The Green Heart Of Italy

Nov 25, 2015

Umbria is often referred to as "the green heart of Italy". This expression was used for the first time from the poet Giosuè Carducci, in the ode "Alle fonti del Clitunno" (you can read the complete ode at blog.libero.it/bbumbria).

Fonti del Clitunno are the source of a small river called Clitunno; this place was famous in roman times too, since Pliny the Younger says about them: Have you ever seen the Fonti del Clitunno? If you haven’t yet, and I think you haven’t otherwise you would have told me, go and visit them.

I’ve just been there and I regret not to have come earlier.

Nowadays we can say that the colour green can be used for the whole Umbria. If you reach the top of the city of Assisi, you will remain breathless: you will dominate the whole umbrian valley, from Spoleto to Perugia, a wonderful sight! If you want a nice look over the valley, you should also go to Montefalco, which is called "the balcony of Umbria" for its enchanting position on the top of a hill that raises in the center fo the valley of Clitunno, Topino and Tiber rivers.

Umbria has many hidden secrets: you could walk in a city and find a small beautiful church. with an old woman inside praying or water flowers, or you could be driving by car and find the rest of an ancient roman building, or find a group of old man playing cards on a table in the middle of a village. In the summer you will find many typical manifestations called "sagre". These usually last a week and offer traditional and typical umbrian food: there is the sagra della lumaca (snail) or the sagra dello strangozzo al tartufo (typical umbrian pasta with truffle), the sagra dell'oca arrosto (roasted goose) or the sagra della granocchia (frog!) or the sagra degli asparagi, the sagra della ciliegia (cherry) or the sagra della fragola (strawberry).

You shouldn't miss the enoteche (wine shops). Often they also offer something to accompany the wines you are tasting, or other are small restaurants, that will delight you with home made pasta or wonderful cakes. They're often family run, and it wouldn't be strange if the owner will start talking to you about the wines and will end sitting with you, talking about his family and his life.

There are also some modern aspects in Umbria. For example Umbria Jazz is one of the most prestigious jazz festivals of the world, taking places in the old city center of Perugia in July. There are some places to do rafting and Monte Cucco is one of the best places for hang-gliding.