We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Best base town for Umbria 8 day vacation

Which Orvieto hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Lake Macquarie...
Level Contributor
455 posts
247 reviews
Save Topic
Best base town for Umbria 8 day vacation

Hello,

We will be travelling by train from Rome to Umbria (combination of 10 days in both Rome and the Sorrento region first)

We plan to hire a vehicle for all of Umbria and later to continue through Tuscany.

Is it best to get the train to Orvieto and then hire a car from Orvieto and then move on?

Where is it best to base ourselves for the 8 days (or maybe move accommodation twice)? We like the idea of farmhouses, maybe within contact to the owners and family.

Some towns which interest us are:

Narni, Spoleto, Norcia, Castalluccio, Montefalco, Spello, Todi, Venanzo,Gubbio, Chuisi (I know it is a lot for the 8 days!). We possibly like the idea of visiting only 2 - 3 small areas each day, because we don't want to just drive and drive!

Is 8 days doable? Thanking you in advance,

Chris

Comox Valley, Canada
Level Contributor
147 posts
132 reviews
Save Reply
11. Re: Best base town for Umbria 8 day vacation

Joe, The Hertz office in Spoleto is at Via Cerquiglia, 144 which is on a little one way street about 200 m from the FS station. Not sure if its new...just a little storefront with the cars scattered all over the neighbourhood. Via C. runs parallel to the main street which serves the station (Via Trieste??), but is one-way, away from the station. I am sure I saw a sign for a Europcar agency too but did not pay much attention

Chris, The Sorrento to Spoleto journey via Roma would likely be less than four hours depending on connections...there is more stuff running in the mornings. Check Trenitalia for the details. Foligno is on the same line as Spoleto, just a little North of Spoleto, but as you say, very close to Montefalco. Foligno is a bit of a zoo to drive around. Remember this is not like driving in Oz...all short distances for Umbria highlights. So you might drive 12 KM from Foligno to Montefalco vs 25 from Spoleto, Don't worry about train travel in Italia ...very easy and much less stressful than driving.

Just rememebr to validate your ticket on the platform prior to getting on!

As for the bus to Montefalco: Always doable but what would you do for transport once you got there? No car rental shops that I know of. It is a very easy drive up from Spoleto. Just keep in mind the rental office closes at 1 and does not reopen on Saturdays/closed Sunday.

Are you going to do a farm stay in Tuscany too? If so check out Il Canto del Sole just S of Siena. Great place with a central location. Owners are a chef and archtiect...need I say more??? ;>)

Cheers, Glenn

Perth, Western...
Level Contributor
2,458 posts
368 reviews
Save Reply
12. Re: Best base town for Umbria 8 day vacation

Glenn, thank you for the update. I'll go and have a look before new year's eve

so i can be more precise in the future about distance. Now i'd like to objectify something about steepness and road conditions as i lived for shorter periods in Gubbio and Perugia + drove all around the region.

The steepest place to me is Perugia but at least there are a couple of elevators and escalators. In a second bunch i'll include Orvieto, Spoleto, Todi, Assisi, Amelia and Spello and in a lesser challanging group i've experienced Narni, Trevi, Montefalco, Gubbio, Gualdo Tadino and Corciano.

In the last 20 years the regional road network has improved a lot; before the year 90s, only the A1, the E45 and the SS3 from Terni to Orte were build in double lanes, few tunnels have shortened the journeys in the apennines area bordering Marche and Lazio but original windy connections remains around Montefalco and Gubbio. Orvieto, (which is most likely the cradle of the Etruscans), was always passed over by the older tourists hearing the Tuscan echo until somebody hungry was forced by their tummies to make a stop for food. Sipping the local white wine they 've thought at the end that was better than expected and the comments started to go round the world. Road surface conditions vary from a council district to another. Night lights are never excessive (due to the crise as well) and in the dark it is not unusual to encounter wild boars crossing your way as the mountain community associations have let them breed and they are plentiful.

Residents would never suggest to drive first to Norcia followed by Castelluccio as the very different altitude makes a much lower temperature at Piano Grande - 5 degrees c lower during the day and 10 at night - and strong winds blowing often in the afternoon even in the summer.

We are all different and its normal to have different thoughts, fortunately, otherwise traffic jams would occour more often

Lake Macquarie...
Level Contributor
455 posts
247 reviews
Save Reply
13. Re: Best base town for Umbria 8 day vacation

Oops, I accidentally clicked on "stop alerts for this topic" in error!

I hope it does not cease all feedback. If so, will start a new thread.

Again, thank you for the information. By the way, I am not leaving it all up to TA experts and each time something is mentioned, I get onto the internet to follow up!

I am currently looking at time tables for the train from Sorrento to Orvieto and working in with renting the car in Orvieto and driving to Montefalco. I am sure that I can find a train that gets us there before the mid day close times. That way we can spend the afternoon driving to our destination.

And yes, we plan a farm house for our time in both Umbria and Tuscany.

Arcosdad, you must have e.s.p. re our farm stay in Tuscany - I have planned all along to find a farm house just out of Siena!!

I hope that I have not wasted anyone's time re finding out about transport to Speleto and Foligno. It just sounds too difficult.

I will not be back on TA after Saturday, returning Thursday (spending time with Grandkiddies!) so please don't think that I am not bothering sourcing out the info given by all.

Thank you again, Chris

Lake Macquarie...
Level Contributor
455 posts
247 reviews
Save Reply
14. Re: Best base town for Umbria 8 day vacation

Sorry to complicate things - I have been able to find a rental company (autoeurope.com) to collect at Orvieto for approx 22 days for Umbria and Tuscany. However they need to know a drop off point and have mentioned on their site that a one way drop off fee would apply.

We will be dropping off in Tuscany (where?) and although I have not planned that far ahead, we are thinking that after we drop the vehicle off, we will train it to France around the coast to Marseille.

If you don't mind, so that I can really source out and book the rental car, where do you think would be a good drop off point? Florence looks so amazingly busy and would prefer to maybe drop off somewhere else.

Any advice would be much appreciated. Chris

Perth, Western...
Level Contributor
2,458 posts
368 reviews
Save Reply
15. Re: Best base town for Umbria 8 day vacation

Chris, Grosseto would be a good place to drop off the car as this big town is on the rail line which could lead you to Marseille travelling on a direct train. Pisa would be my second option but it is farer and driving there around the centre, was a bit confusing for me.

Le Marche, Italy
Destination Expert
for Rome, Marche
Level Contributor
37,409 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
16. Re: Best base town for Umbria 8 day vacation

Since you also want to visit Tuscany, Chiusi, (which is in Tuscany) might be a good drop off point. It's on a train line with direct connections to both Florence and Rome. I've read on these forums that the rental offices have somewhat limited hours and are closed on Sundays.

If you're not set on Montefalco, I would have suggested Todi as a base. It's a lovely town, and bigger than Montefalco, so there would be more restaurants, and more things to do in general.

Edited: 18 October 2012, 17:41
Liguria, Italy
Level Contributor
752 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
17. Re: Best base town for Umbria 8 day vacation

Warner or Chris,

For a trip this far in advance, you really do not need to reserve a car so far ahead. So you have plenty of time to figure out the rest of your Tuscan itinerary and figure out what looks like the best drop-off town, then rent the car. Also, you can change your mind mid-trip about your drop off point, and just call AutoEurope and tell them where you will be returning the car. I've done it many times.

Aussie11,

I think you misinterpreted my previous post.

Going to the Piano Grande is not like visiting Gubbio. I was not talking about a scenic sight like the Piano Grande when I suggested going to a near town first rather than a far one. It had previously been suggested to go to Gubbio and see Spello on the way back. That seems to me a near guarantee of not having enough time in Gubbio before everything starts to close -- and then not wanting to hang around after lunch until everything re-opens because everything is shut . And then one's experience of Gubbio is that of a fairly dead place. Spello can be easily seen in a morning, and since it is the closer town, should one feel a morning wasn't enough, it is easily revisited.

I was surprised the first time I drove in rural Italy at night how much easier it was than I thought it would be. Partly that is because you get to see the headlights of approaching vehicles from quite some distance, even on mountain roads.

Regarding cinghale (wild boars), we have a lot of them were I live. They tend to be very nocturnal (late night partiers). I don't recommend to people that they drive late at night. I suggest they stay at hotels with restaurants (more worried about wine than beasts). BUT: Many tourists cut their "daytrips" short because they think if they are not back to their "base" by the time the sun goes down, it will be terrible to drive. But it really isn't true, and if somebody stays in Spello to people-watch and shop until 7pm, they will not find it difficult to get back to their base.

Edited: 18 October 2012, 20:52
Tennessee
Destination Expert
for Chattanooga, Blowing Rock, North Carolina Mountains
Level Contributor
7,201 posts
130 reviews
Save Reply
18. Re: Best base town for Umbria 8 day vacation

I So agree with the Montefalco suggestion. It is so easy to enter and exit. I also suggest Villa Zuccari. A beautiful, comfortable hotel, easy parking, charming hosts and delicious breakfast. The best!!

The Woodlands, Texas
Level Contributor
5 posts
139 reviews
Save Reply
19. Re: Best base town for Umbria 8 day vacation

Yes, stay in Orvieto it is an amazing destination.. It would be a pity to miss it. We have stay here a week and took day trips, do not miss Citiva bagnoregio, it is the most u real place I have ever seen only a walking bridge to get to.. Fabulous...

virginia
Level Contributor
8 posts
98 reviews
Save Reply
20. Re: Best base town for Umbria 8 day vacation

Hi Chris,

Although I am not an expert on Tuscany, we have traveled in Italy a few times. The train from Naples to Sorrento is a local, so if you have luggage it will be difficult. I recommend checking with your Sorrento hotel for a private transfer to the Naples main train station, so worth the cost. You can get a train to Orvieto, then pick up a car. Also keep in mind where the rental car location is, hopefully outside the city near the train station. Try staying at an Agritourism property! For a drop off location, Florence is good, but if you have time think of driving north to Lake Como for a few days, then drop the car in Milan to catch the train. While in Sorrento, take the Hop on/off bus around the region, there are two routes. Good luck..safe travels.

Smiles, Nancy