Umbria is a beautiful region of rolling hills, woods, streams and valleys, and despite the growing number of visitors has largely retained an unspoiled air.
It is home to a number of hill towns, each crammed with artistic and architectural treasures that rival bigger cities.
Historically, Umbria is best known as the birthplace of several saints, St. Benedict and St. Francis of Assisi being the most famous.
Umbria has begun to capitalize on its charms. Foreign acquisition of rural property now rivals that of Tuscany, though outsiders have done nothing to curb the region's renewed sense of identity and youthful enthusiasm. Nor has it blunted artistic initiatives that have turned Umbria into one of the most flourishing cultural centers in Italy.
Most visitors head for the capital Perugia, Assisi – with its extraordinary frescoes by Giotto in the Basilica di San Francesco – or Orvieto, where the duomo is one of the greatest Gothic buildings in the country.