After a long winter we decided we needed a break from work and bad weather. What better way to spend a long weekend than backpacking in Umbria Italy. In April the weather there is just perfect to explore Umbria and start off spring on the right foot. But what can you do for 3 days in Umbria with backpack and without car?
Day 1: Assisi – Spello
The first day we arrived early in the morning in Perugia. Right away we took the bus to Assisi.
This medieval village built on a hill is a known pilgrimage site. The main tourist attraction is the beautiful Basilica of Saint Francis, where you also have an amazing view over the wonderful Umbrian landscape.
But the historical centre of Assisi has so much more to offer. It’s a lovely picturesque village where you can get lost in the little streets and alleys, shop for souvenirs or local products and taste the real Umbrian cuisine. We had lunch in la laterna, a cozy restaurant in a little alley between flowers.
Hiking from Assisi to Spello
After lunch we decided to hike from Assisi to Spello, our next stop where we booked a bed and breakfast. In the tourist info centre of Assisi you can ask for a map. You can choose an easy short route through the vineyards or a long, hard route on top of the hills. Off course we were a bit superfluous and took the long hard route. But it was totally worth the effort. After a steep and difficult climb we reached the top and had incredible views over Umbria.
The trail is well indicated. But at some point we wanted to take a shortcut by following the map and off course we got lost. So in the end we even hiked more and longer than the normal route. If you are interested in hiking this trail, wear good hiking shoes! The way back down to Spello is very steep and rocky.
Day 2: Spello & surroundings
A morning in Spello
We stayed in B&B Le Rose just outside Spello. Here you can enjoy the real Umbrian countryside. When you open up a window you can see a magnificent landscape of fields, flowers and hills. You even got a great view of the medieval mountain village Spello.
In Le Rose you can also reserve bikes for free. It’s a 1O minute ride to the centre of Spello. Entering Spello is like going back in time. It ‘s one of best-kept medieval towns in Umbria. Go early and enjoy the waking up of the city and the morning rituals of the locals.
Spello is not only known as a beautiful historical town, but also for its flowers. Locals decorate their facades, front stairs and balconies with bright, colorful and scented flowers and plants, a feast for the senses. Wander off in the narrow streets covered with gorgeous ceramic tiles and explore the medieval architecture, viewpoints with amazing sights and local shops.
Take enough espresso breaks and when the time is right enjoy a real aperol spritz. This is my absolute favorite Italian beverage. Together with limoncello and amaretto 😉
Exploring the countryside by bike
After spending a long morning in Spello. We decided to take the bike for a spin through the Umbrian countryside. The weather was perfect and the landscape was gorgeous. We didn’t have a route planned out, so we just went on our gut feeling. We didn’t get lost this time.
In the evening we had a romantic dinner at the balcony of restaurant Porta Venere at Spello. The food and wine were delicious, but the view was just mesmerizing. We had a front row seat on one of the best sunsets I ever saw.
Day 3: Perugia
Next day we took a train back to Perugia. This is a small historical city situated on top of a hill. You can easy reach the city centre with the mini metro. The city itself is bigger than the villages Assisi and Spello, but doable to visit in one day.
Once you arrive on the top you will be surprised by the vibrant city life. In the centre you’ll find the main tourist attractions such as the beautiful Fontana Maggiori. It’s also a great place to do some shopping or just relax on a terrace with a drink watching the people come by. If you are into the dark Middle Ages don’t forget to visit Rocca Paolina. It’s an impressive underground fortress.
I advice you to explore the other sights and viewpoints of the city by foot, in your own pace. You can ask for a city map in the tourist information office. This way you’ll discover beautiful and less touristy places.
I really liked crossing the medieval aqueduct and strolling around in that more quite part of the city. Close to Tempio di Sant’ Angelo we stumbled on a little local store ‘Il tempio’ with specialties of Umbria. It looked like a medieval inn. The friendly owner offered us to taste the food and wine. He made some bruschetta with different toppings and it was so delicious! When we left, we found this amazing community garden covered with bleu wisteria. It’s looked like heaven on earth.
Day 4: Returning home
The next day we had to leave early to go home again. Too bad! I really loved spending time in Umbria and I wish I could have enjoyed it a bit longer. But in three days we have seen a lot, did different activities, enjoyed the Umbrian specialties and it didn’t feel rushed at all.
If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me or leave a comment below.
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