Umbertide is located in the Upper Tiber Valley in northern Umbria, in a green valley lying below Mt. Acuto made very fertile by the Tiber River, which runs through it for about 50 kilometers.
Evidence of the first settlements from the 6th century BC is provided by the Mt. Acuto bronzes, votive objects found at the top of the mountain, where an Etruscan sanctuary once stood. The earliest reliable documents on the town date from 1189, when Umbertide was subject to the jurisdiction of Perugia. Perugia maintained control until the 16th century, when it entered the Papal States, under the rule of which it remained until the establishment of the Kingdom of Italy (1860).
ART, CULTURE, ENVIRONMENT
Standing out in the historic center is the Rocca, a superb medieval fortress, which has always been the symbol of the town. The Rocca has been entirely renovated, and is now the home of the Contemporary Art Center.
Two fine buildings are the octagonal Church of Santa Maria della Reggia (16th century), and the beautifully restored Church of Santa Croce (1610), which has been turned into a Museum: inside are a Deposition by Luca Signorelli (1516) and a large painting by Pomarancio. Also interesting are the Church of San Bernardino (1556), the Church of Santa Maria della Pietà (1486), with a fresco attributed to Pinturicchio, and the Church of San Francesco, the oldest in Umbertide (1299): following meticulous restoration work to preserve it, it was reopened to the public and for worship in February 2005.
Worth a visit nearby are the castles of Civitella Ranieri, of Serra Partucci, Montalto, Ascagano, Romeggio and Polgeto, and the old medieval villages of Montemigiano and Santa Giuliana. The many churches include in particular the Abbey of San Salvatore and the Monte Corona Hermitage, built at an elevation of 700 meters in a beech and chestnut wood overlooking the Camaldolese abbey founded in 1008. It has a notable 11th-century crypt with Romanesque capitals and a fresco (14th century) of the Annunciation. Lastly, there is the exquisite medieval village of Preggio, with the ruins of the Rocca (fortress), the Church of the Santissima Trinità in San Francesco (13th century) and the Church of Madonna delle Grazie (15th century).