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Map of Farm houses in Umbria


Information on Umbria


804.054 abitanti




In the east with Marche, in the south with Lazio, in the west with Tuscany.


From the employment point of view, Agricultur is the rock upon which the Umbrian economy stands; it provides work for a good 14% of the population. Grain, sugarbeet, olive, grape and tobacco growing is at the highest level and the most developed in the whole of Umbria. Black truffles which grow on the wooded mountainsides around Spoleto, Cascia and Nocia are also economically important. If sheep raring is of modest proportion, pig breeding on the other hand, has a much greater importance. The growing and processing of wood is quite well developed and is used for making furniture and paper.


Umbria stretches over the vast Tyrrhenian slopes of the central Appenines and is equadistant from the Adriatic an Tyrrhenian Seas. The terrain is almmost entirely mountianous and hilly; areas of plain are few and small. 94% of the region in on elevated ground, and the highest peak standing in the east is Mount Cucco at 1.567 m. To tell the truth , Mount Vettore at 2.478 m. is at a higher altitude but it is on the border between Umbria and Marche in the Sibilline Range. The only plains lie in the valleys of the Rivers Tevere (Tiber) Topino and Nera. Trasimeno is the most important lake of the region and os the fourth largest in Italy; it covers an area of aboout 125 sq.kms, has a maximun depth of just 6 m. and possesses three islands called Maggiore Minore and Polvese. Rivers are numerous ; there are watercourses throughout the region and almost all of them flow into the Tiber. Three of these are called the Nera, the Nestore and the Chiasco. Umbria has a cool and airy climate in summer an winters is wooded area with oaks, chestnut and beech trees. Topography: Mountain 20.3% Hill 70.7%


Up to now, the principle obstacle to modern industrialization in Umbrian territory, has not only been geographical but is also due to the insufficient development of lines of communication. (road and rail). Terni and Perugia are the most industrialised centres in the region and they have an equally well established iron and steel production and an important food product sector. The rich legacy of art and the natural beauty of the region are not fully exploited by the tourist industry because, as has already been mentioned. of the lack of road and rail communication. Tourism in Umbria is transitory at the moment, but the authorities are trying to encourage visitors to stay longer by organizing Folk Festivals like the Candle Race at Gubbio and the Festival of two Worlds. Commerce and finance are of little importance; they are penalized by not having a modern organization and by a still undeveloped industrial sector.


Perugia is the capital city of Umbria; it stands on a hill overlooking the Tevere (Tiber) valley between Lake Trasimeno and the Subasio mountains. The city has a well established agrarian economy producing maize, sugarbeet and sunflowers, while industry in the textile, metalmechanic and clothing factories, is reasonably important. Tourism is quite flourishing in this region. Perugia still keeps the characteristically medieval appearance enhanced by the beautiful Churches of Sant'Angelo, San Prospero and San Pietro. (St. Angel, Prosper and Peter) The Churches of Sant'Agostino and San Pietro al Prato (St. Peter in the Field) are built in the Roman style while the Duomo and the Churches of Santa Giuliana and sant'Agatha are Gothic. Rather modest for importance and beauty are the Semonario Palace the Communal Palace or dei Priori the Priors and the Bishop's Palace. Terni is situated in an area almost entirely mountainous with the Rivers Nera, Tevere and Paglia running through. Because of the plentiful supply of hydeoelectric energy (provided by Nera's waters) Terni's economy is good from both the industrial and the agricultural point of view; in fact the yield from sugarbeet, ceral and grapes is as good as tha from the chemical and food product sectors. This city offers some interesting building from the medieval period, the Churches of San Salvatore (Sr. Saviour) and San Francesco (St. Francis); the Duomo is built in the Baroque style. Tourist Localities: Perugia, Assisi and Orvieto are cities renowned for works of art and are a great tourist attraction.


The most important personages of Umbria are San Francesco of Assisi, il Perugino, San Benedetto (St. Benedict) of Norcia and Jacopone of Todi. St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan Order sometimes called The litthe Brothers, is rovowned for his decision to live a life of poverty following the examples of JesusChrist. He had gone on a pilgrimage to rome; here he stood at the door of the Basicica of St. Peter and gave all he possessed to the poor; then he decided to returmn to Assisi as a beggar. This incensed his father, a well to do merchant; he became even more angry when in front of the Bishop of Assisi, his son renounced all right to his inheritance by choosing to live by beggein alms. When he returned to Italy from Egypt where he had tried, in vain, to preach the Gospel, he called his followers to a General Council in 1221; he did this to put an end to internal dissent between those monks who believed in absolute poverty and the majority who wanted a more moderate life; the latter prevailed, and St. Francis gave up his position of Superior General. Brother Francis wrote these famous line and verses: Testamento Landes Dei (Praises to God) and il Cantico di Frate Sole (The Canticle of Brother sun). Pietro di Cristoforo Vannucci, more commly known as Il Perugino. 1410-1523 was a great painter, a pupil of Verrochio and the Maestro of Raffaello. His gratest works are l'Apollo e Marcia, la Pieta' and la Crocifissione as well as the frescoes which he painted in the Sistine Chapel in Rome. The father of monachism in the west, San Benedetto (St. Benedict of the Benedictine Order of Monks) da Norcia, was the famous founder of the Monastery at Montecassino and was General of the order in Europe.


After fighting hard an for many years against the Romans the umbri were forced to give up the struggle and came under Roman rule; however, in a very short time they became their most faithful allies and this was demonstrated in 216B.C. when the Roman supremacy was abourt to give way before the Carthaginian advance. In fact the Umbri were one of the few people who did not abandon Rome during this difficult time. Roman rule lasted until the 5th century A.D.. When the region passed to first the Goths and then to the Longobards, who instituted the Duchy of Spoleto. The firts Comunes began to form between the 11th and 12 th centuries chief among which was Perugia; but after many and varied internal struggles the Comunes decided, of their own accord, to come under the control of the Church State of the Papacy. In the early years of the 14th century powerful Signorie (Lords of noble families) arose which succeeded in extracting themselves from Church rule and thus increase their prestige. The most important of these families were the Baglioni of Perugia, the Atti of Todi and the Monaldeschi of Orvieto. However, in 1540, after a long hard war pope paul III made the entire region subject to the Church State once more. In 1808, after three centuries of peace under the control of the Church State Umbria was annexed to the Napoleonic Empire, when it became the Department of Trasimeno. This foreign domination lasted a very short tine and in 1815 the territory was again under the control of the Church State. During the years of the Risorgimento, Umbria helped. in no small way to promote the Unification of Italy; many of its people joined the Piedmontese Army as volunteers. At last in 1860 Umbria became part of the Kingdom of Italy.

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