Information about The North of Umbria

Information about Umbria - northern Umbria map

The Northern Umbria page contains information about the towns: Gubbio (in a pdf), Monte Santa Maria, Citerna, San Giustino, Citta di Castello, Umbertide, Montone, Pietralunga, Sigillo, Costacciaro, Scheggia/Pascelupo, Valfabbrica, Fossato di Vico and Gualdo Tadino.

Go back to the general page for sightseeing in Umbria.

Gubbio is an important town in this area. This pdf gives more details about Gubbio.

Visit our Villa in Umbria blog for more information about things to do at the North of Umbria: 

Fall in Gubbio
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 Country House Dante
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 Summer running in Città di Castello

MONTE S. MARIA TIBERINA

monte santa maria tiberina in Umbria

Located 57 km from Perugia (SP174, E45, S105, SP103) and 16 km from Città di Castello (SS221 and SP103). An ancient stronghold of the Marquis Bourbon del Monte, situated in a panoramic position overlooking the upper Tiber valley, the town retains its medieval layout.

What to see

The ancient parish church, built around the year 1000. Palazzo dei Marchesi. Castle of Lippiano, with a tower built in 1080.

What to taste

Chicche, large tortellini with a meat and truffle filling; wild boar meat and rosticcino, a barbequed mutton kebab.

Events

The traditonal procession for the Feast of the Ascension, during which the mayor gives the Madonna the keys to the city.
Autumn Festival
- last weekend in October
An exhibition of typical products and truffles, with medieval dinner in costume held in the rooms of the castle. 


CITERNA

citerna in the north of umbria

Located just 15 km from Monte S. Maria Tiberina, Citerna is a lovely and charming town perched on a hilltop at 500 metres above sea level, like a “terrace” over the upper Tiber valley.

What to see

Church of San Francesco, with interesting paintings by Luca Signorelli, Raffaellino del Colle, and a splendid Madonna in terracotta recently attributed to Donatello.
Church of San Michele Arcangelo, built between 1680 and 1682. Well-preserved medieval paths along the town wall and the remains of the old fortress.
Church of S. Maria Assunta in Pistrino, with notable Renaissance frescoes.

What to taste

The typical products of the zone such as truffles and mushrooms. Excellent cured meats.

Events

Grape Festival third weekend in September. Held in Pistrino along with an exhibition of DOC wines.
Il Torre in April-May. - National comic theatre in dialect series.
Fighille per l’Arte - first weekend in October. - National painting award and exhibitions of photography, drawing, and ceramics.


SAN GIUSTINO

san giustino in Umbria

Continuing on SP100 and then E45, after 14 km you reach San Giustino. A town of pre-Roman origin, it owes its name to a Roman soldier who was brutally murdered for professing his Christian faith. The history of the town is linked to the powerful noble family Bufalini.

What to see

Bufalini Castle, an imposing construction that dominates the town centre. The castle recently became State property, and visitors can admire its rooms beautifully frescoed by Ghepardi and furnished with period furniture and objects. Archaeological remains of the Roman Villa of Pliny the Younger in the nearby village of Pitigliano. Museo del Tabacco, opened in 2004. The town of Compaia, 2 km from San Giustino, which was a singular independent republic for almost 400 years (1440 to 1826). The first tobacco plant was cultivated here in the second half of the 16th century.

What to taste

Excellent sweets from the popular tradition: zuppa inglese (trifle), crostini briachi, jam tarts, and torcoli (cakes with dried and candied fruit). Also worthy of note: berlingozzo, a cake made with eggs and flour and flavoured with anise seeds, once prepared specially for weddings.

Events

Castelli e Cascine - second Sunday of every month. An antique and flea market.
Frog Festival Selci – first weekend in July.
Lamarina Mini-marathon, Lama - first Sunday in October. International 13 km race.


CITTA DI CASTELLO

Citta di Castello

Città di Castello, the ancient Roman Tifernum, is the largest city of the upper valley of the Tiber river. It was a free commune in the Middle Ages, its dominion extending to the territories beyond the Apennines. The city has a host of historical monuments with its various churches and palazzi, the most important of which are those built by the Vitelli family between the 15th and 16th centuries.

What to see

Pinacoteca Comunale, situated in Palazzo Vitelli alla Cannoniera (16th c.), with 16thcentury façade in graffiti by Vasari. It houses fine works by Raphael (Stendardo della S.S. Trinità, 1503 ex voto for the plague), Luca Signorelli (Martirio di S. Sebastiano, 1497-1498), Domenico Ghirlandaio, Andrea della Robbia, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Raffaellino del Colle, and Pomarancio.
Museo del Duomo, adjacent to the cathedral, with important paintings including Cristo in Gloria (1530), a masterpiece by Rosso Fiorentino, and Madonna col Bambino e San Giovannino by Pinturicchio. It also houses the Tesoro di Canoscio, an extremely rare collection of eucharistic objects of paleochristian art and the Paliotto altar piece in embossed silver, partially gilded, from the Romanesque period (12th c.).
The Burri Collection, housed in Palazzo Albizzini and the former tobacco drying facility. The two exhibition sites house the works of native-born artist Alberto Burri, one of the most important protagonists of modern art. The collections comprise four hundred works ranging from mixed media paintings, sculptures, and drawings, all donated by Burri himself to the foundation he established.
The Duomo (11th c.) dedicated to Saints Florido and Amanzio. Renovated and enlarged between 1300 and 1600, it assumed its present form in the early 1800s. A cylindrical tower of Roman origin stands next to the cathedral. Church of San Francesco (13th c.). Almost completely rebuilt in 1700, it houses the Cappella Vitelli designed by Giorgio Vasari. Church of San Domenico (14th-15th c.). With a roofed nave and cross-shaped chancel, it has a severe and solemn structure.
The Torre Civica, also called Torre del Vescovo (13th-14th c.). 
Palazzo dei Priori (14th c.), one of the most beautiful public buildings in the region. The architrave bore the name of the architect, Angelo da Orvieto.
Palazzo del Podestà (14th c.), also attributed to Angelo da Orvieto, with two different styles: Gothic on the side flanking Corso Cavour and Baroque on the façade.
Palazzo Vitelli in Sant’Egidio, a grandiose edifice built in about 1540. The lovely façade is enriched by elegant windows and two rusticated portals. Very fine frescoes inside, some of which are attributed to Gherardi and Prospero Fontana.

What to taste

The prized white truffle (tuber magnatum pico) which Pliny, in his role as a naturalist, defined as “among such things that grow but cannot be sowed”. To taste raw, shaved onto pasta or vegetables so that it maintains its unmistakable flavour. Other delicious dishes: pasta with mushrooms and the various roast meats.

Citta di Castello SanctuaryEvents

Festival of the Nations - August – September.
Established in 1968, it is one of the most important chamber music events in Italy and Europe in general. At each edition, one guest country presents groups of international prestige based on a rigorous selection process.

National Horse Show - Second weekend in September. 
One of the most important equestrian events in Italy, with an extensive programme, including the Selected Breed Show, International Arabian Competition, National Equestrian Competition, and various equestrian performances.

Period and Antique Furniture Show - Last week in April. 
Features the best of Umbrian style furniture, products created with passion and mastery by the artisans of the upper Tiber valley using fine solid woods (walnut, cherry, olive, chestnut, oak) and seasoned wood.

Exhibition of Truffles and Woodland Products - First weekend in November. 
An event established to promote truffles and the typical natural products of the upper Tiber valley.


UMBERTIDE

Umbertide in the North of Umbria

Approximately 30 km from Perugia (E45). Though it has ancient origins as Fratta, the town of Umbertide was founded around the year 1000.

What to see

With its rounded towers and one square tower, the medieval fortress in the heart of the historic district is the site of a Centre for Contemporary Art.
Church of Santa Maria della Reggia, with an octagonal shape, erected in the second half of the 16th century.
Church of Santa Croce, where the museum of the same name features Deposizione della Croce by Signorelli and Madonna col Bambino in Gloria tra Angeli e Santi by Pomarancio (Nicolò Circignani) dated 1578.
Abbey of San Salvatore at Monte Corona, a short distance from Umbertide, with the upper church consecrated in 1105 but rebuilt and transformed in 1700, and the crypt of notable artistic value with architectural elements that date it to the 11th century.

What to taste

The various charcuterie products, including mortadella, sausages, and the delicious wild boar prosciutto.

Events

19th Century September Fair
This event, now in its fourth year, comprises four days of performances and re-enactments of events that actually took place in the 19th century with participants in period costume. The celebrations, involving the entire community of Umbertide, take place in the streets and squares of the historic district. For the entire period of the event it is possible to rediscover the traditional flavours in the taverns and pubs that propose popular dishes of the era.

Festival of Spring and Preggio Festival
Two classical music events of notable artistic quality. The first takes place in April and May, the second in the first ten days of August.


MONTONE

Montone in the North of Umbria

Continuing northward along the E 45, you take the turning for Montone and after about 10 km reach the town. Built on a hilltop, Montone is a lovely medieval town splendidly preserved in its urban structure. It is known mainly for the deeds of Braccio Fortebracci, a noted condottiere, who died in the Battle of l’Aquila in June 1424 at 56 years old.

What to see

Museo Comunale di San Francesco, located in the restored church that houses the group of wood sculptures depicting the Deposition (1250) and the gonfalon with Madonna della Misericordia e Santi painted by Andrea Caporali (1482).
Rocca di Braccio, recently restored. Rocca d’Aries, an ancient fortress with imposing walls, most likely belonging to the Fortebracci family.

What to taste

White truffles, excellent shaved on pasta, toasted buttered canapés, or eggs,and the other woodland products: mushrooms, honey, jams, etc.

Events

Donazione della Santa Spina, third week in August. Celebrations and historical procession with about two hundred participants in period costume who re-enact the deeds of the condottiere Braccio Fortebracci, whose son Carlo gave the local people a sacred thorn given to him for victories against the Turks.
Umbria Film Festival, first week in July. A prestigious film festival with showings of full-length, medium and short films from Europe.
Festa del Bosco, All Saint’s weekend. Fair of woodland products.


PIETRALUNGA

pietralunga in the North-East of Umbria

At the exit for Montone (E 45), follow the signs to Pietralunga, about 21 km. Immersed in the pleasant and verdant Apennine hills, the town is situated around a Lombard fortress.

What to see

Parish church of Santa Maria, with a fine Romanesque portal. Sanctuary of the Madonna dei Rimedi. Parish church of Saddi, a typical example of a paleochristian basilica.

What to taste

In addition to truffles, present in large quantities in the surrounding woods, it is mandatory to taste the renowned Pietralunga potato, excellent for preparing gnocchi.

Events

Palio della Mannaia, second week in August. A folkloristic historical representation that evokes the ancient rivalry between the quarters of Pietralunga.

 


SIGILLO

montecucco sigillo hang gliding in Umbria

Sigillo is the capital of hang-gliding. Sigillo was important in the Roman era for its position on the Via Flaminia. Today, immersed in the Park of Monte Cucco, it is a quiet and inviting town. The broad upland plateaus are ideal for “free-flying”. National and international hang-gliding competitions are held here, including the World Free-Flying Championship in 1999. Hiking and mountain bike trips can be made in lovely settings such as the Val di Ranco and the Grotte del Monte Cucco.

What to see

Walled town with the remains of the enclosure wall.
Church of Sant’Agostino (1788 – 1791).
Church of Sant’Andrea (13th c. parish church).
Church of Sant’Anna al Cimitero (Oratory from the mid-1400s).

Surrounding area

Church of S.Maria Assunta di Scirca (Villa Scirca – 13th c.).
Crypt of S. Caterina (12th c.).
Church of S. Giuseppe.
Ponte Spiano (2nd c. B.C. or Augustan age).
Ponte di Scirca, also known as Ponte dei Pietroni (2nd c.).

What to taste

Frittata with savoury leaves. Salad of carline (a wild artichoke of the Park of Monte Cucco). Coniglio in porchetta (stuffed roast rabbit) with chickling pea puree, crescia (cheese bread) with pork rinds.

Events

Holy Thursday and Good Friday, re-enactment of the trial of Jesus.
Processione del Cristo Morto and historical parade.
Corpus Domini and Infiorata, June.
Festival of San Martino, with chestnuts and novello wine, 11th November.
Il Focaraccio, 9th December.


COSTACCIARO

costacciaro in North-East Umbria

A medieval village located on the Via Flaminia (just a few minutes by car from Sigillo: 4.5 km on SS3). The development of the last few decades has not altered the structure of the medieval town of Costacciaro, which integrates nicely with the environment of the Monte Cucco Regional Park. Of notable naturalistic value are the Grotte del Monte Cucco.

What to see

The village. Church of San Francesco (first half of the 13th c.). The Rivellino (15th c.), an imposing defensive tower. Torre della Roccaccia. Museo delle Grotte e dell’Ambiente Carsico del Monte Cucco. Centre for environmental education.

What to taste

Bigoli (large eggless spaghetti) with tomato sauce, basil and ricotta, tagliatelle alla patriottica, legumes of Monte Cucco.

Events

Paese in Photo, July/August – Educational seminars and infrared photography exhibitions.
Festa del Paninazzo, August (first Sunday).
Mountain Festival, August (second week). Encounter with Nature at Monte Cucco.
Bigoli Festival, August.


SCHEGGIA E PASCELUPO

scheggia-pascelupo in Umbria - eremo

From Costacciaro, a brief trip of 7 km on the SS 3 takes you to the villages of Scheggia and Pascelupo. Both are surrounded by mountains with an abundance of centuries-old beech trees. Well-marked trails allow you to enjoy a spectacular panorama. Impressive rocky peaks and the gorges of the Corno and Catria rivers and of the Valle delle Prigioni, and the imposing canyon of Rio Freddo. Sentiero Italia, the trail that crosses the Apennine Mountains, passes at Monte Calvario. The establishment of the Park of Monte Cucco made it possible to re-establish the wildlife.

What to see

Torre Civica (14th c.). Parish Church of Saints Filippo and Giacomo (16th c.). Church of Sant’Antonio Abate (17th c.).

Surrounding area

Hermitage of San Girolamo di Monte Cucco (10th c.). Abbey of Sant’Emiliano in Congiuntoli (10th c.). Abbey of Sitria (11th c.) Vaulted bridge. Pascelupo, a small hamlet with traces of the ancient castle and the medieval tower.

What to taste

Typical cheeses of Monte Cucco, polenta alla carbonara, typical dishes with truffles, Pan di Scheggia.

Events

Festival of Spring in Pascelupo - June (first or second Sunday).
Festa del Maggio (Isola Fossara), 13th June - Raising and climbing of the Maggio (greased pole).
Festa Campagnola at the Abbey of Sitria - 16th August.
Natività della SS. Vergine - 8th September - Race of the Bighe.


VALFABBRICA

Valfabbrica

Located midway along the Sentiero Francescano della Pace (29 km from Perugia on SS 318), on the left bank of the Chiascio river on the old Gubbio-Assisi route. The origins and history of Valfabbrica are tied to the events of the Benedictine Abbey of S. Maria in Vado Fabricae, one of the oldest in Umbria. The Sentiero Francescano della Pace, the route often used by St. Francis to go from Assisi to Gubbio, runs through Valfabbrica.

What to see

The castle (13th c.).
Church of S. Maria Assunta Abbazia (prior to the 9th c.).
Church of San Sebastiano. Medieval chapel with 18th-century remodelling.

Surrounding area

Castle of Casacastalda (circa 8th c.).
Castle of Frecco.
Church of S. Anna.
Giomici, fort (11th c.).
Villa di Schifanoia, with castle of feudal origin.

What to taste

Rustichella del contadino with cured pork jowl, pecorino and fava beans, brustengo (fried flatbread), tagliatelle all’acquasanta. Chickling pea soup with potatoes, coratina d’agnello. Roast goose with local herbs, torta al testo (a kind of focaccia) with roasted vegetables or regional cured meats. Bread flavoured with local herbs. Fregnaccia, a cake made of corn meal and dried fruit.

Events

Autumn Festival, first Sunday in September - historical procession.
Cantamaggio, last week in May (Casacastalda).
Live Crèche, 24th-25th December (Casacastalda).


GUALDO TADINO

Gualdo Tadino on the border with the Marche

The city of ceramics (from Valfabbrica 25 km, SS318, SP45, SS444). The rich landscape and the charm of the ancient origins of the town make Gualdo Tadino, site of the Museo dell’Emigrazione, situated between the Chiascio and Topino valleys, a destination not to be missed. It is famous worldwide for its artistic ceramic production. Positioned at the foot of Monte Serra Santa and a short distance from the meadows of the Valsorda, the Valle della Rocchetta, known for its extremely pure mineral water, and the Fonno Gorge, a protected area of naturalistic interest, Gualdo Tadino offers numerous opportunities to explore a lovely, uncontaminated landscape.

What to see

Cathedral of San Benedetto (c. 13th)
Church of San Francesco (13th – 14th c.).Torre Civica and Palazzo del Podestà (13th c.).
Rocca Flea, site of the Museo Civico.

Surrounding area

Church of San Facondino (11th c.)
Romanesque Church of S. Maria in Pieve di Compresseto
Tower of the Castle of San Pellegrino and parish church.

What to taste

Crescia sbollentita, Frittata with colcigli, a plant with leaves similar to olive trees, Polenta ’mpastoiata with lard, onions, and legumes. Dishes with truffles.

Events

Good Friday Procession.
Festa del Maggio (San Pellegrino) - 30th April.
La Notte del Fuoco e Guazza di San Giovanni (Grello), 23rd June, festivities in honour of the patron saint.
Giochi de le porte, last weekend in September, a medieval fair.
International Ceramics Exhibition.


FOSSATO DI VICO

Fossato di Vico in the North East of Umbria

The old town of Fossato di Vico is situated on a hilltop in the small valley of the Fosso Rigo river. The medieval face of the town has remained almost unaltered, with enclosure wall, towers and a tangle of tiny streets. A characteristic feature is the “rughe”, a network of internal streets made for defensive purposes, covered in part with rounded stone vaults, pointed arches and in certain parts a plank roof. It was the first municipality in Umbria to produce clean energy, by means of the wind power station of Cima Mutali, and established the first Centre for Wind Power Studies in conjunction with the University of Perugia.

What to see

Church of San Benedetto (13th c.)
Abbey of San Pietro (13th c.)
Church of San Cristoforo (13th c.)
Church of Piaggiola Monastery of Santa Maria del Fonte (13th c.)
Clock Tower, 17th c.
Antiquarium Comunale, Centro Museale della Civiltà Contadina, Centro di Esperienza Ambientale

What to taste

Frascarelli, a soup with egg pasta, pappardelle with wild boar sauce, padellaccia con torta sbollentita, maccheroni dolci.

Events

Festa degli alberi, March.
Historical re-enactment of the Passion of Christ, Good Friday.
Festa degli Statuti Medioevali, second week in May.
Photography and Painting Fair, conferences and street performances.
Country Fairs, July-August.
Mountain Festival, August.
Festival of the Madonna della Ghea, 5th August.
Cantine di San Martino, novello and vintage wine competition - November.