Situated between the Italian capital of Rome and Tuscany, Umbria is often passed through by travellers, but there is much to stop for in this beautiful area.
A landlocked region of Italy, Umbria contains some of the best Italian scenery, with wonderful hill towns and villages preserving all the traditional aspects of Italian life.
An abundance of traditional cathedrals and vast areas of woodland including an enchanted forest make up the landscape, alongside farmland to produce fresh produce, and of course wine.
With vineyards aplenty, excellent wines are produced in the region, such as Sagrantino di Montefalco which ranks among the most noted vintages for casual drinkers and wine snobs alike, and Orvieto is a white that is perfect for summer enjoyment.
Rural in nature with just the two cities of Perugia and Terni, Umbria still offers plenty to do in the way of hiking trails, river rafting, and world-renowned festivals like the Spoleto Festival and Umbria Jazz.
The local cuisine includes fresh meats and vegetables produced locally, alongside earthy truffles and other local delicacies particular to the region such as saffron, lentils, and exotic black celery to differentiate the area from the neighbouring regions of Lazio and Tuscany.
The landscape in Umbria is indeed varied, from thick woods, to verdant valleys, to gentle hills blanketed with expanses of glinting olive groves and straight lines of vines. Cypress trees outlined country lanes, castles cresting the hilltops.
In fact, Umbria is difficult to differentiate from the Tuscany so popular with travellers and overseas property investors alike, until you compare the cost of living.
Still in view of each other at just 30 kilometres apart, but way apart on costs are the hill towns of Città della Pieve in Umbria and Tuscany’s Montepulciano.
A cappuccino in Montepulciano will set you back around 1.6 euros, whilst in Città della Pieve you can save around 20 per cent at 1.25 euros. Similarly, a plate of pasta with grated truffles will set you back around 14 euros in Montepulciano, while you could get the same dish in Città della Pieve for under ten.
Even more remarkably, a glass of wine on its own can cost you as much as 14 euros in Montepulciano, whilst in Città della Pieve the afore mentioned renowned local wine it likely to cost just 6 euros and they will likely include a plate of bruschetta and some olives to enhance your enjoyment.
Overseas property investors can also get a lot for their money in Umbria, with many fully restored homes on the market starting at around 100,000 euros, a fraction of the price you can expect to pay in the neighbouring region of Tuscany.
Access to Umbria is good, with an airport in Perugia for inter-European flights, and Rome’s international terminal is within two hours from most of the region.
With its favourable central location, within easy reach of the famous Tuscan cities of Florence and Siena, it is no surprise that there is already a significant expat community, so even small villages have some English-speaking residents to interact with. Yet prices are still far more reasonable than the better-known neighbouring regions.
It might be time for overseas property investors to consider this beautiful region of Italy, before everyone gets to hear about it.