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One month stay in Umbria

Toronto, Canada
9 posts
1 review
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One month stay in Umbria

We are planning 4 months in Italy in 2014 and want to spend one month in May in a villa or agritourismo in Umbria as a base for exploring Umbria and Tuscany. We don't want to be too isolated - prefer to be able to walk into a nice town or be in the town itself for restaurants, markets and sights. Looking at Perugia or Siena (for larger options) or Orvieto, Cortona, Spoleto, Gubbio (smaller options - we don't want to be in a place smaller than 25K population-places like San Gimignano or Monterregioni are good for a day trip but no longer for us!). Would love a villa or apartment and need sleeping space for guests. Any ideas on towns or properties welcome!

Assisi, Italy
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508 posts
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1. Re: One month stay in Umbria

Please note that an agriturismo is a working farm and as such there is no agriturismo inside a town. You probably want to look for a town or village accommodation with easy parking facilities. This is not always the case with apartments in historic towns as often there is simply no space for cars and circulation is restricted to residents.

All major towns in Umbria except Perugia are a good base for exploring by car. Perugia is beautiful but if you stay in the center you will loose a lot of time in the traffic. Orvieto is on the border of Umbria and connected to the rest of the region by a slow road. It's good if you want to visit Northern Lazio and Southern Tuscany.

Gubbio is also not a central location and has the same "connection" problem as Orvieto.

This leaves Assisi, Todi, Spoleto, all of them of reasonable size and relatively central. You can't go wrong with any of these places as they are all beautiful.

Toronto, Canada
9 posts
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2. Re: One month stay in Umbria

Thank you! Do you think Cortona is a good choice? I am leaning toward Assisi, Spoleto, Cortona or Siena. Any information you may have about good homes to rent there for a full month would be most helpful. Thanks again.

Spello, Italy
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117 posts
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3. Re: One month stay in Umbria

I was just in Cortona for the first time yesterday, and it was filled with tourists (in March!). If that doesn't bother you, it's a beautiful, beautiful town. Close to many other Umbrian or Tuscan cities. I didn't feel a pull with Spoleto, but many people do. Siena is stunning, and totally fascinating. I'm sure it has the same overtouristed problem as Cortona, but as a larger city, you can escape it by ducking into alleys that aren't on the tourist walking paths. Madonnadelpiatto can recommend you best when it comes to Assisi, she's an expert on the area. Was there a reason that you took Orvieto off your list? Also, not in Umbria (but neither is Siena), but I wonder if you might want to consider Lucca?

Michelle

www.ilbelcentro.com

Toronto, Canada
9 posts
1 review
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4. Re: One month stay in Umbria

HI - thanks for writing! I took Orvieto off (possibly) only because I heard from many that it is a challenge to take day trips from Orvieto due to the "slow road" (??) Otherwise I thought it was a possibility. I am leaning toward Perugia - have you been? It's about the size of Siena and apparently gorgeous. I am trying to decide between an apartment right in town or an apartment at a farmhouse that's been converted into apartments just outside the town about a 15 - 20 min walk from the city centre. If you are going there, your advice would be most welcome. I think Cortona and Spoleto will be too small for us. Are you on an extended holiday? Any and all advice would be most welcome. Thanks!

5. Re: One month stay in Umbria

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Removed on: 18 December 2014, 12:38
Edited: 18 December 2014, 12:38
6. Re: One month stay in Umbria

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum posting guidelines with prohibiting self-promotional advertising or solicitation.

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Removed on: 18 December 2014, 12:38
Spello, Italy
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117 posts
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7. Re: One month stay in Umbria

Actually, that's true about Orvieto. Perugia is a half hour from where I live, so yes, I've been there quite a bit (last Monday because my son was out of school for the election, so we took the train to Perugia on a mission to get kebabs). We (husband, 3 kids, 2 cats) are 7 months into our year long stay in Spello, where I am spending my time blogging about our experiences. Including our visits to Perugia.

I am having a hard time picturing a place in the country a 20 minutes walk from the city center. Perugia is at the top of a hill—I could be wrong, but I would assume all the "country" around it is at the bottom of the hill. I'd nail down an exact location before you sign up.

There's a lot to do in Perugia. My daughter just had a field trip to the Etruscan tombs right outside of town, she said it was amazing. The archaeological museum will give you a real feel for life in this area from the time of the ancient Umbri (fascinating). We loved the art museum. It is arranged chronologically, which makes for interesting realizations about the history of art. Plus there are great restaurants and fabulous gelato shops, and the Rocca Paolina, which is probably the most evocative spot in Perugia for me. There's lots to see very close to Perugia—Assisi, Gubbio, other medieval hill towns. Not too much further is Norcia and the Piano Grande. But mind what Madonna del Piatto said about the transaction time of getting in and out of Perugia. I'd also suggest posting another question, here and at slowtrav.com, about people experiences staying in Perugia on your time frame. Friends I know who have lived there look at me funny when I say I love Perugia. I think it may be hard to live there, I'm not sure how that translates to a month's stay. I suspect it's more about the difficulty meeting people, but it might be nice to find out other people's perspectives.

I do love Siena, too... which if you look at my blog you'll see, as I named my daughter after the city.

I hope that helps, and if I can answer any other questions, i'd be happy to!

Michelle

www.ilbelcentro.com

Toronto, Canada
9 posts
1 review
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8. Re: One month stay in Umbria

Hi - thanks for the information! Now I'm torn... It seems Perugia, while beautiful, has some drawbacks for a longer stay during which we'd want to be able to get in and out easily to make day trips. It almost sounds as steep as Positano! I love Siena and would consider that for our stay. Is it easy to get in and out of Siena and make day trips in Tuscany/Umbria? I saw from a brief look at your blog that you're in Spello as a base. Do you find it tiny? Or is that what you love about it? Can you tell me how you found the place you are living in and is it in the town or outside? Do you need a car?

I thought Spoleto was a LOT bigger (population-wise) than Spello, but another writer says it would be too small. I have not heard of Foligno and another person recommended Bevagna which I'm also not familiar with. Will look them both up. I've heard Lucca is lovely too, so will check that.

There's just so much to choose from, and I'm finding it very hard to decide, especially since I'm looking at tons of home/apt rental places and each looks better than the one before! We want the following: a lovely mid-sized town that we can live in hopefully in a house or large-ish apartment that can accommodate some guests, hoping for a fireplace since we may go when it's cool, a town with lots of choice for restaurants, shopping, foods, and cultural attractions, easy access to highways to explore the tuscan and umbrian countryside, a bit of night life (not a town that closes up and is silent at night), and a place we can really get to know, that's not so big it's impersonal, urban, dirty, dangerous etc. Is that too much to ask for? : )

Will keep researching. In the mean time, any and all thoughts would be welcome. Thanks again for taking the time to give your advice. It looks like you're having a wonderful year!

Toronto, Canada
9 posts
1 review
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9. Re: One month stay in Umbria

Hello again - Do you think Spoleto is very small or very quiet? I know it's one of the ones you recommended as mid-sized. Would welcome your thoughts on whether Spoleto would be a good choice. Thanks!

Victoria, Australia
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10. Re: One month stay in Umbria

All the towns you are looking at are lovely. We stayed 1 week in Perugia and loved it. We stayed at a hotel within walking distance of the historical centre, but it was easy enough to get in/out of Perugia by car avoiding the busy centre.

Perugia is very lovely and bustling with some great and inexpensive restuarants and bars. It makes a great base. From there, we had day trips to Cortona, Gubbio, Assisi and Orvieto.