Umbria is known as the “green heart of Italy”, and as well as its own rich history it is in close proximity to many of the country’s important sites. Rome is around an hour-and-a-half’s drive to the south, and Sienna can be reached in just over an hour to the north.
Closer to home, there are many beautiful towns only a short drive away. Casa Zefferino is only a couple of miles from the hill town of Todi, which boasts one of Italy’s finest public spaces, the Piazza del Popolo, together with several fine churches. Half an hour to the west is Orvieto, with its exquisite Baroque cathedral, perched on a tufa outcrop, and visible from miles around. The regional capital of Umbria, Perugia lies around forty minutes to the north; a little beyond that, visible to those landing at Perugia airport, is Assisi; clinging to the hillside with the famous Basilica di San Francesco d’Assisi enjoying a prominant position at the head of the valley.
Travelling south into the Vale of Spoleto, one comes across a series of charming villages which rise from either side of the valley floor. Spello, Trevi, Bevagna and Montefalco (known as the “Eyrie of Umbria” due to its location high above the valley) are all worth a visit. Travelling further south, as the valley narrows towards Terni, is Spoleto. The town boasts several sights worth visiting: the cathedral, unusually, is approached from above, with a long stepped ramp decending towards the piazza. Higher up the hill is the imposing Rocca Albornoziana, a fortress built in the mid fourteenth century for the Spanish cardinal Egidio Albornoz. Behind this, crossing the deep ravine of the Tessino River, is the Ponte delle Torri aquaduct – an impressive feat of Mediaeval engineering.
On the following pages we’ve listed a few of our favourite places which are in easy reach of Casa Zefferino.