Nestled within the green hills of Umbria’s capital city, Perugia, Jaja is a restored 14th century church that, though no longer consecrated, continues to dedicate itself to the well-being of its guests. While its three-floor structure has been updated to provide modern luxuries and conveniences, many of its originally built stone walls have been kept and exposed, thereby continuing to endow the villa’s spacious interiors with a sense of enduring stability and comfort. Outdoors, thanks to an abundance of furnished gathering spaces, including its terraces, pool area, and garden, the villa makes it easy to enjoy panoramic views of Perugia’s lush countryside. Enjoy Jaja with loved ones and dine together al fresco here, in Umbria, the “green heart” of Italy!
Nearest Airport: Peretola Florence Airport 1 h 50 min
Nearest serviced town: Umbertide 17 min
Nearest major city: Perugia 38 min
Driving time estimated by Google Maps
Due to its proximity to Tuscany, any traveler who goes from Florence to Rome by land should pass through Umbria. This region is worth a visit of its own for the beautiful landscapes and enchanting lakes. Several filmmakers found it to be the perfect location for movies such as The English Patient, Life is Beautiful and Under the Tuscan Sun (despite its namesake). Perugia is the capital city and is renowned for hosting the annual Umbria Jazz Festival, held in July, and the Eurochocolate Festival at the Perugina Chocolate Factory, in October.
There are several notable tourist attractions throughout the region. Lake Trasimeno, the fourth largest lake in Italy, offers a plethora of activities for the sporty vacationers. The medieval town of Deruta has been producing hand-made majolica ceramics for centuries and it is the ideal place to buy some home decor to bring home. Check the Ceramics Museum on the hilltop main piazza. Spoleto is arguably one of Umbria's most beautiful hill towns, and renowned host of the Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of the Two Worlds), annual summer music and opera festival held each June to early July. You may also want to sample the Umbrian wine along the Sagrantino Wine Road near Spoleto and Moltefalco, which is lined with wineries, many of them open for tastings.
Assisi is the birthplace of St. Francis, where you can enjoy a visit to the Basilica di San Francesco which is listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO. Last, but not least, is Orvieto known for its wine (Orvieto Classico, a dry fine white wine) and because is one of the main centers of Italy's Slow Food. Do not miss to visit its magnificent Duomo, considered the most glorious example of Italian Gothic style.
WHERE TO EAT
Ristorante Apollinare - A 12th century church near the Roman theatre. A fun, warm place to enjoy good food and international wines.
Via S. Agata 14, Spoleto - +39 074 322 3256
Il Duca d' Orvieto - Traditional Umbrian cuisine based on regional products, reinterpreted by its owner. Do not miss the home-made desserts!
Via della Pace 5, Orvieto - +39 076 334 4663
Le Melograne at Le Tre Vaselle Hotel - The restaurant of this 5-star hotel is high-end but worth the splurge.
Via Giuseppe Garibaldi 48, Torgiano - +39 075 988 0447
If you do prefer an authentic homey atmosphere, go to I Sette Frati (if you cannot find it, ask around for Signora Marisa's restaurant). Fantastic (yet very simple!) trattoria, local cuisine with a very reasonable prix-fix menu. Do not be discouraged by the decor, come with a big appetite and be ready to eat the dishes of the day (there is no menu). Relax, enjoy, and Signor Mario will take care of the rest.
Via Assisi 15, Torgiano - +39 075 985147
Ristorante Buca di San Francesco - A family run restaurant where the menu features classic dishes of Umbrian cuisine, paying special attention to meat and mushroom dishes. Try the beef with truffles or the tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms – In summer, outdoor seating is available.
Via E. Brizi, Assisi - +39 075 812 204
WHERE TO SHOP
Food – a street market is held every Thursday and Saturday in Orvieto’s Piazza del Popolo. Buy some lentils, one of the local food specialties to bring home. This legume with its characteristic thin and tender skin, is the flagship product of the country par excellence.
Clothing - for women, check Luisa Spagnoli's Outlet, acclaimed brand and a symbol of Italian elegance and quality in the world.
Via del Cashmere 13, Perugia - +39 075 401 58
Ceramics - Ceramiche Torretti - besides the large selection of products to buy at factory prices, if you have 40 minutes to spare you may want to take the tour of the factory, which includes watching the artisans at work.
S.S. E/45 Km. 55,600, Deruta Sud - +39 075 971 1342
Chocolate - Pasticceria Sandri - The oldest pastry shop in Umbria, opened in 1860 and located in the historical center of Perugia. Free the chocoholic in you and go wild...the choices are endless! Outdoor seating available in summer. Corso Vannucci 32, Perugia - +39 075 572 4112
House linens Mastro Raphael's, high quality artisanal Italian linens.
Via dei Duchi 5-7, Spoleto or check its outlet in Via delle Industrie 21, Loc. Santo Chiodo, Spoleto - +39 0743 23081