Umbria is the land whose very landscape has inspired mystics and travelers alike to contemplate the higher realms of beauty. Umbria's mountains are monuments to the observing eye, its woods and forests home to rare European species of bears, deer and fowl.
Umbria also proudly boasts Italy's most concentrated number of fortified medieval villages and cities that seem to emanate straight from fairy tales. You can still imagine a land filled with valiant knights and princes traversing Umbria's thick woods and castle motes on horseback.
Our 10-hour day trip will lead you through this rustic, Medieval heartland, home to St. Francis of Assisi, poets and all lovers of nature. We will also show you why this central Italian region is not lacking in precious artifacts, sumptuous cuisine and generous hospitality.
Our first stop across the region's southern hill country is the Medieval walled town of Spoleto, the ancient capital of the Longobard duchy. When in Spoleto, you will have the opportunity to take a leisurely stroll through its Gothic quarter, still lined with churches and a Romanic aqueduct across a precipitous gorge below. Then it is on to Trevi, Foligno and Spello, three of the best examples of Umbrian culture, landscape and architecture. Our next stop is Assisi, one of Italy's crown jewels of Medieval art, culture, and spirituality -the birth and resting place of St. Francis. Here you will be spellbound by one of Europe's most ancient and inspiring cathedrals, the city's Medieval borgo and winding narrow cobblestone streets. Don't miss out on visiting Chiesa Sta. Clara and the home where St. Francis lived the first years of his life. You will then come upon the city's heart and center, Piazza del Comune, the town square lined with Roman ruins and 12th century palaces.
Lastly, you will visit the Basilica di San Francesco, where the saint's preserved body and dedicated museum are located. Inside this sacred space you will admire some of the world's most beautiful frescos, recently restored to their original splendor.
After a restful lunch break, you may proceed on to the Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli, where St. Francis died. On your return trip to Rome you will pass through the ancient Etruscan city of Perugia and charming country town of Todi.
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