Subject: Re: Umbria (WAS:Driving Thru Tuscany and Umbria)
I'd like to second everythng that Debbie wrote, and chime in with my favorite place, Malvarina, which is between Spello and Assisi, (both are ten minutes away, maximum) high up in the hills with wonderful views, bordering a national park. Besides the usual amazing food, they also offer horseback riding with a guide, and one day cooking classes with local ingredients from their farm. Perugia is about 20-30 minutes by car, and Montefalco, Deruta, Todi, and other amazing towns are within easy reach. http://www.karenbrown.com/italy/malvarina.html malvarina

For staying closer to Orvieto, I like the agriturismo Pomerlo Vechio http://www.argoweb.it/agriturismo_pomurlovecchio/pomurlo.uk.html It is very close to the main road coming from Rome, but it is not as convenient to other sites in Umbria. It is high and remote, with amazing views, and wonderful food.

Do not overlook some of the lesser touristed spots in Umbria, such as Norcia (the spelling may be wrong, but this is where you will eat like you have never eaten before) and the remote hill towns near Lago Trasameno, Panicale and Paciano. As far as a remote, unspoiled Umbrian Hill town, Paciano is hard to beat, although there is little to do there other than soak in the scenery and atmosphere. http://www.dataphone.se/~cesarini/rocca.html Still, it is a great starting off point to continue on to some of the less touristed spots of Tuscany, and follow some of Bill Sutherland's wonderful recommendations. Please let me emphasize that last point - we were extremely pleased with every tip that he gave us, and enjoyed the food, sightseeing and shopping in that area tremendously.

Jonathan Chimene Chicago