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Bill Thayer

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Umbria: the 92 Comuni

A region of central Italy: 8456 sq. km. 2003 population: 834,000. Capital: Perugia.

[image ALT: Bevagna]
			
[image ALT: A map of the Italian region of Umbria, clickmapped to every one of the 92 comuni in the region.]
			
[image ALT: Costacciaro]

[image ALT: Todi]
			
[image ALT: Fossato di Vico]

[image ALT: Orvieto]
			
[image ALT: Spello]

[image ALT: Sangemini]
			
[image ALT: Trevi]

[image ALT: Stroncone]
			
[image ALT: Norcia]
— and around the map, some of my favorite places, repeated.

My six stays in Umbria have totalled so far only about fifteen months — but Umbria is still the part of the world I know best: since 1993 I've walked something like 2000 km of the countryside, almost always with a camera. Inevitably then, this site is, at least potentially, one of the best Umbrian resources online. (The other one is Lynda Evans' Key to Umbria.)

I've visited every one of the 92 comuni. On the map above, each one links to an orientation page, and often quite a bit more, depending on just how much work I've done on the formal side of the site: currently (Dec 09), the best-developed subsites are Spello and Trevi each with 42 pages (and 159 and 104 photos respectively). Even where I may not have got round to writing an in-depth site, though, the orientation page links to my diary, where there is often a fair amount of additional information and photos. As of Mar 11, my Umbrian site as a whole runs to 660 webpages, not counting translations; my diary to a couple hundred pages more. In addition, each orientation page includes an index of other people's sites, so the map in front of you is the single most comprehensive source online for Umbria, because almost none of those other sites link to each other. (If you're having trouble finding a particular place on the map, you can also navigate to it from this alphabetical index.)

Places shown as [larger blue squares] are larger towns or cities.

Places shown in red are those I specially like. (Here, I had to be pretty selective, else the whole map would be bright red.)

In addition to the places shown and linked on the map — all of the region's 92 comuni or townships — a few other places, not comuni, are worth noting for their beauty or historical interest; and also because people often know their names without knowing what comune they might be in:

The Cascata delle Marmore, in the comune of Terni: an artificial waterfall constructed by the Romans in the 3c B.C. as the linchpin of an important drainage scheme; today, a source of hydroelectric power and a fairly major tourist attraction.

Piediluco, also in the comune of Terni: a beautiful mountain resort on a lake, one of the world's foremost centers for competitive canoeing.

The Roman town of Carsulae, in the comune of San Gemini.

Those of you planning a trip to Umbria, especially without a car, and wondering what your best base might be, will benefit from this discussion of the question, with map, of course.

This site also includes detailed information on train stations and accessibility for each of the 92 comuni — just how steep is each of these beautiful hilltowns, anyway? — and by and by, this non-driver will scrounge up a bit more information on parking; all of it here.

If you're interested in walking the countryside, which is how I got to know Umbria, your main resource will be my unimaginatively titled page, Walking in Umbria, where you can take in at a glance a map of the entire region, with each of my walks plotted out on it. Each plot in turn includes a summary description (traffic, scenery, other practical points) and a link to the walk as I recorded it in my diary.

If you are less interested in modern than in ancient roads, I've made a fair start on the Via Flaminia; this important Roman road is covered in about 25 pages and 60 photos over its entire length from Rome thru the Lazio, Umbria, the Marche to Rimini in Emilia-Romagna. I'm still working on it, so expect a bit of "construction" and continuing additions and improvements.

More generally, I've collected on a single orientation page, with links as appropriate, all the information I have on Roman remains in Umbria.

Umbria is well known for its many churches, some few of them going back to Roman times, many of them Romanesque, many of them with beautiful frescoes or sculpture. For those then who prefer a topical approach to this important side of Umbria, I'm continuing to develop my Churches of Umbria site: in March 2014, the site covered 454 churches in 290 pages and 1133 large photos, plus 33 wayside shrines ("edicole", often "madonnine") on 26 pages.

Finally, the first instalments of what I hope will be a series of useful or interesting texts:

Corrado Ricci's Umbria Santa: a 183‑page book on Umbria's religious and artistic heritage, focusing on St. Benedict, St. Francis, St. Rita, and the region's painters, with 57 photographs (including 2 of my own).

Giulio Urbini's Spello, Bevagna, Montefalco: a 120‑page book on three Umbrian towns, with 105 photographs. In Italian.

Voci della Memoria: a 55‑page book memorializing those who lost their lives in an accidental bombing of Umbertide during World War II. In Italian.


[image ALT: A small clearing with a rustic square stone table and three benches made of a slab of stone supported on two stacks of bricks, in deep shade under a trellised fruit tree; a chicken can be made out in the background, roosting on a ledge. It is the patio of a farmhouse near Todi, in Umbria (central Italy).]
Umbria is essentially a rural region; the icon I use elsewhere, as in the navigation bars at the foot of the page, to indicate this part of my site is a photo of a stone table — and a chicken discreetly seeking the shade — in someone's garden a couple of miles SW of Todi.

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Site updated: 28 Mar 14