Nov 28th, 2007, 02:42 PM
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Is Umbria worth seeing some of the towns? Spoleta and Spello, Norcia?

We don't have time to go up to Tuscany so wondering if this area is worth taking a look? Also has anyone stayed at the hotel, LL Falconiere outside Corona? Also, staying at Pallazzo Bocci in Spello ?

Thanks for any help. Joan
Joanada is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 04:06 PM
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Yes, Umbria is definitely worth seeing. It is my favorite region in Italy. Spello is charming and Norcia is a gastronomic center, set in a beautiful mountain region. I'm not a huge fan of Spoleto. Other towns well worth seeing are Assisi, Perugia, Montefalco, Todi and Bevagna. Orvieto is also in Umbria but so close to Lazio many make it a daytrip from Rome. I haven't stayed at either hotel you mention but they have received good reviews on this site and others.
Grinisa is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 04:29 PM
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Yes, Umbria is worth it. Alas, did not stay at your hotels; we rented a "villa" in Todi for several weeks & it was lovely. Marvelous, post-card type town w/delightful restaurants, shops & locals. Daytrips to Orvieto, Perugia and Sienna, all of which were absolutely unforgettable.
Clarin is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 07:36 PM
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We loved Spoleto and Norcia and Assissi. We stayed for several days at the Hotel Charleston in Spoleto and it was lovely. We stumbled upon a piano practice session in an old chapel, attended a piano concert in a church, and walked the viaduct trail for hours.

Norcia was amazing - the food! And the murals at Assissi were all I'd hoped.
rosetravels is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 07:42 PM
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Let me add another vote for Umbria. We loved it. Consider Assisi if time allows.

We tried Falconiere but it was full. We went instead to Romantik Hotel Villa de Monesolare which did not disappoint us.
GBC is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 08:50 PM
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Another vote for Umbria, but I'm getting worried that the word is out and it will get too popular. We have stayed in Perugia, Spoleto and (not as recently) Gubbio and Todi.

Although Perugia and Spoleto are larger and lower on the charm scale, we had some of our most memorable meals in both towns and really enjoyed our times there. My favorite Umbrian town is Gubbio, but I also love the entire area immediately north of Spoleto. Also, the beautiful drive between Spoleto and Todi... Drat. Who can choose?
Jean is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 09:27 PM
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Another vote for Umbria. I went there on my last trip for the first time and was very glad I took the time. I got a lot of good advice here and ended up staying over in Perugia (big town) and Assisi (smaller town) though I would like to get to Spello and Orvieto at least on my next trip.
annw is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 10:41 PM
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Add another vote for the area. We spent a couple of days in Spoleto on one of our Italy trips. I have to agree with Jean's post... I've been to Italy about a dozen times and I still consider each of the meals I had in Spoleto to be some of the best I've ever had in Italy. We also did the viaduct walk which created some great photo ops. The area is wonderful but also as Jean said, I too am afraid the word will get out about the area!

We stayed at the Hotel Gattapone while there which is at a very picturesque location at the top of the main hill in the town. The room had a beautiful view and the service was excellent.
MichaelT is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 12:12 AM
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Umbria is the green heart of Italy and, really, in my opinion, it is a region that deserves a calm and not short visit. The gimmick to appreciate Umbria, in my opinion, is to feel ourselves temporary umbri citizens rather than tourist and this approach will enable us to enjoy every moment of the day, as Umbri do.
I agree also with the high quality of meal in Spoleto.

vincenzod is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 05:37 AM
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I loved Umbria! We spent 5 nights in a gorgeous agriturismo (le Case Gialle) just outside of Bevagna and used this as our base for exploring Montefalco, Bevagna, Assisi, Todi, Trevi, Deruta, Spello (our favorite) and, further away, Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoregio.

tcreath is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 05:46 AM
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Thanks for the feedback. Sounds lovely and beautiful scenery. I guess you don't see really high mountains till you get around Norcia?

We were thinking staying at Spello and sightsee from there. I keep thinking doing a trip up to Florence, but then if your time is very limited, not sure would be worth the time going up and forfeiting Umbria.

Thanks again, Joan
Joanada is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 06:08 AM
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I forgot to ask about a car rental. How easy is it driving around these towns and parking or is it better to hire a driver and car?

Thanks, Joan
Joanada is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 06:22 AM
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Joan, we rented a car when we visited Umbria and drove to many of the towns mentioned--Gubio, Todi, Orvieto, Assisi. I didn't think the hilly roads were any trouble. I've seens roads in England and France that were much more narrow and windy than those in Umbria!
mermaid_ is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 08:28 AM
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I stayed in Gubbio, Assisi and Spello (at Palazzo Bocci). Visited Montefalco (be sure to try the local wine, Sagrantino di Montefalco)from Spello. Visited Todi and Deruta on a different trip. Loved the region and towns.

Highly recommend Palazzo Bocci, but book early! Also highly recommend dinner at their restaurant, Il Mulino, a highlight!

Driving in the region is super easy, just as easy as Tuscany countryside. I dropped my car in Foligno where the Avis office is in the same building as the train station. About 1 hr 40 minutes to Roma Termini.

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 10:24 AM
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I recommend renting a car, and as others mentioned it was quite easy. Invest in a good map, although there are signs everywhere pointing you in the direction of the various towns.

We too dropped our car at the Avis office in Foligno at the train station. Super easy, and we hopped on a train to Rome.

tcreath is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 10:34 AM
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Another opinion that driving in Umbria is pretty easy. We have used maps of the Italian Touring Club which were especially useful in finding parking in the different towns. And their maps are topographical, so they also help in deciding where to enter the towns on foot to avoid the steepest climbs. The Club has a guidebook for Umbria with good sightseeing info, suggested driving routes and recommended restaurants and hotels. I bought the guidebook at Barnes & Noble but can't remember where I bought the maps (possibly in Italy). Try B&N or
Jean is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 11:32 AM
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We also loved Palazzo Bocci. Spello makes a great base to see Assisi, Perugia, Gubbio and Spoleto.

If you go to Gubbio, ride the Bucket of Bolts!

maitaitom is online now  
Nov 29th, 2007, 12:33 PM
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Maitaitom, we called it The Birdcage ("L'uccelliera")!
Jean is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 01:09 PM
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Well, the "Birdcage" is a funicular or "ski lift" to the top of the mountain above town in Gubbio which is OK unless you are acrophobic like my husband.

As for driving, yes, it's easy to get around in Umbria, but don't drive INTO the towns, as you will find them very congested and with lots of narrow one-way streets. Once in Perugia we got lost and ended up in a street that was so narrow we had to fold in the side mirrors! We were terrified that the next turn would be a dead end, as we would have had no way to get out! But luckily we ended up in a piazza just about where we had started.

Anyway, the small towns like Spoleto or Gubbio are easily walkable, and Perugia has good bus service.

charnees is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 02:20 PM
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We stayed in Spoleto, at Palazzo Dragoni. The hotel rooms are large, maybe a bit gently worn, but really quite nice for the price, and with beautiful views. We also had a couple of great meals in Spoleto. The drive to Norcia is quite lovely, just don't leave too late in the day, I wouldn't want to be taking that drive back to the main highway after dusk.

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