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  • Martina

Where to Stay in Umbria: the Best Castles, Mansions and Farmhouses

Updated: Jun 4



A view of Umbria landscape


As many of us know, Italy is a country of history, art and traditions, and a place where is easy to encounter the remains and vestiges of colossal and majestic buildings coming from all epochs. And more than that, having been an infinite reservoir of culture and beauty, it is also home to historical houses, castles, mansions and private residences of the past.


Umbria is no different from any other part of the country and if you are planning to visit it soon, you probably know already that history and art will be your constant companions - so why not make your experience complete by staying in a historical location?


In this guide, you will find suggestions and information to choose your historical stay in the region, according to your needs, budget and preferred area.


 

In this article:


Where to Stay in Umbria: Overview and Map
Where to Stay in Umbria: Selected Options
Where to Stay in Umbria: Plan Your Trip

 


Where to Stay in Umbria: Overview and Map



INTRODUCTION AND HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE


Umbria is known for being the green heart of Italy - a beautiful, little region in the central area of the Peninsula, rich in history, tradition and cultural heritage.


A profile of this kind means that going through the small region is easy to stumble upon castles, palaces, monasteries, churches, abbeys and much more. And if you decide to travel your way around Umbria and spend some days there, you may want to live the full experience and get as close as possible to history and culture by staying in one of the many historical and country houses scattered everywhere.


What does it mean to choose a cultural/historical stay in Umbria? Umbria knew its heyday during the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance era (10th-16th century circa), so the closest you can get to local tradition is to find a place which origins date back to this (stretched) epoch. Of course, this does not mean that an 18th-century mansion would not be worth your consideration or have no historical value. After the 16th century, the region was less prominent and fewer imponent buildings such as castles and towers were constructed, so most of what came later - especially if it looks medievalish - is likely a more or less faithful reconstruction rather than being authentic. Exceptions and alternatives (such as country mansions and leisure residences) are surely present and you will see many here.


What will you find in this guide? Here, you will find a selection of accommodations, chosen for their historical value, state of conservation, quality of renovation, and attention to original structure/features. As you may imagine, staying in a castle or historical mansion is often not the most inexpensive choice, but I made sure to also include a few low-budget options.


How to choose the best home base for traveling around Umbria? Umbria is a rather small region, so traveling around it by car will be pretty easy. However, in case you are planning to explore it from North to South, I would not suggest keeping a single home base for your journey but changing at least two: Perugia and Narni could be good options, otherwise the areas around Spello, Acquasparta or Spoleto would also work well if you are looking for smaller centers. Gubbio is best if you are widening your scope to Tuscany. Check this guide through the best small towns in Umbria to have an idea of what to select for your trip!


IMPORTANT NOTE: This guide is in no way the fruit of any collaboration/affiliation and I receive no percentage or retribution in case you decide to book any of the places listed here.


Do you have any suggestions or wish to submit another place? Please feel free to contact me, I will consider every option!



OVERVIEW AND MAP


The accomodations I selected here cover the entire territory of Umbria and are more or less scattered in the countryside or located within/very close to a city center.


You can check them all in this interactive map I created - open it in a new window or tap on the button on the left top corner to see the expandable list:



In case you need to plan your trip and decide where and what to book your accomodations in Umbria, you can also check this guide through the best historical small towns of Umbria, which can be very useful to create itinerary. It includes an interactive map as well, so you can cross-check the options.



 


Where to Stay in Umbria: Selected Options



CASTLES AND HISTORICAL HOUSES


1. Castello di Magrano

Castello di Magrano. Umbria

Type: Former castle

Price Range: €€€ - 200€+ per night

Historical Period: Middle Ages (13th century)

Closest to: Gubbio (20min by car) - Assisi (40min by car) - Perugia (43 min by car)

● Options: Multiple rooms, whole location

Available on: Booking.com


The Castello di Magrano is a former defensive building, erected in the 13th century to protect the homonymous small village against the more powerful and bigger rivals all around (first of all, Perugia). Today, it hosts weddings and other celebrations and has a few rooms available for tourists.


The castle has been renovated and turned into an agriturismo, a farmhouse, but retains much of its historical vibe and respects the original structure through architectural choices and interior decorations.


Staying at the Castello is not possible all year round. If going there in low season, don't forget to contact the staff beforehand! The perfect option for large groups.



2. Villa Pianciani

Villa Pianciani, Umbria
Image credits: iluoghidelsilenzio.it

● Type: Historical house

● Price Range: €€€ - 200€+ per night

● Historical Period: 18th century

● Closest to: Spoleto (16min by car), Montefalco (20min by car), Spello (27min by car)

● Options: Single room, single location, whole mansion

Website: villapianciani.it

● Also available on: TripAdvisor


Villa Pianciani is one of those examples of historical houses that show the fascination of Umbria during the Modern Era, when the region was not at its prestige peak anymore but still active and flourishing.


Villa Pianciani, a complex of buildings once property of the Counts Pianciani and designed by the renowned architect Giuseppe Valadier (1762-1839), is a beautiful example of late-Rococò/Neoclassic style. The central building, the most majestic, is the masterwork of Valadier here and, if possible, deserves a visit.


3. Posta Donini


● Type: Historic house 

● Price Range: €€€ - 200€+ per night

● Historical Period: 1579 - 16th century

● Closest to: Perugia (15min by car), Assisi (30min by car)

● Options: Single room

Website: postadonini.it

● Also available on: Booking, TripAdvisor


Posta Donini is the former summer residence of the Counts Donini, who built it between the 16th and the 17th century. Beautifully renovated in the later centuries, today the mansion preserves much of its historical value. It has hosted tourists and visitors since the early 2000s, whereas the last Countess to inhabit it sold it in 1964.


While the rooms today show a rather modern touch, frescoes, stuccos and bas-reliefs will always serve as reminders of the villa's past.



4. Castello di Belforte

Castello di Belforte, Umbria
Image credits: Tripadvisor.com

● Type: Former castle 

● Price Range: €€ - 100€+ per night

● Historical Period: Middle Ages - 15th century

● Closest to: Todi (11min by car), Acquasparta (25min by car), Narni (40min by car)

● Options: Single room

Website: castellodibelforte.it

● Also available on: Booking, TripAdvisor


The Castello di Belforte is, as its name recalls, a former castle from the late Middle Ages (15th century). Built for defensive reasons, today it hosts a nice, rather low-cost B&B in the middle of the Umbrian countryside. It offers a breathtaking view over the green heart of Italy.


To reach it, you will definitely need a car, as it is located in a small fraction of a small town, Todi. Nicely renovated, Belforte is the perfect destination for those who are looking for rest and silence at night while they explore the Italian region during the day.



5. Dimora dell'Artista


● Address: Strada della Fratticiola, 2 - Ponte Pattoli

● Type: Former defensive tower turned into a mansion 

● Price Range: €€€ - 150€ ca. per night

● Historical Period: Middle Ages/Modern Era

● Closest to: Perugia (20min by car), Gubbio (35min by car)

● Options: Single room

● Also available on: Booking, TripAdvisor


Born during the 14th century as a defensive tower, the Dimora dell'Artista (literally: house of the artist) today is a late 19th-century mansion that hosts a hospitality structure.


Sober, elegant and well-restored, this place is where you can meet the local countryside vibes while staying close to the region's main city, Perugia, and in a very handy site to visit the rest of Umbria.



6. Relais Castelluccio Palusse

Relais Castelluccio Palusse, Umbria
Image Credits: Booking.com

● Type: Modern castle 

● Price Range: €€€ - 200€ ca. per night

● Historical Period: 19th century

● Closest to: Castiglione del Lago (20min by car), Perugia (45min by car), Orvieto (45min by car)

● Options: Single room

● Also available on: Booking, TripAdvisor


Castelluccio Palusse may remind you of a medieval castle - indeed, parts of its structure look similar to a much older architectural style, but Castelluccio was built in the 19th century as a leisure mansion and is still one today. Nicely kept, it conveys much of the neo-Gothic and Imperial styles of the age it belongs to.


Located right at the crossroads between Tuscany and Umbria, Castelluccio Palusse can be the right choice if you are planning a trip through upper Umbria, southern Tuscany or both.



7. Torre Palombara

Torre Palombara, Umbria
Image Credits: Booking.com

● Type: Former dove tower turned mansion

● Price Range: €€€€ - 250€ ca. per night

● Historical Period: Late Middle Ages/Modern Era

● Closest to: Narni (11min by car), Acquasparta (24min by car), Spoleto (45min by car)

● Options: Single room

Website: torrepalombara.com

● Also available on: Booking, TripAdvisor


Nature-immersed but only 10 minutes away from Narni, one of the most fascinating towns in Umbria, Torre (Tower) Palombara takes its name from an original late-medieval dove tower built here, where countryside has always dominated. Later expanded into a mansion, today Torre Palombara is a charming destination that offers high-quality services in a well-preserved and curated location.


Perfect to explore the south of Umbria and to move toward Rome or southern Italy afterward.



FARMHOUSES AND MONASTERIES



1. Borgo della Marmotta

Borgo della Marmotta, Umbria
Image Credits: histouring.com

● Type: Farmhouse 

● Price Range: €€€ - 150-250€ ca. per night (depending on the season)

● Historical Period: Middle Ages (origins of the small village)

● Closest to: Spoleto (12min by car), Acquasparta (35min by car), Trevi (15min by car)

● Options: Single room

Website: leterrediporeta.it

● Also available on: Booking, TripAdvisor


Borgo (Village) della Marmotta is a nice farmhouse obtained from what in the Middle Ages used to be a small country village just outside Spoleto. Today, it has all the characteristics of a typical Umbrian destination, with its light stone and green-inmersed low buildings scattered all around.


The Borgo combines a clean and simple vibe with well-preserved and enhanced historical features and relative furniture, all this with all the amenities you can think of!



2. Borgo Colognola

Borgo Colognola, Umbria
Image Credits: borgocolognola.it

● Type: Farmhouse 

● Price Range: €€€€ - 150-300€ ca. per night (depending on the season)

● Historical Period: Middle Ages

● Closest to: Perugia (20min by car), Castiglione del Lago (40min by car), Assisi (45min by car)

● Options: Single room

Website: borgocolognola.it

● Also available on: Booking


Another medieval small village turned into a modern farmhouse! Umbria, which used to be an intensely urbanized area with lots of small villages popping up around bigger towns, today presents beautiful places like Borgo Colognola where you can enjoy history and nature together.


The Borgo stands in a perfect location to explore the main destinations in the region such as Perugia and Assisi, or to spend some time by lake Trasimeno.



3. Villa della Genga

Villa della Genga, Umbria
Image Credits: Booking.com

● Type: Country mansion 

● Price Range: €€€€ - 250€+ per night

● Historical Period: 17th century

● Closest to: Spoleto (12min by car), Montefalco (20min by car), Spello (21min by car)

● Options: Single houses

Website: dellagenga.it

● Also available on: Booking


Historical vibes in a luxurious location - Villa della Genga was built in 1673 and used as a country leisure residence for centuries. One of its most notable owners was Cardinal Annibale della Genga, then known as Pope Leo XII (1823-1829).


Today, staying at this beautiful property means enjoying a charming jump in the past, not without a long list of modern amenities. Since you can only rent an entire building and not a room, this is the perfect solution for large families or groups.



4. Tenuta di Canonica

Tenuta di Canonica
Image Credits: tenutadicanonica.com

● Type: Farmhouse 

● Price Range: €€€€ - 250€+ per night

● Historical Period: Middle Ages

● Closest to: Todi (15min by car), Acquasparta (25min by car), Perugia (40min by car)

● Options: Single room

Website: tenutadicanonica.com

● Also available on: Booking, TripAdvisor


In the middle of the Umbrian countryside, between a stretch of olive trees on one side and green fields on the other, is Tenuta di Canonica. This place, which once was a medieval lookout tower, is now a beautiful retreat and hosts visitors who are interested in both historical vibes and relaxation.


As common for this kind of property, what used to be a single building is today an agglomerate of structures and houses that form the resort. Reaching the main cultural destinations from here requires a car, but it's definitely worth it and the position is optimal to explore the entire region.



5. Castello di Petrata

Castello di Petrata, Umbria
Image Credits: territoria.com

● Type: Farmhouse 

● Price Range: €€€€ - 250€+ per night

● Historical Period: Middle Ages

● Closest to: Assisi (13min by car), Spello (25min by car), Perugia (33min by car)

● Options: Single room

Website: castellopetrata.it

● Also available on: Booking, TripAdvisor


Its name meaning castle (Castello), Castello di Petrata is actually a farmhouse but the origins of the primordial structure are medieval, when this place hosted a small castle watching over the outskirts of Assisi.


Indeed, Castello di Petrata is a fascinating, reserved resort with only a few rooms that can welcome you during your visit to all the major spots in Umbria. First of all Assisi, which lies a bunch of minutes from the accommodation.



6. Castello Valenzino

Castello Valenzino, Umbria
Image Credits: Booking.com

● Type: Country mansion

● Price Range: €€ - 100€+ per night

● Historical Period: Middle Ages (13th century)

● Closest to: Gubbio (32min by car), Perugia (25min by car), Castiglione del Lago (37min by car)

● Options: Single room, single apartment

● Available on: Booking, TripAdvisor


Castello Valenzino takes its name from a small river running beside it and was originally a structure resembling what we would call a castle, erected in the proximity of a religious center. Today, it is a complex of country houses that can be rented entirely or which rooms are available for your stays in the region.


A rather low-budget option if compared with others in this list, Castello Valenzino is rich in history and tradition and its recently-renovated rooms do not conceal the remote past of this area.



7. Abbazia di San Faustino (San Faustino Abbey)

Abbazia di San Faustino, Umbria

● Type: Former abbey turned country house

● Price Range: €€€ - 150€+ per night

● Historical Period: Middle Ages (13th century)

● Closest to: Gubbio (45min by car), Perugia (50min by car)

● Options: Single rooms

● Available on: Booking, TripAdvisor


Be aware, you visitors, of the distant past you are stepping into at Abbazia di San Faustino! Indeed, this place has been occupied since Roman times, then used for defensive purposes by the Langobards and lately as a religious center, when in 1289 the Benedictine monks founded a monastery.


Today, people who stay at the resort enjoy an intact medieval atmosphere thanks to a well-managed renovation and have the possibility to touch history with their own hands through frescoes, niches, stone walls and other original features, all with nicely integrated modern commodities.



8. Abbazia di San Pietro in Valle (San Pietro in Valle Abbey)

Abbazia di San Pietro in Valle, Umbria
Image credits: sanpietroinvalle.com

● Type: Former abbey turned country house

● Price Range: €€ - 100€+ per night

● Historical Period: Middle Ages (13th century)

● Closest to: Spoleto (26min by car), Narni (43min by car)

● Website: sanpietroinvalle.com

● Options: Single rooms

● Available on: Booking, TripAdvisor


The history of San Pietro in Valle Abbey is rich and incredibly interesting, and it tells a lot about Umbria and its historical value.


San Pietro in Valle, located close to Rome, began to attract hermits and monks interested in a solitary and pious life since remote late-Roman times, when the abbey was founded. It then evolved into one of the most important religious centers of Umbria when the region was ruled by the Longobards (a Germanic people) with Spoleto as capital. Although decline came during the Late Middle Ages when this area became too isolated, the Abbey knew fortunate restorations that preserved it through the centuries and now welcomes visitors and offers an unpaired experience in its curated rooms.



AIRBNBS AND LOW-BUDGET SOLUTIONS



1. Palazzo Pierantoni


● Type: Hostel 

● Price Range: € - less than 100€ per night

● Historical Period: 17th century

● Closest to: Spello (9min by car), Assisi (20min by car), Bevagna (14min by car)

● Options: Single room

Website: ostellodifoligno.it

● Also available on: Booking, TripAdvisor


For less than 100€ per night, you can spend a few nights in the heart of Foligno - a medieval city in a perfect location to explore Umbria - in this aristocratic mansion turned monastery in the 19th century.


Being it a hostel, furniture and services are rather on the simple and modern side, but the structure has a beautiful courtyard with remains of the past and several rooms still come with frescoes or portions of ancient decorations - a good compromise between historical experience and price!



2. Castello di Cisterna

Castello di Cisterna, Umbria
Image Credits: Airbnb.com

● Type: Former medieval castle 

● Price Range: €€ - 100/150€ per night

● Historical Period: 13th century

● Closest to: Bevagna (20min by car), Montefalco (18min by car), Spello (32min by car)

● Options: Single apartment

● Available on: Airbnb


A former medieval little castle dating back to the 13th century, when the entire area was constellated by these constructions to protect the territories.


Today, the Castello di Cisterna is a renovated structure divided into apartments that you can rent on Airbnb. Completely immersed in nature, it's the perfect place to escape the summer sun after a long day of visiting!



3. Casa "Il Convento"


● Address: Via Baldami - Magione

● Type: Former medieval monastery 

● Price Range: €€€ - 150€ ca. per night

● Historical Period: 11th century

● Closest to: Castiglione del Lago (17min by car), Panicale (18min by car), Perugia (31min by car)

● Options: Single apartment

● Available on: Airbnb


Is there anything better where to rest during your stay in Umbria than a former monastery flanking the lake?


The "Casa Il Convento" is an apartment, derived from a larger structure, that you can rent on Airbnb and that used to be part of the Badia di Sant'Arcangelo, a Benedictine center that has been there since the 11th century.


Make sure to book it only if you plan to have a car - since the monks required solitude and silence, the Casa Il Convento is close to everything you need and has a breathtaking view of the Lake, but is not easily accessible without a vehicle of your own.



4. Palazzo di Bagnaia


● Type: Former medieval monastery 

● Price Range: €€€€ - 300€+ per night (for the entire building)

● Historical Period: 17th century

● Closest to: Perugia (18min by car), Panicale (26min by car), Castiglione del Lago (31min by car)

● Options: Single building

Website: palazzodibagnaia.it

● Available on: Airbnb


Staying at Palazzo di Bagnaia may seem a bit expensive, but with the requested price you can rent an entire building (for up to 9 people), part of a larger structure that once was a mansion. This mansion used to lay right outside the Castello di Bagnaia, a small fortified village (of which vestiges you can still visit) that saw its role change when Umbria fell to higher powers.


Today, staying here comes with all the advantages of the Umbria countryside: relaxation, silence, amenities and a beautiful view - all this combined with a strategic position to explore the region and the Trasimeno Lake.


5. Il Biribino

Il Biribino, Umbria
Image Credits: Booking.com

● Type: Former convent turned farmhouse

● Price Range: €€ - 100/150€ per night

● Historical Period: 15th century

● Closest to: Perugia (44min by car), Gubbio (46min by car)

● Options: Single apartment/single room

Website: biribino.it

● Available on: Airbnb


Umbria is rich in history and art but is also strategic to visit Tuscany and Lazio. In this case, Il Biribino will allow you to reach Tuscany in no time while still being ridiculously close to the main Umbrian destinations.


A former 15th-century convent now well-renovated and turned into a farmhouse, Il Biribino can welcome you in one of its rooms (check the website) or in a whole apartment (check Airbnb).



6. Medieval Tower in Bevagna

Medieval  Tower, Bevagna
Image Credits: Airbnb.com

● Type: Former medieval tower

● Price Range: - less than 100€ per night

● Historical Period: Middle Ages

● Closest to: Bevagna city center (4min by car), Spello (12min by car), Montefalco (11min by car)

● Options: Single apartment

● Available on: Airbnb


For a relatively low price you can decide to stay for a few nights in a former medieval tower and, thanks also to some suggestive furniture, experience sohistorical vibes.


The apartment is just outside Bevagna city center, which can be reached in a few minutes - however, considering the location, it is definitely better to choose this place if going around Umbria by car!


 



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