If Tuscany is the heart of Italy, then Umbria is its lungs - some might even say its soul. Wooded, unspoilt and steeped in history, this landlocked province hides some of the country’s finest art treasures (Piero della Francesca cycles) and music (Perugia's jazz festival, Citta di Castello's chamber music), and some real gems of medieval hilltowns (Gubbio, Spoleto, Montone). Bordered to the east by the Apennine mountains of the Marche, to the west by Tuscany’s Val di Chiana and to the south by Etruscan Lazio, it’s very centrally placed.
The River Tiber has its source here, starting at the mountainous intersection of Tuscany, Umbria and Marche, then flowing south through pretty valleys past Citta di Castello to Perugia, Umbria’s capital. Here it opens out into flatter land, with the side valley of Assisi and Spoleto to the east, and the gentle hills around Lake Trasimeno to the west, before continuing south towards Todi and eventually Rome.