Umbria is a chameleon like land, with many different faces: fields enclosed by bushes and walls alternate with specialised plantations, maquis of woods and stretches of olives and sun flowers, rocky plateaux and undulating hills. Accents and speech differ too: a mix of Tuscan, Marches, and Lazio elements. However, the people's love of the land and its traditions is identical, all enclosed in a symbol: the fruit of the vine.
Wine has always been a continuing aspect of Umbria culture, inherent in its history, a love even narrated on the bas-reliefs of church façades. The particularly mild climate, and the permeable soils which encourage the growth and full ripening of grapes, have enabled this small region to become the land of great wines. It was once betrayed by vine dressers, but now it is the elixir of the vineyards that accompanies the traveller in discovering the many coloured Umbria treasures, where the "Green Heart of Italy" recounts itself through art, history, gastronomy and artisan trades. By following the bunch of grapes along the Roads of wine, you can visit wine cellars, taste typical products, enter the Umbria of memories and travel across life's experiences again, through ancient villages, fortresses, villas and castles.
But these tasty itineraries do not only exalt the divine Umbria notes, which range from 2 DOCG (Wines of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin Denomination), namely Forgiano Rosso reserve and Sagrantino di Montefalco, 11 DOC (Denomination of Origin) and 6 IGT (Typical Geographic Indication). The tastes of the "good table" also pass through these paths: lentils, spelt, truffles, lake fish, pork and pigeon, not to mention the DOP "Umbria" extra-virgin Olive oil (the only Italian denomination that covers the entire regional oil production), the IGP ham of Norcia, and the IGP Lentils of Castelluccio (IGP=Protected Geographic Indication), all characterise local cooking, a popular peasant origin cuisine, consisting of simple recipes, anchored to the area and its resources. Many classic dishes originate from these typical products, such as: palombacci alla ghiotta, the tegamaccio made with fish from lake Trasimeno, roast sucking pig, stringozzi, lentil soups, mixed roast meats, flat cheese loafs, the pampepato sweet speciality of Terni, figs stuffed with almonds, and Amelia walnuts.
Just choose one of the four attractive Wine Roads - from the Cantico Wine Road to the Etruscan-Roman Wine Road, from the Trasimeno Hills Road to the Sagrantino Road - to come into contact with this land's very soul, a perfect blend of ancient and modern, where convents, abbeys and castles smoothly integrate with the Umbria of the great musical and worldly events of international significance, such as Umbria Jazz and the Spoleto Festival.