Ancient history

Discovering the Umbria of the Romans

A tour through the cities of Umbria along the left bank of the Tiber River to discover the Roman history of the Region.

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Your journey starts in Gubbio and then takes you south-east over the Via Flaminia, the old consular road that connects Rome to Rimini.

Start at the highest part of Gubbio, at the Museo Civico (City Museum) in the lovely Palazzo dei Consoli, home to the Iguvine Tablets, seven bronze tablets on which, during the III and II century BCE, the longest text in the Umbrian language we know of was written. It describes local purification rituals which, even in those days, were already ancient.

Stop and look out over the gorgeous view from the main piazza: the sheer beauty of it will make you want to learn more. Head to the lower part of the town, to the Roman Theatre, which was built in the 1st century BCE and still today comes alive with a variety of summer events. The nearby Antiquarium, in the archaeological area of Guastuglia, will give you a chance to learn more about the history of this area as you admire the remains of Roman villas.

Continue now along the Via Flaminia, but not before you've had a snack of local crescia, a traditional bread to be laden with cured meat, cheese or vegetables. The next stop is Fossato di Vico. In ancient times it was known as Helvillum and it is still a tranquil village nestled in nature, once a rest stop for man and his herds as they moved over the mountains. A stop at the Antiquarium comunale, set up in a building that was once a jail, will give you a good idea of the history of the town from pre-historic times to today.  

Go back to the Via Flaminia and head towards Gualdo Tadino: you'll immediately see the Rocca Flea, one of Umbria's most important forts and now also home to the town's Museo Civico (City Museum).

Get back on the main road and drive through the green valleys to Nocera Umbra, the home of one of the most important Longobard necropoles in all of Italy, the Portone, relics of which are housed at the documentation centre. Just outside of town is the Marble Bridge, further proof of the Roman presence in the area.

Your trip ends here, but do stop in one of the local eateries to enjoy a meal before you set off on the next leg of your Umbria discovery trip. You'll take home a great memory of ancient flavours.