Umbria Perugia Spello

Old Jan 4th, 2019, 11:45 AM
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Umbria Perugia Spello

Having visited Tuscany a few times, we’ve decided to try Umbria. Our flight is in to Florence and we plan to take a train to Perugia staying 5-6 nights to enjoy Perugia and some day trips including Assisi. While not a long distance south, we plan to move hotels for variety, if nothing else, to something near or in Spello for another 5-6 nights. Then back to Florence for 3-4 nights before flight out. I hope to get around by train as much as possible at least initially while in Perugia. Will rent a car either in Perugia or Foligno for several days of driving to reach more remote towns or those lacking a train station. Perugia now has the MiniMetro to get you into town and up the climb. Where would you stay both convenient to the MM to get in and out of town for day-trips and as good location convenient to sites in Perugia? I like museums, visiting the old churches and finding the quaint narrow streets to explore all the great architecture. And secondly, where or what town or agritourism would you use to get around near Spello or a bit south of there? Any and all tips/ideas are appreciated.Thanks, Fred
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Old Jan 4th, 2019, 10:52 PM
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I don't think public transportation is a good way to explore Umbria. Almost all of the region doesn't have train service. There is bus service to many places you're likely to want to visit, but the schedules are geared to commuting workers and students and don't work well for sightseeing.

Personally, I'd rent the car for the entire time in Umbria and stay in/near smaller towns, visiting Perugia on a daytrip. Or stay in Perugia for just the first two nights in the historical center, not at the bottom of the town, and rent the car as you're leaving. If you stayed below Perugia near the Mini Metro, you'd have to drive through the suburban traffic as you leave and return to the city each day.

I think you need to have a better idea of which towns you want to explore before you can know where else to stay. You could see a lot of Umbria in 8-10 days, but the region is 9000 sq. mi., so you'll still have to pick and choose, decide how much driving you want to do each day, etc.

You don't say when this trip is, but most of the smaller towns observe midday 'riposo.' If your trip is in summer, you may need/want your own rest in the middle hours of the day.
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Old Jan 5th, 2019, 02:51 AM
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I have driven through Umbria before, but last trip in September 2017 I relied exclusively by public transportation, and it was easy and relaxing.

I based my self in Perugia for five days and took days trips by bus to Gubbio, Assisi and Todi and by train to Spello. Perugia is a university town, so it has an excellent bus network and I did not find the bus schedules at all restricted.

Regards Ger
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Old Jan 5th, 2019, 09:37 AM
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I guess it depends on what you consider 'restrictive.' Check which small towns have bus departures late enough in the evening to allow you to have dinner before returning to Perugia, Spoleto, etc. If you were hoping to explore more than one town in a day, work up an itinerary to understand what would be involved using only public trans.

Here are the bus timetables for the Perugia area:

And for the Spoleto area:

And a map:
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Old Jan 5th, 2019, 09:47 AM
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We were in Le Marche and Umbria last May - lots of input and some trip highlights here
Whilst in Umbria, we were based in Spello and had one of our most memorable experiences staying at Terra dei Santi Country House -it's just outside Spello and about 1km away from the train station).We had a car (which is very useful to explore Umbria) and did multiple day trips to Perugia, Assisi, Spoleto, Montefalco etc.
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Old Jan 5th, 2019, 03:59 PM
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fverhage, if you like museums, the Galleria Nazionale delle Umbria in Perugia is really remarkable. It's hard for me to compare any church to the Basilica San Francesco in Assisi, but Santa Chiara is lovely. I would also highly recommend the Eremo di San Francesco while in Assisi.
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Old Jan 6th, 2019, 03:46 AM
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Thank you for the several replies. My trip is late May through early June 2019. Appreciate the transportation comments and realize the limitations of trains/buses. Having said that, is there a town south of Perugia such as Spello or Foligno to use for SOME train service. Appreciate too the suggestions on museums, churches, places to stay etc. Towns in this area I have looked in to include Spoleto, Bevagna, Castel Ritaldi, Spello, Trevi, Montefalco, San Giacomo, Campello sul Clitunno, Borgo Trevi, Matigge, Sant'Eraclio, Foligno, Todi, Amelia, Narni, San Gemini and Norcia.
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Old Jan 6th, 2019, 06:00 AM
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I have spent a LOT of time in Umbria, always with a car, and cannot imagine trying to enjoy all its treasures without being free to move around as I wish. What is your reason for not wanting to drive around this amazing area?
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Old Jan 6th, 2019, 09:26 AM
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"Having said that, is there a town south of Perugia such as Spello or Foligno to use for SOME train service."

Do a search on Trenitalia for service between Spoleto and Perugia. When you get the timetable results, click on the small 'i' that appears after the train number to see all the stops that train will make. You'll find that not every train stops at all of the same towns. For example, if you stayed in Campello sul Clitunno, only a couple of trains a day stop there. Service to Trevi isn't much more frequent. Also, in most if not all of these smaller towns, the train stations aren't IN the towns but are nearby, with a short bus ride between the two.

If you've decided on no car for some/all of your time, you need to do the research to figure out how you're going to get around. What you need is a town that has both train and bus service and with pretty extensive bus service. The most obvious are Spoleto and Perugia (see bus timetables I linked in my previous post), but for the experience of staying in a small town you really need a car if you want to do any exploring. A couple of the towns you mention don't have train service (Bevagna, Montefalco, Matigge, Sant'Eraclio, Norcia, etc.), so you'd have to figure out the best way, via which city, you could reach them by bus.
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Old Jan 8th, 2019, 03:33 AM
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It sounds like a car is a ‘must’ for a visit in Umbria. Someone mentioned knowing the towns or sites planned for a trip. I have too many towns that I have already explored on the Internet. I realize tastes may vary but would you comment on my main choices and add any you think are especially charming. In addition to Perugia and Assisi, I plan to see Gubbio, Narni, Trevi, Todi, Spello, (Foligio?), Spoleto, Montefalco, Nocera Umbra, and Terni. Are any of these overrated in your mind or re there others you would add?
Thank you….

Is there a town south of Perugia you would use as a base for touring the area?
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Old Jan 8th, 2019, 06:56 PM
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Have you definitely decided that you'll stay in Perugia for x number of nights? How many nights/days will you have for the rest of your time in Umbria? Will you drive back to Florence, or will you drop the car and take the train? If the latter, you'll have to strategize where and when you'll return the car.

As to your list, it's about a 2-hour drive from your most northern town (Gubbio) to your most southern town (Narni), and that's using highways wherever possible. I prefer driving the secondary roads, so it would take me more than 2 hours.

I've visited all of the towns with the exception of Nocera Umbra, Terni and Narni, although I've driven near/through them. (Is Terni on the list because of Marmore Falls?) For me and my interests, the towns on your list I enjoy most are Gubbio, Assisi, Spoleto and Todi, and I would want a full day to visit each. I would only go to Montefalco if there was enough time in the day after visiting nearby Bevagna which I found much more enjoyable. Besides Bevagna, places not on your list that I like are Norcia and the scenic road to get there, Lago Trasimeno and the charming towns around the lake and to the SE (esp. Panicale), and Orvieto.
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Old Jan 9th, 2019, 04:00 AM
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I plan 4-5 nights for Perugia and will travel a few places from there including Assisi. I will have a week left before heading back to Florence for 3 nights and then my flight. I was thinking of taking a train from Perugia when finished there to go to Spoleto and thus be down a bit more south. I could rent a car there for drives around the area and need to decide on a town or other to base myself for that time period. You asked where I would drop a car. I don’t know yet but could drive it back to Florence or a city that easily connects by train to Florence. I just don’t want to get in to any ‘big city’ traffic while driving the car. You didn’t comment on Trevi unless I missed it. Any thoughts? And you mentioned a scenic drive to Norcia (from where or what roadway?)
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Old Jan 9th, 2019, 08:54 AM
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Spoleto to Norcia, although the "back way" from Foligno to Norcia is also scenic. If you have the time, make the circle.

All of the towns I've visited in Umbria have their charms and interesting sights, and the hill towns all have nice views. IMO, Trevi isn't particularly unique, and I didn't include it in the list of towns I enjoy most. But if Trevi sounds interesting to you, you should go there.

I get the sense you've made a long sightseeing, list but you haven't studied the logistics involved in achieving all that exploring. A week sounds like a lot of time, but not many of the places on your list can be combined with others in the same day (esp. on days without a car). You have 11/12 towns on your list (not including Bevagna and/or Norcia if those sound interesting), and I think you have 10/11 days.
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Old Jan 10th, 2019, 11:02 AM
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Easy to combine Bevagna and Montefalco in one day. We were staying in Spello.
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Old Jan 11th, 2019, 09:31 AM
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You mentioned Spello. Did you like where you stayed? Was it near the train station (walking distance)? Does Spello have restaurants for evening meals upon return from travels during the day? Did you use a car or train to travel around?
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Old Jan 11th, 2019, 02:10 PM
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Perugia Mini Metro

Hi, visited Perugia May 2018 for 4 nights -- loved it. We stayed slightly outside of the historic district of Perugia (an Airbnb apartment) and used the mini metro which was less than a 10 minute walk from the apartment. Our mini metro stop was "Case Bruciate" -- which if my memory serves me correctly was only 2 stops from the final station. The mini metro is great as it is both fast & frequent but the down side is it STOPS RUNNING by 9:00 PM. Every night I kind of felt like Cinderella having to make it out in time! This is especially an issue if you want to be in sync with the Italians who would never eat dinner before 8:00 pm. We ended up always having to arrive on the early side. One night I missed the MM and ended up calling a cab which fortunately was only about 10 Euro. So you might want to keep that in mind. If I had to do it all over again I thinks I would have stayed directly in the historic district. Enjoy you trip!
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Old Jan 12th, 2019, 07:05 AM
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We have stayed twice at this apartment in Spello.

We have had a car for both of our visits--rented from the Europcar office in Foligno. But if memory serves, the train station is about a 10 minute walk from the lower part of town. The apartment is a short walk to a free public parking lot. There are plenty of restaurants in Spello and a decent grocery just outside the historic center. Spello is quiet in the evenings for the most part.

We love the apartment. It's not posh, but it's clean, quiet and meets all of our needs. The woman who owns it lives next door and is delightful. We're staying there again in May. It's also a bargain.
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