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Italy

Recommended attractions in the hill towns of Umbria and Tuscany


Assisi
Assisi Tourist Information Office, Piazza del Comune 12
Phone:  0758.125.34
Hours:  Summer, 8AM to 6:30PM daily; Off season Monday through Saturday 8AM to 2PM and 3:30PM to 6:30PM; Sundays 9AM to 1PM

Basicila di San Francesco, Piazza San Francesco
One of the most sacred churches in Christianity, this basilica contains
some of the finest examples of early Italian Renaissance art in the world. Frescoes by Giotto, Simone Martini, Cimabue, and Pietro Lorenzetti make this a highlight of any trip to Umbria.
Free
Phone:  0758.190.01
Hours:  Lower Basilica,6AM to 6PM daily; Upper Basilica, 8:30 to 6PM daily
Web:   www.sanfrancescoassisi.org/
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Basilica della Santa Chiara, Piazza della Santa Chiara
This church contains the tomb of Santa Chiara, the founder of the Order of Poor Clares, and the crucifix that spoke to St. Francis, causing his conversion.
Phone:  0758.122.82
Hours:  April through October 7AM to 12:05PM and 2PM to 6:55PM daily; November through March 7AM to noon and 2PM to 6PM daily

Eremo delle Carceri, Via Eremo delle Carceri (about 2 1/2 miles from town)
Saint Francis came to this peaceful spot in the woods outside Assisi for quiet contemplation. The Hermitage was originally in a cave, but now it has been hollowed from the rock.
Phone:  075.812.301
Hours:  8AM to 6PM daily
Admission:   Free, but the friars rely on alms as their support, so please make a donation

Rocca Maggiore, climb the steps from the Basilica
Built in the 14th century to establish Papal dominance over the town, this great fortress offers great views and a torture museum.
Phone:  075.815.292
Hours:  10AM to dusk daily
Admission:   2.60EUR

Deruta
Museo della Ceramica Umbra, Largo San Francesco
Deruta has been noted for its ceramics since the 16th century and this museum will help you know what to look for in the 100 shops here that sell ceramics.
Phone:  0759.711.000
Hours:  April through September, daily 10:30AM to 1PM and 3:30PM to 6PM; the rest of the year Wednesday through Monday, 10:30AM to 1PM and 3:30PM to 7PM
Admission:   3EUR

Lucca
Casa di Puccini, Via di Poggio 9
The birthplace of the composer is today a music school and small museum.
Phone:  0583.58.40.28
Hours:  10AM to 6PM daily, June through September; 10AM to 1PM and 3PM to 6PM Tuesday through Sunday, October through May
Admission:   3EUR

Cattedrale di San Martino, Piazza San Martino
Dating from 1060, this beautiful, idiosyncratic church is an excellent example of the Pisan-Romanesque style. Twisting columns and arched galleries highlight the exterior. There's a beautiful tomb by Jacopo della Quercia inside.
Phone:  0583.95.70.68
Hours:  9:30AM to 5:45 PM Daily; open one hour later on Saturday
Admission:   2EUR for entry into the sacristy

Lucca Tourist Information Office, Piazzale Verdi
Phone:  0583.44.29.44
Hours:  April through October 9AM to 7PM daily, open to 9AM to 1PM and 3PM to 6PM off season
Web:   www.luccaturismo.it

Museo Nazionale di Villa Guinigi, Via della Quarquonia
Housed in a villa built in 1418 for one of Lucca's leading families, this museum contains local Romanesque and Renaissance art.
Phone:  0583.49.60.33
Hours:  9AM to 7PM Tuesday through Saturday; 9AM to 2PM Sunday
Admission:   4EUR

Palazzo Guinigi, Via Guinigi
The tower of this medieval palace is topped with an oak grove. The roots have infiltrated the ceiling of the room below. Great views from the tower.
Phone:  0583.55.570
Hours:  8:30AM to 7PM Tuesday through Saturday; 8:30AM to 1PM Sunday
Admission:   4EUR

Palazzo Pfanner, Via degli Asili 33
The formal Renaissance gardens surrounding this 17th-century palace are among the most beautiful in Tuscany.
Phone:  0583.491.243
Hours:  10am to 6pm daily, March 1 to November 15
Admission to the gardens:   2.50EUR
Amission to the palazzo:  2.50EUR

San Frediano, Piazza San Frediano
This Romanesque church has a splendid 13th-century mosaic on the fašade. Inside, there are two tombs by della Quercia.
Phone:  0583.493.627
Hours:  Monday through Saturday 7:30AM to noon and 3PM to 5PM; Sundays 10:30AM to 5PM
Admission:   Free

San Michele in Foro, Piazza San Michele
Lucca's other great Pisan-Romanesque church has a fašade with four tiers of galleries and a nice painting by Filippo Lippi.
Phone:  0583.48.459
Hours:  7:30AM to noon and 3PM to 6PM daily
Admission:   Free

Villa Reale, Marlia
Once the home of Napoleon's sister Elisa, this villa became the property of the Dukes of Parma and the Duke of Tuscany. Highlights of the beautiful gardens are an open-air theater created from topiary and the "Alley of the Camelias."
Phone:  0583.30108
Hours:  In summer, Tuesday through Sundays guided tours at 10AM, 11AM, Noon, 3PM, 4PM, 5PM, and 6PM. Off-season by appointment.
Admission:   6EUR

Montefalco
Museo Civico di San Francesco, Via Ringhiera Umbra 9
This former church contains Gozzoli's frescoes of the Life of St. Francis. Worth a visit to compare to Giotto's treatment of the same subject in nearby Assisi.
Phone:  0742.379.598
Hours:  April through September, open daily; October through March, closed Mondays.

Orvieto
Il Duomo, Piazza del Duomo
One of the finest Romanesque-Gothic cathedrals in Italy, this church has an incredible fašade and beautiful interior frescoes by Luca Signorelli.
Phone:  0763.341.167
Hours:  April through September 7:30AM to 12:45PM and 2:30PM to 7:15PM daily; November through February 7:30AM to 12:45PM and 2:30PM to 5:15PM daily; March and October 7:30AM to 12:45PM and 2:30PM to 6:15PM daily
Web:   www.initaly.com/regions/umbria/duomo.htm
Admission:   3EUR

Museo Archeologico Faina and Museo Civico, Piazza Duomo 29
This museum housed in the former Papal Palace contains many Etruscan artifacts and Greek vases.
Phone:  0763.341.511
Hours:  April though September, Tuesday through Sunday 10AM to 1PM and 2PM to 6PM; October through March, Tuesday through Sunday 10AM to 1PM and 2:30PM to 5PM
Web:   www.museofaina.it
Admission:   4.50EUR

Museo dell' Opera del Duomo, Piazza Duomo
This small museum contains designs by the Duomo's architects, sculptures by Pisano and treasures belonging to the Cathedral.
Phone:  0763. 342.477
Hours:  Call for times
Web:   ww.opsm.it/

Necropoli del Crocifisso del Tufo, Strada Statale 71, km 1,600
This Estruscan cemetary dates from the 6th century BC.
Phone:  0763.34.36.11
Hours:  9AM to 7PM, Monday through Saturday, April through September; 8:30AM to 5:30, Monday through Saturday, October through March; open until 11PM on Saturdays, June through September
Admission:   2EUR

Orvieto Tourist Information Office, Piazza del Duomo 24
Phone:  0763.34.17.72
Hours:  Monday through Friday 8:15AM to 1:50PM and 4PM to 7PM; Saturdays 10AM to 1PM and 3:30PM to 7PM and Sundays 10AM to noon and 4PM to 6PM

Orvieto Underground Tours, leaving from the Tourist Information Office at Piazza del Duomo 24
Explore some of the 1,200 wells and storage caverns created by the Etruscans beneath Orvieto.
Phone:  0763.344.891
Hours:  Tours leave the Tourist Info office at 11AM, 12:15PM, 4PM and 5:15PM, closed February
Web:   www.orvietounderground.it
Tours:   6EUR

Pozzo di San Patrizio, Viale San Gallo
Fearing the city's water supply might be cut off, Pope Clement VII commissioned this 200-ft well in 1527. You can descend into the well via one of two spiral staicases.
Phone:  0763.343.768
Hours:  April through September 9:30AM to 7PM daily; October through March 10AM to 6PM daily
Admission:   3.50EUR

Perugia
Collegio del Cambio, Palazzo dei Priori, Corso Vannucci 25
The former meeting house and guild hall of Perugia's tradesmen, the halls are decorated with frescoes painted by Perugino and others.
Phone:  075.572.8599
Hours:  March through October, Tuesday through Saturday 9AM to 12:30PM and 2:30PM to 5:30PM; Sundays and holidays 9AM to 1PM; November through February, Tuesday through Saturday 8AM to 2PM; Sundays and holidays 9AM to 12:30PM
Admission:   2.60EUR

Il Duomo, Piazza IV Novembre
This rather plain cathedral features Luca Signorelli's Madonna.
Phone:  075.572.3832
Hours:  8AM to noon and 4PM to 7PM daily
Admission:   Free

Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Piazza Giordano Bruno
This museum contains a large collection of Etruscan artifacts from the region.
Phone:  075.572.7141
Hours:  Monday through Saturday 8:30AM to 7:30PM; Sundays 9AM to 1PM
Admission:   2EUR

National Gallery of Umbria, Palazzo dei Priori, Corso Vannucci 19
This marvelous gallery includes work by Duccio, Fabiano, Fra Angelico, Pierro della Francesca, and Perugino, the city's native son.
Phone:  075.574.1247
Hours:  Monday through Friday 8:30AM to 7:30PM; Sundays 9AM to 1PM; closed the first Monday of every month
Admission:   6.50EUR

Palazzo dei Priori, Corso Vannucci 19
Dating from the 13th century, this is one of the finest public buildings in Umbria. Inside are the National Gallery of Umbria and the Collegio del Cambio.
Hours:  Tuesday through Sunday 9AM to 1PM and 3PM to 7PM; In summer, daily

Perugia Tourist Information Office, Piazza IV Novembre 3
Phone:  075.573.6458
Hours:  Monday through Saturday 8:30AM to 1:30PM and 3:30PM to 6:30PM; Sundays and holidays 9AM to 1PM

Pisa
Baptistry, Piazza del Duomo
This circular building is noted for its acoustics and for the pulpit by Nicola Pisano.
Phone:  050.560.547
Hours:  April through September 8AM to 7:30PM; opening one to two hours later and closing two or three hours earlier off season
Web:   www.opapisa.it
Admission:   5EUR Combination tickets available

Il Duomo, Piazza del Duomo 17
The chief attraction here is the 14th-century pulpit sculpted by Giovanni Pisano. Cimabue's mosaic Christ Pantocrator is also here.
Phone:  050.560.547
Hours:  10AM to 8PM daily, April through September; 10AM to 7PM daily, in October; 10AM to 1PM and 3PM to 5PM daily, November through February; 10AM to 6PM daily, in March
Web:   www.opapisa.it
Admission:   2EUR Combination tickets available

Leaning Tower of Pisa, Piazza del Duomo
The tower is available to tour only by reservation. Make reservations via their website well in advance.
Hours:  8:30AM to 8:30PM daily, April through September; 9AM to 7PM daily, in October; 9:30AM to 5PM daily, November through February; 9AM to 6PM daily, in March
Web:   www.opapisa.it
Admission:   17EUR includes booking fee

Museo Nazionale di San Matteo, Piazzetta San Matteo 1
This gallery contains Pisan and Florentine art from the 12th through the 16th century including work by Francesco Traini, Simone Martini, Andrea Pisano, Masaccio, Donatello, and Fra Angelico.
Phone:  050.541.865
Hours:  Tuesday through Saturday 9AM to 7PM; Sundays 9AM to 2PM
Admission:   4EUR

Pisa Tourist Information Office, Piazza della Stazione
Phone:  050.560.464
Hours:  Monday through Saturday 9AM to 6PM; Sundays 9AM to noon

San Gimignano
Collegiata o Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta, Piazza del Duomo
Highlights of a visit here include frescoes by Bartolo di Freddi. Inside the church, the Chapel of Santa Fina has beautiful frescoes by Domenico Ghirlandaio.
Phone:  0577.940.316
Hours:  9:30AM to 7:30PM, Sunday through Friday, 9:30AM to 5PM Saturday, April through October; 9:30AM to 5PM, Monday through Saturday, 1PM to 5PM Sunday, November through January; 9:30AM to 5PM daily in March; closed in February
Admission:   4EUR

Museo Civico, In the Palazzo del Popolo, Piazza del Duomo 1
The museum in the town hall contains a fine Madonna by Lippo Memmi and an Annunciation by Filippino Lippi. Climb the tower for killer views and photos.
Phone:  0577.940.340
Hours:  March through October 9:30AM to 7PM daily; November through February, 10AM to 5:30PM daily
Admission:   5EUR

Museo d'Arte Sacra, Piazza Luigi Pecori
This tiny museum has some interesting medieval tombstones and illuminated manuscripts.
Phone:  0577.942.226
Hours:  April through October 9:30AM to 7:30PM Monday through Friday, 9:30AM to 5PM Saturday, 1AM to 5PM Sunday; November through March, 9:30AM to 5PM Monday through Saturday, 1PM to 5PM Sunday
Admission:   3EUR

San Gimignano Tourist Information Office, Piazza del Duomo 1
Phone:  0577.940.008
Hours:  March through October 9AM to 1PM and 3PM to 7PM daily; open until 6PM off season. Combination museum tickets available here.
Web:   www.sangimignano.com

Sant'Agostino, Piazza Sant'Agostino
The Rococo interior of this church includes a Coronation by Pollaiuolo and Benozzo Gozzoli's frescoes illustrating the life of St. Augustine.
Phone:  0577.907.012
Hours:  7AM to noon and 3PM to 7PM daily, closing one hour earlier off season

Siena
Agricoltori Chianti Geografica, Via Mulinaccio 10
This cooperative of more than 200 wine growers is a great place to learn more about production techniques in Chianti.
Phone:  0577.74.94.89
Hours:  Call

Baptistry, Piazza San Giovanni, behind the Duomo
The baptismal font here, one of the finest in existence, is the work of Italy's great sculptors: Jacopo dell Quercia, Ghiberti, and Donatello.
Phone:  0577.283.048
Hours:  Mid-March through September 9AM to 7:30PM daily; October 9AM to 6PM daily; November through Mid-March 10AM to 1PM and 2:30PM to 5PM daily
Admission:   2EUR

Castello di Brolio, Loc. Agresto e I Colli, Gaiole in Chianti, 53013
The home of the Barone Ricasoli Wine House, this estate produces some of the most highly regarded wines in the region.
Phone:  0577.73.02.20
Hours:  Monday through Saturday 9AM to 6PM, also open on Sundays 11AM to 7PM during the summer
Email:  shop@ricasoli.it
Web:   www.ricasoli.it/
Admission:   3EUR

Castello di Querceto, Via A. Franšois, 2 Greve in Chianti, 50020
125 acres surrounding an 11th-century castle. This estate produces reds and whites.
Phone:  0558.59.21
Hours:  Monday to Friday from 9AM to 6PM; open on Saturday afternoon in spring and summer; Call for reservations for other times
Email:  querceto@castellodiquerceto.it
Web:   www.castellodiquerceto.it

Castello di Tizzano, San Polo, Chianti, 50020
Sample wine in the 15th- and 16th-century cellars of this massive estate producing Chianti Classico under the Gallo Nero label and olive oil.
Phone:  055.48.27.37
Hours:  Call

Castello di Uzzano, Via Uzzano 5, Greve in Chianti, 50022
This stunning castle, built for the bishop of Florence in the 13th century, is as appealing to garden lovers as it is to oenophiles. The 700-acre estate includes 6-acres of formal Renaissance gardens.
Phone:  055.85.44.851
Hours:  Monday through Friday 8AM to noon and 1PM to 6PM
Email:  uzzano@val.it
Web:   www.agricolauzzano.com/
Admission:   5EUR to visit the wine cellars; 7EUR to tour the gardens

Castello di Verrazzano, Via San Martino in Valle 12-LocalitÓ Greti, Greve in Chianti, 50022
This estate outside Greve produces reds and whites. The center of the estate is a 10th-century tower.
Phone:  055.85.42.43
Hours:  Monday through Friday 8AM to 5PM
Email:  info@verrazzano.com
Web:   www.verrazzano.com

Castello Vicchiomaggio, Via Vicchiomaggio 4, Greve in Chianti, 50022
This 300-acre estate has 70 acres of vineyards producing Chianti, via santo, and grappa. The 11th-century castle once hosted Leonardo da Vinci.
Phone:  055.85.40.79
Hours:  8AM to 8PM daily
Email:  vicchiomaggio@vicchiomaggio.it
Web:   www.vicchiomaggio.it

Enoteca Italica Permanente, Fortezza Medicea
Run by the Italian government, this place is a wine lover's heaven. Sunny outdoor terraces and an indoor bar provide a variety of places to relax and there's a plethora of great wine for sale by the bottle or glass.
Phone:  0577.288.497
Hours:  Mondays noon to 8PM; Tuesday through Saturday noon to 1AM
Admission:   Free

Fattoria dei Pagliaresi, San Gusme', Castelnuovo Berardenga, 53019
Tour or dine at the 300-year-old farmhouse, visit the gardens, and taste wines and olive oil.
Phone:  0577.35.90.48
Hours:  Call

Fattoria della Aiola, Loc.Aiola, Vagliagli, Castelnuovo Berardenga, 53010
This winery is the closet to Siena. The estate produces Chianti, Sangiovese, grappa, and a sparkling wine on their 90 acres of vineyards.
Phone:  0577.322.615
Hours:  Call

Fontodi, Via Case Sparse 44 Panzano, Greve in Chianti, 50022
This estate has 155 acres surrounding an 18th-century stone villa.
Phone:  0558.52.005
Hours:  Call
Web:   www.fontodi.com/

Il Duomo, Piazza del Duomo
This superb cathedral is one of the finest Gothic churches in Italy. The incredible inlaid marble floors, and statuary by Michelangelo, Bernini, Donatello, and Pisano make this a must see. Inside the church, the Piccolimini Library contains some frescoes by Pinturicchio.
Phone:  0577.283.048
Hours:  March through October 9AM to 1:30PM and 2:30PM to 7:30PM daily; Closing at 5PM during the off season
Admission:   The Duomo is free, except when the floors are uncovered in September and October, then it is 5.50EUR; The Library is 1.50EUR

Museo Civico, In the Palazzo Publico, Piazza del Campo
Siena's city hall has frescoes by Simone Martini and Lorenzetti. The Torre del Mangia or bell tower offers spectacular views to those willing to climb the 505 steps.
Phone:  0577.292.226
Hours:  Mid-March through October 10AM to 7PM daily; November through Mid-March Monday through Saturday 10AM to 6:30PM daily
Admission:   6.50EUR

Museo dell'Opera Metropolitana, Piazza del Duomo 8
This museum houses the cathedral's treasures and contains sculptures by Pisano and one of Siena's greatest masterpiece, Duccio's La Maesta.
Phone:  0577.283.048
Hours:  Mid-March through September 9AM to 7:30PM daily: October 9AM to 6PM daily; November through Mid-March 9AM to 1PM daily
Admission:   5.50EUR

Pinacoteca Nazionale, in the Palazzo Buonsignori, Via San Pietro 29
Siena's art gallery contains the finest collection of paintings from the Sienese School in the world. Works by Duccio, Lorenzetti, and Simone Martini make this a must for art lovers.
Phone:  0577.281.161
Hours:  Mondays 8:30AM to 1:30PM; Tuesday through Saturday 8:15AM to 7:15PM; Sundays 8:15AM to 1:15PM
Admission:   4EUR

Siena Tourist Information Office, Piazza del Campo 56
Phone:  0577.280.551
Hours:  Monday through Friday, 8:30AM to 1PM and 3PM to 7PM, and Saturday, 8:30AM to 1PM

Tenuta Badia a Coltibuono, Gaiole in Chianti, 53013
This estate, founded by monks in 770, is one of the best places to eat in the region.
Phone:  0577.74.481
Hours:  Tours by reservation are at 2PM, 3PM, 4PM, and 5PM, Monday to Friday, between May and October; closed the 2nd and 3rd week of August
Email:  info@coltibuono.com
Web:   www.coltibuono.com/
Admission:   5EUR

Vignamaggio, Via di Lamole, Greve in Chianti, 50022
One of the highlights of the region, this Renaissance villa was the home of La Gionconda, the Mona Lisa. The gardens here were used in Kennth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing.
Phone:  055.85.46.61
Hours:  Call
Web:   www.vignamaggio.com
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Spoleto
Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of the Two Worlds), Spoleto Festival, Bigliaterra, 06049
If you are interested in attending performances at this world-renown festival, you can order tickets in advance by mail, fax or e-mail. Visit their web site for a complete schedule of performances. And be sure to make hotel reservations well in advance.
Phone:  0743.220.320
Fax:  0743.220.321
Email:  boxoffice@spoletofestival.it
Web:   www.spoletofestival.it
Tickets:   Most performances cost between 5EUR and 30EUR

Il Duomo, Piazza del Duomo
This fine Renaissance Cathedral features 13th-century mosaics, rose windows, and magnificent frescoes by Fra Filippo Lippi.
Hours:  March through October 8AM to 12:30PM and 3PM to 7PM daily; November through February until 5:30PM

Museo Archeologico, At the southern end of Corso Mazzini
Several early tablets from the 2nd and 3rd centuries B.C. as well as other artifacts are displayed here.
Phone:  0743.223.277
Hours:  Monday through Saturday 8:30AM to 7:30PM
Admission:   2EUR includes admission to the Teatro Romano

Museo Diocesano, in Sant Eufemia church
This small museum includes work by Bernini and Lippis.
Phone:  0743.231.022
Hours:  April through October 10AM to 12:30PM and 3PM to 6PM daily; November through March 2:30PM to 6PM daily
Admission:   3EUR

Pinacoteca, Palazzo del Municipio
This small art museum contains works by Perugino and other Italians from the 12th to 18th centuries.
Phone:  0743.21.81
Hours:  Tuesday through Sunday 10:30AM to 1PM and 3PM to 6:30PM
Admission:   2.07EUR

Sant Eufemia, Via Saffi between Piazza del Duomo and Piazza del Marcato
This 11th-century church has a gallery above the nave where female worshippers were seated.
Hours:  April through October 10AM to 12:30PM and 3PM to 6PM daily; November through March 2:30PM to 6PM daily
Admission:   3EUR

Spoleto Tourist Information Office, Piazza della Liberta 7
Phone:  0743.220.773
Hours:  10AM to 1PM and 2PM to 7PM daily

Teatro Romano, At the southern end of Corso Mazzini
This theater, which dates from the 1st century AD, is still used for performances.
Phone:  0743.223.277
Hours:  Monday through Saturday 8:30AM to 7:30PM
Admission:   2EUR includes admission to the Museo Archeologico

Todi
Il Duomo, Piazza del Popolo
This Romanesque church dates from the 12th century. Built on the site of a Roman Temple, it has one of the finest choirs in Umbria.
Hours:  Open Daily. Do not visit during mass.

San Fortunado, Piazza della Repubblica
Gothic-Renaissance in style, this church is also noted for its superb choir.
Hours:  Open daily. Do not visit during mass.

Santa Maria della Consolazione
Built on a Greek cross plan, this is one of the finest Renaissance churches in central Italy.
Hours:  Open daily. Do not visit during mass.

Todi
This web site contains information about Todi.
Web:   www.todi.net

Torgiano
Cantine Lungarotti, Via Mario Angeloni, 16, 06089
This award-winning winery produces Rubesco Lungarotti, San Giorgio and Chardonnay.
Phone:  0759.886.61
Fax:  0759.886.650
Hours:  Monday through Friday by appointment
Email:  lungarotti@lungarotti.it
Web:   www.lungarotti.it

Museo del Vino, Corso Vittorio Emanuele 11
Wine lovers should not miss this terrific museum tracing the history of viticulture in the region. You can also taste and purchase Lungarotti wines here.
Phone:  0759.880.200
Hours:  April through September 9AM to 1PM and 3PM to 7PM daily; October through March 9AM to 1PM and 3PM to 6PM daily
Admission:   4EUR