Once described as the green heart of Italy by the first Italian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (1906), Giosue Carducci, Umbria has many of the landscape charms of her better known neighbor Toscana (Tuscany). The region is well fed with major rivers and verdantly green for most of the year.

The region is named for the Umbri, a tribe inhabiting this area in the 6C. BC, and a major historical rival with the Etruscans to the west.

Umbria is the only Italian region that is both landlocked and shares no border with a foreign country. This central location hasn't caused Umbria to miss out on the rich flow of history. The Carthaginian General Hannibal had a major victory over his Roman adversaries at Lake Trasimene during the 3C. BC. Mark Antony and Octavian (later to become Caesar Augustus) fought throughout this area during the civil war following the death of Julius Caesar 1C BC. Today's Umbria is a lush and peaceful place.

Umbria is highly esteemed for the quality of olive oil and viticulture that thrive in this area. Wines such as Orvieto, Torgiano and Rosso di Montefalco are highly respected and not to be missed when traveling. Another exceptional culinary experience is the regional black truffle (tartufo nero). Almost half of the black truffles in Italy come from Umbria.

The northern portion of Umbria is known as the Province of Perugia. Some of the more renowned cities in the Province of Perugia include Assisi, Spoleto and Gubbio. Spoleto is a classic walled, hill town with a history dating back to the 3C. BC. For the past fifty years, Spoleto has been hosting a cultural festival The Festival of the Two Worlds (Festival dei Due Mondi) with music, art and dance, held annually in June and July.

The southern Province of Terni includes dozens of comuni (cities and villages) but the provincial capital of Terni and Orvieto are highly recommended. Orvieto, once an Etruscan acropolis, is visually dramatic and surrounded by ancient walls on high cliffs.