Casa San Gabriel offers its guest the opportunity to explore numerous places of historial importance and beauty. Below is a brief summary of some of those that can be visited on day trips in both Umbria, Tuscany and Le Marche.
A good general website for Umbria is http://www.umbriaonline.com/
A good general website for Le Marche is http://www.paradisepossible.com/
Arezzo – Tuscany (approx 1 hour)
Famous Tuscan city with a magnificent square and many wonderful restaurants to sit and enjoy the views. The setting of the film ‘A beautiful Life’.
The first sunday of every month Arezzo holds its famous antiques market. Hundreds of Antique traders set up their stalls in the piazzas and streets of Arezzo, the sites, sounds and atmosphere should not be missed.
Assisi – Umbria (approx 30 mins)
The birthplace of St Francis, Assisi is of course a must on a trip to Umbria . The crowds can be overwhelming but I don’t believe much can take away from the magnificence of the Basilica.
Above Assisi is the Eremo di Carcere (Hermitage) which is an old monastery built near the caves used by St Francis and the tree where he preached to the birds.
Cortona – Tuscany (approx 45 mins)
Beautiful Tuscan hill top town,with a wonderful square and a great walk to the top of the town. From the top there are magnificent views across the countryside. Recently famous for France’s Mayes book ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ and the recent film.
Florence – Tuscany (approx 1 1/2 hours)
It is possible to take a day trip to Florence, either by driving or train. It takes approx 1 ½ hours to drive to Florence and we can direct you to a good car park on the outskirts which has a shuttle service into the centre. Alternatively it is possible to take a train from Tertontola station and leave your car there.
Gubbio – Umbria (approx 30 mins)
Gubbio is one of the most perfect of Umbria’s medieval hill towns, it’s atmospheric streets and alleys are unspoiled and not on the main tourist trail. The town is set at the feet of the Apennines and the views from all around are quite spectacular. The main square is halfway up the town and houses the Palazzo dei Consoli, which is a vast 14thcentury palace.
There is a great walk to the Basilica which is high above Gubbio, it does take a good hour or so but there is also a funicular (cable car) that will take you there – either way it is worth it for the views.
Orvieto – Umbria (approx 1 hour)
Orvieto is home to what is said to be Italy’s finest Gothic Cathedral and the façade really is truly magnificent. Inside is Signorelli’s fresco cycle of ‘The Last Judgement’, for which you have to buy a ticket in the information shop opposite the cathedral. It is a bit further, but worth it for the cathedral (one of Umbria’s key sights), and could be combined with a wine tour of the area. (see wine touring section)
Montone – Umbria (approx 20 mins)
A small but just wonderful hilltop town. There are some great restaurants here and quite often the town will be hosting an event, including dancing in the square on New Years Eve and the summer fiestas.
Norcia – Umbria (approx 1 1/2 hours )
Said to be Umbria’s gastronomic capital, famed for its hams, salamis and wild boars. The town gives its name to the Norcineria, the porkbutcher’s shop and the Norcini, the butchers themselves.
Todi – Umbria (approx 45 mins)
Todi has a magnificent position perched on top of a hill with picture postcard views all around. It is home to quite a large proportion of ex-pats and has a high tourist profile, with a main square of austere beauty, some wonderful streets and alleys and some good shops and restaurants.
Perugia – Umbria (approx 20mins)
Perugia is the capital of Umbria, and is famous for the Umbrian Jazz festival which is held at the end of July. It has the normal ugly suburbs and a mad traffic system. But the ancient centre is wonderful, full of monuments to its Etruscan, Roman and medieval past. The best car park is at Piazza Partigiani, where you can take the escalators up through the original walls of the fortress of Perugia.
The Corso Vannucci is the main (pedestrianised) street, where you will find some great shops and where you can join in the evening ‘passeggiata’. On the Corso, which are all well worth visiting are: Palazzo dei Priori, the Collegio di Cambio, Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria and the Duomo.
Lago Trasimeno – Umbria (approx 25 mins)
In addition to the water sports on offer (see section on activities) there are some wonderful that surround the lake. Castiglione is a beutiful medival city and Passignano has a lovely promenade to walk along and some godo fish restaurants to the enjoy. You can take boat rides out to the islands of Maggiore and Polvese. On Isola Maggiore the old ruined castle and church are worth a visit.
(approx. 40 min)
A beautiful hill top town at the base of Monte Subasio just a few kms from Assisi. It has wonderful little streets to wander around, many gourmet restaurants and stunning views. This is worth visiting at the same time as a visit to Assisi.
Spoleto – Umbria (approx 45 mins)
A rather chic hilltown known for it summer arts festival and with plenty of artistic, historical and cultural interest.
Urbino – Le Marche (approx 1 1/2 hours)
A classic hilltop town with the Ducal Palace well worth a visit and it gives the opportunity to further explore some areas of Le Marche which as yet is not really on the tourist train but has some beautiful places to visit.