Please help with Umbrian base town

Dec 27th, 2005, 01:17 PM
  #1  
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Please help with Umbrian base town

My husband and I are going to Italy in March, unfortunately for only 8 nights. We are planning on spending 5 nights in Umbria, leaving on the evening of the last day for Rome where we will spend the remainder of our time.

Right now we are considering spending 2 nights in Orvieto and 3 nights in the Case Gialle apartments (which look terrific) near Montefalco. However, I would really prefer to spend all 5 nights in one place if possible. The hard part is determining if this is possible without having really long drives for daytrips. We would like to visit, among others, Orvieto, Pitigliano, Spello, Gubbio, Montefalco, and Perugia. Is there somewhere we could stay that would base ourselves between all of these, or would breaking up the trip into two different places be ideal?

Thanks!
Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Dec 27th, 2005, 03:14 PM
  #2  
 
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Why not base yourselves in Perugia - the capital of Umbria? I was there almost 2 years ago and loved it. I took trains and busses to all the area towns (Assisi, Gubbio, Deruta, Spello, Orvieto, etc) as day trips and it worked out really well. We stayed in the city centre in a former monastery, so I was within walking distance to the Fontaine Maggiore and Corso Vanucci (the main areas in Perugia). Aside from its famous chocolate and the annual jazz festival, Perugia has a lot to offer and I think you would enjoy staying there.
Huitres is offline  
Dec 27th, 2005, 03:18 PM
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5 of us stayed in two apts at Le Case Gialle in late May and enjoyed it very much. We spent a full week there and had plenty to do and time to just relax.

We had 2 cars so we could split up and do what we wanted (or do nothing at all!)

From LCG we went on various expeditions: to close by places like Montefalco, Bevagna, Deruta, Perugia, Assisi and Spello and two long daytrips, one to Florence and one to Sant' Antimo, Montalcino, and Siena. These 2 daytrips were long but we knew they would be; this is what worked for us.

Just hanging at Le Case Gialle is great -- in May the pool was open and we hung out, cooked, played the resident guitars, shopped in Bevagna for yummy local food, and took short hikes in the hills. It was a perfect week!
annabelle2 is offline  
Dec 27th, 2005, 04:05 PM
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Hi Tracy,

I stayed for 3 nights in Orvieto on one trip and loved it. From there we did day trips to Civita di Bagnoreggio (wonderful) and Deruta on a ceramics quest(skipable) and Todi (wonderful). Orvieto is rather far south in Umbria compared to the other towns you mention.

This past Sept I stayed in Gubbio, Assisi and Spello. Assisi was unplanned as my hotel in Gubbio turned out to be unacceptable! The town of Gubbio was very nice however. I did Montefalco as a 1/2 day trip and discovered Sagratino di Montefalco wine - fabulous!

Gubbio, Assisi and Spello are very close together. I didn't visit Perugia so can't give an opinion there.

If it were me, I would split between Orvieto (2 nights is perfect) and one of the other towns. Montefalco would be OK, but I think Assisi or Spello would be better. I loved Spello and the Palazzo Bocci. My favorite hotel of a 3 week trip. Il Molino restaurant in Spello is excellent too.

Hope this helps!

Dayle is offline  
Dec 27th, 2005, 04:33 PM
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I'd consider Perugia. As the capital, there's a lot of train and bus connections (if you don't want to drive places). It's got a lot of history, with an upscale downtown area, nice outdoor cafes, and loads of side streets that make for good exploring walks.
alan64 is offline  
Dec 27th, 2005, 06:08 PM
  #6  
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Thank you all so much for your help! I really do greatly appreciate it.

I guess my concern is that I don't want to be too rushed, as I don't think Italy is ever meant to be rushed. I want time to linger and savor the region, but also time to see many of the great towns of the region.

We will have a car for this portion of the trip, but we are planning on dropping it off in Perugia and training to Rome, as my husband doesn't want to drive in the city (for obvious reasons) and we don't want to drive it all the way back to the city.

annabelle2, we found Le Casa Gialle after reading some of your posts, and it looks fabulous. I e-mailed them just to see if it was possible to spend less than a week, and got a response saying that it is possible and they have two apartments available. I would love to stay here. We are considering staying there and daytripping to Orvieto and Pitigliano, but don't know if its possible to see both in one day without cutting each one short.

Thanks for the other great recommendations! I will look into Perugia more, as that wasn't an option I even considered.

Thanks again!
Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Dec 28th, 2005, 07:19 AM
  #7  
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I'm selfishly bumping this back up to the top with the hopes of getting more opinions.

Thanks!
Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Dec 28th, 2005, 07:33 AM
  #8  
DRJ
 
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We've stayed with Mauro and Silvana at LCG several times over the past few years. In fact, I am Mauro's "agent" registered with the USDA for importing his olive oil, although I have never done anything except buy his terrific oil.

I would plan on a few days at LCG and a day or two at Locanda Rosati, a few miles south of Orvieto. The proprietor holds forth at the evening meal until the wine and grappa are gone. They have a website. And lastly, do not miss dining at I Sette Consoli in Orvieto. The best, IMO, in Italy.

Ciao e buon viaggio.
DRJ is offline  
Dec 28th, 2005, 07:53 AM
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I'm very, very happy with my selection of Paciano as a base for a 2.5-week trip this summer.
StCirq is offline  
Dec 28th, 2005, 07:55 AM
  #10  
DRJ
 
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Oops, foegot to remind you that the train from Orvieto to Rome is an easy one hour and the Hertz office is a block or so from the station.
DRJ is offline  
Dec 28th, 2005, 08:13 AM
  #11  
Ian
 
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We used Todi as a base for 4 nights several years ago. A great small hilltown - we loved it. We stayed at the Fonte Cesia Hotel.

Ian
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Dec 28th, 2005, 09:46 AM
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We stayed in Perugia for one night about a year and a half ago and drove to Assisi the next day. I wish it had been longer! I loved Perugia!!! I would highly recommend staying in Perugia for your base and then doing day trips from there. You won't feel rushed, you'll really get to know one place in particular and yet you're close enough to other towns to really take advantage. I always find that when I'm home planning, my eyes are too big for my stomach (so to speak) and i want to see everything possible. Once I'm on the trip I realize that of course is impossible and that I really crave savoring the place that i"m in! I'm sure that whatever you choose, you'll have a ball!
henryandcasper is offline  
Dec 28th, 2005, 10:03 AM
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As I said in my trip report, "Things go better with Spello!"

It was a great base to see Umbria. The drives to Assisi, Gubbio, Spoleto, Perugia, Trevi, Montefalco and Bevagna were a snap. Palazzo Bocci was a fantastic hotel.

maitaitom is offline  
Dec 28th, 2005, 10:37 AM
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We just returned from a very short trip- 2 nights in Orvieto and 1 in Siena. Orvieto is wonderful in and of itself- the Etruscan caves are a great sight to see and the Il Sette Consoli is a restaurant not to be missed. I would definitely spend at least 2 nights there, especially if you wanted to head north for a visit to Montalcino or Montepulciano for brunello or vino nobile tasting.
sharkmom is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 12:50 AM
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Tracy, have you tried www.montefalcons.com
We have had five great summer holidays, in several of their properties.
We are planning to have a couple of nights in Rome on our next trip, does anyone know of anywhere central to stay there?
Many thanks
Jenny
JennyGrant is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 12:59 AM
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Perugia would be a perfect place from which to make your base in Umbria. We made several day trips from there before heading to Florence. Wish we could have stayed longer.
jrkennemer is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 01:50 AM
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tcreath,
perugia is the best town for a home base. it is first of all a town worth visiting for an entire day, maybe more. strolling on the corso vanucci is also very fine, even in march.
you could find a hotel on the corso vanucci, which really is in the pedestrian center. last year, we stayed in hotel sangallo. very good hotel, with a small indoor swimming pool, very conveniently situated next to the general bus station with busses for the entire region, and with parking facilities. sangallo is also at the base of the rocca paolina, a 5 minutes walk from corso vanuccu.
baldrick is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 06:38 AM
  #18  
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Thank you all so much for your replies and for bringing this back up to the top.

After much consideration, we decided to spend 5 nights in an apartment in Le Casa Gialle, near Bevagna. We would have liked to split the trip up and spend two nights near Orvieto, but we decided that we didn't really want to pack and unpack. We chose instead to concentrate on the area of Umbria where our apartment will be, and we will definitely make a daytrip to Orvieto.

And thanks for all the suggestions on Perugia. I honestly didn't know if it was worth visiting or not, but after all of the responses we decided that we will visit, as it is near our apartment.

Thanks again everyone!
Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 02:46 PM
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Tracy
I hope you enjoy le Case Gialle. Which apt are you staying in?

We did most of our shopping in Bevagna; Silvana can tell you about the fresh pasta shop there, and we also liked the pastry shops and bought produce there as well. Make sure to find out when the shops in the small towns are closed; otherwise I think the Coop in Foligno is open everyday.

It could be cool-ish in March. Take some cosy and comfortable things to wear when you are just lounging around LCG in case it is cool. There were plenty of blankets, but I find those old stone buildings chilly.

In Montefalco on the main piazza there is a restaurant with good local pasta w/saffron cheese. We also enjoyed a restaurant in Bevagna that Silvana recommended, Osteria Podesta.

The local wines are nice and Mauro can set you up with wine tasting and ideas of where to go.

If you like to hike you can do short hikes from LCG. One night we walked up the road to the castle-topped town up the hill, Gualdo Catteneo. Very mysterious under the full moon, but walking on the side of the road at night was probably not the safest thing to do! The Friday night drivers were a little wild.

We also enjoyed hiking from the town of Assisi up to the hermitage on Mt Subasio where St Francis lived. Very moving and peaceful place, complete with white doves and the tiny caves where St Francis and others retreated to pray.

You can drive there from Assisi as well, but it was a nice hike.

I am another Perugia fan and enjoyed staying there on a previous trip and visiting it this last trip.

Enjoy your stay.
annabelle2 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 02:58 PM
  #20  
 
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DRJ
Can we buy the olive oil from le Case Gialle in the US? I still have some left, but one of my friends is craving it...
thanks
annabelle2 is offline  

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