Lazio + Umbria

Lazio + Umbria Travel Guide

The only way to see what gardening authority Penelope Hobhouse called “one of the great masterpieces of Italian garden art” is by first taking the official tour of the Villa Farnese, a formidable pentagonal fortress that sits above the town looking out toward Rome.

This long-established producer makes chemical-free wines: Umbria Terra dei Preti has an intense, flinty flavor, and the bottles have charming old-fashioned green-and-white labels. Arrange a tasting in the cellars of the vineyard's gray stone farmhouse.

Select a bottle of syrupy black vinegar—make sure it’s labeled tradizionale, which means it’s made from aged grape must with no added sugar.

Given the unknowableness of what moves a luxury product, Cashmere-giant Cucinelli’s conviction that benevolent ideology motors his company is as good as any. Last year he had gross profits of $9 million on sales of $165 million.

At the Villa Lante, built for Cardinal Gambara in the 1560’s on a hillside above the medieval town of Bagnaia and considered by many to be the finest Renaissance garden in Italy, the twin pavilions, or palazzine, play such a minor part in architect Giacomo Vignola’s overall design they might as w

The downtown location of Gilda is considered among the best nightclubs in the city. Like many competitors, the owners of Gilda open a beachside version of the club from May to September.

Moderate and challenging walks (and a few small-ship cruises) in 80 destinations around the world with a roster of insider guides, such as Morocco native Saida Ezzahoui, an expert on native flora and fauna.

A remote convent with a cloistered garden, where 75 Trappist nuns make natural wines under the guidance of Giampiero Bea. Sample the Coenobium Rusticum, an orange-inflected white wine made by soaking grape skins in fresh juice, and golden-green Coenobium, with hints of herbs.

Here, tucked under the arid Lepini Hills, the ruins of a medieval town (razed by civil war in 1382) were gradually transformed over the course of the 20th century by the aristocratic, now died-out Caetani family into what some consider the most beautiful garden on earth.

The weaving studio is located in a small workshop in Perugia's San Francesco delle Donne, a deconsecrated 13th-century church. Founded by Giuditta Brozzetti in 1921 to showcase the handwork of village women, it's now managed by her daughter and granddaughter.

Stop by for a degustazione in the bio-architectural headquarters, constructed with radon-free travertine stone. Taste the Montefalco Sagrantino red, made from Sagrantino grapes, with sweet hints of blackberry and persimmon.

Located 30 miles outside downtown, the Miraggio Club, or Club Mirage, is a beachside escape for families to enjoy outdoor activities like swimming pools with waterslides, tennis and volleyball courts, and a small hotel for overnight visits.

Frescoes depicting the life of Saint Francis and others by Renaissance artist Benozzo Gozzoli, a pupil of Fra Angelico, fill this deconsecrated church.