Umbria is a region of saints In 480, St Benedict, the founder of western monasticism, was born in the picturesque, medieval town of Norcia St.

Francis came into being some 700 years later in Assisi, founding a new order According to local legend, St Francis is said to have picked up worms off the street, so that would not be trod upon by passerbys Along those lines, he also supplied bees with honey and wine so that they would not perish in the cold winter.

And while this respectful, almost mystical relationship with nature of the Umbrians still exists today (watch out for those drunken bees!), it does not mean that the region is without its colorful, more secular festivities Umbria, the hilliest region in Italy, is an extremely green and pristine area, where nature and history blend together, offering visitors a unique mix of medieval monuments and churches and astonishing natural attractions, like national parks, water falls and lakes Winemaking traditions reach back to the Etruscans and Romans The cuisine of Umbria is simple and natural; the food served is whatever happens to be in season.

In spring and summer, vegetable dishes predominate; in fall and winter, the focus is on the spoils of hunting season and the famous black truffles from Norcia, a picturesque medieval town, which also happens to be a culinary stronghold in the region The town is so celebrated for its perfected art of butchery and sausage-making, that the Italian word norcino signifies not only an inhabitant of Norcia, but also means pork butcher and sausage producer, a synonym used throughout Italy Winemaking traditions in this region reach back to the Etruscans and Romans, and as in Burgundy, grape growing and winemaking practices were further developed and enriched by the monks during Medieval times In fact, Orvieto was once one of the most celebrated of Italian wines praised by many artists, princes and popes who visited the region.

Since those times, Orvieto has gone from a semi-sweet wine to a pure, crisp and delicate example of modern technology Yet to date, Umbria has remained in the shadow of Tuscany in both popularity and production Today, this region is making exciting wines, both red and white, and people are starting to take more notice.