But everyone knows Tuscany is great and so everyone is there.
Umbria is different. It’s for a sophisticated traveler that doesn’t need to follow the typical tourist trail. It’s for people who want to see more than just Rome, Florence and Venice on a holiday – to venture out and really get their hands dirty.
Umbria is awesome and it’s only a matter of time before everyone realizes this.
You really do need help to see the best of Umbria. We discovered Umbria through our friend Diana at Browsing Italy who connected us with Discovering Umbria because she knew we could not have a meatcation without experiencing Umbria.
And so we made our way to the small town of Todi, which is perfect for exploring Umbria because it’s smack in the centre of the region and only a short drive to all of the attractions. But it’s also a charming medieval town so in between day trips you are safe enough to wander around at night and shop or just eat gelato.
Although Umbria is home to a fantastic heritage of cured meat, many food lovers never visit the region, the lure of Tuscany is too strong. But if you’re into food, especially cured meat like we are, Umbria’s largest city Norcia is known as the birthplace of curing meat, so much so that someone who cures meat is called a Norcino.
We loved our time with Discovering Umbria. It was like touring with friends and they were able to get access to things we could have never done as tourists.
They were impeccable translators and were so flexible with our itinerary. During our time with them we really felt like we got to know Umbria in a way we couldn’t have done on our own. Just like Andrea from Taste Bologna, I implore you to check out Discovering Umbria if you want the real deal.
While Todi is a small town there’s a wealth of history. Take a walking tour with Elisa from Todi Guide and llearn the history along with the town’s most famous citizen.
So much meat to share! We spent a day in Canarra at Agriturismo Il Cerreto, which is not too far from Todi. First enjoying lunch at and then making sausages with nonna and nonno at Agriturismo Il Cerreto. It was a highlight of Dave’s trip as he was able to make sausages with people who had been doing it for decades.
Afterwards Alessandra and Leonardo took us to a commercial salumi plant for a tour – what other tour guide would plan this kind of awesome itinerary.
Umbria has many great winemakers. Roccofiore in Todi is an organic vineyard powered 100% by solar energy. Cintas heritage pigs are also raised on site for heritage salumi. After a tour we went back to the restaurant for salumi with wine pairing and it was amazing.
Where to Stay in Todi
There are options for all budgets in Todi. History buffs will love Hotel Bramante, a former monastery overlooking a spectacular view.
If you’d like more space it’s possible to rent an apartment in the city centre with Discovering Umbria.
Where do we begin. There are lots of traditional restaurants in the city, and none of them were created for tourists.
For a modern twist of Umbrian food try Vineria San Fortunato, a wine bar packed with locals and great salumi.
Getting to Todi
You’ll definitely need a car to explore Umbria. We did not want the stress of driving in Italy so we asked siblings Alessandra and Leonardo from Discovering Umbria to show us the chef’s tour of the region.
If you want to explore on your own it’s a bit tricky to drive in Rome so it’s better to take the train to Orvieto and rent a car there. The food and wine in Orvieto is to die for. And Todi is only an easy 40 minute drive from there.
But any way you do it, get to Todi, it’s worth the effort