South from Florence, north from Rome, is Italy's heart, the geographic centre of the country, Umbria. And whether you are visiting for the first time, or are a veteran to the hearty province, Umbria never ceases to leave a traveller in awe.
Remarkable for its lush hills and mountains, and wonderfully preserved medieval towns, a trip through the province can be one back through time.
A long way from either coast, what is to be enjoyed in Umbria is the rolling sea of green. Many of them cultivated, the undulating hills weave a tapestry over the expansive province creating a motley of patchy colours. The impressive slopes give way to an even more impressive cluster of medieval towns, among them, Perugia - Umbria's largest - Orvieto, Gubbio, Assisi, and Spoleto. Bevagna is a walled "valley town", with a history that stretches back before the 2nd Century. Umbertide is a busy town on the banks of the Tiber, where Etruscans and Umbrians used to barter. In Deruta, they continue the centuries old manufacture of elegant ceramiche and majolica.
The towns themselves are historical gems, but there is much to be seen exploring them all individually. Between art, architecture, hospitality, wine tasting, and festivals, travelers are often stuck trying to narrow down a selection!
Umbria's beauty, however, can be enjoyed without too much fuss. Walking by Lake Trasimeno, biking on hill paths, or simply sitting in a cafe are all possible and, in fact, characteristic of the province's tranquil setting.
A voluptuous landscape fixed at the heart of the country, hill tops adorned with century-old towns and villages, rich in agriculture and tradition, is Italy's green beauty, Umbria.