Special Tours in the Umbria Region

Sophisticated Italy is pleased to offer these tours, all done with our expert Umbrian art historian.

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IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF SAINT FRANCIS – ASSISI ONLY (4 hours)

Visit the walled city of Assisi, which sits on the slopes of Mount Subasio, where Saint Francis made his home. First stop is Saint Francis’ Basilica, home to two superimposed churches. The Lower basilica is from the thirteenth century, lined with frescoes depicting the life of Saint Martin. The Upper Basilica is in Gothic style with frescoes by Cimabue, and Giotto depicting scenes of realism, the beginning of the Renaissance. Next, visit the Gothic church of Saint Clare (Santa Chiara), with works influenced by Giotto. Next, enter the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli to tour the Basilica built in the sixteenth century on the site of the Porziuncola chapel along with the Cappella del Roseto and Cappella del Transito.

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF SAINT FRANCIS – ASSISI, GUBBIO (full day, car recommended)

Visit the walled city of Assisi, which sits on the slopes of Mount Subasio, where Saint Francis made his home. First stop is Saint Francis’ Basilica, home to two superimposed churches. The Lower basilica is from the thirteenth century, lined with frescoes depicting the life of Saint Martin. The Upper Basilica is in Gothic style with frescoes by Cimabue, and Giotto depicting scenes of realism, the beginning of the Renaissance. Next, visit the Gothic church of Saint Clare (Santa Chiara), with works influenced by Giotto. Next, enter the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli to tour the Basilica built in the sixteenth century on the site of the Porziuncola chapel along with the Cappella del Roseto and Cappella del Transito. A stop for lunch (on own) enjoying the great Umbrian specialties and then transfer to Gubbio on the slopes of Monte Ingino, where Saint Francis lived for part of his life. Visit to the churches of San Francesco, Santa Maria Nuova and Sant’Agostino both with frescoes by Ottaviano Nelli.

INTERNATIONAL GOTHIC ART (3 hours, car recommended)

Tour begins in the town of Foligno, one of the very few Umbrian cities built in the plains. First stop, the Palazzo Trinci where you will see the frescoed chapel by Ottaviano Nelli, which has been beautifully preserved. In Gubbio, visit the churches of San Francesco, Santa Maria Nuova and Sant’Agostino, all fine examples of gothic architecture from the 1200s with fresco-lined walls. Here you can imagine what it was like to live in medieval times.

RENAISSANCE ART AND SCULPTURE IN PERUGIA —TUSCAN AND UMBRIAN MASTERS (3 hours)

This tour focuses on the landscapes and stylish compositions of Umbrian painters. First stop, the Umbrian National Gallery located in the Prior’s Palace viewing works by Beato Angelico, Benozzo Gozzoli, Piero della Francesca, and masters Perugino and Pinturicchio. Proceed to the Collegio del Cambio (exchange building) where money was exchanged. Here, view frescoes by Perugino and his pupils. Stroll down the winding streets to the Chapel of San Severo with further works by Perugino and Raffaello. Continue to the Duomo of San Lorenzo visiting its museum with works by Agostino di Duccio and Signorelli’s Madonna and Saints. Finish the tour with a walk down the picturesque Via dei Priori to the Oratory of St. Bernardine, Duccio’s Renaissance jewel.

THE WORKS OF LUCA SIGNORELLI IN THE UPPER TIBER VALLEY (3 hours, car recommended)

Signorelli is one of the most noted expressive Tuscan Renaissance painters. The tour begins in the town of Città di Castello along the Tiber valley on the spot where the Romans had founded the township of Tifernum Tiberinum. The Pinacoteca is located in the Duomo Museum. In the town of La Morra to visit the Oratory of San Crescentino that treasures frescoes of Signorelli. In Umbertide, you will view the Deposition from the Cross located in the Museum of Santa Croce, one of the last works of his career.

MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART IN UMBRIA (4 hours, car recommended)

Visits to Città di Castello for the Alberto Burri Foundation located in the Palazzo Albizzini, Umbertide for the Rocca or citadel, Perugia for the Museo dell’Accademia di Belle Arti and the Palazzo della Penna, Spello for the Villa Fidelia, Trevi for the Flash Art museum and Spoleto for the Gallery of Modern Art.

ETRUSCAN AND ROMAN PERUGIA (3 hours) – for return visitors to Umbria

Visit the capital city of Umbria, an Etruscan walled city, with an emphasis on Etruscan and Roman history. First stop, the gateway of Porta Marzia from the second century B.C. leading to an unusual underground street with homes from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Then a visit to two of the most noted monuments in Perugia, the Etruscan Well where water still runs through, and the Arch of Augustus built of enormous block stones. Lastly, a visit to the National Archaeological Museum of Umbria with a remarkable collection of Etruscan urns and bronze works.

Your last stop will be a visit to the Necropolis (cemetery) built into the rocks to see the tombs of the wealthy Roman Volumni family from the second century.