Umbria offers a rich array of cultural and traditional festivals and events all the year.
The tradition of the pork production in Umbria is very ancient.
The word "Norcino", an expert in the making of all pork products, is derived from the Umbrian town of Norcia, well-known since the Middle Ages for its pork produce.
January is the traditional month for the pork processing thanks to the cold of the Winter. In ancient times freezers didn’t exist and people used the natural cold of the Season to prepare their cured meats (salami, prosciutto, sausages) that they had during the year.
The most important fair to celebrate the noblest among the regional products : the Black Truffle, the king of Umbrian tables.
In Umbria during Easter time there are traditional liturgic rites and religious events. Holy Week Celebrations take place in almost every town. Since Easter is the end of the Lent season, food plays a big part in the celebrations. Traditional Easter foods include lamb or goat, artichokes, and special Easter cakes and breads called Pizza di Pasqua. Pizza di Pasqua (Easter cake) is prepared with flour, Parmesan and pecorino cheese, eggs and lard, consumed during Easter and usually stuffed with capocollo - one of the many cold cuts of Umbria - or used to accompany hard eggs.
In the second week of May, the beautiful historical centre of Todi hosts “Todi Fiorita”, national exhibition of Flower Gardening.
The historical places of this amazing Medieval town is the locations of blooming gardens, scents and essences which follow the visitors along different itineries in the historical centre.
The Corpus Domini (the Latin expression means Body of the Master) is a significant and solemn event in the Christian liturgical calendar. It was instigated on the 8th September 1264 by Pope Urban IV following the miracle of Bolsena. The story of the miracle relates an account of the Bohemian priest, Pietro of Prague who, on his way from Prague to Rome in 1263, had been experiencing some doubts about the truth of the transubstantiation. While celebrating mass at the tomb of the Holy Martyr, Cristina, in Bolsena, blood dripped from the consecrated host, bathing the host or corporale and the liturgical linens. Since then, every year in Orvieto, on the Sunday following the feast of the Corpus Domini, the remains of the sacred host from the Miracle of Bolsena, contained in a precious reliquary, is carried in a procession through the streets, following a route that passes through all of the districts and all of the most significant places of the town. The religious procession marches together with an historical parade where all the magistrates, captains, standard-bearers and knights of the communal period are represented, as well as the Coats of Arms and the banners of the noble Orvietan families. The two processions come together in an extremely evocative and unforgettable spectacle.
Throughout the celebrations there are many medieval banquets held in and around the historical centre. Restaurant and service staff don traditional costumes and assume the customs and mannerisms of the fourteenth-century. The banquets begin at nine in the evening under candle-light, entertained by music and shows. The menu is organized according to the strict dictates of the medieval table.
The Umbrian summer is rich in festivals offering tasting of regional specialities: from truffles to gnocchi, from asparagus to mushrooms, and from roast pig, to fish lake, to baked geese . . .amongst a thousand other delicacies!
This world-reknowned event is dedicated to Jazz and has taken place in Perugia since 1973. For more than thirty years, Umbria Jazz has played host to some of the most significant jazz artists such as, Dizzy Gillespie, Sam Rivers, Herbie Hanckok, Enrico Rava, Miles Davis, Lionel Hampton and, more recently, Gilberto Gil , Milton Nascimento, Terence Blanchard, Paolo Conte, Vinicio Capossela, Nicola Arigliano, Miriam Makeba, the Coolbone Brass Band of New Orleans, Lyle Henderson and the Emmanuel Gospel Singers.
The event takes place over 10 days in July in the historical center of Perugia. Dozens of free concerts are held from morning to night over the 10 days of the festival.
40 crews from England, Belgium, Germany, Italy, United States, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria and other countries reach our city every year to to leave for their rides in Umbrian sky.
The balloons lift off each day in early morning and it is possible to admire their amazing rides from the city centre and even from the sourrounding countryside.
September is the month for harvesting grapes.
Forget the stress of modern-day living and get in touch with nature. Through the gathering and crushing of the grapes rediscover the ancient values of the peasant life. Our proposals for this activity include various samplings or tastings along with visits to the cellars and to all associated activities of wine making, staying in agriturismi and farms.
The charming countryside of Morre, situated 15 km from Todi, is a well-known locality for growing chestnuts of an especially high quality. This beautiful fruit that is both big and tasty has received numerous international accolades.
The many market stalls set up to exhibit the harvest also present to the visitor all the various extracts made from the chestnuts, as well as other typical products of the region. It is posible to taste these wonderful products, accompanied by the very special local wine, immersed in the magical autumnal atmosphere of a small Umbrian village.
In growing olives, Umbria has the very special climatic conditions and soil composition and chemistry that allows a deeper root penetration with respect to other zones across the same latitude. This allows for a slow maturation of the fruit and, for this reason, Umbrian oil is one of the best in Italy. The gathering of the olives happens before the fruit is fully mature and traditional harvesting methods called, brucatura (manual collection with a rake), are used across the region. The olives are left in boxes only for a short time to maintain the freshness and integrity of the fruit until it reaches the oil press. These are important considerations in ensuring the special qualities are transferred to the final product.
Our proposal for this activity is to include various samplings or tastings along with visits to an oil press and to all associated activities of oil making, staying in agriturismi and farms.
For 15 years now this smaller sister of the Perugia Jazz Festival has taken place in Orvieto over the New Year period. Over 5 days, Orvieto plays host to excellent music while the city is embued with a magical atmosphere that attracts and fascinates tourists from all over Italy and the world. The festivities conclude with a traditional Gospel concert in the Cathedral on January 1st.
Every year over the Christmas period Mass Martana, a small and gracious medieval town just 15 km from Todi, calls on artists from all over Italy for its special exhibition "Presipi d' Italy" - National Show of the Artistic Nativity. The Nativity, depicting the birth of Jesus, is one of the most ancient Italian traditions going back to the time of Saint Francis of Assis in 1223, when Greccio (a small village in the Province of Rieti, Lazio) displayed the first living representation of the Nativity.
These very special displays in Massa Martana are spread across the streets of the city, in 18 different shops.
In Marcellano, a picturesque town 18 km from Todi, from the 25th-26th December and then the 1st, 2nd and 6th of January, more than one hundred characters animate the story of the Nativity and present “from life” scenes from ancient Palestine.
When night falls, torches are ignited and a star appears in the night sky, illuminating the grotto where Joseph and Mary found lodging and where the baby Jesus was born.