Where Tuscany came first, Umbria followed. The gap between property prices in the two regions is narrowing, but those seeking greater value for money than Tuscany’s prized Val d’Orcia or Chianti could look at the area that surrounds Orvieto in Umbria and is within easy reach of Rome. Alternatively, there are the hills north of Perugia, a cultural and artistic town (its jazz festival in July is an annual highlight) with an ancient university and an airport.
Prices are similarly competitive in Todi, once the favoured summer escape for Romans and popular with artists and photographers. It’s also a hub for artistry of the culinary variety, with the likes of Quantum, a restaurant and adjoining shop that specialises in organic local produce.
Umbria offers mesmerizing countryside for complete escape and captivating towns when culture and social life are called for. This blend appeals to retirees, but also to families looking for a holiday home that will keep everyone happy.
The climate in Umbria and Tuscany depends on where you are and when, the climate depends on the elevation and lay of the land in each particular area. Around Lago Trasimeno, Italy's 4th-largest lake, a milder, more "Mediterranean" micro-climate prevails. July and August tend to be hot everywhere - roughly mid 20s to mid 30s centigrade (80s to low 90s fahrenheit) and sometimes spike higher. Winter months remain mild and temperate with moderate rainfall.
Perugia, the regional capital of Umbria, was once one of the great Italian city states but proximity to Rome meant that it was absorbed into the Papal States in the mid 1500’s. Papal rule did no favours for the town other than the lack of investment and high taxes meant that today the city centre has very few new buildings. Today Perugia is famous for chocolate production and a lively jazz festival held in July. Its typical steep streets offer unexpected glimpses of ancient houses and the surrounding distant green hills.
Though not vast, Umbria's geography is varied and classically beautiful. Against a backdrop of snowy mountains stand high wooded hills crowned with stunning medieval villages built from the stone they cling to; below them lie wandering rivers (including the Tiber) and rushing streams, lush valleys rising to rolling vineyards and wheat fields.
Umbria is a treasure trove of the Romanesque and Gothic styles, with fine museums and world class architecture and art at every turn. Distinctive also for its local specialities; from renowned Umbrian wines from the popular Orvieto and Sagrantino di Montefalco to excellent locally produced micro-vineyards, and a plethora of succulent local dishes to be found in restaurants, neighbourhood alimentari and weekly farmers markets. "Sagras," food-based festivals that spring up in one village after another from Spring till winter, celebrate these local dishes, while Fiestas with a religious focus generally culminate in spectacular fireworks displays.
Perugia is well served by excellent air, road and train links. International direct flights from London Stansted arrive directly to the local airport at Sant’Egidio. Good train links and direct road access from Florence and Rome to Perugia make the area easily accessible.
Type of property in Umbria
Lesser known than the neighbouring region of Tuscany, Umbria has many hidden gems on offer and house prices are generally more attractive than Chianti and Siena. Properties on offer comprise of partly or fully restored traditional stone farmhouses, large period villas, restored apartments in small borgos or total restoration projects of ruined buildings. Preferred locations such as Cortona, the Niccone Valley, Città di Castello, Orvieto and Todi present good opportunities to buy Italian property for sale in an area famous for its high quality wine, locally produced olive oil and excellent meat, cheese and truffle farming.
The Niccone Valley is one of the beautiful green Umbrian valleys bordering with Tuscany and offering a range of villas with impressive views and stunning scenery.
The Niccone Valley is well-served by excellent air, road and train links. International direct flights from London Stansted arrive directly to the local airport at Sant’Egidio. Good train links and direct road access from Florence and Rome to Perugia make the area easily accessible.
Buying real estate in Todi offers the chance to own a genuine piece of Italian history. Originally Etruscan, Todi is a beautiful hill top town, and its famous main square Piazza del Popolo is flanked by the Duomo and civic buildings such as the Palazzo del Capitano and Palazzo del Priori.
Orvieto real estate offers property hunters the opportunity to secure a home full of character in attractive surroundings at competitive prices. Orvieto is an ancient city with Etruscan origins situated in the commune of Terni in south western Umbria. Perched on the top of a hill, Orvieto still preserves the typical layout of the medieval fortress town it once was. You can stroll along its silent streets lined with Renaissance buildings and Medieval houses or explore its unique Gothic Cathedral.
Perugia is the regional capital of Umbria, once one of the great Italian city states but due to its proximity to Rome it was absorbed into the Papal States in the mid-1500’s. Today Perugia is famous for its chocolate production, and a lively jazz festival held in July. Its steep streets offer unexpected glimpses of beautiful ancient houses, and the surrounding distant green hills of Umbria.
Read more about property in Italy in our Italian View publication.