Key to Umbria: Gubbio


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Gubbio nestles within its elliptical walls on the lower slopes of Monte Ingino, with the basilica that is dedicated to its patron, St Ubaldus, looking down from the mountain above.  This area was urbanised by the ancient Ikuvines, who recorded their ritual practices in the celebrated inscriptions (the Ikuvine Tables) that are now in the Museo Civico. 

The Romans moved the settlement into the plan at the foot of the mountain, and the remains of the theatre that they build here still survive.  However, the city moved back to its ancient site in the Middle Ages.  Its architecture is beautifully preserved, providing the backdrop for scenes in Franco Zeffirelli films “Romeo e Giulietta” and “Fratello Sole, Sorella Luna” (1972). 

As the authors of the “Fuori Guida” to Gubbio (below) point out, visiting Gubbio is a choice: it is not on a motorway or rail line, nor is it near any other major urban centre.  Nevertheless, it attracts its share of visitors, particularly in May for the Festa dei Ceri

The easiest way to arrive is by bus from Perugia.  Alternatively,  Sulga run one bus per day in each direction between Roma Fiumicino and Gubbio (via Roma Tiburtina).  There are two other, less convenient possibilities:

  1. Fossato di Vico, which is some 26 km from Gubbio, is on the train line from Roma Termini - Ancona; this page in the website of Trenitalia gives details of the connecting buses from the station to Gubbio. 

  2. The airport at Sant’ Egidio is some 40 km from Gubbio, and a taxi from the rank there to Gubbio costs €80.00 (April 2014).  It would probably have been cheaper if I had booked with Giorgio Fiorucci (Gubbio Taxi, 339 24 88 193).

You can secure reduced fees to the museums of Gubbio and Gualdo Tadino with a “Turisticard”, which you can but at the the Tourist Office at 15 Via della Repubblica (telephone 075 922 0693).  This page of the website of Regione Umbria has interesting details for the arrangements for the Festa dei Ceri.

Hotels, Restaurants and Bars

I had a very pleasant stay in Hotel Gattapone in April 2014.

I enjoyed meals at the following restaurants:

  1. Ristorante di Porta Tessenaca, which also has a wine bar which is great for a light lunch;

  2. Ristorante Taverna del Lupo; and

  3. Ristoranti Locanda del Duca, which belongs to a hotel that receives good reviews.

The nicest bars that I found were:

  1. Bar Jolly, 4 Via Repubblica; and

  2. Bar Caffé Dragoni, Piazza 40 Martiri (continue clockwise from Farmacia Comunale), which has a good Wifi service.


One of my favourite guides to the city is “Gubbio: Itinerari di Monaci e Consoli” (2002) by Giuseppe Maria Nardelli and Pina Pizzichelli, which is one of the series “Fuori Guida”. 

A more recently published and well illustrated guide is: “Gubbio: Città d’Arte” (2013) by Ettore Sannipoli and Francesco Mariucci.  The authors are both authorities on their city and their passion is clear from the text.

The website of the Comune di Gubbio provides an excellent interactive guide.  

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