GUBBIO is the most thoroughly medieval of the Umbrian towns, an immediately likeable place that’s hung on to its charm despite an ever-increasing influx of visitors. The streets are picture-book pretty, with houses of rosy-pink stone and seas of orange-tiled roofs; the setting is equally gorgeous with the forest-clad mountains of the Apennines rearing up behind. A broad and largely unspoilt plain stretches out in front of the town, and the whole ensemble – especially on grey, windswept days – maintains Gubbio’s tough, mountain-outpost atmosphere.

The town was once a powerful medieval comune, always important as the gateway to Ravenna and the Adriatic (it was a key point on the Roman Via Flaminia), but these days Gubbio is a town apart, not really part of Umbria, Tuscany or Le Marche – one reason it’s been spared the onslaught of modernity. Buses arrive in the Piazza dei Quaranta Martiri at the foot of town, named in memory of forty citizens shot by the Germans in 1944, a reprisal for partisan attacks in the surrounding hills. It’s a ten-minute walk uphill from here to the central Piazza Grande and Gubbio’s main sights.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Italy features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
Where to find the best beaches in Italy

Where to find the best beaches in Italy

From secluded coves to lively seafronts, there are plenty of places to sun worship in Italy. But with an increasing number of hotels charging for access to the …

20 Jul 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook