Alta Valle del Tevere: Umbertide

Feb 29, 2024 | Things to do in Umbria | 0 comments

The Alta Valle del Tevere or Upper Tiber Valley covers the northernmost part of the Umbria region. This region borders Tuscany and the Marche and consists of eight municipalities: Città di Castello, Citerna, Lisciano Niccone, Montone, Monte Santa Maria Tiberina, Pietralunga, San Giustino and Umbertide. Its location on the Tiber makes this a very fertile area, where tobacco has traditionally been grown.

The names of these villages may not sound as familiar as the major tourist attractions Assisi, Gubbio, Spoleto, and Perugia, but a visit to this sparsely inhabited and very green area is more than worthwhile.

Umbertide on the Tiber

Sights to see

The origins of Umbertide, which was called Fratta until 1863, are uncertain, but the town must have been an important trading center in ancient times, especially for the trade between the Etruscans and the Umbrians. However, the first documents only date from the 13th century.

The Rocca

The centro storico is located around the Piazza Matteotti and is built against the Rocca. This imposing fortress has always been the symbol of Umbertide. Its construction was ordered by the Pope in 1374, inaugurating a long period of subjugation of Umbertide to the church and the people of Perugia. From the square tower of 40 meters high, you have a beautiful view of the town and the surrounding area. Today it is a center for contemporary art exhibitions.

De Rocca in Umbertide

Santa Maria della Reggia

Another eye-catching building in Piazza Mazzini is the Santa Maria della Reggia (16th century) with an octagonal plan on the outside and a circular plan on the inside.

Santa Maria della Reggia in Umbertide

Museo di Santa Croce

The Museo di Santa Croce on Piazza San Francesco houses two treasures: the Descent from the Cross (1515-6) by Luca Signorelli and the Madonna and Child in Glory between Angels and Saints by Pomarancio (1577). At the time of writing this blog, the museum is unfortunately closed for an unknown period of time.

Museo di Santa Croce in Umbertide


Metropolis is not only a cinema but also a cultural center for Umbertide and the entire Upper Tiber Valley. In addition to the cinema, it is home to the Rometti Gallery Museum, a collection of more than 200 ceramic works whose styles range from primitivism to futurism. Some are painted with Nero Fratta, a metallic color with iridescent reflections that came about by chance and made the ceramics of the Rometti factory popular throughout Europe. The term Nero Fratta is a combination of the words Nero and Fratta, the old name of the city of Umbertide. Metropolis closes its doors between June and September when it is transformed into a cinema all’ aperto, an open-air cinema.

Market in Umbertide

Do you like to stroll past stalls full of vegetables, fruit, cheese, herbs, meat, fish, and local specialties? Then visit Umbertide on Wednesday morning, the weekly market day. Don’t forget to eat a porchetta sandwich. Porchetta is a roasted suckling pig that is cut in front of you and served as a sandwich.

Markt in Umbertide

Abbazia di San Salvatore di Monte Corona

Those who like silence and tranquility can visit the Abbazia di San Salvatore di Monte Corona. This Benedictine abbey is located just 4 km from Umbertide. It is one of the many “luoghi del silenzio” (places of silence) in Italy. Characteristic is that they are in close contact with nature, and it is precisely the combination of silence and nature that was the perfect form for abbeys and hermitages to discover themselves and connect with the Supreme.

According to tradition, the abbey, the cradle of the Camaldolese order, was founded in 1008 by Saint Romualdo. The upper church of Romanesque origin was consecrated in 1105 and has three naves, the middle of which contains frescoes of the 14th-century Umbrian school. Below the church is the crypt of Santa Maria delle Grazie. This basement church consists of a room with five corridors, ending in three apses. Next to the church is the octagonal bell tower, which used to serve as a defense tower. The bell tower’s bell was restored in 1992.

The abbey is now part of the Tenuta di Montecorona estate. It is one of the largest farms in the region. In addition to the production of olive oil and wine, they also grow the famous Montecorona peaches.

Abbazia di Montecorona in Umbertide


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