Tuscany/ Umbria Itinerary

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Aug 17th, 2007, 07:10 AM
  #1
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Tuscany/ Umbria Itinerary

Between the Florence and Rome leg of our Italian Vacation, my husand and I are getting rental car and staying in San Quirico in Tuscany for 4 nights. We would love to explore Umbria on one of those days. Do you think visiting: Cortona; Perugia; Gubio; Assisi; Spoleto; Todi and Orvieto is too much for one day? Where you suggest we have light lunch? Where is a good place to enjoy a nice sunset dinner on our way back to our villa? Thank you for your advice.
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Aug 17th, 2007, 07:16 AM
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Pretty much any one of those places would fill a whole day (or more if you wanted!). Choose one, or at most two, if you must rush. What interests you most - art (any particular period), history, architecture?
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Aug 17th, 2007, 07:18 AM
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I'd visit Orvieto on the way to Rome.

Amongst the others, I'd pick Assisi. On that day you might have time for nearby Spello and Montefalco. Those others are too far IMO.
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Aug 17th, 2007, 07:21 AM
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It's not only too much, it's probably impossible!

And if you figure that your day is 12 hours long - from leaving at 8:00 a.m. to sitting down to dinner at 8:00 p.m. - how much do you think you will see of seven towns in 1.5 hours each - *not* counting travel time?

Look at a map, for heaven's sake!
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Aug 17th, 2007, 07:26 AM
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I haved looked on the map. I guess I do not realize how long it would take to go between each area. If you were going to choose which cities are definate must-sees and which can I miss this time around? We want to see art and also enjoy the local culture.
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Aug 17th, 2007, 07:43 AM
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Well, Perugia might be a good choice for you as it has the Umbrian National Gallery. If you don't want to see all the other sights in Perugia (you could easily spend a full day or more just seeing Perugia) the closest of the other places you list is Assisi, which is half an hour on the train (not sure how much it would be driving), or Cortona, which is a bit further, but would be on your route back to Tuscany. In fact I think Cortona actually is in Tuscany, technically.

Gubbio is much further away; so is Orvieto, in another direction, and I'd cross them off your list, although they're both worth daytriips if you had more time.
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Aug 17th, 2007, 07:50 AM
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Also realize that you won't be on a major highway to get to a lot of these cities. Some of the roads are 2 lane and winding. I would do maybe 2 cities a day, but ones that are close to each other.

You can use www.mappy.com to help show distances and travel time.
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Aug 17th, 2007, 08:21 AM
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I think the suggestion of a day out in Assisi, with a possible trip to Spello or Montefalco is a good one. The church of San Francesco in Assisi will give you a big shot of art, the surrounding hills are lovely, and you can also visit the church of Santa Chiara. If you would like, walk or drive out to the Eremo di San Francesco. It is a unique experience.

Wandering around Spello or Montefalco could give you a taste of local life. But both towns are deadly quiet during the afternoon closing hours. I found that nothing comes to life in either place after 12 noon or before 4 or 5 in the afternoon.

So, if you really wanted to, you could stop somewhere on the way to Assisi for a quick visit. Let's say Montefalco. Late morning, have lunch.

Head to Assisi for the middle part of the day and afternoon. Visit everything you can, especially the sites mentioned above, and maybe the fortress at the top of the town, too.

Try to hit Spello after 4:30. Walk around and stay for dinner (which will probably not be before 7:30)at any of the places recommended on other threads for dining in Spello.

Or, if you've seen enough, maybe have dinner on your way back.

I'm not sure about a "sunset" dinner because it depends on the time of year of your visit. Sunset could be a huge range of hours.

I think that is plenty for one day. Use mappy.com and/or viamichelin.com to plot your driving distances. Plan to be lost at least once. Add in an extra hour for unforeseen stops and happenstance.
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Aug 17th, 2007, 08:23 AM
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Perugia is a city, with all the parking problems that implies, and it's not exactly teeming with local color. The Galleria Nazionale d'Umbria has a few good things but is not an outstanding collection, in my opinion.

You won't find more important - pre-Renaissance - art in a few square meters anywhere than in the upper and lower basilicas of Saint Francis in Assisi - Giotto, Cimabue, Simone Martini.

Spello, a tiny, rose-colored jewel, is very close to Assisi and does teem with local color.
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Aug 17th, 2007, 12:23 PM
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Surely you jest---that is at least 3 days in Umbria. From San Quirico, get an early start and see Assisi, Spello and a quick stop at Deruta coming or going. Have lunch in Spello. Or, sub Cortona for Deruta.
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Aug 17th, 2007, 04:19 PM
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That would be totally impossible. I agree with bobthenavigator's plan to pair Assisi and Spello for the day. You could perhaps visit Orvieto on your way to Rome...or do it as a day trip from Rome depending on how many nights you have planned.
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