Walking in Umbria
This guidebook describes 40 walks in Umbria, among the ancient towns of Assisi, Perugia, Orvieto and Norcia. Known as the 'green heart' of Italy, the region of Umbria is home to hills reaching up to the Apennines and Sibillini mountains, as well as ancient villages, Roman and Etruscan ruins, dense woodland and nature reserves.
SeasonsSpring to autumn, but year-round is possible - except for mountainous areas in winter where snow is common.
CentresPerugia, Assisi, Gubbio, Norcia, Spoleto, Orvieto, Passignano sul Trasimeno, Umbertide, Montone
DifficultyWalks are graded 1-3, from easy to difficult.
Must SeeAssisi, Lago Trasimeno and its islands, Spoleto and its famous aqueduct bridge, Monte Cucco, Piano Grande di Castelluccio and Norcia in the Sibillini, wonderful Valnerina and its railway line, Monte Tezio over the upper Tiber valley, glorious Orvieto and the medieval way from Lago Bolsena, medieval Gubbio.
Umbria – the ‘green heart’ of Italy – is a region of rolling hills and woodlands that lies just north of Rome and south-east of Florence, bordering Tuscany and the Sibillini. Providing inspiration to writers and painters over the centuries, this area also offers walkers hundreds of kilometres of waymarked paths to enjoy from the spring right through to the autumn.
Routes set off from such charming Umbrian towns as Assisi, Perugia, Gubbio, Orvieto and Norcia, passing through meadows and forests and onto rocky, rugged hills.
Umbria is like an undiscovered Tuscany - its landscapes and towns are just as beautiful but prices are lower and you are likely to have the footpaths to yourself. This is the first English-language guide to the whole region.
- 40 graded day walks for a wide range of abilities
- lots of information about the region’s culture and history
- useful glossary and contact information for accommodation providers across the region
A potted history
Plants and flowers
When to go
What to take
Dos and don’ts
Using this guide
1 Alta Val Tiberina, Gubbio and Monte Cucco
Walk 1 Monte Santa Maria Tiberina
Walk 2 Monte Falcone
Walk 3 Rocca d’Aries
Walk 4 Monte Tezio
Walk 5 Monte Foce
Walk 6 Above Gubbio
Walk 7 Monte Cucco
Walk 8 Val di Rio Freddo
2 Lago Trasimeno and environs
Walk 9 Tuoro and Monte Gualandro
Walk 10 Passignano Ridge
Walk 11 Isola Maggiore
Walk 12 Isola Polvese
Walk 13 Montemelino and Montesperello
Walk 14 Paciano and Monte Pausillo
Walk 15 Monte Arale
3 Orvieto and Todi
Walk 16 Orvieto ring walk
Walk 17 Orvieto Aqueduct loop
Walk 18 Orvieto to Bolsena
Walk 19 Titignano Loop
Walk 20 Titignano to Roccaccia
Walk 21 Civitella del Lago
Walk 22 Todi and the River Tiber
Walk 23 Vasciano–Montenero
4 Assisi and around
Walk 24 Bettona–Collemancio
Walk 25 Monte Subasio
Walk 26 Spello and Monte Pietrolungo
Walk 27 Bevagna to Montefalco
5 Spoleto and the Valnerina
Walk 28 Spoleto and Monteluco
Walk 29 Giro dei Condotti
Walk 30 Spoleto to Sant’Anatolia di Narco
Walk 31 Valnerina
Walk 32 Monte Coscerno
Walk 33 Roccaporena to Cascia
Walk 34 Monte Meraviglia
6 Norcia and the Sibillini
Walk 35 Preci and Sant’Eutizio
Walk 36 Campi to Norcia
Walk 37 Monte Patino
Walk 38 Monte delle Rose
Walk 39 Piano Grande di Castelluccio
Walk 40 Dogana Loop
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Italian-English Glossary
Appendix C Useful contacts
Sketch maps are provided alongside each walk in this guidebook. Key landmarks and as much useful detail as possible have been crammed in, dictated by limits of space and graphics. In many cases these maps, along with the detailed route description, are sufficient for the walk. However, it is always a good idea to get hold of the larger commercial maps for many reasons: they put places in a wider context, help you identify points of interest, enable you to plot your own routes, and, last but definitely not least, are an essential tool for orientation if you lose your way. Almost all of Umbria is covered by carta dei sentieri (walking maps). Relevant maps are listed below with their title, scale, publisher and the walks they cover – although a handful of routes in this guide are not covered by a printed map. Many are available free of charge at tourist offices while others can be purchased locally or online from Florence-based www.stella-alpina.com, as well as bookshops and outdoor specialists overseas.
- Alto Tevere Umbro, Fogli Umbertide e Gubbio 1:40,000 Monte Merli Editrice (Walks 2, 3)
- Alto Tevere Umbro, Fogli Città di Castello e Cagli 1:40,000 Monte Merli Editrice (Walk 1)
- Camminare in Umbria, Trasimeno-Medio Tevere 1:50,000 Istituto Geografico Adriatico (Walks 4, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 24, 27)
- Gubbio Carta dei Sentieri 1:25,000 Club Alpino Italiano Sezione di Gubbio (Walks 5, 6)
- Monti di Spoleto e della Media Valnerina 1:25,000 SER (Walks 28, 29, 30, 31, 32)
- Monti Sibillini 1:25,000 SER (Walks 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40)
- Monti Sibillini Cascia-Norcia sheet 666 1:50,000 Kompass (Walks 34, 37, 38, 39, 40)
- Orvietano e Trasimeno 1:50,000 Istituto Geografico Adriatico (Walk 18)
- Parco del Lago Trasimeno e Zone Limitrofe 1:25,000 Monte Merli Editrice (Walks 9, 10, 11, 12, 14)
- Parco del Monte Cucco 1:25,000 Monte Meru Editrice (Walks 7, 8)
- Parco del Monte Subasio 1:25,000 Monte Merli Editrice (Walks 25, 26)
Parco Fluviale del Tevere 1:25,000 Monte Merli Editrice (Walks 19, 20, 21, 22)
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There's been an increase in cases of TBE (tick-borne encephalitis) across Europe, Italy included. Walkers should be aware that they may pick up ticks while walking through grass and woodland up to approx 1500 metres altitude. Not all ticks carry the disease but better safe than sorry. Simple precautions and plenty of useful information is available on the website: https://ecdc.europa.eu/en/tick-borne-encephalitis. Vaccination is also an option.
p83 some waymarks are reportedly missing on the descent to the chapel so take care. Don't hesitate to turn back if you're uncertain about the way to go.
For the Sibillini walks, check the Facebook page of the park http://www.facebook.com/pages/parco-dei-monti-sibillini/61831404807
Chapter 6 around Norcia and the Sibillini mountains: The area has undergone extensive damage due to recent earthquakes and walkers should avoid these areas for the time being.
Chapter 5 - Walks 30-34. The Valnerina: This area has also undergone extensive damage due to recent earthquakes and walkers should avoid these areas for the time being.
Walk 23: the Ponte Romano is being repaired but a new bridge nearby allows you to do the walk
Walk 28: Ponte delle Torri is currently closed so slot into the walk at San Pietro.
(Thanks to Linda Baker)
August 2016Warning from the Italian Mountain Rescue:In the wake of the disastrous earthquake on August 24, continuing earth tremors have caused rockfalls and path damage in the Sibillini mountains. Walkers are advised to check locally before embarking on walks and for the time being avoid canyons and ridges routes.
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Gillian Price has trekked throughout Asia and the Himalayas, but now lives in Venice and is exploring the mountains and flatter bits of Italy. Starting in the Italian Dolomites, Gillian has written outstanding Cicerone guides to walking all over Italy as well as Corsica and Corfu. An adamant promoter of public transport to minimise environmental impact, Gillian belongs to Mountain Wilderness and is an active member of the Venice branch of CAI, the Italian Alpine Club.View Articles and Books by Gillian Price
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