Umbria, Perugia and Assisi

Umbria, Perugia and Assisi

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Umbria, Perugia and Assisi

8 Days

Visiting: Italy

Tour operator:

Riviera Travel

Tour code:

UM6

This tour is no longer available

Tour Overview

Journey to the green heart of Italy to discover unspoilt Umbria, with its archaeological treasures, fine art, hearty cuisine and Mediterranean landscape.

Experience rolling countryside, as we go up soaring hills topped with time-warp towns, down into the magical Frasassi Caves and onto the sparkling waters of Lake Trasimeno. If you'd like to discover what lies at the very heart of Italy - a region that's every bit as beautiful and historically important as neighbouring Tuscany but remains largely unexplored - this tour of Umbria is set to surprise and enchant.

With four guided tours including Perugia, Assisi, Spoletto, the Frasassi Caves and an opportunity to taste traditional fare at a rural restaurant whilst sampling Sagrantino di Montefalco wine, our tour will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the heart of Italy.

Highlights

  • Enjoy a guided tour of Perugia, capital of Italy's beautiful Umbria region and formerly one of the 12 Etruscan cities

  • Wander medieval Assisi, the birthplace of St Francis and home to the incredible basilica dedicated to his name

  • Cross into Tuscany to explore the timeworn, narrow streets of hilltop Cortona

  • Take the ferry across Lake Trasimeno to the time-capsule island of Maggiore

  • See Spoleto's ancient Roman and Romanesque architecture, as well as its formidable hilltop fortress

  • Sample the spoils of the verdant Umbrian countryside at a local producer of Sagrantino di Montefalco wine

  • Descend deep under Umbria's undulating landscape to explore the enchanting Frasassi Caves 

  • Take the funicular up a volcanic rock-face to the hidden town of Orvieto, a former Etruscan stronghold boasting one of Italy's finest cathedrals 

  • Taste traditional fare at a rural restaurant

  • Seven nights in four-star accommodation, inclusive of all local taxes, with breakfast (a three-night hotel dining option is available at the Sangallo palace Hotel only)

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Itinerary

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Day 1

Fly to Rome or Perugia, and transfer to your hotel in Perugia. The Brufani hotel has hosted royalty and celebrities since its opening in 1884, including our very own Queen Mother. Guests can enjoy the panoramic views from the terrace of the Collins Bar, and the atmospheric swimming pool, which lies under exposed medieval vaults and has a glass floor overlooking the 3,000-year-old Etruscan ruins below.

Or perhaps you are booked to stay at the Sangallo Palace Hotel. A three-night dining option is available during your seven-night stay if preferred (Sangallo Hotel only).

 

Day 2

After breakfast we embark on a tour of this bustling university city, which uses an escalator system to connect the lower town to the historical core above. A wander along the Corso Pietro Vannucci is a treat for the senses, as its traffic-free status allows the subtler sounds and smells of local life to come through – the clink of china as cups are set out for morning coffee and the friendly chatter of Italians passing the time. This wide avenue leads up past a mix of shiny designer boutiques and tiny timeworn shops to the Piazza IV Novembre – the centrepiece of the city. This flagstone square boasts the gothic San Lorenzo cathedral, the imposing 13th-century Palazzo dei Priori and the intricately carved Maggiore fountain. Fanning out from the square is a jumble of narrow alleyways lined with crumbling buildings in shades of peach, ochre, russet and cream, providing plenty of places to people-watch over a local craft beer, a chilled glass of Orvieto Classico or a creamy gelato.

From the Piazza Italia you can take an escalator down to the atmospheric streets of medieval Perugia, an underground world hidden within the 16th-century Rocca Paolina fortress. You can also enter the foundations of the fortress through the Porta Marzia gate, one of the stone portals chiselled into the crumbling Etruscan wall that encloses Perugia. Interestingly, this under-city maze is more than just a tourist attraction – you'll see locals hurrying through it to the bus station! 

This afternoon will be free for you to explore more of what Perugia has to offer.

Day 3

This morning we head for Assisi, an elegant hill town dominated by the vast Basilica of St Francis complex, which includes a Franciscan monastery and two churches. Sitting on the green hillside with the town climbing ever higher behind it, this is a UNESCO World Heritage site that attracts pilgrims from around the world.

As we wander the flower-hung streets with our local guide, we learn how St Francis came to be so highly revered in Italy, from his early life as the spoilt son of a silk merchant, to his renouncement of riches and founding of the Franciscan Order of monks. Built as a shrine to St Francis in 1228 two years after his death, the exterior of the basilica and friary complex is befittingly austere. Inside, however, is a different matter, with both the upper and lower basilicas adorned with colourful frescos, including a series attributed to the famous Florentine painter, Giotto. The simple-living St Francis rests in the crypt below the basilica, together with his friend, benefactor and follower, Jacoba of Settesoli, who is said to have fed him his favourite almond treats on his deathbed.

We have some free time to explore the old-world town centre with its shuttered stone houses, 'hole-in-the-wall' shops and tiny family-run cafes – the silky ‘strangozzi’ pasta with rich, earthy black truffles is a must-try! A varied collection of churches and cathedrals dots the piazzas, while two medieval castles, Rocca Maggiore and Rocca Minore, jostle for dominance on the skyline.
 

Day 4

This morning we travel towards Lake Trasimeno, known as the Sea of Umbria by locals of this landlocked region, a huge splash of azure surrounded by gently sloping green hills covered with olive groves, thick woodlands and the occasional lakeside town. From the lakeside town of Passignano, we take the ferry across the languid waters to Isola Maggiore. As we approach, the 19th-century Guglielmi Castel can be seen nestled into the wooden hillside.

We take the ferry back to Casiglione del Lago, enjoying the view of the Castello del Leone or ‘fortress of the lion’, before continuing to Cortona. Cortona clutters the hillside with a tight muddle of terracotta rooftops, which hide a maze of narrow alleyways and wide piazzas. The spectacular view from the Piazza del Duomo is a must, leading the eye over the city walls and across the Tuscan countryside. 

Signature experience:

This evening will be a real treat for truffle lovers and non-truffle lovers alike. We'll dine in the heart of Perugia at a family-owned restaurant specialising in the local delicacy prized for its unique and intense aroma. Socialise with your fellow explorers while admiring the passion of the local family whilst sampling a truffle-based menu. For those who are not fond of the taste, the restaurant will gladly provide an alternative. 

Day 5

This morning we enjoy a guided tour of Spoleto, which sits on a foothill of the Apennines mountain range. The sight of the medieval arched bridge leading to the formidable Rocca Albornoziana fortress will remind you of an epic historical movie, while the city that sits behind it bears the hallmarks of Roman and Lombard rule. The desolate ruins of the ancient Roman amphitheatre are a contrast to the resplendent Romanesque cathedral that dazzles in the palest stone on the Piazza del Duomo.

Then we set out into the rich tapestry of Umbrian countryside once again to visit a leading producer of Sagrantino di Montefalco wine, made from the black sagrantino grapes indigenous to the region. A tasting allows you to form your own opinion as to whether this dark, full-bodied ‘vino rosso’ deserves a place on your wine rack. We'll also sample the olive oil that this region is revered for worldwide, to complete an afternoon full of the true tastes of Umbria.

Signature experience:

Enjoy an enhanced wine tasting at our winery in the heart of the Umbrian countryside, sampling additional Sagrantino di Montefalco wines accompanied by typical local products - delicious cheeses and cold cuts. 

Day 6

We drive east this morning to the Marche region that lies between Umbria and the Adriatic. Here we delve deep underground to explore the Frasassi Caves, considered to be among the most impressive in Europe. Our tour of these stunning karst caves, which can easily trick the eye with their glistening snow-white walls and icicle-like stalactites and stalagmites, takes us into the Great Cave of the Wind – large enough to house the Milan cathedral. As we learn more about their 1971 discovery by local speleologists and their formation over a million years ago, it's impossible to remain unmoved by our magical and mesmerisingly beautiful surroundings.

This afternoon we return to Perugia to allow you more time to explore this town at your leisure.

Signature experience:

After our visit to the Frasassi Caves, we'll drive through the undulating hills and picturesque groves of Italy, traditionally suited to the cultivation of olive trees. We'll stop at a local olive mill in Bevagna to learn more about the production of this centuries-old tradition. While we're here we'll taste some of the oil produced at the mill alongside some delectable, local accompaniments. 

Day 7

This morning we end our journey of Etruscan discovery at another of this mysterious civilisation's 12 key cities, Orvieto, whose ancient ruins lie in eerie underground caves. A glimpse of this sparse subterranean city can be had from the family-owned Well of the Cave, a secret passageway leading to nine caves underneath a traditional pottery shop! With the city built from the precipitous chunk of volcanic rock on which it sits, Orvieto looks almost at one with the red-hued rock – although the cathedral is a stand-out feature. After a ride up the tree-lined funicular tracks to the old town, we marvel at the intricate façade of this incredible Gothic building, featuring gilded frescoes that give it the appearance of being illuminated from within. After our discovery of Orvieto we stop at a rural restaurant, known locally as an agriturismo, to sample a menu of traditional fare grown in this fertile land at the heart of Italy. 

Day 8

Transfer to the airport for your return flight.

What's Included

  • The price of this holiday is per person based on two people sharing a twin room. Sole occupancy rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement. The price includes:; Return flights Seven nights’ accommodation Daily breakfast One lunch at a;local restaurant All local taxes and transfers All tours as mentioned Entrance to;Frasassi Caves and;Orvieto funicular A boat trip on Lake Trasimeno The services of a Riviera Travel tour manager

  • The price of this holiday is per person based on two people sharing a twin room. Sole occupancy rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement. The price includes:; Return flights Seven nights in four-star accommodation, inclusive of all local taxes, with breakfast (a three-night hotel dining option is available at the Sangallo palace Hotel only) Daily breakfast One lunch at a;local restaurant All local taxes and transfers All tours as mentioned Entrance to;Frasassi Caves and;Orvieto funicular A boat trip on Lake Trasimeno The services of a Riviera Travel tour manager

Check out our Q&As

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    For almost 40 years

  • I have reduced mobility; can I still travel?

    We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to contact us to discuss these concerns

  • Do I require travel insurance?

    It is a condition of booking that you carry suitable travel insurance.

  • What is my luggage allowance?

    You will receive details of your luggage allowance with your final travel documents, which are sent approximately 10 days prior to your date of departure.

Reviews of this operator

David Clarke (Google Reviewer)  

This review is for the...

08-Aug-2023

This review is for the italian Lake Como trip Aug 1-8 Wow what a trip. Riviera from start to finish were excellent the booking and help line answering questions were very good and clear. The travel booklet you get is laid out that it is simple to read and follow with step by step info from booking in to flights to meeting the guides. Our guide Matt Purse was just the best guide and real credit to Riviera with his knowledge and straight forward approach to running the trips. Matt kept us informed and told us all the sort of info you want to know without going over the top....This chap should teach other reps ..thank you so much. The coaches they use are all clean and well equipped with usb chargers and have aircon. The places chosen to visit were well researched even down to where coaches park or drop you off. The Bernina Express was the highlight for our family and matts photo tip was welcomed. The only down point was the hotel,a little dated and evening meal in main restuarant was a bit of a let down. I think we were lucky with our room on level 7 and with balcony as the walls are very thin and noise travels. We would book again with riviera

Barbara Shillaker (Google Reviewer)  

I have been on three...

11-Jan-2024

I have been on three trips with Riviera Travel so far, with two more booked during 2024. Highly recommended. Excellent tour guides. Great program of visits. Great hotels used.

Mrs Bodnarec (Google Reviewer)  

Thankyou Riviera and all the...

28-Apr-2024

Thankyou Riviera and all the staff on the William Wordsworth Danube River cruise. My husband and i have just travelled on the Danube to celebrate my husbands 60th and we had such a lovely experience. We were younger than most of the travellers but we met so many lovely people so this wasnt a problem. The staff were so lovely and professional. The service we experienced was so high. The boat was beautiful, the food amazing and the excursions were informative and well managed. I would definately recommend riviera as a company. In fact we are now considering their Japan holiday.

Valerie Pascoe  

We would go again in a heartbeat

22-Jan-2022

Oh my goodness, what a relief it was to actually get away! Full marks to all at Riviera for keeping us up to date before our trip and for the help so cheerfully and patiently given with the extra admin that Covid brought our way. We felt totally safe with the measures taken on board, thank you very much for this. Without exception, Staff were fantastic and our every need was attended to. The additional Covid testing ran smoothly, organised by our Riviera Reps. The guided tours were most interesting: the guides very knowledgeable and more importantly, interesting to listen to. We loved this trip and would do it again in a heartbeat. Thank you again Riviera, you were FAB!

Chris Wilson (Google Reviewer)  

Second escorted tour with this...

25-Jul-2022

Second escorted tour with this company. Did 5 days in Iceland tour. Everything went smoothly, excellent tour guide, Per. Extremely knowledgeable and interesting guy. Very friendly too. Highly recommend. Just let down by the room given at the hotel, but I guess the travel company doesn't have control over this.

Kathryn Jurin, GB  

Riviera South Africa tour - awesome

21-May-2021

Riviera have amazing holidays and tours to choose from. The one we chose was South Africa and wow! It turned out to be our best trip ever - incredible memories we will never forget. We’ve been all over the world which was because of all our experiences, this one was awesome. The organisation of the holiday, the guide and the travel was e cells that. The choice of hotels, meals, restaurants, trips was absolutely fantastic - very good quality and character - nothing bland or boring! The Riviera guide was permanently with us along with a South Africa guide and they were both extremely friendly, professional, informative and you could ask any questions you want! I would massively recommend this holiday/trip and when you’ve experienced it, you realise how reasonable the price is. We reflect on this trip a lot and thank you Riviera for giving us such a wonderful experience.

Trustpilot
Barry, GB  

Rhine Christmas markets cruise

09-Dec-2019

Just completed a 5 day trip on the Rhine. Our first river cruise and a tester for future cruises. The boat was well appointed and the cabin and public areas were spotlessly clean. The staff were attentive and contributed to the very relaxed atmosphere on the boat. The quality of the food surpassed that which we have experiened on sea cruises in recent years. I have written little because it was a faultless experience. We have booked a further cruise (in France) on the basis of our experience.

Trustpilot
Christine Hardy (Google Reviewer)  

Although most people seem to...

10-Mar-2024

Although most people seem to book and pay for their holidays online, because we live close by we prefer to make a personal visit. In my opinion if they are offering this as an option they should be better equipped to accommodate visits in person. We have not been on our river cruise yet, so can't comment on that yet.

Rob Steele (Google Reviewer)  

My 3rd Riviera trip within...

16-Feb-2024

My 3rd Riviera trip within a year and I wasn't disappointed 😁 This time it was https://www.rivieratravel.co.uk/escorted-tours/southern-india-coastal-route-solo-travellers This trip, although not cheap, it really offers exceptional value for money as you see a lot of Tamil Nadu and Kerela, stay in fantastic hotels, excellent breakfasts every day as well as some lunches and dinners also included. George Bareham, our "Tour Manager" was brilliant, very professional, but also friendly and diligent. Satheeshan, our local guide was helpful and picked me up antibiotics when I got ill, he was a nice chap, if (for my taste) went on a bit and used 20 words when 1 would suffice. Mr Sweeny, our coach driver was fantastic,really professional and an exceptionally good driver. His assistant, Murgon wad a delight, always smiling and attentive. This is a full on trip, early morning starts and quite a packed itinerary, but still leaving time to laze around some brilliant hotel swimming pools. Only a couple of suggestions to improve the holiday. More shopping time in Cochin and change carriers from Etihad who, unfortunately aren't the excellent airline they used to be. But, will I use Riviera Travel again - Yes 😁

Barbara Parkes (Google Reviewer)  

Presently in Croatia staying at...

22-Sep-2023

Presently in Croatia staying at Arauana Hotel, supposedly a 4 star property, but wouldn't give it any star rating. Rooms are small and dirty. Wallpaper blistering. Meals served in a shed like lean-to. Food like warm, greasy and always self service. Second holiday with Riviera this year and neither at standard advertised. Have travelled with them previously and everything was fine, but standards have really dropped. Have booked a holiday with them next year and now dreading it. Certainly don't provide the standard advertised. We have never stayed in such a hovel and have visited youngsters in back packers accommodation which was far better than this supposedly 4 star accommodation. There are no indoor bars or lounges only a shed as a so called restaurant. Absolutely disgusting. Won't be boking with them again

Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Riviera Travel requires a minimum deposit of 250 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 75 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of riviera travel charges.

    Up to 75 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 74 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 70% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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