Of all the regions in Italy, Umbria is the only one that is landlocked and without foreign borders - so one could describe it due to this very central position as the geographic heart of Italy, and often in fact it is called "the green heart of Italy" (the legendary poet Giosuè Carducci coined this phrase). Indeed, it is neither North nor South, and from Umbria one can reach any other Italian destination within a pleasant driving-distance, even Sardinia - through the ferry service. In a country with so many diverse attractions that are so spread all over the place, this location can be seen as a quite big plus. Umbria's population is less than a million - so the density of people really isn't so high, which has given the region the chance to maintain its agrarian, laid-back character even in modern times.
Perugia is the capital - and this is a city that could almost in its entirety be transformed into an open-air museum. This mid-sized town - population: a mere 160 thousand people - has so many monuments from the days of old that it exudes a very special atmosphere. Perugia Cathedral for instance is quite a special architectural gem. The present version of it was completed in 1490, and it is one of the hallmarks of the Renaissance movement. It is important to note that Perugia is in perfect harmony with its cathedral, its core monument, and this is not just about other buildings, but also about the people, who have always had a big flair for philosophical contemplation and the arts. Something like the Cosa Nostra could never have been invented in this town or this region - the whole mentality of its people would have made that impossible.
Umbria is mostly mountainous. Many of its valleys are still for the biggest part uninhabited. One could find this surprising, given that Italy is a country with a history that spans three millennia. But Umbria's pace has always been a bit slower than that of many other parts of the country. This goes for its real estate field as well. One could say that its main attributes are predictability, reliability, and stability. In these troubled times we are living in, this is not necessarily a bad thing.
The Palazzo, which is located on a hillside on the east side of the Tiber valley just south of Orvieto, takes its name from the Ancajani family of Spoleto, a family who trace their origins back to ancient Roman times. [ read more » ]