Umbria, enclosed between Tuscany, Marche and Lazio, is the region known by everyone as the “Green Heart” of Italy, and which presents itself to the travellers’ eyes with its sweet rolling hills and immense valleys abundant with vegetation of red and yellow patches which colour a carousel of flowers.
Imagine to lose yourself, even just for an instant, amongst the colours and beauties of this land; the red of the poppy fields and the yellow of the sunflowers blend harmoniously with the cornflowers, narcissus and lentil flowers.
A mosaic of hills, plains, mountains, waterfalls and springs characterise the sinuous contours of Umbria, not to mention the blueness of its lakes, amongst which, highlighted for its beauty and dimensions is Lake Trasimeno with its three islands.
The variety of landscapes which appear perfectly integrated convey a sensation of uncontaminated peace and tranquillity typical of Umbria.
At less than an hour and a half from Rome and a few minutes from the splendid town of Todi, you can find the ancient little village of Collevalenza.
Situated in the centre of Umbria, the ancient village invites you to discover and savour everything it has to offer; surrounded by the enchanting Umbrian hills it is the ideal destination for a relaxing weekend or for visiting the numerous locations of historical, cultural, scenic and spiritual interest making this beautiful land charming and fascinating, rich in tradition and unrivalled in its variety and splendour. In about half an hour you can reach Deruta, Perugia, Assisi, Orvieto, Spoleto and Terni. Nearby you can also find the Shrine of Merciful Love.
The visit of the city can start from the magnificent temple of “S.Maria della Consolazione”, situated at the end of a long tree-lined avenue of cypresses and horse-chestnuts, originating from the ancient convent of Montesanto to the State road of Orvieto. It was built between 1508 and 1607 almost certainly from designs by Bramante and had as master builders and architects numerous artists, from Cola da Caprarola, to Baldassarre Peruzzi, to Sanmicheli, and Ippolito Scalza, etc.
Rising towards the centre of the city along the so-called “Curva delle Cerquette” lined with pine trees, after passing the public gardens, at the end of via Augusto Ciuffelli, on the right, you can see the monument dedicated to Jacopone da Todi. At the side, a wide flight of steps designed in 1914 by the architect Cesare Bazzani, prepares the visitor for a visit of the imposing facade of the S. Fortunato Temple. Inside, in a central crypt the Bishop Cesi placed the mortal remains of Jacopone there in 1596 and in an secluded small shrine those of the patron saints of the city: Fortunato, Callisto, Cassiano, Degna and Romana. To the left of the church you can find the communal Archives and Library, while to the right in Piazza Pignattara, you will see a beautiful 15th Century cloister which prepares the visitor to the entrance of what once was the convent of the minor Observant and which today houses the "Jacopone da Todi" High School for classical and linguistic studies. Continuing on the left towards the Fortress you will notice a former Roman cistern called the Prison of S. Cassiano in that, it is believed that the Holy Bishop was imprisoned and killed there in the year 304 D.C.
And so we arrive at the Park of the Fortress (411 metres a.s.l.) where in Roman times there once was a temple dedicated to Jupiter, transformed into a fortress in 1373 and of which today you can admire the impressive circular Tower. From the square a series of streets and small roads open up lined with lime trees, horse-chestnuts and pines. From one of these, called “delle Piaggiole” you will reach the “Porta Libera”, forming part of the second circle of the walls. Once the itinerary of the so-called Fortress walk has finished, descending the steps of the via di San Fortunato you will reach a small square where you can admire the beautiful façade of the small church of Saints Philip and James, today deconsecrated but completely restored to host works of art. From via Lorenzo Leoni you return to piazza Jacopone and from here for Via Mazzini, once via della Salara, to the Piazza Grande.
Perugia, given its size and importance, is a destination that must not be missed in any tour of Umbria.
Corso Vannucci, the main street of the city, is the place where the inhabitants of Perugia spend most of their time and money, in the elegant shops and typical restaurants.
Palazzo dei Priori
The construction of this magnificent palace in the city centre began in 1298 and continued until 1353, towards the end of the Middle Ages. From the entrance on Piazza IV novembre, a grand staircase leads to a great hall, with brightly coloured frescoes which, was once used as a place of gathering for the influential people of the city. Today the building also hosts the National Gallery.