Discover The Italian Regions Of Tuscany & Umbria

You can discover the central Italian regions of Tuscany & Umbria when you holiday with Gorgacce Rentals. Most of our villas are in the Niccone Valley. This Valley lies between Cortona, Lake Trasimeno and Umbertide on the River Tiber. From the Tuscan-Umbrian border you can easily explore both regions, the only difficulty is choosing what you want see!


Tuscany is home to the famous Italian landscapes of rolling hills, cypress trees and stone farmhouses. It is perhaps Italy’s best known region, and, in the 1400’s, it was centre of the Italian Renaissance.  The wealth generated by the city states of central Italy financed the development of new styles of art and architecture. This wealth creation also went hand in hand with advances in finance, engineering, mathematics and natural philosophy.

The region of Tuscany is also well known for fine wines such as Brunello, Chianti and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. You can pair these wines with some delicious Tuscan cuisine. The flavoursome local dishes are  based on high quality local ingredients. These include produced olive oil, wild mushrooms and truffles, fresh vegetables and high quality meat .

Some of the most famous towns in Italy are in Tuscany: Florence, Siena and Pisa are all Tuscan towns, as are Cortona, Montepulciano, Arezzo and Lucca. Everywhere you go in this part of Italy, there is a picture-perfect hill town waiting to be discovered.


Land-locked Umbria is less well known than its neighbour, Tuscany. It is located right in the centre of Italy and borders Tuscany to the west and north. The Umbrian landscape is of hills and valleys, becoming mountainous in the south. It is less visited and consequently less crowded than its Tuscan neighbour. Assisi, Perugia, Orvieto, Spoleto and Gubbio are all Umbrian towns and you have probably heard of St Francis of Assisi  – one of the best known saints. Consequently, the town of Assisi is the most visited place in Umbria. In particular visitors head for the Basilica of Saint Francis, a huge two storey church frescoed by  leading medieval artists such as Giotto, Pietro Lorenzetti, Simone Martini and Cimabue.

From the 1500’s to 1860, Umbria was ruled from Rome by the church and most popes were not noted for forward thinking economic policies. When it came to governing their lands they relied on the landowner class to extract as much as possible from the mainly agricultural economy and the peasant farmers who worked the land. Consequently the historic town centres of Umbria are often a throwback to the medieval and early Renaissance when the independent towns and city states of Italy still flourished.

Tuscan Umbrian Border

The Tuscany Umbria border has an incredible amount to offer the visitor. You can enjoy the wonderful scenery, visit hill towns, take in some Renaissance art and sample fantastic food and wines. You will have easy access to most of the famous places in central Italy. Cortona, Perugia, Assisi, Gubbio, Siena, Arezzo, Montepulciano, Urbino, Sansepolcro, Orvieto and Florence are all within easy reach.

If you come to Italy to stay in one of our Umbrian or Tuscan villas, you are free to set the pace of your own holiday. You can spend all day sightseeing, throw in some leisure activities, or, relax around the villa by the pool, it’s up to you. The countryside of the Tuscan Umbrian border is also a wonderful place to walk, although, it is best the hot summer months unless you start early! You can find local walks in my book (Kindle edition) Circular Walks On The Tuscany Umbria Border

Things To Do In Tuscany & Umbria

The Tuscany Umbria Blog has lots of ideas for things do. You’ll find great works of art to go and see, towns and markets to visit, restaurant reviews and more.

A view on the Monte Ginezzo walk near Cortona, Tuscany