The green heart of Italy!
Umbria is situated in central Italy; it is one of the smallest and most beautiful regions in this country. The population is almost 910.000 people and its surface area is 8.456 km2. The official language is Italian. The region is dominated by the beauty of the Apennines, therefore the landscape is mostly hilly or mountainous and it also presents the Tiber the Umbria valleys. It is the only Italian region having neither coastline nor common border with other countries. The Capital city is Perugia and the region is divided in two provinces: Terni and Perugia.
Umbria, known as the green heart of Italy, combines an excellent quality of life with prosperous economic activities, ranging from industry to tourism, and it is precisely this mixture which represents the principal element of attractiveness of the territory.
The present economic structure has a strong component of the service sector while the manufacturing industry is highly developed, in particular, steel products, food and beverage, furniture, clothing, wood as well as chemicals as there is a chemical pole in the Region.
The tourist sector offers a wide variety of attractiveness, highly appreciated by foreigners for the variety and the high quality of what they find. Umbria offers from a vast archaeological patrimony and fascinating medieval cities scattered all over the territory to wonderful landscapes, sacred religious sites as well as a traditional cuisine and many cultural events. Umbria is a region to be discovered slowly to fully enjoy its fascination and mystery.
As regards the archaeological patrimony, many traces remain of the Etruscan civilization but also of the Ancient Umbrians, other pre-Roman populations and of the Roman themselves. There are three national archaeological museums, important archaeological areas, as well as archaeological finds of absolute scientific and artistic importance. Moreover, romanesque churches, Gothic cathedrals, churches and ancient buildings still bear witness to the outstanding artistic production from the XII to the XVI century, giving Umbria an immortal cultural heritage.
Some of the most interesting cities which it is worth a visit are Perugia, Terni, Assisi, Gubbio, Spoleto, Orvieto, Sepello, Norcia, Foligno, Città di Castello, Narni, to mention only a few. The curiosity lies in the variety of attractions offered by each city, from ancient medieval towns to current sacred religious centres and cultural spots.
Umbria is also very well-known for its religious tourism. The mystical Umbria was born with what will be the founder of monasticism in the Roman Catholic Church tradition: Saint Benedict of Nursia (480-547). In the XIII century two important figures of Catholicism were born in Assisi: St. Francis (1182-1226) and St. Clare. The beautiful frescoes by Giotto, Cimabue, Lorenzetti and Simone Martini, in the basilica of Assisi, give reference of the power of medieval religiosity and the mystical fervour of the time. In addition to Benedictine and Franciscan monasteries, there is the basilica and the monastery of Saint Rita in Cascia, while in Terni there is the basilica dedicated to St. Valentine, Terni bishop beheaded in Rome in 273.
Umbria is configured as a typical "green" tourist destination that combines the high quality of the natural environment with a place offering a mix of relaxation, authenticity, uniqueness and sports in the open air, suitable for multiple kind of tastes. In addition, Umbria offers an exquisite gastronomy which is well- known for the excellent wine and oil production as well as for the pork-meats, confectioneries, pasta and the traditional products: truffles, lentils and cheese.
Two standing Universities are placed in Umbria: the University of Perugia, which is among the most antiques and prestigious universities in Italy, and the University for Foreigners, which is unique in its kind.
Among the most important cultural events which take place in Umbria, by now well rooted and enjoying an international reputation, we can mention the Umbria Jazz Festival, the Two Worlds Festival and the Nations Festival.
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