5-Star Hotel Guide



5-star villa guide to Umbria

If you're looking for a classic 'Tuscan' experience of rolling hills, ancient towns, deliciously rustic cuisine and delectable wine, but with a fraction of the tourists, then neighbouring Umbria is our strong recommendation.

Umbria sits between two mountain ranges east of Tuscany, bordering Lazio to the south and Le Marche to the west. Its topology, embracing both the Umbra and Tiber valleys means that settlements formed in the foothills of the mountains and on hilltops that rise above the valley floor.

It remains a largely agricultural region, producing incredible chianini beef, exquisite olive oil and fabulous - and very affordable - fine wines. Tomatoes, artichokes and truffles are all found in abundance and cheeses and hams are as good as any in Tuscany.

Perugia, the provincial capital, sits above the valley and remains an important city, as well as one of the most beautiful and interesting, containing several national museums. Orvieto is also a delight to visit in any season, with one of the most important churches in Italy housing 500 year-old paintings and many renown wineries close to the town, including Antinori's legendary Castello della Sala that makes one of Italy's finest. white wines - Cervaro della Sala.

Venture beyond these two gems and you will find numerous medieval hilltop towns and villages. Three of our favourites are Todi, Spoleto and Montefalco. In the beautiful square of the wine growing town of Montefalco you will find one of our favourite Umbrian restaurants, Locanda della Teatro, where we recently dined on the freshest finely sliced artichokes, sprinkled with 24-month old Parmigiano-Reggiano, lemon and the finest olive oil, followed by local truffle linguini and local cheeses accompanied by the local wines of Montefalco, including the rare Sagrentino de Montefalco from wine legend, Paolo Bea.

Luxury Explorer's stunning luxury villas in Umbria are the ideal bases to explore this beautiful and unspoilt region of Italy. All our 5-star villas are spectacularly situated, many are historically important buildings converted with flair into private homes for memorable vacations. They are perfect for days when exertion is out of the question, when you want to simply kick-back in the pool with a chilled flute of local fizz and lose yourself in a gorgeous view. Cooking is key to Umbrian culture so all our cooks and chefs will serve up beautiful rustic cuisine using the freshest local ingredients, as well as finer treats when required. And when you are ready to delve into history and explore, Umbria will certainly not disappoint.