Umbria – the Green Hearth of Italy
Hiking program with guide – 6 days, 7 nights
This journey takes you to where Italy is still very authentic, spiritual and even a little mystic. Umbria is the region which the first Christians, coming from the Orient, crossed on their way to Rome. Here you find lush green hills, dense forests, plateaus and wide valleys where grain, legumes and of course the famous wine of Umbria are grown. Ancient stone villages cling to the mountain flanks and the hilltops, medieval abbeys stand in clearings and Roman or Etruscan buildings are to be seen everywhere. It is surely no coincidence that Saint Francis found the right place for his meditations here, feeling deeply connected to nature. But don’t worry – this region also provides plenty of worldly delights: delicious olive oil, fine truffles, wonderful cheeses and cold cuts, fresh pasta and great wines. You will stay in a typical agriturismo – a country house surrounded by olive groves and not far from the famous wine town of Montefalco. In this agriturismo you will taste the authentic local cuisine, a real delight.
Benvenuti in Umbria!
1st day: Individual arrival to the accommodation. In the early evening your hiking guide will greet you with a glass of wine and introduce you to the upcoming hiking week with Umbrian specialties.
The Montefalco wines
2nd day: Today after a short walk you reach the historical center of Montefalco with its many beautiful patrician houses and the ancient church complex of St. Francis. After a stroll through its narrow streets, the path leads into the vineyards and olive groves. Umbria’s most famous wine, Sagrantino di Montefalco, is named after this place and there are some of the best wineries in the area. On our first day of hiking, we will visit a winery where you get a brief overview of the local wine world. Montefalco lies on a hilltop surrounded by a picturesque landscape. The view sweeps far over the Umbrian countryside, in the distance you can see Assisi and Monte Subasio. In the afternoon, we invite you to an “aperitif” at the place of a friendly young winemaker who also produces tasty goat cheese in his biodynamic farm. You will try some of his products before heading back to the agriturismo.
Walking time on this day approx. 4 hours walking time, 11 km, altitude difference +/- 250 m
Picturesque villages, olive oil and a cozy farmhouse
3rd day: A short bus ride takes us to Gualdo Cattaneo, a picturesque place with an impressive fortress. From here, the hike leads through forests, vineyards and olive groves, always with beautiful views of the surrounding landscape. Around noon you will reach a historic oil mill where you learn what a quality olive oil must be like, how it is produced and how to recognize it. Then, you make yourself comfortable for a delicious snack. A short walk takes you to the picturesque town of Bevagna which belongs to the “Borghi più belli d’Italia”, the most beautiful hamlets in Italy. On the way back to the accommodation we plan a stop at another Montefalco winery, this one being especially successful in the production of Sagrantino.
Walking time on this day approx. 2.5 hours walking time, 8.5 km, altitude difference +/- 250 m
The Sassovivo Abbey, the hermitage of Pale and Spello
4th day: This day is dedicated to spirituality. In the morning you will reach the Abbazia of Sassovivo, a Benedictine abbey surrounded by beautiful oak trees, some of them are the oldest trees in Umbria. The abbey still serves as a place of silence and meditation, some of its architectural details, such as the cloister, are of particular beauty. The hike then follows a historic path through the forest to the village of Pale. This place is particularly famous for its hermitage, which clings to a steep rock like a swallow’s nest. Today you can reach it and enjoy a panoramic view from there. The descent leads to the Pale waterfalls. There is an opportunity for a small picnic here. In the late afternoon, the bus takes you to Spello, one of the most beautiful places in Umbria. You can stroll around and admire its landmark the Porta Venere which dates back to Roman times. Spello is also called the “city of flowers” where once a year every street is adorned with flowers and petals. However, the locals love to decorate their entrances and small streets with colorful flowers all year round. In the afternoon, we will visit a famous winery of this particular area where organic wines have been produced for three generations.
Walking time on this day approx. 3 hours, 10 km, 150 +/- 350 vertical meters
Dolce far niente!
5th day: Day at leisure. Maybe you want to explore Assisi or Lake Trasimeno. If you would like to go on further hikes, our hiking guide will give you some advice. Dinner is not included on this day to give you the chance to try out one of the nearby restaurants. We especially recommend the restaurant L´Alchimista in the center of Montefalco. Please remember to reserve a table!
Get to know Orvieto
6th day: The bus ride leads through varied landscapes, past the town of Todi and the lake of Corbara before you reach the town of Orvieto, originally built by the Etruscans on a tuff rock. Here, you can take a short walk through the old town before we start our hike. You will enjoy spectacular views over to the rock of Orvieto. The path leads past a refreshing spring and an old fortress, across fields and through a forest before you reach the small village of Rocca di Ripesana, dominated by an impressive castle. A little further on, you reach a beautifully situated winery, which is located in a former pilgrim hostel from the 13th century. We end our day here with a taste of surprising wines and again with wonderful views over the landscape around us.
Walking time on this day approx. 4 hours, 11 km, +/- 300 vertical meters
Truffle hunting in Spoleto
7th day: We saved a special highlight for the last day. In the morning the bus will take you towards Spoleto. There is time to stop at the Church of San Pietro, which has one of the most beautiful Romanesque facades in Umbria. Then, we continue climbing up the mountain to Monteluco, where there is still a hermitage and a sacred forest. You will enjoy the very special atmosphere during a short walk before reaching a country house high up on the plateau with great views over the Appenin. The property includes its own truffle forest and after a little welcome coffee, you set off to search for truffles with Pietro, the friendly farmer and his busy truffle dogs. Around noon you will return to the courtyard, where you will be spoiled with a hearty meal together with the Umbrian family. Now it is time to taste the local truffles. In the afternoon, you will reach Spoleto where we will hike over the famous Ponti delle Torri bridge. Then, you can stroll through the small streets of the city which, like most places in the area, has a very long and eventful history.
Walking time on this day approx. 3 hours, 10 km, – 300 vertical meters
Arrivederci e alla prossima!
8th day: departure or extend your stay! eters