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Apr 13th, 2013, 05:56 PM
  #1
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Back to Umbria Planning

I've been distracted for a couple of months with other things but am now getting back to this.

We do not rent a car. We travel mostly by train and a little by bus.

You'll see why I mention this. We've been to Venice and Rome a few times each over the years.

The main focus of this trip was/is to be Umbria.

At this point I'm thinking as follows:
Arrive in Venice (this could change to Bolognia if there are good reasons). We been to Venice a couple of times but never did daytrips from there. There appears to be a fair number of opportunities from Venice. Maybe a day in Venice itself. Maybe about 4 days here.

Then onto Perugia as a base to visit reasonably nearby (within 1 1/2 hours) towns. As a base Perugia would get more time than other places. Hopefully there's enough wandering to keep us busy (on previous trips we used Florence as a base - excellent and Avignon - not that much to see though not really bad).

Then onto Rome. We could spend a day or two here but the main reason would be to go to Orvieto (and possibly one other) as a daytrip and a place from which to fly home (USA).

Probably my main concerns are with Perugia. Given that it would be a base for about 5 days, we will be spending evenings there. Is there enough in the way of sights and restaurants (gourmet restaurants are not a requirement - just reasonably good food) to keep us busy? Is it a hassle getting to/from the upper town to the train station?

I might consider going to Orvieto as an overnight "daytrip" (we did this twice from Florence with excellent results) from Perugia but I'm not sure what the advantage would be.

At this point, since airfare hasn't been booked for weeks 2 & 3 of September I'm not opposed to tearing this apart and rebuilding it if there are compelling reasons.

Thanks for comments and suggestions.
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Apr 14th, 2013, 07:37 AM
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I once spent a week in Perugia and found it to be a very good base for day trips within 1.5 hours. Most trips were mostly by train and only a couple by bus (Todi and Gubbio). All were easy with no hassles.

I remember taking the public bus directly between the train station and the upper town (where you'll want to stay) and I think it took about 15 minutes each way. The bus station was a close easy walk and escalator from the upper town, taking about 10 minutes. The bus schedules were easy to understand and the trips direct.

The upper town has plenty of great places to eat and explore in the evenings for 5 days. I don't think you will be disappointed.

Do your day trip to Orvieto from Rome. It will be much easier and faster than from Perugia.

I like your idea of flying into Venice and out of Rome. There are plenty of rewarding and easy day trips from Venice to fill your 4 (or more) days there.

Do you have a list of possible day trips from Perugia and Venice yet?
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Apr 14th, 2013, 10:16 AM
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zoecat Thanks. This is good.

From Venice, so far I've thought of daytrips to the Islands, Padova, Treviso and Verona. If we do Verona as an overnight "daytrip" (keep our Venice hotel and travel light) we would add Mantova.

From Perugia, so far Spoleto, Spello and Gubbio. I think Todi may be a bit difficult. Not sure. Very little interest in Assisi. How about Foligno (?).

From Rome Orvieto and possibly Tivoli (Villa d'Este).

Possible additions could be Ferrara and Bologna.

I'd like to go to Civita di Bagnoregio but I'm sure that just won't work out unless we sleep over in Orvieto. Maybe take the 12:45 bus arriving at 13:40 and take the return bus (last bus) at 17:25 arriving at 18:20.

Back to Perugia. I read something about a MiniMtro from the train station to the upper town. Is that a good option?

Additional comments and suggestions? Thanks.
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Apr 14th, 2013, 12:48 PM
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We have spent a couple of weeks in Umbria, but did have a car.

I can tell you we took the minimetro once to the upper town, but it didn't seem to be from the train station? maybe there's another one? it was near a huge parking lot and interesting enough, but it closes down after 10pm or something close to that.

i think you'll be happy having 5 dinners in perugia. it's a wonderful town.
we also enjoyed Spello, Bevagna, Gubbio, and Assisi.

Have a great trip!
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Apr 14th, 2013, 12:51 PM
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dina4 Thanks.

I had Bevagna on my short list but a bus from Foligno after the train may be too much. If Foligno makes the list then Bevagna may be an add-on if time permits.

Thanks again.
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Apr 14th, 2013, 03:02 PM
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Those are all lovely day trips.

I would choose Todi over Foligno. Todi is a beautiful hill town while Foligno is flat and IMO, not nearly as beautiful and interesting. The bus from Perugia to Todi dropped me at the top of Todi near the main square, so it was very easy and direct (the bus also stops at the bottom of town, but take it to the top and work your way down). The countryside views surrounding Todi and along the way are lovely. Todi is very vertical.

I enjoyed a day exploring some of Lake Trasimeno. I took the train from Perugia to Passignano, then walked down to the small harbor and took the boat to the island in the lake. The island offers a very nice walk on paths along the shore and inland through the olive groves. I really enjoyed my visit and had a good lunch there. It is a good place for a quiet picnic with incredible views. From there, I continued by boat to the town of Castiglione Del Lago, a friendly town on the shore that has a castle and a few other sights. From there you can take a train (taxi to station) back to Perugia or reverse your boat trip back to Passignano.

I like using these guidebooks for exploring Umbria-

http://www.amazon.com/Umbria-Heritag.../dp/8836528376 (It hasn't been updated since 2003, but it contains good info and wonderful suggested walks through the towns)

http://www.amazon.com/Rough-Guide-Tu.../dp/1405389702
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Apr 14th, 2013, 05:27 PM
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zoecat, Thanks.

I'm just starting to get back into planning. We just got back from a short visit to friends and have a family wedding in June. In August I'm going to Glacier NP in Montana with stops in Banff and Jasper.

So planning has been spread thin.

The Italy trip has taken a back burner as it's not until September. But now starting.

While my wife has just started to take buses (she suffers from motion sickness) with the help of pills and wristbands, we still try to be somewhat careful. We try to keep them to a minimum.

I think I'd like to include Todi and if we do we'll have to choose between the bus and that local/private train.

Has anybody used that train?

The Lake visit looks interesting. I'll see how our days plan out.

Thanks again.
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Apr 15th, 2013, 07:30 AM
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>>>While my wife has just started to take buses (she suffers from motion sickness) with the help of pills and wristbands, we still try to be somewhat careful. We try to keep them to a minimum.<<<

Unless your wife gets sick just riding a bus, many of these routes won't be a problem. A lot of the small hill towns are just off the autostrada. There are not a lot of switchbacks or steep drives to places such as Trevi, Montefalco, Bevagna, Deruta, Spello, etc. Many of the roads are mostly flat and pretty straight.

Here's a picture of Bevagna and surroundings so you can see what it looks like.

http://www.tuscanyumbria.com/bevagna/

Montefalco is a bit steeper, but the roads aren't the switchbacks like Tuscany or Amalfi.

http://www.promoumbria.com/comuni/pr...falco/?lang=en

Spello.

http://www.tuscanyumbria.com/spello/

Some towns are steeper (Todi for one) and using trains may not help motion sickness. The train station would be at the base. You would still have to transport by bus up to the towns.
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Apr 15th, 2013, 10:05 AM
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<
Has anybody used that train?>>

I have read of people taking the train to Todi. The train station is located in the valley, just outside of historic Todi. You can take the train and then a taxi to the top of the town. That might work better for you than the bus.

By the way, the bus to Gubbio does wind its way through some small mountains (hills?) before dropping into a big valley right before arriving in Gubbio. You may want to prepare your wife.
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Apr 16th, 2013, 04:36 AM
  #10
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Thanks for the comments.

This will help me focus on the details a bit more.
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Apr 16th, 2013, 06:48 AM
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The actor, Michael Tucker (he and his wife were in LA Law),
wrote a book about their experience on Umbria. Nice little read. "Living In A Foreign Language". Maybe it would set a mood.
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Apr 16th, 2013, 07:30 AM
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Also the road to Orvieto around lake Corbara has a lot of curves. The area around Lake Trasimeno is pretty flat and roads are fairly straight unless you are taking the one on the east side that hugs the coastline (still mostly flat, but some curves).
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Apr 16th, 2013, 12:56 PM
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kybourdon,
We'll be travelling by train from Rome to Orvieto. I assume that's pretty tame.
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Apr 16th, 2013, 01:03 PM
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I spent 6 days in Perugia 4 years ago. You might be interested by this trip report :
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...for-6-days.cfm
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Apr 16th, 2013, 05:08 PM
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Pvoyageuse,
Thanks. Interesting report and description of the main area of Perugia.

I'm a little concerned that the bus to Gunnio and Todi are 1.5 hours. I was hoping for something shorter.

Thanks again.
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