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Bill Thayer

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Walking in Umbria

I've walked something like 2000 km of Umbria over the years; and I kept my diary as I went, pretty much. That diary is online, and search engines find all of it — provided you enter the names of the various towns. But what if you're planning a trip or a stay in Umbria yet have never been there before, or maybe just a few days in say Orvieto or Assisi and that's whetted your appetite to get to know the region better? This page is for you: it gathers all the information in a single map right before your eyes; you can tell at a glance whether I have walking experience you can draw on in the area you're investigating.

Actually, the map is by no means complete: only about three-quarters of my walks are plotted. I plug away at it from time to time. (Among the longer walks not yet plotted: from Spoleto to Trevi; from Narni to Otricoli; from Terni to Stroncone; from Terni up the Valnerina to Cerreto; several walks S of Todi; two walks to Gubbio, and two around Città di Castello. You can always e‑mail me, I don't usually bite.)

March 2011: for bicyclists, who cover more ground, an even more useful resource than mine is offsite, at BikeInUmbria. Walkers will benefit from it too.

I hope you're not a fast reader, or maybe even that you're taking your time to savor the prose; the map below may load a bit slow because of the tremendous amount of information on it. I mention it for another reason too: if it was slow to load, it will also be slow to zoom in on or to move around in; because of that, especially if you have a slow computer, I recommend you do as little as possible of either of these things (although you still can, of course), but instead just use the map to navigate to my diary pages, on which the individual maps cover only one walk, are scaled closer, and load fast. So:

To get to those diary pages, pick the walk on the map and click on the matching colored 
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		 marker attached to it. A box will pop up, with a summary description of the walk: most of these walks are pleasant, but some are outstanding (my text on a green background), a few are not so good (red background). The boldface heading in that box is your link: when you click on it, the diary entry will open in another window, leaving this one as is — hey, the last thing you want to do is reload this page over and over again.

There is no particular significance to the various colors and thicknesses of the map paths themselves; they're just there to keep the walks as untangled as possible.

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		 markers link to my diary accounts of the individual walks. My bases over the years so far have been Todi, Spello, Fossato di Vico and Umbertide. Smaller markers 
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		are places I've been to but not on foot, or I haven't mapped out my walk yet.

[and here's more general help in using the map, if you need it.]

Now if you want structure and guidebooks, or are determined to walk trails, neither of those are much my style: but there's help for you, and good help too, in Walking in Umbria: A General Guide, which lays out and critiques a panoply of available books, shows us with photographs what trails and their markers actually look like on the landscape, and offers a variety of good advice, the best of which is

. . . chances are you are going to get lost at least once during your hike, so try to be philosophical about it. Remember, a truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery while on a detour.

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Page updated: 1 Jul 18