Walking Umbria

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There are so many hiking trails in Umbria that you could spend a lifetime walking them. Literally. Of course half of that lifetime would be spent finding them, as many are forgotten, or nearly forgotten or hidden in plain sight.

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The challenge is spotting the red and white trail indicator signs, and once you’ve spotted one, to remember where it is! (I’m constantly snapping photos of hiking signs with my iPhone.)

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Many of Umbria’s hiking trails are unlisted, and therefore unrated in terms of difficulty, but I’ve come to discover that many would be considered easy to moderate. The difficult part is knowing when to turn around, as some trails lead all the way to Rome.

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Some paths run circular routes, ringing a mountain or town. One of my favorite circular trails is the Orvieto Ring Walk – a paved trail that circles the spectacular town of Orvieto, running along the base of its golden, tufo cliffs.

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And such incredible variety. From shady, oak forests to rolling, farm fields to rocky, mountainous terrain, each trail has its own unique, personality – some rugged, some gentle and all stunningly picturesque.

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Many of Umbria’s hiking trails are historic, with some dating back to Roman times – even Etruscan. Walking along these ancient roads is simply magical. The Brigand’s Trail is one such historic trail that begins at Mount Ruffino, on Umbria’s far western border, and crosses into Lazio, eventually reaching Rome.

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If I were to choose a favorite time of year for walking Umbria’s trails, it would be autumn. In particular, November. Cool, sunny November days are ideal for walking, exploring and taking in the beauty of Italy’s green heart: spectacular, unspoiled, picturesque Umbria.

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