Umbria - the surprising neighbour of Tuscany
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The small land locked region of Umbria may not as well-known as its more illustrious neighbour, Tuscany, but it is still has an incredible patrimony in history and culture. Being mainly mountainous and hilly, it presents a landscape that is rich in woods and water resources. It is also crossed by the Apennines, which form numerous valleys further enhancing Umbria’s beauty. It also boasts a comparatively large lake: the Trasimeno.
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Activities in Umbria
In Perugia there is the National Gallery of Umbria, one of the most important exhibits of Gothic painting, with masterpieces by Duccio di Boninsegna, Beato Angelico, Piero della Francesca.
The National Archaeological Museum of Umbria houses a splendid and very rich Etruscan collection. Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis, one of the greatest figures of Christianity, has the superb Basilica of San Francesco with theworld-famouss Giotto’s frescoes, showing in 28 splendid paintings the life of the Saint; the Pinacoteca Civica and the Cathedral’s Museum.
In Gubbio there is the Civic Museum, which holds the famous “Eugubine tables”: seven bronze plates, from the second century B.C. Foligno can offer the tourists the Archaeological Museum and the Pinacoteca Civica. Activities Visit the sources of the Clitunno and Mount Subasio. The Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli and the Rocca Maggiore.
The ancient city of Spoleto offers the Roman Theater and Druso’s Arch. Near Perugia, people can visit the Ipogeo del Volumni, which is an Etruscan tomb.
Umbria - gastronomy
Despite being a relatively small region, Umbria is able to showcase a wide variety of cuisine, including meat, cereals, spices herbs and vegetables. Studies show that the locals still cook in a similar manner to their Etruscan ancestors.
As with other neighbouring regions, olive oil is a preponderant ingredient, and its production in Umbria is considered to be some of the best in Italy. Delicious examples include minestrone soups, egg pastas and game such as wild pigeons and the specialty of specialties the black tartufo from Norcia.
Hunting this sublime delicacy is a carefully guarded secret and only a few people know the best locations where to get them (handed down from generation to generation).
Norcia has also given the name to Torcino, the preparations of sausages from hogs liver and other foodstuffs such as orange peel and raisins.