Gubbio is one of those must-see places that bring Italy to life. One of the most famous of its Umbrian hill towns, this town is famous for its narrow lanes and solidly built stone houses. Its easy to stroll along Gubbio's streets and let it take you back 600 years, to the time of religious processions, flag throwing pages and Renaissance warlords. Today only the warlords are missing.
Sitting 500 meters above sea level on a steep, sun facing hill, Gubbio is a delight in late spring and summer: warm enough to relax in, fresh enough to enjoy. You can hike (or take a small cable car) to the sanctuary at the top of the mountain; from there, all of the Umbrian plain lies at tour feet. Or you can stroll through the lanes to visit the Duke's palace, the many churches, and of course the Palace of the Consuls: that building on the square that is the classic postcard image of the town.
Wherever you go, you will see beauty. Classic, eternal, refined. The very symbol of the Italian Renaissance and Western civilization.
If you plan to travel to Italy in May, don't forget that Gubbio celebrates its Saint's Day on May 15th. That's when the streets go wild with teams of the town's men as, in three teams, they struggle to haul gigantic totems of wood, called the Ceri, from the main square to the top of the hill behind. That's 2 km of hard uphill road.... Unforgettable!
Article and Photographs | Copyright © Carl Ottersen