Umbria - Italian region

Like Tuscany, Umbria has a landscape to fall in love with. It's a patchwork of many shades of green, with cities and villages where time has stood still since the Middle Ages, or at least so it seems. The best known cities in Umbria are Perugia, Assisi (birthplace of the famous Francesco d'Assisi) and southern Orvieto, which has the most striking gothic cathedral in Italy.

Umbria also has many lakes, the largest waterfall in Italy, and the mountain range Monti Sibillini. The foothills of the Apennines cleave Umbria, as does the river Tiber on its way to Rome. It's the combination of the two that gives Umbria its hilly outlook. Centuries ago the river formed the border between the Etruscan region and that of the Umbrians. That Etruscan/Roman period, and the Middle Ages, form the highlights in Umbrian history. The cities florished and grew into true kingdoms that ruled the entire surrounding region.

Eventually, Umbria came under Papal authority in the 16th century. Since then it has always been a silent, introvert region. Not until the end of the 19th century, it awakened when industrialisation shook up all of Europe, including Umbrian cities. Nevertheless, it is still a peasant area, mostly visited by tourists that like peace and long walks. Other tourist highlights include Etruscan/Roman monuments (Gubbio, Orvieto, Perugia, San Gemini), churches and convents (Assisi, Ferentillo, Lugnano in Teverina, Narni, Orvieto, Perugia, Spoleto, Todi), castles (Assisi, Perugia, Umbertide), museums (Città di Castello, Deruta, Montefalco, Orvieto, Perugia, Torgiano), beautiful town squares (Gubbio, Norcia, Perugia, Todi) and a large lake called Lago Trasimeno.

Administratively, Umbria with its 820,000 inhabitants consists of two provinces: Perugia (abbreviated to PG) and Terni (TR). It's situated to the southeast of the Tuscany region.

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