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Best Day Trips from Assisi: Exploring the Umbrian Countryside

Assisi is a beautiful town in the Province of Perugia, Umbria. And is high on our list of favorite places to visit! From stunning architecture to delicious food, you’ll find no shortage of things to do and see here. However, it’s always fun to get away and explore the surrounding areas when you’re traveling. Luckily, there are plenty of amazing day trips from Assisi that you can take to explore more of Italy.

Assisi is a popular travel destination for travelers with it’s breathtaking beauty and a lot to offer. We’ll give you the best day trips, including fun things to do, for you to add to your Assisi itineary!

Tuscan landscape with rolling green hills at sunset

Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or nature, you’ll discover a day trip from Assisi that will suit your interests. Some of the best include the charming town of Perugia and exploring the ancient city of Rome. You can also take a scenic drive through the beautiful Umbrian countryside.

No matter which Italian day trip you choose, you’ll have an unforgettable experience, that will leave you with lasting memories!

Exploring the Birthplace of St. Francis

Assisi is the birthplace of St. Francis, one of the most revered saints in the Catholic Church. Exploring the city’s religious sites is a must-do activity for anyone visiting the area. Here are some of the most significant places to visit:

Basilica of St. Francis

The Basilica of St. Francis, also known as the Basilica di San Francesco, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the most important religious sites in Italy. The basilica is home to the tomb of St. Francis and features stunning frescoes, a method of painting, by Cimabue and Giotto.

The basilica is divided into two levels, the upper and lower basilicas. The upper basilica is adorned with frescoes that depict St. Francis’ life, while the lower basilica contains the saint’s tomb. The Basilica offers a fantastic guided tour that explains how to “read” the stories told by the frescoes. It’s extremely valuable to get the most from your visit. You can find ticket information and other details about the tour here.

Travel Tip: On Sundays, the bigger known Catholic holidays and National holidays, they do not allow guided tours inside the Basilica of St. Francis. Tours are offered and a guide will talk with you outside the Church. You then enter the church alone and you must stay silent.

Convent of Santa Chiara

The Convent of Santa Chiara is another important religious site in Assisi. This is the final resting place of St. Clare, a contemporary of St. Francis and the founder of the Order of Poor Ladies. The convent features a beautiful rose garden and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Visitors can also see the tomb of St. Clare and view her personal effects, including her hair, yes…hair, and clothing.

Basilica Santa Chiara in Assisi Italy
Basilica Santa Chiara

Chiesa Nuova

Another stop worth making is Chiesa Nuova, or the New Church. This is a 16th-century church that was built on the site where St. Francis was born. The church features stunning frescoes by artists like Giuseppe Cesari, also known as the Cavaliere d’Arpino. Visitors can see the room where St. Francis was born and view relics from his life, including a piece of the saint’s clothing.

Exploring the birthplace of St. Francis is something everyone should put on their “must-do” list when visiting Assisi. The Basilica of St. Francis, the Convent of Santa Chiara, and Chiesa Nuova are just a few of the religious sites that visitors can explore to learn more about the life of this revered saint.

Discovering Day Trips from Assisi in Umbria’s Landscapes

Assisi is the perfect starting point for exploring the stunning landscapes of Umbria. The region is known for its rolling hills, olive groves, and medieval hill towns. There are numerous incredible road trips throughout Italy, and here are some of the best day trips from Assisi to experience the majesty of Umbria’s landscapes:

Olive Groves

Umbria is famous for its olive oil, and there’s no better way to experience it than by visiting the region’s olive groves. Take a tour of an olive oil mill to learn about the production process and taste some of the best olive oil in the world. Some of the best olive oil mills are located in the towns of Spello, Trevi, and Montefalco.

Olive Groves in Umbria Italy

There is a fantastic two-hour tour that guides you through a balsamic vinegar facility, century-old vineyards and olive groves, and an organic winery. They pair the wines with Umbrian food and if you ask nicely they let you walk into the olive fields! The tour is Organic Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil & Wine Tour and is one of the top rated in Assisi.

Medieval Hill Towns

Umbria is home to some of the most picturesque hill towns in Italy. Each town has its own unique charm and history. Some of the must-visit hill towns include:

  • Spello: Known for its flower festival and beautiful medieval architecture.
  • Montefalco: Famous for its wine and stunning views of the Umbrian countryside.
  • Bevagna: A well-preserved medieval town with a Romanesque church and a medieval theater.

Shores of Lake Trasimeno

Lake Trasimeno is the largest lake in central Italy and is surrounded by picturesque towns and villages. Take a boat tour of the lake to experience its beauty up close. For an even better experience, there is a two-hour sunset boat tour that includes dinner!

The town of Castiglione del Lago is a great place to start your exploration of the lake. It has a beautiful castle and offers stunning views of the lake and the surrounding hills.

Lake Trasimeno in Umbria, Italy
Lake Trasimeno

Umbria is one of the favorite day-trips from Assisi. The landscapes are a feast for the eyes, and there’s no better way to experience them than by taking a day trip. From exploring the olive groves, medieval hill towns, or the shores of Lake Trasimeno, you will have memories to cherish!

Orvieto Day Trip

Orvieto is a beautiful hilltop town that is just a short drive from Assisi. The town is famous for its stunning Gothic cathedral, the Duomo di Orvieto, which is considered one of the most beautiful in Italy. The cathedral is adorned with intricate carvings and frescoes, and it is definitely worth a visit.

In addition to the cathedral, Orvieto is also known for its underground tunnels and caves, which were used for storage and defense during medieval times. You can take a private guided tour of the tunnels and learn about the history of the town.

Cityscape and green hills background in Orvieto, Italy

San Gimignano Visit

San Gimignano is a medieval hilltop town in Tuscany that is famous for its towers. The town was once home to 72 towers, but only 14 remain today. The towers were built by wealthy families as a symbol of their power and wealth, and they are a unique sight to see.

In addition to the towers, San Gimignano is also known for its beautiful medieval architecture and art. You can visit the town’s museums and galleries to see works by famous artists such as Benozzo Gozzoli and Taddeo di Bartolo.

Truffle Hunting Adventure

Another great trip is to embark on a thrilling truffle hunting adventure in the picturesque Assisi countryside, just a stone’s throw away from the city. Explore lush landscapes while guided by trained dogs, discovering the secrets of hunting for prized truffles.

Delve into the differences between various truffle types, from the elusive white truffle in autumn to the black scorzone truffle in summer, offering you a unique seasonal experience. With expert insights and scenic trails, this two-hour private truffle hunting experience promises an unforgettable immersion into the captivating world of truffle hunting.

Truffle in a man's hand in Umbria, Italy
Truffle Hunting

Tuscan Sun Exploration

If you’re looking for a more relaxed day trip, consider exploring the Tuscan countryside or the beautiful city of Florence. The area around Assisi is known for its beautiful rolling hills, vineyards, and olive groves, while Florence has a variety of amazing attractions to see. You can take a leisurely drive through the countryside and stop at local wineries and farms to sample some of the region’s famous wines and olive oils.

The Tuscan sun is also famous for its stunning sunsets, so be sure to find a scenic spot to watch the sun go down. You can also take a hot air balloon ride over the countryside for a truly unforgettable experience.

Wine Tasting and Local Products

No visit to Assisi is complete without sampling the local wine and food products. Several tour operators offer wine tasting tours that take visitors to some of Umbria’s best wineries. One of the most unique tours is exploring an organic winery with a food tasing experience where you can taste a variety of wines and learn about the winemaking process from local experts. Additionally, many tours include visits to local producers of olive oil, cheese, and other traditional Umbrian products.

There are many amazing day trips that you can take from Assisi. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or just enjoying the beautiful scenery. The days trips are easy to add to your itinerary and the experiences and activites are one-of-a-kind adventures!

Guided Tours and Experiences

Assisi and the surrounding countrysides offer a variety of guided tours and experiences on top of the ones we’ve highlighted. You have the option of smaller group tours or private tours for many of the activities and there are options available to suit your preferences and budget. We’ve found some of the best-guided tours and experiences to consider during your visit to Assisi!

Small Group Tour

If you enjoy meeting new people and sharing experiences, a small group tour may be the perfect option for you. Small group tours typically consist of 8-12 people and are led by an experienced guide who can provide insights into the history and culture of Assisi. Some popular small group tours include a tour of Assisi’s historic center, which includes a visit to the Basilica di San Francesco, the Cathedral of San Rufino, and the Basilica di Santa Chiara.

sprawling landscape of Assisi Italy

Private Tour Options

If you prefer a more personalized experience, consider booking a private tour. Private tours offer the flexibility to customize your itinerary and spend more time at the sights that interest you the most. You can choose to visit the most popular attractions in Assisi or explore off-the-beaten-path destinations that are not typically included in group tours.

Some private tour options include a wine tasting tour, a tour of Assisi’s medieval hill towns, or a visit to a local olive oil producer. Whether you prefer a small group tour or a private tour, there are options available. One of the most fun experiences you should consider is taking an Umbrian cooking class. Get hands on experience with traditional Italian cuisine! It’s an easy three-hours to fit into an itineary.

Travel Tips and Practical Information

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Assisi for day trips is during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to November) when the weather is mild and the crowds are fewer. This is a beautiful time of year to visit Europe, but there are other excellent times of year as well. Summer (July to August) is peak tourist season, and the city can become crowded and hot. Winter (December to February) can be cold and rainy, but it is a quieter time to visit, and you can enjoy the Christmas markets and festivities.

Transportation Options

The best way to explore the surrounding areas of Assisi is by car. You can rent a car from the Assisi Train Station or Rome hotels. Check car rental availability and rates for Assisi here. Alternatively, you can take a high-speed train from Rome to Assisi and hire a car or take a taxi from the station.

Hotel pickup and drop-off services are also available for day trips. It is crucial that no matter what type of travel you choose, that you are always focused on travel safety and thinking about protecting yourself and your belongings.

Red Italian car on a hillside in Assisi Italy

Accommodation Advice

If you plan to stay overnight in Assisi, there are many hotels and accommodations available in the city center. However, if you prefer a quieter and more peaceful stay, you can opt for accommodations in the surrounding countryside. It is advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak season.

Accomodation Recommendations:

  • For a boutique hotel experience we like Asisium Boutique Hotel. It’s connected to a rail/subway station in Assisi Historic Center and they offer a free breakfast.
  • Portica 10 is a top favorite. This is a fabulous bed & breakfast in the Historic Center and has an incredible rooftop terrace.
  • A fabulous adults only resort is the Borgobrufa Spa Resort. They have two outdoor pools and full-service spa. A total oasis! They also have a free breakfast buffet served daily.

In terms of travel tips, it is recommended to wear comfortable shoes and clothing as you will be walking and exploring a lot. Bring sunscreen, a hat, and a water bottle, especially during the summer months. It is also advisable to carry cash as some places may not accept credit cards. as always to be safe, consider anti-theft clothing or packs. Here’s a list of some of our favorite, yet stylish anti-theft fanny packs.

Overall, Assisi is a beautiful and historic city with many day trip options available. We highly recommend if traveling to Assisi, take advantage of a couple of the day trip ideas and activities. By following these travel tips and practical information, you can make the most of your time and enjoy the surrounding areas to the fullest. Wishing you happy and safe travels!