Umbria, Italy, nestled in the Apennines, is located right in the center of Italy. With verdant rolling hills and deep river valleys, this mountainous region is one of Italy’s smallest, and is the only one that is landlocked.
A trip to Umbria provides an excellent opportunity to drive through the picturesque countryside, dotted with mediaeval remains, and explore the fabulous cuisine the Italians are so famous for. Beautiful Umbria villas are plentiful, and make the ideal “base camp” from which to set out on your culinary adventures.
Umbria, and nearby Tuscany, aren’t just gorgeous landscapes, they have spectacular food that makes the best use of fresh, locally grown ingredients. This largely agricultural area produces rustic cuisine that is simple and hearty, and takes advantage of the abundant produce available. Wild truffles and asparagus, game meats, like wild boar and venison, rich chocolates, olives, chestnuts and acorns, sunflowers, sheep’s milk cheese, wild trout, figs, cured meats, and of course regional olive oils and wines all play their part in weaving the rich tapestry that makes up Umbrian cuisine.
Set out from your Umbria villa for a gastronomical day trip you won’t be disappointed in, and try the fabulous fare offered by local restaurateurs.
This tavern has been operating, incredibly, since the twelfth century! Located in a stone tower, with dark wooden benches, the decor is rustic and the food simple and affordable. But don’t be fooled into thinking it not worthy. Homemade grilled sausages, wild boar meat pies, polenta with fresh pecorino cheese and wild truffle shavings, and a lovely ricotta and pear cake are worth every cent.
Just 25 miles away from Umbria in the nearby province of Perugia is Redibis, an unbelievably breathtaking restaurant located in the basement ruins of an ancient Roman theater. The atmosphere alone is worth the trip, but one bite of the phenomenal food is enough to think nowhere else will ever compare. It is said the chef collects every ingredient from the surrounding meadows and woods. Each day provides a limited amount of selections, ensuring everything is at its utmost peak of freshness. Nut-stuffed raviolis in a gorgonzola sauce, lamb meatballs with eggplant and tomato sauce, and veal cheeks braised in a local red wine sauce are phenomenal.
They have plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options as well.
Located in Chiusi, straddling the border between Umbria and Tuscany, Ristorante Zaira is ideally located whether you have chosen Umbria villas or Tuscany villas for the duration of your stay. With Etruscan architecture, the atmosphere is stunning, and tours of their wine cellar are available. The food is simple, fresh peasant cuisine. This is authentic Italian home cooking. Marinated trout, rabbit, and pumpkin fried with bacon are just a few of their delicious delicacies.