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Tuscany’s More Gentle Sister

If Tuscany is a strong and powerful symbol of the Italian Middle Ages and the Renaissance, then Umbria is its gentler sister, standing quietly to one side with a soft smile, auburn hair and laughing eyes.

For Umbria is delicate, sweet, fragrant and immortal. Older than almost all the rest of civilization in Italy, it’s rugged hills and soft valleys hide many stories and secrets. For this is the land of Pinturicchio and Perugino, St. Francis and St. Clare.

Most people don’t have the time to visit Umbria. That’s a pity, for it is surely worth the time. Assisi, Perugia, Gubbio, Orvieto, Spoleto: lively university town or solitary stone grey tower, every place is a crucible of some of the most famous art in western history. Those delicate images of bright flowers and lacy leaves that are so typical of Renaissance Art? That’s Umbria, not Tuscany….

Umbria is off the beaten path now, but not by much. Perugia is only 160km from Rome; Gubbio, a mere 30km from Perugia, is but 115km from Florence. Add a couple of days to your trip to Italy. Use them to discover Umbria. You won’t forget it, or regret it.

Article and Photographs | Copyright © Carl Ottersen