Places To Visit

Umbria is a region in central Italy known for its landscapes, traditions, history, art and  culture. It borders on Tuscany but it’s greener, more rugged and less crowded then its better known neighbor. 
The region is characterized by hills, mountains,valleys and historical hill top towns such as Perugia, Assisi, Orvieto and many others like Montefalco best known for it’s red table wine, Montefalco Rosso and Sagrantino de Montefalco or Deruta famous for its hand painted pottery. 
In literature, Umbria is referred to as il cuore verde d'Italia (the green heart of Italy). The phrase is taken from a poem by Giosuè Carducci, the subject of which is the source of the Clitunno River in Umbria.

The closest city to Villa Santa Caterina is Perugia , which is located approximately halfway between Florence (to the North) and Rome (to the South). Villa Santa Caterina is about 20 km North of Perugia.
This off-the-beaten-path area is rich with historical sites, rolling hills, vineyards and farms.  This is the Italy most "tourists" never get to see --  authentic and true, where time-honored traditions are continued.

See below for more on nearby places of interest, all within an easy day trip from Villa Santa Caterina.
• Antognolla Golf (15 minutes)
• Arezzo (1 hour)
• Assisi (30 minutes)
• Deruta (30 minutes)
• Gubbio (30 minutes)
• Lago Trasimeno (30 minutes)
• Orvieto (1+1/2 hours)
• Perugia (20 minutes)
• Spello (40 minutes)
• Spoleto (1 hour)
• Outlet Mall at Valdichiana (45 minutes)
• Deruta (30 minutes)
• Florence (1-1/2 hours)
• Rome (2-1/2 hours)

Antognolla Golf

Antognolla Golf is situated just a couple kilometers from Santa Caterina. In fact the 12th century castle which is part of Antognolla estate can be clearly seen from everywhere on our property. The Golf course was designed by Robert Trent Jones and is surrounded by mountains and forests. Besides the course at the Antognolla Club you will also find a well equipped Pro shop, a practice driving range and putting green, as well as a Club House & Bar and an authentic restaurant ‘Il Caldaro’, serving local Umbrian cuisine.



















































This ancient Tuscan city with its Roman ruins, medieval walls and Renaissance architecture has always been a magnet for art lovers but never more so than during the Antique Market held throughout the year on the first weekend of every month. The stalls spread over Piazza San Francesco, Piazza Grande, over the side alleys and across the historic centre.  After some intense hunting and bargaining enjoy delicious lunch in the shade of the arches of Santa Maria della Piave.
 A scene from the film The English Patient was shot here. Arezzo was also featured in the film A Beautiful Life. 















Piazza Grande and the arches of Santa Maria della Pieve






















Market day in Arezzo



The birthplace of St. Francis, who founded the Franciscan religious order in this town in 1208. The Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi, is a UNESCO World Heritage cite and is a must-see when visiting Umbria. It consists of The Franciscan monastery and the lower and upper church. The lower church has frescoes by the late-medieval artists Cimabue and Giotto. The main square dominated by a fountain has many outdoor restaurants and is the center of social activity. High above the town there is a small monastery, Eremo delle Carceri where, legend has it, St.Francis retreated and preached to birds.














Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi















View to Rocca Maggiore, a fortress dating back to the 12th century






















Street Scene in Assisi



An authentic medieval town where many houses date back to the 14th & 15th century and were originally the dwellings of wealthy merchants. Each year on the 15th of May this otherwise austere town hosts one of the most celebrated festivals in Italy, Festa dei Ceri. The entire town participates in this event where young, athletic men compete in a race uphill from the town’s main square to the Basilica of St. Ubaldo, carrying huge wooden artifacts representing the three patron saints of Gubbio, St. Ubaldo, St. Georgio and St. Antonio. If you miss the race, the Basilica which sits on top of Mt. Igino, can be reached on foot (about an hour) or by a cable car. The views from the top are magnificent.
















View of Gubbio and the surrounding countryside from Palazzo dei Consoli














La Festa dei Ceri at Gubbio






















Street scene in Gubbio


Lago Trasimeno

For some change of pace visit the the lake towns of  Passignano and Castiglione del Lago  Take a walk along the lakeshore or a boat ride to Isola Maggiore  where peacocks stroll among the ruins of an old castle. Dine in some of the best fish restaurants in this part of the state or partake in some of the  water sports this town has to offer.
Every year, Castiglione del Lago is the host of the Coloriamo i Cieli festival, The "Colour the Skies” event which  is held  in late April or May and includes light aircraft, hot air balloons, and thousands of multi coloured kites. 
















Passignano on the shores of Lake Trasimeno















Pier where boats depart for Isola Maggiore

















Fortress of the Lion in Castiglione del Lago





















Old town of Castiglione del Lago



Perched high above tufa cliffs,Orvieto’s position is among the most dramatic in Europe. The ancient city, populated since Etruscan times, was a major centre of Etruscan civilization; the archaeological museum (Museo Claudio Faina e Museo Civico) houses some of the Etruscan artifacts that have been recovered in the immediate neighborhood. The Orvieto Cathedral, dating back to the 13th century is a MUST SEE site. The façade is particularly striking and includes some remarkable sculpture by Lorenzo Maitani. Inside the cathedral, the Chapel of San Brizio has frescos  by Fra Angelico and  Luca Signorelli's masterpiece, the Last Judgment.Orvieto is also very well know for producing most of the wine in Umbria. The wine industry has played a vital role in the region's culture and economy for hundreds of years. 




















Orvieto Cathedral



Founded during the Etruscan period, is the capital of Umbria and home to the University of Perugia, established in 1308. Best known for The Umbria Jazz festival in July and Eurochocolate festival in October, it is one of the cultural and artistic centers of Italy. Join locals in a passeggiata (the Italian tradition of strolling) down Corso Vanucci, a pedestrian walkway lined with fashionable stores, restaurants and cafes.
















Fontana Maggiore on Piazza IV Novembre














Corso Vannucci



A charming hill top town at the base of Monte Subasio . It’s small and quaint with winding streets and stunning views. During the feast of Corpus Domini (May/June) this normally peaceful town is transformed into a magnificent carpet of wild flowers collected from the Umbrian countryside throughout the year.














Infiorata in Spello on the eve of Corpus Domini

















Street Scene in Spello



A visually a stunning town located at the foot of the Appenine mountains and dominated by The Rocca Albornoziana fortress. Since 1958 it has played host to The Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of the Two Worlds), three-weeks filled with music, theater and dance performances. 













View of Spoleto from the hills above


Valdichiana Outlet Village & Playground

For those a bit worn out by lazing poolside or strolling along the streets of old historical towns, take some time for shopping therapy and head for Valdichiana Outlet Village & Playground. It’s only about 40 minutes from Santa Caterina on the way to Florence. Valdichiana has a variety of outlet stores for men, women and children at discounted prices, restaurants and cafes and a wonderful playground for children.














Playground at Valdichiana















Kids can play, grown-ups can shop at Valdichiana















The carousel at Valdichiana