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Exploring Umbria: The Heart of Italy

August 12, 2016

Amalfi Coast Yoga Retreat

Below list was originally published on… 

Umbria, located in the heart of Italy, is the center of delicious food, wine, and Italian countryside. Check out several places that are must-visits, via our friends at AFAR below.


1. Sample a Wide Variety of Regional Umbrian Wines at Arnaldo Caprai 

While I visited more than my fair share of wineries on my Umbrian tour of the Strada de Sagrantino, Cantina Arnaldo Caprai was by far the winery with the widest variety of wines and vintages–clearly one of the advantages of being one of the larger wineries in the area.

Wine-lovers and would-be connoisseurs beware—here they will let you sample all that you dare, so be sure to eat ahead of time and bring a sober chauffeur. Wine on an empty stomach plus windy roads aren’t an ideal combination.


2. Basilica of San Francesco D’Assisi

The Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi is the Catholic mother church of the Franciscan Order and is an important Christian pilgrimage site. Partially destroyed in the 1997 earthquake the restoration is complete. After visiting the Giotto and Cimabue frescoes, admiring the upper and lower basilicas and the abundance of artworks head down to the lower crypt. Here is where Saint Francis is buried. There is also an area where pilgrims can leave photos of their deceased relatives. It is a touching and simple place for tributes and memories. Pilgrims from all over the world come here to leave a photo and say a small blessing in this special place.

Bevagna, Italy

3. Bevagna, Italy

Wander the cobblestone streets of this medieval Italian city and tour the workshops of traditional craftspeople like paper-makers, candle-makers and weavers.Hand-dipped candles, as well as artisan-quality paper and fabrics make great gifts and souvenirs to take home. If you’re there in mid-June you can catch the Mercato delle Gaite where locals and visitors dress up in period costume and local taverns serve up historic dishes.

Casale, Italy 4.  Azienda Agraria La Perticaia (Casale, Italy)Amazing wineries boasting flavorful Sagrantino wines abound in Umbria, but Perticaia was one of my favorites for the beautiful scenery and top notch wine made from hand-harvested grapes. Owner Guido Gauardigli was a great guide.


5. Perugia, Italy

I loved exploring the winding cobblestone streets of Perugia. This charming town is positioned on a hill filled with historic buildings, lively squares, and wonderful cafes. It was a great place for people watching and photography.

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Join us on our Incredible Italy Yoga Retreat — Heart of Umbria Escape with Dana Rizer this October 2–8, 2016 and experience Umbria for yourself!

AFAR inspires and enables those who travel the world seeking to have deeper and more fulfilling travel experiences. AFAR's platforms include the award-winning AFAR Magazine;, recently named a Top 10 Site That Makes Travel Easier; the non-profit foundation Learning AFAR; and the immersive travel series AFAR Experiences.