Jaunt to Umbria

Old Dec 5th, 2006, 02:41 AM
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Jaunt to Umbria

In the 14 years that I've been living in Italy, I have never been to Umbria.
Luckily, that's about to change.
My husband and I are planning a long weekend in Marche and northeastern Umbria. We plan on visiting Urbino (1 night stay), Gubbio (1 night stay) and either Assisi or Spello.
Anyone have any advice for our trip?

bridezilla is offline  
Old Dec 5th, 2006, 03:39 AM
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Take a look at the 'Piano Grande' (including Castelluccia) in the Monti Sibillini area. Also the town of Norcia.
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 04:50 AM
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We spent almost a week in Umbria this past March, basing ourselves in an apartment near Bevagna. We loved Umbria! The apartments, Le Case Gialle, were wonderful and from here we could easily visit Bevagna, Montefalco, Spello, Trevi, Todi, Assisi, etc. Our favorite towns were Spello and Trevi. If you are thinking of basing yourself in Spello, definitely do a search because many fodorites love Spello and there is lots of information on this board. You could also read my trip report, if you are interested, by clicking on my screen name and looking for "tcreaths vacation to Umbria and Rome".

good luck!
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 07:13 AM
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My advice is: if you have just 2 or 3 nights stay around Gubbio or Assisi and skip Urbino: Urbino is just great as it is the rest of Northern Le Marche region, that deserves more than just 1 night... Leave it for your next long weekend!! You'll have more time to enjoy Assisi and Gubbio and the surrounding area without driving up and down the Apennines!
Have a look at this really nice Agriturismo north of Assisi www.incampagna.com
vallenuova is offline  
Old Dec 18th, 2006, 08:53 AM
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One long weekend is really not a lot of time. What time of year is this trip?

I agree that trying to include mountainous Le Marche in this trip (and even Gubbio) might be ambitious. I suggest you stay within "the bowl" of the large Umbrian plain, where it is easy to travel between Assisi, Montefalco, Bevagna, Spoleto, etc.

My advice would be to stay in Assisi and day trip from there. You would have the benefit of not being in Assisi during the daytime (when it is most overcrowded) and having it largely to yourselves at night.
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 09:03 AM
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Hi bridezilla,

Two hotel comments for you.

I had planned to stay 2 nights at the Relais Ducale (4*) in Gubbio. Beautiful hotel with gardens, excellent staff and killer location, on the main piazza with awesome views.

Unfortunately the first room was unacceptable due to a self activating, screeching bath fan and moldy shower.
Second room was directly across from a church which rang bells ALL night every 15 minutes. No sleep, left early the next morning!

Did like the town of Gubbio itself!

Spello was absolutely lovely, and Palazzo Bocci heaven. Highly recommend the hotel and Il Mulino restaurant.

I also enjoyed Assisi and spent the unplanned night there. However, Spello and Palazzo Bocci is just so nice, and only a short drive to Assisi.

Buon viaggio!
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 09:14 AM
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I was just praising the Palazzo Bocci in another thread earlier today:
With regard to dining in Spello, I agree that Il Mulino is very good, but even better is La Bastiglia.
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 09:52 AM
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Hi Bridezilla -
Umbria is amazing. We were just there and searched high and low for some good travel info. Fodors has some good books on Umbria, you might like to check out, but if you don't have access in Italy, you should check out:


There's a lot of info on there to point you in the right direction. I do agree with the others to skip Urbino if you only have such a short time.
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Old Jan 9th, 2007, 05:44 AM
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Thanks everyone.
Well, we loved Umbria.
Driving from Milan our first stop was Spello. Our basic plan was that from there we'd work our way up towards Assisi and Gubbio and then Urbino.
As it turned out, we strayed from our plan and without a precise destination explored the area.
We didn't have any hotel reservations, but immediately found a room in Spello at Palazzo Bocci. It was nice and we enjoyed the town. We didn't eat at Il Mulino but at La Cantina just up the street from the hotel. And that was the start of my 4-day-long black truffle marathon. I kid you not. For 4 days in a row for lunch AND dinner I had truffles. Truffles with tagliatelle, truffles with cheese, truffles with eggs, more truffles with tagliatelle. It was heaven and like hell was I going to forego my slice.
From Spello we drove to and spent the day in Assisi. The Basilica was breathtaking and we got to celebrate mass and in another church attend an ordainment.
From Assisi we drove and drove and somehow ended up in Todi. A charming town as well. Our hotel (Hotel Bramante) was slightly on the outskirts and a wedding reception was being held that night so from our hotel room we got to enjoy the muffled sounds of some kid (we presume) playing chopsticks on the piano over and over and over again.
The next day we made it to Gubbio and it was packed with people. It was the weekend of the Assumption (a long holiday weekend), so we were expecting large crowds. It was very difficult to find any accomodation in Gubbio. Luckily we found a room at Villa Montegranelli about a 5 minute's drive from Gubbio. The rooms were simple and the rustic country atmosphere of the villa was very nice. We celebrated our 3-month wedding anniversary by having dinner at La Taverna del Lupo.
Our last day, we got up early and from Gubbio, after buying some fantastic olive oil from a local frantoio, we headed north towards Urbino. The countryside was beautiful and the town of Urbino indeed deserved a longer stay. Urbino is a vibrant university town with beautiful architecture and stunning views of the surrounding hills. Much more "modern" in style than the medieval villages we visited in Umbria, this Renaissance town seems like somewhere you could easily live and take advantage of the best of what Italy has to offer. We loved it.
We enjoyed the trip, but the definite highlight has got to be without a doubt Assisi. Truly magical.
Thanks again to all.
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Old Jan 9th, 2007, 06:06 AM
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bridezilla, it sounds like you had a lovely time in Umbria. I'm glad you made it to Todi, one of my favorite hilltowns. I missed Gubbio and Urbino but there is always next time...

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