Cottage for rent from € 60/day in Gualdo CattaneoName/Address:
The ancient house has been fully renovated in 2007. With a beautiful view on the Umbrian countryside, it consists of a large livingroom/kitchen with a central fireplace (wood provided), two bedrooms (one with double bed and one with single bed) and two bathrooms (one with shower and the other with bath tub and washing machine). Clean sheets and towels are provided, as well as some simple ingredients for breakfast.
Within the reach of a few minutes drive are many of Umbria's characteristic medieval towns. A five minutes drive takes you to Montefalco, known as "the railing of Umbria" for its position overlooking the Umbrian valley, hosting a lively festival in August (agosto montefalchese), and home to an amazing DOP wine, the tannic-tasting Sagrantino.
In 15 minutes you can be in Trevi, a hilltop village spectacularly perched on top of a steep hill at the foot of the mountains, where you can taste one of the finest olive oils of Italy.
Within the same distance is Bevagna, an important center along the via Flaminia in the Roman age and now a beautifully preserved town where once a year the traditional crafts come back to life in the "Gaite" festival.
Also with a Roman past, Spello (20 minutes away) deserves a visit for its archaeological sites and for its labyrinth of lanes full of plants and flowers where old people sit and talk in the evening.
Spoleto (also just 20 minutes away) was in the early middle ages the capital of a powerful duchy. Of that glorious past remain wonderful places all around the town, such as the theatrical down-slope that opens on the Cathedral and the impressive aqueduct (Ponte delle torri) that brought fresh water from the nearby mountain into the city center.
A little more driving takes you to two of the most famous places in Umbria: the wonderful town of Assisi (30 minutes) -home to St. Francis and to the marvelous basilica with frescoes by Giotto- and the regional capital, Perugia (40 minutes).
Perugia was once one of the main Etruscan cities and later the most powerful Umbrian "comune". The heritage of this past is a charming center full of huge gates and arcs, impressive public buildings and beautiful fountains, aqueducts turned into pedestrian walks and hidden corners. Quite original is the system of public transportation, based on escalators placed in old underground fortifications. Nowadays, Perugia is a lively university town, home to events such as the jazz festival UmbriaJazz and the chocolate festival Eurochocolate.
If you are looking for nature, within one hour drive is the national park of the Sibillini mountains in Eastern Umbria, with its soft-looking mountains and the vastness of its plateaux, the most spectacular being the huge Pian Grande of Castelluccio, fully covered in spring by an explosion of blooming flowers.
On the road to the Sibillini mountains, an obliged stop is Norcia, a beautiful town still completely contained by its medieval walls, with a unique "round square" and a food paradise with many specialties one better than the other: black truffle, chocolate, pecorino cheese, farro, lentils, wild boar stew and last but not least, charcuterie, in Italian known as "norcineria", since many of the traditional techniques of processing pork were developed in this town.
So, come enjoy the mild landscapes, the tannic taste of Sagrantino and the aroma of olive oil, the liveliness of the town festivals on balmy summer nights, the constant blend of landscape and art, and that simple, genuine atmosphere which is the secret of Umbria's beauty.