LivingTravelGubbio is an Umbrian hill town in Italy

Gubbio is an Umbrian hill town in Italy

Gubbio is a well-preserved medieval town in the Umbria region of central Italy. The compact center of Gubbio has a good selection of medieval, Gothic and Renaissance monuments built with gray limestone and has great views of the beautiful countryside. Just outside the city there is a Roman amphitheater.

Location

Gubbio is located in Umbria, twenty-five miles northeast of Perugia (see Umbria map) and about 40 miles south of Urbino in the neighboring Marche region. The city is beautifully located on the lower slopes of Mt. Ingino

Transport

The nearest train station is Fossato di Vico, about 20 km away. Buses connect Gubbio with the station and other nearby cities. If you are traveling by car, take the picturesque SS298 road between Perugia and Gubbio. There is also a bus service between Perugia and Gubbio. Buses arrive in Gubbio at Piazza Quaranta Martiri . Umbria has a small airport in Perugia with flights from Europe and the UK. Gubbio is about 124 kilometers from Rome Fiumicino airport.

Where to stay

The Hotel Relais Ducale is housed in a 14th-century mansion in the historic center, overlooking the valley. Hotel Busone is a small 4-star hotel also in the historic center.

Park Hotel ai Cappuccini is a 4-star hotel in a former monastery two miles from the city center. Farm Home Azienda Agraria Montelujano is a country house overlooking the center of Gubbio. For the full medieval experience, try the castle hotel, Castello di Petroia, near Gubbio.

Festivals

The biggest festivals in Gubbio are in May. The candlelight festival, Corsa dei Ceri , is on May 15. The festival begins with a procession through the streets up the hill to the Abbey of Sant ‘Ubaldo, on the outskirts of the city. Then there is a race with three teams carrying tall sail-shaped pillars weighing 200 kg each, crowned with statues of Saint Ubaldo, Saint George or Saint Anthony. The palio crossbow, Palio della Balestra , is the last Sunday in May. This traditional crossbow competition between archers from Gubbio and nearby Sansepolcro has been going on since at least the 15th century.

Purchases

Gubbio has long been known for its pottery and there are still a number of pottery shops that sell hand-painted pottery. There are several good shops on Via dei Consoli. Other crafts include blacksmithing and forged lace. Market day is Tuesday.

Main views

  • The Roman theater , below the city, dates from the 1st century AD. C. Outdoor performances are held on the sand during the summer. From the amphitheater, there are good views of Gubbio. This is a good place to start your visit.
  • The church of San Francesco , in the lower city, is the first monument you will reach from the amphitheater. It is in the big green Piazza Quaranta Martiri, where the buses arrive. It is a Gothic church with an impressive rose window. Inside there is a fresco from the 1400s, The Life of the Virgin , and frescoes from the 1200s in the main apse. In the cloister there are pieces of Roman mosaics.
  • Piazza Grande , or Piazza della Signoria , is the main square in Gubbio. From the square there are spectacular views over the countryside. It is at the top of Via Piccardi , the street that leads from Piazza Quaranta Martiri.
  • Palazzo dei Consoli is a large 14th century Gothic building made of limestone. Inside there is an art gallery, an archeology museum and a civic museum. Here you will find the precious eugubin tablets, seven bronze plates from more than 2000 years ago, written in the ancient language of Umbria. The palace, in Piazza della Signoria, dominates the city.
  • The Duomo , even higher up, is a 13th century church with a simple 15th century façade. Its main altar is a Roman sarcophagus. There are remarkable stained glass windows, choir stalls, and a carved throne.
  • The Palazzo Ducale , built for the Duke of Urbino in 1476, faces the Duomo. It has a beautiful Renaissance courtyard and the palace is open to visitors.
  • Porte del Morto , gates of the dead, can still be seen in some older houses in the city. Houses often had two doors, the lower one was used to bring out the dead.
  • The Bargello was the first public building, built in 1302. It is round, the 16th century Fonatna dei Matti, the Fool’s Fountain, was once the main water source in the city. The area near here is a picturesque medieval neighborhood with Romanesque buildings and houses and a torture museum.
  • The Ranghiasci-Brancaleoni park extends below the Palazzo Ducale. It started as an English garden in 1841. In the park there is a covered bridge, neoclassical pavilions, trees and a cafeteria.
  • Porta Romana , at the eastern end of the city, is a museum with a collection related to medieval gates, including ancient keys and drawbridges, and some ceramics. Near the door there are two churches from the 13th century.
  • Sant ‘Ubaldo Abbey , just above the mountain town, can be reached by funicular from Porta Romana (can also be reached by car). There is a cafe and restaurant near the church.
  • La Rocca , above the abbey, is a good place to enjoy spectacular views.

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