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ItinerariesPerugia. Its historic centers situated on the hills date back to Roman, Etruscan and medieval times. They all offer beautiful views of gentle and green slopes which inspired Pietro Vannucci called “Il Perugino” when making his world-wide famous paintings. Umbria is also a region with a deep religious feeling as it is the birth place of many religious personages such as Saint Francis, Saint Rita, Saint Benedetto. A large number of national natural parks and protected areas witness the respect for environment. Thanks to the central position of the holiday farmhouse "La Fornace - Il Pino" you can easily reach the most important Umbrian towns such as Perugia, Assisi, Todi, Orvieto, Spoleto etc. In fact, the main communication link, the E45, is only 7 to 8 kilometers from the holiday farmhouse.
Castelleone, with its turreted walls is a charming village of ancient origin which was built in this dominating and thus strategically important position (400 m above sea level) to protect the boundary lines of Todi in medieval times. Deruta is a town famous for artistic pottery items made of local clay which has been used since the 14th century. There is also a National Institute for Ceramics. In 1998 the former St. Francis convent next to the church (1388) was renovated in order to host the Regional Ceramics Museum which was formerly placed in the town hall. In St. Francis church there are 14th and 15th century frescoes and a bronze bell moulded in 1228 to celebrate the canonization of the Saint. A large amount of factories and show rooms with pottery items, also open on holidays, offer the possibility to buy these potteries and to watch their making.
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Torgiano is at about 10 kilometres north east of Deruta driving along the Tiberina Road. It is a well-known vintage wine production centre and recalls the design of a medieval village which was directly linked to the castle founded on Roman remains in the 13th century. The wide extents of vineyards on the surrounding hills are the visible evidence of the richness of this area which has been producing wine for many decades. At Torgiano you will find the Wine Museum, the most complete and interesting collection on the culture and the techniques of grape-growing and wine-making, showing objects, documents, works of art and handicraft in relation with this subject.
Perugia, the capital of the region, is in a continuous expansion and offers manifold profiles to the visitors. Precious and imposing Etruscan walls surround the historic centre where you can find palaces and buildings you will never see anywhere else, both from the point of history and architecture. The “Rocca Paolina” (The Paolina Fortress) is a mighty fortress built by Paolo III Farnese in 1540. In the remaining part of it a mechanized way had been realised by the Commune of Perugia to overcome the existing differences in height of the ground and to allow the pedestrians an easy and immediate access to the historic centre of the town. The “Fontana Maggiore” (the major fountain), a sculpture masterpiece of the 13th century, is the emblem of the medieval commune and the symbol of the town. The Palace of the Priors former seat of the Priors and used for administrative and judicial functions, overlooks with its imposing presence the area next to the fountain. Today this palace is the seat of the town hall and the National Gallery of Umbria founded in the second half of the 16th century where you can see the works of Perugino, Arnolfo di Cambio, Beato Angelico, Piero della Francesca. The visitor can admire the medieval aspects of St. Lorenzo Cathedral and of many other churches, squares, places and charming lanes as well as the beautiful views from the many terraced streets. From Perugia driving along the clearway E45 in direction of Firenze-Siena (Florence-Siena) you arrive at Lago Trasimeno whose former name was “the Lake of Perugia”, as old maps hand over.
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Gubbio - is about 40 kms away to the north-east. It is a very old town founded by Umbrian people on the top of the Ingino-Mount at the beginning of the first century B.C. The ancient "Ikuvium" is proved by the Tables of Gubbio which are now kept in the Consul's Palace built from 1332 to 1349 and which is one of the most important civil buildings of Italy. A real curiosity is the world's tallest virtual Christmas tree: "drawn" on the slopes of the Ingino-Mount by using a long chain of electric lights which are switched on in the occasion of the "Immaculate Conception" (8th of December), it illuminates the slopes during the whole Christmas period. Every year, on the 15th of May, i.e. on the eve of the feast of the patron saint St. Ubaldo, Gubbio celebrates the "Corsa dei Ceri" (a race with three statues of giant size). It is not important to be the first to come on aim, as the order of the procession is always the same: first comes St.Ubaldo's statue, then the one of St. Giorgio and then the one of St. Antonio. At the end of the procession, the task for those who carry St. Ubaldo's statue is to enter into the church and to close its portal preventing the others from entering, who - on the other hand - must try to slip at least one part of their statues into the doorposts. Each statue is 4 metres high and weighs about 200 kilogrammes. Assisi is a town full of Franciscan memory embellished with unique buildings, such as the famous basilica of St. Francesco, the church of St. Chiara, the church of St. Pietro, the Rocca Maggiore… each corner of the town tells a passage of history and art. Todi. Taking the clearway E45 you will reach Todi which is at about 15 km southwards from the holiday farmhouse “Il Pino”and which still maintains the medieval town planning. World-wide famous architects stated that Todi is “ the best town of the world to live”. The centre of the town is the “Piazza del Popolo” with its pubblic buildings and the Cathedral of the 12th century. On the external border of the walls (13th century) you will find the church of St. Maria della Consolazione which is a wonderful example of a circular Renaissance church attributed to Bramante. Orvieto - under construction. Available the italian version: a town of Etruscan origin whose traces can still be seen in the necropolis, evokes an ancient and mysterious atmosphere. The cathedral, a magnificent example of the Italian gothic architecture, is certainly the most important building of the town.
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There are many other destinations of artistic and cultural interest which are easy to reach and which should not be missed: Bettona which is called “The Etruscan balcony” thanks to its beautiful panoramic position; Bevagna of Roman origin and surrounded by rivers which have always represented its first natural defence, organises the “Mercato delle Gaite”, a joyful challenge among artisan shops divided into the former medieval districts; in Spello, more than in any other Umbrian places, you will find traces of the ancient Romans. You should not miss visiting the Baglioni Chapel with its precious floor of Deruta majolica (1566). Every year on the occasion of Corpus Domini the town celebrates the “Infiorata” where flower petals are used to create beautiful pictures on its charming lanes. Montefalco which is also called “Ringhiera dell’Umbria” (Railing of Umbria) offers suggestive panoramic views. Trevi called “the town of oil” has been able to maintain its medieval aspect. It is situated on a hill surrounded by olive groves. Spoleto will fascinate you because of its many buildings but also due to its special relationship with nature which acts as the scenery of the history of the town. If you have some time you can drive from Spoleto towards Terni where you can visit the Cascate delle Marmore (the Marmore Falls) (165 m – the highest in Europe), artificial falls dating back to Roman times. Driving from Spoleto you will reach Cascia, the birth place of St. Rita, and Norcia, the birth place of St. Benedetto, the patron saint of Europe. The Valnerina (the Nera Valley) offers you a beautiful landscape and many historic centres and monasteries rich in mysticism, history and art.