See the 2016 Travel Calendar at a Glance
|Why now |
Affordable Italy in June? High rollers might head to Venice and the Amalfi Coast, but Umbria, a two-hour drive from Rome, is more affordable and blissfully less touristy despite its wealth of vineyards, olive groves, and hilltop towns. STR Global puts the average hotel cost in Umbria at $59, vs. $145 in Tuscany.
|What to do |
Eat and drink, of course. Split your time between Montefalco and Orvieto, two hamlets overlooking the area’s beautiful scenery. The region’s most famous wine, Sagrantino, has started to make a name for itself, so book a private tour and tastings at the elegant Tenute Lunelli vineyards ($21) outside Montefalco, says Uri Harash of the Rome-based Perfetto Traveler. Or you can also swirl, sip, and tour the Antonelli San Marco family estate for half that ($11). In Montefalco, grab a café table on the main square for a late lunch at L’Alchimista (ristorantealchimista.it), Harash suggests, and dine on seasonal fare, such as house-made tagliatelle with leek cream ($26). Orvieto, an hour west, was built on dramatic tuff cliffs and is home to the striking black-and-white-striped Orvieto Cathedral. For an Umbrian feast, try the partridge or lamb at I Sette Consoli, says Beth Rubin of Select Italy (dinner, $50).
|How to save |
In Orvieto, the lovely Chiara e Benedetta bed and breakfast has double rooms for $74. For something more luxurious, try Montefalco’s four-star Villa Zuccari, a countryside estate, with rooms starting at $159.
|Local's tip |
Take a tour of Orvieto’s maze of underground tunnels, dug out of the lava-formed cliffs some 2,500 years ago ($7).