Umbria self guided walking holiday, Italy

“Experience a self guided week of walking in rural Italy, away from the crowds, with luggage transfers, maps and trip notes adding to the authentic allure of ancient Umbria.”

Highlights

Montefalco | Bevagna | Cannara | Spello | Assisi

Description of Umbria self guided walking holiday, Italy

This self guided walking holiday allows travellers to discover the green heart of Italy within the centrally located region of Umbria. This lesser-visited area is incredibly beautiful with small towns and villages scattered across a typically Italian landscape featuring olive groves and vineyards. Ancient cultural heritage abounds within authentic local products, among them the tastiest extra virgin olive oil in Italy (especially the one from Spello) and some of the noblest wines, including Sagrantino and Rosso di Montefalco, best enjoyed in at a wine cellar in Montefalco.

You’ll hike for around 10kms per day along unknown Etruscan paths and ancient Roman roads to medieval villages like Montefalco, Bevagna, Cannara, Spello and Assisi. Each village is like a jewel waiting to be discovered; places where you can enjoy freshly made food and wine and chat with local people. Walking through the narrow streets you can imagine that you are in ancient times and you will be able to easily appreciate the historic links between cultural heritage, cuisine and wine, and traditions that make Umbria a wonderful place from where to appreciate the Italian way of life.

In the small hillside town of Montefalco you’ll find “the balcony of Umbria” which is famed for its breathtaking panoramas. There is also the San Francesco museum, which features the Benozzo Gozzoli frescoes and one of the Nativities painted by il Perugino. Traditional lace and cloth work is on display throughout the town as are several cellars offering regional red and white wines.

In Bevagna you can visit the incredibly well preserved Roman and medieval buildings and enjoy local dishes in one of its small taverns. From Bevagna you can walk to Cannara, a little medieval town built on the banks of the river Topino. The name Cannara is derived from “canna,” meaning rushes, indicating that the land was once underwater.

Spello is another little jewel of a town that maintains all its features from the past. For the art lovers, Spello is well known for its wonderful frescoes by Pinturicchio which can be found in the 12th century church of S. Maria Maggiore. You will also find a couple of excellent enoteques (regional wine stockist) and two extra special restaurants.

Collepino is a very small village, the perfect place to pause for thought on a self guided walking holiday in Umbria. We suggest taking in the old aqueduct, the well preserved remains of the castle and the Romanic Abbazia.

Last, but not least, a visit to Assisi. You can reach it through two different paths: “sentiero degli olivi” (the olive groves path) or the Saint Francis’ path. Sightseeing in Assisi will no doubt consist of the Basilica di San Francesco, Giotto’s frescoes on the Upper Basilica, several chapels and the crypt in the Lower Basilica. Moreover, you can walk for an entire day admiring the Basilica di Santa Chiara, the Duomo di San Rufino, and walk uphill to the Eremo delle Carceri.

Umbria really is an excellent option for responsible travellers interested in self guided walking against an authentic rural backdrop, far from the crowds flocking to neighbouring Tuscany.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Umbria self guided walking holiday, Italy

Environment

1) We support a local NGO, TAMAT, that is working on a project to develop sustainable mobility (H2power project) and we buy their gadgets to fund their activities. They are working, with other partners, on developing a demonstrator vehicle that is using as fuel a variable mixture of methane and hydrogen, that can be produced from renewable energy sources. They also organize awareness raising events for citizens and students about sustainable development and mobility and about the solution to preserve our environment.
2) We support the set up of the Foundation “Archeologia Arborea” in Città di Castello, which aims are to support biodiversity, the identification and multiplication of varieties of fruit trees that are disappearing because not as productive as the modern ones, protection of the landscape, support to sustainable development. The Foundation will take care, develop, reproduce and spread the different varieties of old and typical fruit trees that is the heritage of the San Lorenzo Collection, that includes 400 trees (apple, pear, cherry, plum, fig, almond, quince and medlar trees) that have been found in Central Italy and reproduced to avoid their extinction.
3) The goal of the Umbria Region is to achieve the 65% of separate collection of rubbish in a few years. Some of the 92 Umbria municipalities have reached it yet. We help support Umbria environment giving to our clients information to support recycling explaining how to divide rubbish and where to throw it away. The most common categories of rubbish are: organic waste, non-recyclable waste and recyclable waste (paper, plastic, tin and glass). In the streets or in the hotels and B&B, you will find several containers that have different colours and have a label -written only in Italian- explaining what it must collect, so we provide our travellers with a simple guide with instructions to sustain recycling: check our little guide before disposing of your garbage to be eco-friendly!

Community

1) We give to our clients a list of farmers’ markets: true open air food shops from the producer to the consumer, vegetables organically grown and “zero kilometers” far. Buying and tasting their products is a way to support small local producers that otherwise risk to disappear. Farmers’ markets in Umbria are part of a project called “ Campagna Amica” that identifies and safeguards Italian and certified farmers’ products. In these markets you can find women producing buffalo mozzarella and cheeses, farmers with fresh fruit and vegetables (there is also a cooperative that sells products grown in a jail by prisoners), producing and selling typical flours and beans and so on. We support all of them buying their products and organizing, when possible, tasting of their products.
2) We are associated to Le Mat - social entrepreneurs in tourism. This is their manifesto: " We would like a tourism able to open the minds towards those who are different from us, a tourism where you can meet people who are curious to meet you; where through travelling and discovering unfamiliar methods, thoughts and actions you can listen to thousands of stories and experiences of different cultures of local communities willing to exchange with and to welcome who come from abroad ...". We work with their franchisees, for example with an hostel located in the most beautiful square of one of the Medieval cities where the tour will bring you, that was once a convent of nuns. They promote meetings with local people living in the village, as Luciana, a woman that handweaves wool dyed only with vegetal colours from saffron and onion.

12 Reviews of Umbria self guided walking holiday, Italy

4.5 out of 5 stars
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5
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Reviewed on 20 Jun 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The Spello loop walk within Mount Subasio park, views were stunning and the visit to Collepino where we enjoyed a drink at La Locanda made a perfect
Sunday. Plus throughout the week, the passion and customer service of the hotel staff, B&B restaurant & shop owners for their local area and produce.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Go with the local recommendations for eating out and places of interest, especially Scottaditos in Bevagna. Consider an extra day in Assisi at the end of the walk, as it is nice to have time to relax at the hotel but there are also places to see.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes it benefitted local people by supporting small local businesses

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent, it was the first time we had been on a self-guided walking holiday and we were very impressed with the organisation, the bag pick-up, the routes and
the chosen accommodation; they all had something different to offer. Relatively easy walking, great scenery, butterflies, wild flowers with good food and
wine and places of interest.

Reviewed on 09 Jun 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The walks were splendid. We also loved the small cities we visited, but the walks between (and near) them gave us a perspective on the region we couldn't
have had from visiting the towns alone.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Walking early in the day during warm weather was good. That gave us plenty of time to see the towns we arrived in, and made the walks more pleasant.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. The hotels and restaurants we visited were all locally owned and managed. We enjoyed being able to see so much without a car.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was excellent. The arrangements were exactly as described, directions for the walks were clear and accurate, and the locations where we stayed and walked
were lovely.

Reviewed on 21 Apr 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Meeting our host in Bevagna, the hotel was just exquisite and his company excellent

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?




3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes I believe it did benefit local people, we stopped in independent hotels along the route

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent holiday, we were a small group of two couples who enjoyed the walking, the places we visited and immersing ourselves in all that Umbria could offer

Reviewed on 18 May 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Walking along quiet lanes beside olive groves listening to Cuckoo's and nightingales. Seeing the walled towns in the distance and then getting the chance to explore them, visit museums and churches and eat really good food and drink local wines. We would have liked to stay longer with our host in Bevagna, Frederico and maybe included wine tastings etc.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Ask for slightly different itinerary to avoid Cannara, make sure you do the walk from Spello up to the mediaeval village but take food and drink as bar may be closed. You don't need to get your own maps as all directions were clear. Have a day in Perugia if you can and use suggestions for where to eat.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We used small hotels and local restaurants, walking was environmentally friendly and were given recycling bags to help sort our rubbish.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Organisation by tour operator and contact with them was really good. Our disappointment with visit to Cannara is recognised and they are trying to rejig the route. This is the only thing that stops holiday getting 5 stars as all the other stops and accommodation were great.

Reviewed on 19 Sep 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


It is very hard to say that as it was all brilliant. The most memorable bits might be the tasting dinner at Villa Colle di Rocco near Cannara, and visiting the lower church in San Francesco in Assisi at 8.15 am while mass was being sung in the chapel of St Francis's tomb and we only had to share it with three other people. The most exciting might have been the sudden view of Collepino after a long uphill walk.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


You can totally rely on the arrangements made for this holiday. They did everything perfectly - lovely people, wonderful places to stay in overnight, very well chosen routes between the places we visited, and a brilliant selection of villages and towns to see. And it all worked just as they had said it would.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Our tour operator are clearly working very hard to create low-impact tourism. They chose places for us to stay which were clearly run by local people who were thinking carefully about what they did. They encouraged us to recycle rubbish and enabled us to return any material we did not need at the end of the holiday.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We knew nothing about Umbria and were totally enchanted by it because of this wonderful introduction.

Reviewed on 10 Sep 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The beautiful towns in which we stayed, the walking and the passionate hoteliers and B&B people we met. So knowledgeable about Umbria's history, it's products (wine, cheese, figs, olives etc).

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Go with the flow, walk in the mornings if it's hot and then have a siesta on arrival at the other end. Or enjoy the town you wake up in, in the morning and walk
in the afternoons when everything is closed. Look up the check in times of the B&B you are walking to. Take the eating recommendations given to you by the people you are staying with.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


10 out of 10!

Reviewed on 13 Jul 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


I very much enjoyed this holiday, and especially enjoyed visiting the various medieval towns, which all had their own character. The Umbrian countryside was green and gentle and a delight to walk through. I also enjoyed the accommodation, which again was varied, but each place very special.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The walking notes were detailed and easy to follow, so don't have any worries about that. The walks were not arduous, and I found that I could walk in the morning and be at my destination by lunchtime, giving me plenty of time to look around. It was quite hot during my holiday which was another reason for walking in the morning.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, the accommodation was in small, locally run establishments, and local restaurants were recommended. There was also an emphasis on recycling.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


An excellent short holiday, run by local people. I would very much recommend our tour operator. I would also recommend Umbria.

Reviewed on 05 Oct 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Meeting local people,visiting places not on the mainstream tourist list and learning about life in Umbria; walking around an area you would not usually visit
or see. Some of the history is fascinating and unexpected - the Etruscans, for example. All the places we visited were charming and had lots of points of
interest (Assisi was the exception) without many of the less attractive aspects of tourism - gift shops etc. Sampling local food and drink - in Spello we met a
local wine merchant and his family; learned a lot about local wines and their production, ate some very nice food. The accommodation was excellent, it was
varied but all of a very good standard and the owners were all extremely friendly, welcoming and helpful. Far better than the rather impersonal service you can get with bigger resorts.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Do some homework on the various places you visit and spend some time exploring them before going on the various walks. Each place has something of
interest to visit or learn about and the local people are wonderful and friendly to speak to and talk about their area.
On the walks make sure you take something to eat and especially supplies of water or drinks - there are not many places to get these in-between the various
towns. Remember also some places close down for the afternoons between 1pm and 4pm a least; Cannara for example is also closed entirely on a Tuesday.
The walking itself is mostly on straightforward tracks and paths, comfortable footwear is recommended but need not be heavy boots etc. In September we
found the early mornings and evenings significantly cooler so light trousers and a warm top are recommended.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I hope so. Our accommodation was almost invariably with small, local B&B's rather than hotel chains. Recommendations for places to eat centred on local
restaurants and the accommodation owners are happy also to recommend places to go. The holiday provider were also at pains to ensure the routes we took were established pathways and we were provided with various bags to put recyclable materials in etc. This is our third trip with Responsible Travel and we have
very much appreciated the efforts to use local businesses.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Firstly this was a very well organised holiday by the holiday provider. We were able to contact them beforehand with queries and arrangements; they were very
flexible in their arrangements so the holiday was planned around our needs- just ask if you wish to incorporate something, we found Cristina to be very
accommodating. They met us at the station and the transfer of our luggage each day was done very efficiently. Each accommodation were ready for our
arrival at whatever time we turned up. The routes were thoughtfully and well planned with clear maps and directions; it took a lot of the effort away from us
and helped us enjoy the places more.
We would have no hesitation in recommending this holiday and Umbria as a destination; it's full of history, wonderful scenery and people. Worth the star
rating - excellent holiday.

Reviewed on 29 Jun 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


This was a terrific trip. And it was, literally, a last minute choice for us. We were originally scheduled to travel to France, but flooding and the continued rain forecast caused us to seek a last-minute itinerary change. As it turned out, this was a welcomed change.

The journey through Umbria, "Italy's green heart," is gorgeous. The villages were lovely, the people kind and welcoming and the hotels/B&Bs were all comfortable, clean and very accommodating.

Historically, we've done all of the leg-work and booking. We've created our own walking journeys, found and booked hotels and booked the inn-to-inn luggage transfer. We'll never do that again, thanks to Responsible Travel and the team at Italian Delights. Everything met or exceeded our expectations. Luggage transfer occurred seamlessly and the hotels were always expecting us (usually with our luggage already in our rooms); and there was never any confusion about hotel payment.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


This is a leisurely walking journey. Most walks are flat and the distances are 10k or less. So if you're seeking a lung-busting exercise routine, this isn't a trip for you. But, if you're looking for a beautiful destination with walks that'll take just under 3 hours each day; you've found it.

Our typical day involved waking up late, eating the lovely breakfasts provided by our hosts, leaving the hotel around 10a to buy some snacks and water, then walking to our next destination. We'd usually arrive at the next village in time for lunch and an early check-in at our next hotel, Then a walk through town, a nap, a late dinner, and repeat. For us - that's a perfect vacation!

There's enough actively to burn off some of your wine and 4 course dinners; but as noted, it's not a challenging journey. Like a great "slow food" event, this is a great "slow vacation."

2 of the walks were moderately more strenuous than others. Canarra to Spello was 18k and ended with a nice uphill climb. And Spello to Assisi also had about a 300m elevation (which felt like it all happened within a single kilometer).

If you're a dogmatic fitbit freak, you'll easily get your 15k steps a day on this journey. We typically logged over 20k steps a day between the inn-to-inn journey and then the local walking at destination. It felt just right.

Montefalco, Bevagna, Spello and Assisi were great villages. Canarra definitely ranked lowest as a destination attraction. Not much to see there; but we did have a GREAT DINNER at Perbacco. And the walk from Canarra to Spello was "just right." Long enough at 18k to get a solid exercise and the views were stunning.

If there's a way to recreate the walk from Bevagna to Spello - entirely eliminating the Canarra stop (while still capturing the beauty of Canarra to Spello walk) - I'd recommend that.

And the team at the holiday providers made this journey SO EASY. Their preparation was PERFECT. And it was very easy to do business with them. They were absolutely delightful! I highly recommend them.



3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I did. The team at the holiday providers is just 3 working women. We definitely benefited this local operation; and they also booked small, local, operators.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


This was a lovely holiday. It exceeded our expectations. It's 5 star worthy, but wasn't "Simply the best holiday I have ever been on." It was among my top 10% of all vacations. We just loved it.

Reviewed on 08 Mar 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


We loved walking into each walled medieval town - traveling on foot made us feel a bit like pilgrims! Each one was more beautiful than the last, although we were especially grateful to have hiked to Colepino, since it was so much smaller and less touristic than the others.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Speak in advance with the operator if you wish for a more strenuous tour than the one offered - we were very happy to have a 24 km day included in our trip at our request.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes - the entire enterprise was family run, and each of our hotels seemed locally owned.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Wonderful! Umbria is a special place and we were happy to experience it in the off season.

Reviewed on 05 Oct 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The little towns we stayed in were amazing. So full of life. Lots of places to eat.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


You may not always have a stop along the way to use the toilet or grab some water, so be prepared.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I do think it benefited local people. The inns that we stayed in were all owned by locals many of them actually inheriting the places from elderly family members. All the restaurants we dined in were small and owned by people within the towns. Everyone made us feel welcome.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was fantastic. We would do it again in a heartbeat.

Reviewed on 24 Apr 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Walking through the olive groves from Spello to Assisi was amazing as was the Spello loop that took us up to a tiny village and then back around to Spello. The accommodation was certainly above our expectations with 4 of the 5 being absolutely fantastic and all were in fabulous locations. We were given recommendations for meals and none let us down.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take up the recommendations for restaurants- they were all great. Don't hurry you have plenty of time to really enjoy the scenery. This is not a taxing walk, more a leisurely stroll so suitable for most people.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, we stayed in small B&B's ate at local restaurants so benefiting the local people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


My sister and I did this walk in March and really enjoyed it. The communication in organising and questions we had prior to the trip were all answered promptly. The accommodation above our expectations and in fabulous locations. We were given great recommendations for meals. Maps were generally easy to read with us only getting a little lost once and that due more to us than them. This is the perfect walk for people who just want an easy pace and to take in the scenery of a small piece of Umbria. All in All fabulous.

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