MONTEFALCO is a pleasing and intimate medieval village that’s home to a superb collection of paintings. Its name, meaning Falcon’s Mount, was glorified with the appendage la ringhiera dell’Umbria – “the balcony of Umbria” – a tribute to its wonderful views. It was also the birthplace of eight saints, good going even by Italian standards. Nowadays the town’s sleepy rather than holy, with only a stupendously ugly water tower and very slight urban sprawl to take the edge off its medieval appeal.
The strong, blackberry-flavoured local wine, Sagrantino Passito, made from a grape variety found nowhere else in Europe, is well worth a try; it’s available in many shops around town. Recommended producers are Adanti and Caprai, also makers of the excellent Rosso di Montefalco. Local events include the Agosto Montefalchese (mid-Aug) – two weeks of cultural events and open-air concerts culminating in the Fuga del Bove, a bull race that has taken place here for centuries.