|President|| Maria Rita Lorenzetti|
|- Ranked||16th (2.8 %)|
| Population (2006 est.)
17th (1.5 %)
|Map highlighting the location of Umbria in Italy|
The region is named for the Umbri tribe, who settled in the region in the 6th century BC. Their language was Umbrian, a relative of Latin. The modern region of Umbria, however, is essentially a different region of Italy than that bearing the same name in Roman times (see Roman Umbria), which extended through most of what is now the northern Marche, to Ravenna, but excluded the west bank of the Tiber — and thus for example Perugia — which was in Etruria, and the area around Norcia, which was in the Sabine territory.
Umbria is mostly hilly or mountainous. Its relief is dominated by the Apennines to the east — accounting for the highest point in the region at the summit of Mt. Vettore on the border of the Marche (2476 m = 8123 ft) — and the Tiber valley basin, accounting for the lowest point at Attigliano (96 m = 315 ft).
The Tiber forms the approximate border with the Lazio; although the remainder of its course northwards from its source just over the Tuscan border does lie in Umbria, the river is mercurial and thus over the centuries very few towns have been situated on it: the Tiber itself thus is not a major factor in the history and human geography of Umbria. The same cannot be said of the Tiber's three principal tributaries, each flowing in a generally southward course: they are responsible for much of the landscape of Umbria. Most of the course of the Chiascio takes it through relatively uninhabited areas until Bastia Umbra, and about 10 km later it flows into the Tiber at Torgiano. The Topino, cleaving the Apennines with passes that in Antiquity made the Via Flaminia possible and the main successor roads even today, makes a sharp turn at Foligno to flow NW for a few miles before joining the Chiascio below Bettona. The third river system is that of the Nera, flowing into the Tiber much further south, at Terni: its valley, called the Valnerina, is widely considered by Umbrians the most scenic area of Umbria. While the Nera flows more or less in isolation between rather high mountains, the lower course of the Chiascio-Topino basin widens out into a fairly large floodplain, which in Antiquity was actually a pair of shallow, interlocking, swamp-like lakes, the Lacus Clitorius and the Lacus Umber. They were drained a first time by the Romans over a span of several hundred years, but an earthquake in the 4th century and the political collapse of the Roman Empire resulted in the reflooding of the basin, which was drained a second time over a span of five hundred years: Benedictine monks from various abbeys in the region started the process in the 13th century, and it was completed on the private initiative of an engineer from Foligno in the 18th century.
The "green heart of Italy"
In tourist literature one sometimes sees Umbria called il cuor verde d'Italia (the green heart of Italy). The phrase, taken from a poem by Giosuè Carducci — the subject of which is not Umbria but rather a specific small place in it, the source of the Clitunno river, treasured since Antiquity as a beauty spot — is to a certain extent appropriate since the modern administrative region is the only one to have neither a coast nor a border with a foreign country, and, except for August and September, is notoriously green.
Provinces and towns
Notable towns and cities:
- Città di Castello
- Gualdo Tadino
- Nocera Umbra
Archaeological sites and ruins
The People of Umbria
The physical features of the people of Umbria are what many scholars believe to be very close to the ancient people of the Italian peninsula. History has been gentle to Umbria, largely due to the construction of hilltop towns. While other locations of Italy were subjected to invaders over time, the majority of Umbrian towns were well protected on hill tops. Often too daunting for invaders to bother with. Umbria is landlocked. The lack of ports have allowed Umbrians to remain unaffected throughout history by sea traders. Then end result being the original homogeneous people of Italy. The Umbrian people are known for high quality chocolates, cheeses, and women of great beauty.
- Umbria travel - Italyzone
- Official Site of the Region of Umbria
- Gazetteer of Umbria
- Umbria 2000
|Regions of Italy|
|Abruzzo • Aosta Valley • Apulia • Basilicata • Calabria • Campania • Emilia-Romagna • Friuli-Venezia Giulia • Lazio • Liguria • Lombardy • Marche • Molise • Piedmont • Sardinia • Sicily • Trentino-South Tyrol • Tuscany • Umbria • Veneto|