Spoleto, Bevagna, Montefalco or Spello?

Old Jun 21st, 2016, 10:57 AM
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Spoleto, Bevagna, Montefalco or Spello?

My husband will be in Umbria to celebrate our 1st Wedding Anniversary Sept 23-27th and our main priorities are vino and food. We will be renting a car and we have a wine tour booked with Gusto Tours and I am just wondering what the difference is between these 4 little towns or if it makes a difference where we stay really? I would usually look at which restaurants we want to visit first but I am finding a lot of places are booked up (for our Piedmont and Tuscany lag of the trip) so want to concentrate on that first.

Can someone compare these places or recommend accommodation please?
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Old Jun 21st, 2016, 11:30 AM
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Spello, Bevagna, and Montefalco are indeed small towns. Spello has about 8000 inhabitants, and the other two are even smaller. Spoleto is considerably larger, with over 38,000 inhabitants.

Spello is one of the prettiest small towns in Italy, in my opinion. Montefalco is also a very attractive small town. I don't think I've ever been to Bevagna.

I've been to Spoleto several times. It's a very attractive town, with more restaurants and more to see than the others, which could all be seen in a few hours. All of these towns are near each other, so if you stay in one, you can easily visit the others. If you'll be staying for more than one night, I would choose Spoleto, because it's livelier in the evening. If you stay in the center, you'll have a good choice of restaurants and can enjoy some wine with your dinner without the need of a designated driver.

It's hard to go wrong with restaurants in that part of Italy, and most require no reservation for two people. Even in Tuscany, I would imagine that the only places that are already booked for September are those that are often featured on English language foodie blogs.
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Old Jun 21st, 2016, 12:31 PM
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My husband and I have stayed twice (for a total of 13 nights) now in Spello and love it (and it is small, but there are certainly enough places to eat and drink to keep you content during your stay. I could say the same for Bevagna and Montefalco as well; they each have their charms and a handful of well-reviewed restaurants.

Spoleto is bigger and didn't appeal to me as much (but many others really like it). While they are all within easy driving distances from one another, I prefer the countryside between Spello, Bevagna and Montefalco as they're within about 20-30 minutes from one another; Spoleto is just a bit farther.

Honestly, you can't really go too wrong IMO. You might verify with Gusto that they will pick you up on Spoleto; I can't remember their parameters. I hope you enjoy you're tour; we've gone out with Mark twice now and have really enjoyed it.

Regardless of where you stay, do try to dine at L'Alchemista on Montefalco--but be sure to reserve ahead. I do have to disagree with bvlenci on the need for reservations in the area. Many of the places we like turn people away by mid-evening so if you have your heart set on something, I would suggest reserving, especially on Friday and Saturday night.

Enjoy your trip. We love Umbria--the food, wine, scenery and people are just wonderful.
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Old Jun 21st, 2016, 12:38 PM
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Another good restaurant in Montefalco is the Entoca Frederico II, right off the main piazza.
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Old Jun 21st, 2016, 01:00 PM
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I would agree with Indyhiker. After many visits to the area, we prefer the Spello, Montefalco, Bevagna 'triangle'. I have never taken a wine tour but have always been welcomed at the wineries and enjoyed their products--including olive oils.
Access from any of the three would include Perugia, Assisi and Deruta with a short drive.
And like Indyhiker, we have always enjoyed our meals at L'Alchemista in Montefalco. While we haven't stayed there, consider Genius Loci near Montefalco and Bevagna www.geniuslociumbria.it/
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Old Jun 21st, 2016, 01:42 PM
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We stayed in Bevagna for 4 nights and I didn't want to leave. Loved http://www.cortedevasari.com/. We stayed in a two storied suite with a kitchenette if you wanted to fix any meals for yourself. Ha! Too much good food all around. It is a small Roman/medieval town, easy to wander and dream... We tried to have reservations because many restaurants had strange days and hours of operation. It is a tiny town, flat, along the river. We were visiting hill towns(the other three you mentioned) each day and were happy to come home to a leisurely stroll to and from dinner.

The other three, in order of my favorites: Montefalco is on a hill with vineyards all around. Spello seemed larger than Montefalco to me, again, hills. Spoleto is like the big city. You take travelators (escalators), like ski lifts, to various parts.

Here is my recent trip report: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-4-regions.cfm. You can skip to the "Oombria" section.
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Old Jun 21st, 2016, 01:59 PM
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I should clarify that you need only make reservations in Umbria as a general rule a day or two (or even the same day) in advance. Nothing books up months in advance. I would worry more about securing accommodations.

I agree that hills can be an issue in Spello. We liked working off our dinner climbing Spello's hills but they can be treacherous when it rains. The town has gotten spruced up of late with new sidewalks and roads. There may be some lingering work, but they were nearly done from what we could tell in May and the work didn't impact our enjoyment.

Beyond that, I don't think can go too wrong as they're all lovely towns. And while I didn't take to Sploeto, the doumo there is spectacular.
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Old Jun 21st, 2016, 03:29 PM
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We spent two weeks in Spello last fall and couldn't believe how many excellent restaurants there were for a town of only 8000. We rented a house in the upper part of town but two hotels looked very nice-Palazzo Bocci and La Bastiglia.
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Old Jun 21st, 2016, 05:06 PM
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I stayed in Spello years ago at Palazzo Bocci and loved both. Spello is quite steep and you can see Assisi from the top of town looking northeast. I had a fabulous meal at their restaurant Il Mulino amd a so so meal at La Cantina. This tripa was back in 2005 so restaurants may have changed. I liked that there were almost no visitors in Spello, but lots and lots of flowers!

I also visited Montefalco and liked it too. Did not visit the others under discussion here. Be sure to try some Sagrantino di Montefalco. Its excellent!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2016, 08:33 AM
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<i> Many of the places we like turn people away by mid-evening. </i>

I certainly didn't mean to imply that restaurants don't fill up. If I'm set on a particular restaurant, I would probably call the day before or earlier the same day. I just meant that I didn't see any need to reserve anything before leaving home. You're likely to see many very appealing restaurants when you get there that you would never have found online.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2016, 11:27 AM
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Thanks everyone! Great advice as always
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Old Jun 24th, 2016, 12:14 PM
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So after a little bit more research I think we have narrowed it down to Montefalco or Spello. When we are in Tuscany and Piedmonte we will be staying in rural locations so my husband suggested we stay somewhere that he could drink at dinner and not have to worry about driving after. I might mention we're a little bit of hotel snobs... I've had some bad experiences with the beds in Italy so the fluffier and newer looking the beds are, the more I tend to gravitate to them. So... I've found a hotel I prefer most in Monfefalco but I am also really wanted to visit Enoteca Properizo in Spello. My husband also pointed out that we always go for the best looking hotels and then we say "next time we will book on location" and apparently we never seem to learn.

If our main priorities are eating and drinking then which of the 2 would you chose? Are they both the type of places that people eat and then sleep or do they linger around on patios? If we want to go for a stroll after dinner would one be better over the other?
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Old Jun 24th, 2016, 12:35 PM
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Skipped all so sorry for duplications.

Here's a link to a 2015 discussion: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...umbria.cfm#top

DH and I loved Spoleto and the meals we enjoyed at Hotel Clitunno: http://www.hotelclitunno.com/

I did a TR that includes Spoleto and those meals. The train station in Spello was unmanned on the Sunday we visited but Spoleto's is large and great for day trips.

\http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ellagio-tr.cfm
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Old Jun 24th, 2016, 01:49 PM
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I already read that discussion, trying to decide between Spello and Montefalco though I think we will go to with Montefalco...

What time do the restaurants generally close after lunch in places like Gubbio, Assisi, Spoleto, Bevagna,todi and Spello?
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Old Jun 24th, 2016, 01:53 PM
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As I wrote earlier, we spent two weeks in Spello which has a large number of excellent restaurants. We went to Montefalco twice, charming town, but smaller and I don't remember seeing as many restaurants. We had a nice lunch on their main square, L'Alchimista. Both of these towns will give you a wonderful hill town experience. We didn't care for Spoleto as much.
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