As soon as one sets foot in Umbria, Saint Francis is immediately called to mind - the great, gentle, tender Saint of happiness and meekness could only have been born here.
In these places of ever-green nature, in these towns where the concept of "historic centre" seems inadequate given the widespread nature of the monumental and artistic component of the region...
Perugia, for example. From the Etruscan walls to the Palazzo Gallenga, seat of the prestigious University for Foreigners, and many other buildings and historic monuments around Piazza IV Novembre, with its Fontana Maggiore and Palazzo dei Priori.
The same might be said for Gubbio, rich with Franciscan memories and monuments from the medieval and Renaissance periods.
And then Todi, Spello, Spoleto (the venue of a prestigious Festival), Orvieto, Città di Castello and many other small towns embellished with monuments, palaces and churches of high artistic merit.
Even Terni, a flourishing industrial city, boasts jewels such as the churches of St. Salvatore and St. Francesco and, close by, the masterpiece of nature that is the Marmore Waterfalls.
And lastly Assisi, the birthplace of Saint Francis and Saint Clare, one of the most famous and most visited places of pilgrimage in Christianity. A place to be experienced first hand...