5 Big benches in Umbria

Feb 9, 2023 | Things to do in Umbria | 0 comments

Since the summer of 2022, there are 5 Big Benches to discover in the vineyards of Umbria.

What are Big Benches?

The Big Benches (Panchine Gigante) are an art project conceived and designed by American architect Chris Bangle and his wife Catherine. They live in Piemonte and built the first Big Bench in Clavesana.

These are giant benches on which you can climb to admire the view from a different perspective and leave the tensions of everyday life behind. “For at least a moment, let your eyes and mind do the traveling… in a unique moment of peace and tranquility,” said Chris Bangle.

Chris Bangle, the inventor of the Big Benches

Chris Bangle on Big Bench #1 in Clavesana in the region of Piemonte (2010)

Big Bench Community Project

The Big Bench Community Project arose from the enthusiasm of many, a project that aims to bring art, nature, and people together. You will not come across the benches by chance, because they are located in places that were chosen for the beautiful view or the special location, often far away from the main roads. And that’s what makes it so much fun: you have to go out and about to search for the benches.

To make your visit to the Big Benches even more fun, you can buy a passport. In it, you can collect stamps from every bench you have visited. Each stamp has the Big Bench logo and the name of the city where it is located. Collecting the stamps on your passport proves you’ve visited a particular Big Bench, making it a perfect souvenir. You can buy these passports at any location where there is a Big Bench (€10).

Passport for the Big Benches in Umbria

Passport for the Big Benches in Umbria

5 Big Benches in Umbria

In August 2022, the first bench was inaugurated in Colle Umberto, a few kilometers from Perugia. You will find it on the wine estate Azienda Agraria Carini, in the middle of an ancient olive grove overlooking the fields and vineyards of the Rio Caina valley.

The second bench is numbered 245 and is located on the estate of Agriturismo La Miniera di Galparino, near Città di Castello.

Big Bench in Città di Castello

Big Bench in Città di Castello

Walking through the vineyards of the Castelbuono estate of the Lunelli family near Bevagna, you reach the hill where the Big Bench is located. Here you have a breathtaking view of the surrounding hills, mountains, and Umbrian villages. With a bit of luck, you can see Montefalco and Assisi.

The fourth Big Bench is located in the vineyards of Scacciadiavoli, in Montefalco. The Sagrantino, a blue Italian grape variety, has been cultivated on these hills around Montefalco for centuries. This is the place to drink a glass of Sagrantino di Montefalco.

Big Bench number 271 is in Preci. It is the fifth – and for the time being the last – to be built in Umbria: it stands between the town of Preci and the castle of Roccanolfi. In 2016, Preci, like the well-known town of Norcia, was hit by a major earthquake.

Practical information

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