( ) is a region
. Its capital is Perugia.
has an area of 8,456 km² and about 900,000 inhabitants.
Umbria is a region of Central Italy
bordered by Tuscany
to the west, the
to the east and Lazio
to the south. This region is mostly hilly or
mountainous. Its topography is dominated by the Apennines to the east, with the highest point in the region
Vettore on the border of the Marche (2,476 m =
8,123 ft), and the Tiber valley basin,
with the lowest point at Attigliano (96 m = 315 ft).
It is the only Italian
region which is both landlocked and with no common border with
A landscape of Umbria.
The Tiber forms the approximate border with Lazio; although its
course northwards from its source just over the Tuscan border lies
in Umbria, the river course is changeable and thus few towns have
been built on it: the Tiber itself is not a major factor in the
history and human geography of Umbria. The same cannot be said of
the Tiber's three principal tributaries, each flowing in a
generally southward course. The course of the Chiascio takes it through relatively
uninhabited areas until Bastia Umbra, and about 10 km later it flows into the Tiber
the Apennines with passes that the Via
Flaminia and successor roads follow, makes a sharp turn at
Foligno to flow NW for a few kilometres before joining the
Chiascio below Bettona.
river is the Nera, flowing into the Tiber
further south, at Terni; its valley,
called the Valnerina, is widely
considered to be the most scenic area of Umbria.
upper Nera flows more or less in isolation in the mountains, the
lower course of the Chiascio-Topino basin is a fairly large
floodplain, which in Antiquity was a pair of shallow, interlocking
lakes, the Lacus Clitorius
. They were drained by the
over several hundred years, but
an earthquake in the 4th century and the political collapse of
the Roman Empire resulted in the reflooding of the basin, which was
drained a second time over five hundred years; Benedictine
monks started the
process in the 13th century, and it was completed by an engineer
from Foligno in the 18th century.
In tourist literature one sometimes sees Umbria called il cuor
(the green heart of Italy). The phrase, taken
from a poem by Giosuè Carducci
— the subject of which is not Umbria but rather a specific place in
it, the source of the Clitunno river
treasured as a beauty spot — is to a certain extent appropriate
since the modern administrative region is the only one to have
neither a coast nor a border with a foreign country, and, except
for August and September, is famously green.
is named for the Umbri tribe, who settled in
the region in protohistoric times (6th
century BC): 672 BC is the legendary date of foundation of the town
language was Umbrian
, a relative of
Archaeological evidence shows that the Umbri can be identified with
the creators of the Terramara
probably also of the Villanovan
in northern and central Italy, who at the beginning of
the Bronze Age
displaced the original
population by an invasion from the
north-east. It may be provisionally inferred that the Umbrians were
closely related to the Achaeans
. Pliny the Elder's
statement that they were
the most ancient race of Italy is certainly wrong.
Etruscans were chief enemies of the Umbri, and the Etruscan
invasion went from the western seaboard towards the north and east
(lasting from about 700 to 500 BC), eventually driving the Umbrians
towards the Apenninic uplands and capturing 300 Umbrian towns.
Nevertheless, the Umbrian population does not seem to have been
eradicated in the conquered districts.
downfall of the Etruscans, Umbrians attempted to aid the Samnites in their struggle against Rome (308 BC); but communications with Samnium were impeded by the Roman fortress of
Narni (founded 298 BC).
At the great battle of Sentinum
(295 BC), which was
fought in their own territory, the Umbrians did not substantially
help the Samnites.
victory at Sentinum started a period of integration under the Roman
rulers, who established some colonies (e.g., Spoletium) and built the via
Flaminia (220 BC), which became a principal vector for Roman
development in Umbria. During Hannibal's invasion in the second Punic war, the battle of
Lake Trasimene was fought in Umbria, but the Umbrians did not aid
During the Roman civil war
(40 BC), the city of Perugia supported
Antony and was almost completely destroyed by the latter.
In Pliny’s time, 49 independent communities still existed in
Umbria, and the abundance of inscriptions and the high proportion
of recruits in the imperial army
to its population.
modern region of Umbria, however, is essentially different from the
Umbria of Roman times (see Roman
Umbria), which extended through most of what is now the
northern Marche, to Ravenna, but excluded the west bank of the Tiber.
Perugia was in Etruria, and the area around Norcia was in the
After the collapse of the Roman empire
struggled for the supremacy in the
region; the Lombards
founded the duchy of Spoleto
, covering much of today's
Umbria. When Charlemagne
of the Lombard kingdoms, some Umbrian territories were given to the
, who established temporal power over them.
cities acquired a form of autonomy (the comuni); they were often at war with
each other in the context of the more general conflict between the
papacy and the
Holy Roman Empire or between the
Guelphs and the Ghibellines.
14th century, the signorie arose,
but were subsumed into the Papal States, which ruled the region until the end of the 18th
After the French
and the French conquest of Italy, Umbria was part of
the ephemeral Roman
(1789–1799) and of the Napoleonic Empire
Napoleon's defeat, the Pope regained Umbria until 1860. After the
and the Piedmontese
was incorporated in the Kingdom of Italy
The borders of Umbria were fixed in 1927, with the creation of the
province of Terni
separation of the province of
, which was incorporated in Lazio
The present economic structure emerged from a series of
transformations which took place mainly in the 1970s and 1980s.
During this period there was rapid expansion among small and
medium-sized firms and a gradual retrenchment among the large firms
which had hitherto characterised the region's industrial base. This
process of structural adjustment is still going on.
Umbrian agriculture is noted for its tobacco, its olive oil and its
vineyards, which produce excellent wines. Regional varietals
include the white Orvieto, which draws agri-tourists to the
vineyards in the area surrounding the medieval town of the same
name.. Other noted wines produced in Umbria are Torgiano and Rosso
di Montefalco. Another typical Umbrian product is the black truffle
found in Valnerina, an area that
produces 45% of this product in Italy.
The food industry in Umbria produces processed pork-meats,
confectionery, pasta and the traditional products of Valnerina in
preserved form (truffles, lentils, cheese). The other main
industries are textiles, clothing, sportswear, iron and steel,
chemicals and ornamental ceramics.
As of 2008, the Italian national institute of statistics ISTAT
estimated that 75,631 foreign-born immigrants live in Umbria, equal
to 8.5% of the total population of the region.
Government and politics
Umbria is a stronghold of the center-left coalition The Union
, forming with
the famous Italian political "Red
Quadrilateral". At the April 2006 elections
gave more than 57% of its votes to Romano
Umbria is divided in two provinces