Gubbio, a charming hill town in the province of Perugia, is located in the region of Umbria, Italy. This historic town, situated at the foot of Monte Ingino, is a popular tourist destination due to its stunning medieval architecture, picturesque streets, and ancient history.
In this travel guide, we’ll take a closer look at what makes Gubbio such a fascinating place to visit, including its history, landmarks, culture, and cuisine.
History of Gubbio
Gubbio’s history goes back to the pre-Roman era when the Umbrian people lived here. The town was later conquered by the Romans in the 3rd century BC, and it played a significant role in the region’s political and cultural life. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Gubbio was ruled by various feudal lords and families, including the Montefeltro and the della Rovere families.
During the Middle Ages, Gubbio became a center of art and culture, with many notable artists and intellectuals living here. The town’s architecture and art reflect this golden age, with many churches, palaces, and civic buildings dating back to this period.
In the 19th century, Gubbio became part of the newly formed Kingdom of Italy, and it continued to grow and develop into the modern town we see today.
Getting to Gubbio
Gubbio is located in central Italy, and it’s easy to get here from other major cities in the region. The closest airport is Perugia San Francesco d’Assisi Airport, which is about 40 kilometers away. Alternatively, you can fly into Rome or Florence and take a train or rent a car to get to Gubbio.
If you’re driving, take the E45 highway, which runs from Ravenna to Orte, and exit at the Gubbio exit. The town is well connected by bus and train services, and it’s easy to get around on foot once you arrive.
Things to do in Gubbio
Piazza Grande is the heart of Gubbio, and it’s one of the most impressive squares in Italy. The square is surrounded by medieval palaces, including the Palazzo dei Consoli, which now houses the town’s museum. At the center of the square is a large fountain, which is a popular spot for taking photos.
Palazzo dei Consoli
The Palazzo dei Consoli is one of the most significant landmarks in Gubbio. This impressive building dates back to the 14th century, and it was built as a symbol of the town’s power and prosperity. Today, the palace houses the town’s museum, which contains a collection of art, artifacts, and historical objects from Gubbio’s rich past.
Basilica di Sant’Ubaldo
The Basilica di Sant’Ubaldo is a beautiful church located on top of Mount Ingino. The church dates back to the 12th century, and it’s dedicated to the town’s patron saint, Sant’Ubaldo. The church is famous for its stunning views of Gubbio and the surrounding countryside.
Rocca Flea is a medieval fortress located in the heart of Gubbio. The fortress dates back to the 14th century, and it was built to protect the town from invaders. Today, the fortress is open to the public, and it houses a museum of contemporary art.
Cathedral of Gubbio
The Cathedral of Gubbio is a beautiful church located in the historic center of the town. The church dates back to the 13th century, and it’s famous for its Romanesque architecture and stunning interior decorations.
The Palazzo Ducale is another significant landmark in Gubbio, and it dates back to the 15th century. This palace was once the residence of the Duke of Urbino, and it’s known for its impressive architecture and beautiful frescoes. Today, the palace is open to the public, and visitors can explore its stunning rooms and gardens.
Gubbio Roman Theater:
The Gubbio Roman Theater is an ancient amphitheater that dates back to the 1st century AD. The theater was once used for public performances and games, and it’s now a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can explore the theater and learn more about its history and significance.
Monte Cucco Regional Park:
Monte Cucco Regional Park is a beautiful nature reserve located just outside of Gubbio. The park covers over 6,000 hectares and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including rare bird species. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, and horseback riding in the park, and there are several picnic areas and campsites available.
Via dei Consoli:
Via dei Consoli is a charming street located in the historic center of Gubbio. This street is lined with medieval buildings and shops, and it’s a popular spot for strolling and shopping. Visitors can find a wide variety of local crafts, including ceramics, textiles, and leather goods.
The Ceri Festival
The Ceri Festival is one of the most famous events in Gubbio, and it takes place on May 15th each year. This festival celebrates the town’s patron saint, Sant’Ubaldo, and it involves a procession of three large wooden statues, or “ceri,” which are carried through the streets of the town. The festival is a colorful and lively event, and it’s a great way to experience Gubbio’s rich cultural heritage.
Where to Eat in Gubbio:
Gubbio is known for its delicious cuisine, which features a mix of traditional Umbrian dishes and local specialties. Some of the most popular dishes to try in Gubbio include:
Gubbio is famous for its truffles, which are harvested in the nearby hills. These aromatic fungi are used in a wide variety of dishes, including pasta, risotto, and meat dishes.
Strangozzi alla Spoletina:
Strangozzi alla Spoletina is a traditional Umbrian pasta dish made with garlic, tomatoes, and spicy sausage. This hearty dish is perfect for a cold winter evening.
Torta al Testo:
Torta al Testo is a type of flatbread that’s cooked on a hot stone and filled with a variety of savory ingredients, including prosciutto, cheese, and vegetables. This is a popular street food in Gubbio, and it’s perfect for a quick lunch or snack.
Pecorino cheese is a type of sheep’s milk cheese that’s made in the Umbrian hills. This cheese is famous for its rich, tangy flavor, and it’s used in many local dishes.
Some of the best places to eat in Gubbio include:
Ristorante La Cantina dei Consoli:
This popular restaurant is located in the Palazzo dei Consoli, and it serves a wide variety of Umbrian specialties, including truffles, pasta dishes, and grilled meats. The restaurant’s terrace offers stunning views of the town and the surrounding hills.
Osteria del Guelfo Bianco:
This charming restaurant is located in the historic center of Gubbio, and it’s known for its traditional Umbrian cuisine. The restaurant’s cozy dining room is perfect for a romantic dinner, and the menu features a wide variety of dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients.
Ristorante San Martino
Located just outside of Gubbio, Ristorante San Martino is a popular spot for a leisurely lunch or dinner. The restaurant serves a variety of traditional Umbrian dishes, including homemade pasta, grilled meats, and fresh salads.
Trattoria dell’Orso is a cozy restaurant located in the heart of Gubbio’s historic center. The menu features a variety of local dishes, including truffle pasta, grilled meats, and delicious desserts. The restaurant’s rustic decor and friendly staff make it a great spot for a casual meal.
Where to Stay in Gubbio:
Gubbio offers a variety of accommodations, including hotels, guesthouses, and apartments. Some of the best places to stay in Gubbio include:
Hotel Bosone Palace
This elegant hotel is located in the historic center of Gubbio, and it offers luxurious accommodations and a variety of amenities, including a spa, restaurant, and rooftop terrace with panoramic views.
Hotel Relais Ducale:
This beautiful hotel is housed in a historic palace, and it’s located just steps away from Gubbio’s main attractions. The hotel features comfortable rooms, a restaurant, and a garden terrace with stunning views.
Agriturismo San Vittorino
This charming farmstay is located just outside of Gubbio, and it offers comfortable accommodations in a beautiful countryside setting. The property features a swimming pool, restaurant, and farm animals for guests to enjoy.
La Rocca Hotel
This family-run hotel is located in the historic center of Gubbio, and it offers comfortable rooms and a variety of amenities, including a restaurant, terrace, and panoramic views of the town.
Gubbio is a beautiful town with a rich history and culture, and it’s the perfect destination for travelers who want to experience authentic Umbrian cuisine, explore ancient landmarks, and enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside. Whether you’re interested in history, art, food, or nature, Gubbio has something to offer everyone, and it’s sure to leave a lasting impression on any visitor.