If you're like most people, the first time you went to Italy you had your heart set on exploring Tuscany. The rolling hills, sun soaked vineyards, delectable foods and quaint villages that look right out a of movie will charm any visitor to Tuscany. So perhaps you have explored Tuscany and Florence and having feasted your way through every vineyard and hilltop town you now want to go somewhere new. Well I have the perfect recommendation for you - Umbria. This hidden gem is actually rather easy to get to; only 90 minutes from Rome, but a world away.
Umbria is a landlocked region and you just might feel as though you have stepped back in time when you visit the medieval villages and castles that dot the countryside. Stunning natural beauty is in good supply here but lets be honest with one another; you came here to eat! So here are a few foodie activities in Umbria to let you get better acquainted with the delicious treats the region, and Italy as a whole, is known for.
Make your way up into the forested hillsides outside of town and join your guide and his specially trained dogs as they hunt for truffles. Black truffles are one of the most famous foods in Italy, and Umbria has a fabulous selection in their forests. Collect the famous truffles with the help of the dogs and then make your way back to the farm where you will get a private hands on pasta making class. And what better way to top off your homemade pasta than with some freshly shaved truffles you found in the forest?
Perugia for Chocolate
The beautiful hilltop town of Perugia is the destination of choice for chocolate lovers during their annual chocolate festival. But my recommendation? Skip the festival and visit at a time when you wont have to wait in line for a chocolate treat! Here in Perugia you will find both boutique chocolatiers and Perugina, the famous chocolate company you have probably heard of already. Join a local guide and go behind the scenes to learn all about the process of making chocolate from start to finish.
If you're in Perugia you might as well head to Norcia, an area known for its meat products. Most famous among them include prosciutto, capocollo, copa, and salami. Why not spend a day (or two) visiting local farms and tasting their prosciutto paired with some pecorino and a glass of wine? It would be hard to drag myself away to go do anything else!
Not far from Rome, Umbria is the perfect antithesis to the bustling city. So why not head out to the country for a few days? In 90 minutes you can go from the big city to a hillside village and watch the sunset with a glass of wine and a plate of handmade pasta with local truffles on the table in front of you. Sounds like the perfect way to end the day to me!
Contact me to learn more about how I can add a stay in Umbria to your next visit to Italy!