Are there important places near Perugia worth visiting?

Lake Trasimeno

Perugia, being the capital city of the region of Umbria in central Italy, is not only a city rich with history, arts, and culture but also a great base for exploring the surrounding areas. Umbria, often referred to as the country’s green heart, is known for its medieval hill towns, dense forests, and local cuisine, particularly foraged truffles and wines. Several of these towns and attractions are just a short drive from Perugia, making them perfect for day trips. Here are some of the beautiful and fascinating places you can visit:

  • Assisi: Just half an hour’s drive from Perugia, Assisi is renowned as the birthplace of St. Francis. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to the Basilica of San Francesco, a two-level church that houses the saint’s tomb and features frescoes by Giotto.

  • Lake Trasimeno: Italy’s fourth-largest lake is located just 20 kilometers west of Perugia. It’s an excellent spot for boating, swimming, and bird watching. The lake is surrounded by charming villages such as Castiglione del Lago, which boasts a medieval fortress and a palace.

  • Gubbio: This medieval town is about an hour’s drive from Perugia. It boasts well-preserved 14th-century buildings, a Roman theatre, and the Basilica of Saint Ubaldo, which houses the remains of the city’s patron saint.

  • Montefalco: Known as the ‘balcony of Umbria’ due to its panoramic views, Montefalco is famous for its Sagrantino wine. Visit the local wineries for a tasting, and don’t miss the Church of Saint Francis, which houses frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli.

  • Spoleto: About an hour’s drive south of Perugia, Spoleto is known for its rich history and the annual Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of the Two Worlds). The city is home to a Roman theatre, a medieval fortress, and an impressive cathedral.

  • Todi: This hilltop town offers breathtaking views of the Tiber River valley. Visit the Piazza del Popolo, one of Italy’s most beautiful squares, and explore the town’s Etruscan, Roman, and medieval sites.

  • Orvieto: Located on a large volcanic rock, Orvieto is famous for its stunning cathedral, which features a façade decorated with mosaics and sculptures. The town is also known for its white wines and labyrinth of underground tunnels and caves.

  • Cortona: An hour’s drive away, Cortona is a charming Tuscan hill town known for its Etruscan walls, medieval architecture, and the MAEC (Museum of the Etruscan Academy and the City of Cortona).

These places, each with their unique history, culture, and charm, are easily accessible from Perugia, making them excellent choices for those who want to explore more of what the heart of Italy has to offer. Also, we invite you to check out the top things to do in Perugia.