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  1. #1

    Slow Traveler

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    We'll be staying in Spello for two weeks late April/early May. We plan on exploring the Calendimaggio festival in Assisi but we're hoping to get some recommendations of favorite things to see/do in the area and restaurants, etc, from those of you who have been in Umbria recently. As for food, we enjoy out of the way, homey places. Thanks for any suggestions!

  2. #2
    Spello is a great base for exploring Umbria! Are you planning on renting a car? Even if you are not there are plenty of great towns to explore right on the main train line: Spoleto, Foligno, Spello & Assisi (obviously), Perugia, Lake Trasimeno, etc... You will have no problems filling your days.

    Here is a link to some of my favorite restaurants: http://www.lifeitalianstyle.co...re-to-sleep-eat.html

    Also, check out Rebecca from Brigolante's itinerary for 2 weeks in Umbria: http://www.brigolante.com/blog...tinerary-for-umbria/

    Have fun!

  3. #3

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    Thank you Jennifer. Yes, we will have a car. We were wondering if a day trip to Ancona or someplace else on the Adriatic would be worth doing; or would that be too much driving?

  4. #4
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    We spent 10 nights in Spello and loved it. As Jennifer said it is a great base for exploring the area.

    An activity we enjoyed was walking along the trail to the north of town the follows the ancient Roman aqueduct. The trail goes through old olive orchards, with amazing views of the surrounding area and of Spello in the distance.

    We enjoyed the San Francesco Church Museum in Montefalco. The frescoes are being restored and you can watch them doing it as you walk around. It is a spectacular place and a worthy destination. Lunch afterward at L'Alchemista was wonderful.

    We loved visiting the Roman ruins in Carsulae. Fascinating and exciting to actually walk on a portion of the Via Flaminia! The museum there is very good. Carsulae has a very wild and deserted feel to it that added to our enjoyment.

    Our drive into the Sibillini National Park was a highlight. We visited little towns, the Abbazia St. Eutizio near Preci and we stopped at many places with lovely vistas, including the Piano Grande. Stocking up on salumi, sausages, and cheese in Norcia was fun as was a visit to "The Cookie Lady".

    The sunsets from the west side of the upper town were memorable.

    I visited the local bakery every morning for baked goodies and visiting Bar Tullia was a twice daily ritual.

    Have a great trip.
    Bill
    There are people who have money and people who are rich. - Coco Chanel


  5. #5
    If you are want to take a day trip to the seaside (takes about 2 hours), I highly recommend that you at least eat in the little town of Portonovo (just south of Ancona), it is a part of the Monte Conero natural reserve and it is beautiful. There is a great restaurant there Ristorante Giacchetti www.ristorantedagiacchetti.it/?, which is probably my favorite place on the whole coast.

  6. #6


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    Madonna del Piatto's Avatar
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    William,
    do you know that getting tickets for Calendimaggio is not always easy? A few events are free but for the beautiful dances and singing contest you need tickets. May be talk to your hotel or vacation rental owner.

  7. #7
    Premium Member

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    Williamf, I too think you chose well for a base in Umbria. It's very central for exploring. I think there is some overlap in my favorite destinations and what has already been mentioned but we have enjoyed and stayed in Giubbio, San Giustino, Assisi, Perugia, Montefalco, Todi, Orvieto, Spoleto & tiny Titignano ~ but never in Spello.

    As we've wandered the Umbrian countryside over the years, we've stopped in Spello several times to relax over cappuccinos, to have lunch and to just walk around ~ finding it charming. Our most poignant visit came after the devastating earthquake of 1997. Everyone in this region was still shell shocked ~ just trying to survive. It was a sad time...

    On a happier note, here's a wonderful "article" from AFAR called What To Do in Spello. The clickable stories from various authors, including Michelle Damiani, a ST contributor who lived in Spello, might be helpful. Here's her story about Walk Along an Ancient Roman Aqueduct, which Bettini was describing.

    Have fun....

  8. #8

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    Where to start? Piano Grande di Castelluccio, a boat ride to Isola Grande in Lago Trasimeno from Tuoro. Hike around the island and then have lunch (the lake perch menu is good) at Da Sauro. Drive to Gubbio, and have lunch at il Panaro, which looks like a truck stop but has great torta al testo as well as primi, second, etc. Dinner in Perugia at either l'Officina or Osteria A Priori. Or pizza at Mediterranea. More as I think of it.

  9. #9
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    We were wondering if a day trip to Ancona or someplace else on the Adriatic would be worth doing; or would that be too much driving?
    We made part of the drive from Perugia towards Ancona and broke it off in order to visit other towns. My wife loves to drive in general and has been driving in Italy for over 30 years, but the roads (I described them in my trip diary that day as "narrow, curvy, hilly, and multiply congested -- trucks plus construction") sent us looking for something else to do. My wife's family home is in the middle of the hills and we're used to less than ideal driving conditions, but this road stands out in our memory as being a deal breaker.

    We did find a nice alternative, although I'm sure the thoughts of two obscure museums won't leave you breathless with anticipation. In Fabriano, there is a small museum dedicated to roving bicycle craftsmen and another documenting the role of the paper industry. OK, let's all temper the excitement but they were both enjoyable stops.

    From the other possible towns listed, we enjoyed Gubbio a lot. The little open funicular up to the monastery is a hoot and the videos of the Corsa dei Ceri are riveting.

  10. #10
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    I forgot to mention our visit to Ermeo della Carceri up in the hills above Assisi. Apparently it is where St. Francis would go to "unwind". It is a peaceful, lovely place. We drove a white road from Spello up and over Mount Subasio to get there and back. Don't take the road that goes around the back. Take the one that goes over the top. Nice views and lots of cows.

    We did a visit to Ermeo in the morning and then did Assisi in the afternoon/early evening.

    Orvieto is a long day trip from Spello. We spent the night there to give us some extra exploring time. Love this town for so many reasons.
    Bill
    There are people who have money and people who are rich. - Coco Chanel


  11. #11

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    My bad. I meant "Isola Maggiore."

  12. #12

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    Thank you all so much! I've contacted our rental owner for advice about tickets for the festival. We'll have so much fun researching all of your recommendations. What a wonderful resource!!

    Bill

  13. #13
    Montefalco. Truffles, cheese and wine. Nuff said.

  14. #14


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    Our time is never complete until we have spent a day in a cooking class with Letizia. She has a wonderful B&B overlooking Assisi and both her cooking classes and her B&B are a favorite with lots of us on the board!

    Alla Madonna del Piatto - Assisi - Vacation Rental, B&B and Cooking School
    InCampagna.com

  15. #15
    Well, I have to say that Umbria is characterized by hundreds of small “borghi”, little villages with castle, churches and bell tower. I suggest a visit to Spello, but also Gubbio, Assisi, Todi and Corciano. In this region, every town has its own particular story. If you visit Deruta, you can see warm-colored and unique style ceramics, an art going back to the pre-roman period. The great attention for beauty, art and design has made Umbria a real source of wonderful ceramic masterpieces. Here you can find ceramics, truffles, local chocolate and typical extra virgin olive oil.

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