Known for its medieval hilltop towns, verdant forests and lovely local cuisine, luxury holidays to Umbria are all about slowing down and experiencing the laid-back charm of Italy's 'Green Heart'. This is a region seemingly untouched by time (and tourists), with crumbling age-old architecture and apron-wearing grandmothers making pasta by hand. For a taste of Italy's dolce vita, Umbria is the place, and it welcomes couples, families and solo travellers alike. Ripe for road trips, Umbria's heavenly hilltop towns – each one more attractive than the next – are never more than a few miles apart making
it gloriously easy to spend your days hopping between them. Well worth a visit is Perugia, the regional capital with its handsome historic centre; Orvieto, with its cobbled piazzas and weaving whisper-quiet streets; and Assisi, home to the beautiful UNESCO-listed Basilica di San Francesco church.
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Beyond the towns, Umbria's serene surroundings are dizzyingly beautiful with the same rolling cypress-topped hills, sunny vineyards and peaceful olive groves as its glitzier neighbour, Tuscany, but with only a fraction of the crowds. When it hits the heat of the day and you've not got the energy for a sweaty hike, head to Lake Trasimeno where you can enjoy refreshing dips and nap a sun lounger for the best kind of lazy afternoon. For foodies, Umbria is an absolute dream with fresh pasta made by hand, cured meats and wonderful wines all competing for your attention. Spend your days touring sunshine-splashed vineyards, foraging for truffles and hiking into the hinterland armed with a picnic for the ultimate slow-it-down-style holiday.