Discover The Best Of Italy In Umbria

Discover the best of Italy in Umbria on a culinary adventure. From a cheese and mozzarella farm to wineries, learn about local food and drink while enjoying mountain views from your cosy country home. The region is also known for its olive orchards and vineyards that stretch to the horizon. Umbrian cuisine combines tradition with experimentation, and there are plenty of rustic bars where you can try a typical torta al testo.

1. Olive Oil

In autumn, you might stroll among olive groves and see harvesters gathering olives from the trees. Or, in November, you might visit Spello during its famous olive oil festival, a time when the streets are filled with stands of roasted chestnuts and new oil, roving bands of musicians, and families eager to share fabulous food based on old Umbrian recipes.

While traditional Umbrian restaurants serve dishes made from local ingredients, younger chefs are experimenting with combinations of flavors and using contemporary cooking methods. Zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta and truffles are one example of this trend. You might also find pasta uniquely Umbrian, including strangozzi, handmade fettuccine made with a dough of flour, semolina, and oil, covered in hefty gratings of black truffle. Or try ciriole, square-shaped noodles made from a similar eggless dough that’s served with lamb ragu d’Angelo.

2. Wine

From smooth, cypress-lined hilltop towns to peaceful wooded valleys and fortified medieval hamlets, Italy travel Holiday in Umbria is a natural paradise. Visit ancient ruins and 11th century churches, savour traditional dishes, and sample the region’s wines. Umbria’s wine was once characterised by its straight-forward simplicity, and it’s still known for crisp Orvieto whites, but Montefalco produces some wonderful deep reds as well.

In restaurants, a favourite is the ‘grigliata mista’ (mixed grill), typically including sausage, grilled lamb and a big bistecca di Chianina from local white cows. You should also try a hearty ragu from Orvieto, or the luscious red mullet alla livornese.

3. Mushrooms

In autumn, when the weather turns cooler and the harvest season is winding down, it’s mushroom time. Foraging for these precious woodland delicacies is a beloved pastime in Umbria, and from late summer through the fall, woods across the region are invaded by basket-toting funghi devotees with their eyes peeled and ears pricked for encroaching competitors. Mushroom lovers rejoice over the bounty, especially the king of all mushrooms: Porcini. Whether served with tagliatelle pasta or tossed in risotto, these delicate but flavorful fungi ennoble even the most rustic of dishes.

Enjoy the culinary highlights of central Italy on this culinary-fueled vacation, complete with a cooking class that will provide skills to last you a lifetime (and stronger than any material souvenir). Have your own car to tailor your trip to your interests, exploring picturesque landscapes or taking day trips to nearby towns and cities.

4. Risotto

Stanley Tucci called Umbria “the green heart of Italy, not a jealous heart but a fertile one.” So, it’s no wonder that this countryside region is teeming with ancient Roman churches, medieval castles and secluded family farmhouses. Risotto is a must-try when you visit this part of Italy. This dish is made from a combination of rice, stock and cheeses. The best risotto is done when the rice is al dente and suspended in a thick, creamy sauce.

Try this delicious recipe with spring vegetables like radicchio, asparagus and peas, and add a little chopped parsley and a sprinkle of Pecorino cheese on top. This dish makes a wonderful lunch served with a poached egg for an even more filling meal. Enjoy with a glass of local Umbrian wine.

5. Pizza

Often dubbed the ‘green heart of Italy’, Umbria is a small rural region with a rich history and wild beauty. Untouched by coastline or national borders, it reflects this in its Explore Italy Best Italian food culture: a meaty cuisine with rustic dishes that have been passed down through generations. For example, porchetta – slow-roasted pork served in a roll with chopped intestines and garlic – is a classic. Umbrian mushroom dishes also feature heavily, as the dense woodlands are a treasure chest of tasty morsels.

Cheeses are another regional delicacy. From sweet and creamy to cave-aged and sharp, they are as boldly flavoured as the landscape that inspired them. Enjoy with a glass of local wine for a simple yet delicious aperitivo. Or use as a filling in the famous flatbread known as Torta al Testo (or Crescia in the North) when stuffed with cured meats and wild greens.


The best Italian food comes in every region, and one of our favourites is the northern delicacy of burrata. This soft, creamy cheese is a delight. In Emilia Romagna, the capital Bologna is renowned for its Bolognese and is also home to Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and balsamic vinegar. Look out for the pungent truffles in Piedmont too.

James William

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