for hunting, especially of the wild boar, and for sausages and ham made from wild boar and pork. Such products have been named after Norcia; in Italian, they are called norcineria.
Castiglione del Lago
Castiglione del Lago, situated high on an peninsula right at the shore of Lake Trasimeno,it is a lively and the most important town on the lake. The town hall in Renaissance style and the medieval Castello del Leone.Since a long time the Dutch grow their tulipes here.
Some of the oldest human settlements of central Italy were discovered at the base of Monte Cetona, such as the early neo-Paleolithic Gosto cave The Belverde park hosts 25 prehistoric and Bronze Age caves, such as the San Francesco cave. There are several sites of Etruscan finds.Cetona is a beautifully preserved medieval village, which in the last years has become a fashionable place. It has fine views of Monte Cetona and is surrounded by pretty hills planted with cypresses and pine trees. The Piazza Garibaldi, laid out in the 16th century, offers several very good restaurants and interesting shops.
The lowlands around Chiusi are a treasure trove of tombs for this civilization. The Etruscan Museum of Chiusi is one of the most important repositories of Etruscan remains in Italy. Culture also offers a Romanesque Cathedral, the “Labyrinth of Porsenna”, a series of tunnels under the the historical part of the town, several Etruscan tombs and the nearby Lake Chiusi.
The prevailing character of Cortona’s architecture is medieval with steep narrow streets situated on a hillside (altitude 600 metres), embracing a view of the whole of the Valdichiana. From the Piazza Garibaldi is a fine prospect of Lake Trasimeno, scene of Hannibal’s ambush of the Roman army in 217 BC (Battle of Lake Trasimene). Parts of the Etruscan city wall can still be seen today as the basis of the present wall.
The town takes its name from a variety of oak tree that once covered the terrain. The very high site of the town offers stunning views over the Asso, Ombrone and Arbia valleys of Tuscany, dotted with silvery olive orchards, vineyards, fields and villages. The lower slopes of the Montalcino hill itself are dominated by highly productive vines and olive orchards. Every wine lover has to visit this charming little town, famous for the Brunello di Montalcino, and take a good stroll around the many cantinas and wine tasting facilities.
Montepulciano is a major producer of food and drink. Renowned for its pork, cheese, “pics” pasta, lentils, and honey, it is known world-wide for its wine. Connoisseurs consider its Vino Nobile, which should not be confused with varietal wine merely made from the Montepulciano grape, among Italy’s best, but also offers a variety of good and elegant shops and restaurants and a school and laboratory of mosaic handcraft.
Orvieto is situated on the flat summit of a large butte of volcanic tuff. The site of the city is among the most dramatic in Europe, rising above the almost-vertical faces of tuff cliffs that are completed by defensive walls built of the same stone called Tufa. The design has often been attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio, but the prevailing modern opinion is that the master mason was an obscure monk named Fra’ Bevignate from Perugia. The church is striped in white travertine and greenish-black basalt in narrow bands, similar in many ways to the cathedral of Siena
In this very charming and bustling little hilltop town an amazing streetlife takes place on the main piazza which seems to be like an opera set. After a walk through the narow streets or along the city wall, just sit down on the terrace at one of the cafés or restaurants on the piazza and enjoy whatever you come across.
The history of Perugia goes back to the Etruscan period. Perugia is one of the main Etruscan cities. The city is also known as the universities town, with the University of Perugia the Academy of Fine Arts “Pietro Vannucci” and the Music Conservatory of Perugia. There are festivals: the Eurochocolate Festival (October), the Umbria Jazz Festival (July) This open and international university town offers very good shops, the famous café “Sandri” on the main street, several museums, the longest preserved Renaissance facade and the beautiful cathedral of San Lorenzo.
Unesco declared the town a World Heritage Site, and in 2004 the entire valley, the Vald’Orcia, was included on the list of World Cultural Landscapes. Driving the few kilometers from Montepulciano to Pienza gives you enchanting views over the Val D´Orcia it is quite touristy but Pienza has still preserved it’s charm.
The historic centre of Siena has also been declared by Unesco a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation’s most visited tourist attractions, Siena is famous for its cuisine, art, museums, medieval cityscape and the Palio, a horse race held twice a year. The shell-shaped Piazza del Campo, the town square, which houses the Palazzo Public and the Torre del Mangia, is one of the most significant architectural treasures of Siena.