The Heart of Italy
Central Italy includes the regions of Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria and Le Marche. This area includes beautiful towns and charming landscapes steeped in culture and history.
Emilia Romagna is one of the most prosperous areas of Italy. With the Po river valley to the north and the Apennine Mountains to the south, this region is the breadbasket of Italy. Agriculture thrives in this rich area and consequently, Emilia Romagna is known as a great gastronomic center. This is the home of Parma Ham and Parmesan cheese. The main cities in Emilia Romagna are Bologna and Ravenna.
There has been much ado about Tuscany in the past several years. Several books and movies about Tuscany have made people fall in love with this area, and why wouldn’t we? Florence, Lucca, Sienna, San Gimignano, and Arezzo are all very special towns that are endowed with many of the artistic treasures of Italy. The hills of Chianti and the mountains of the Alpi Apuane provide the scenery we have learned to recognize as Tuscan. Tuscany is the artistic heart of Italy.
Umbria, Tuscany’s neighbor to the east, is considered the “Green Heart of Italy”. the rolling hills and rugged mountains provide a wonderful landscape for the medieval towns and Roman ruins of Umbria. Assisi is the largest town in Umbria, but Perugia, Orvietto, Todai, Gubbio and Spoleto are all places worth visiting. The rich soil of Umbria yields exquisite olive oils, truffles, and many different wines.
Between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea lies the region of Le Marche (the marshes.) This largely undiscovered area is known for its long stretches of sandy beaches and its agricultural countryside. The main city in Le Marche is the medieval city of Urbino, which is the home to one of the most beautiful Renaissance palaces in Italy: Palazzo Ducale, which now houses the Galleria Nationale delle Marche.
Central Italy is what people think about when dreaming of an Italy vacation: Italian Cypress spiking into the sky, red-tiled roofs peeking from behind rolling hills, Renaissance architecture and world-class art treasures, mouth-watering food and famous Italian wines. Central Italy is the heart and soul of this enchanting country.