La Valle del Carpina takes its name from the river which has its source on the Monte Splendore. It covers an area of around 30km2 taking in the Carpinella source and the villages of Umbertide, Montone and Pietralunga. It is an area of particular geographical interest wedged between the High Valley of the Tiber and the Umbrian-Marches Appenines – a hydrographic basin of 190 km2 in which the Carpina and its tributaries meander through winding valleys. It is a wild and evocative terrain mostly densely covered in dwarf and turkey oaks.
The vegetation is typical of areas between the Mediterranean environment [evergreen] and the Appennine Hills [deciduous]: a delicate balance of plant life that can be traced back to the turkey oak. As for fauna, there is the Appennine wolf found in small family groups, the sparrow-hawk at the top of a long food chain, the crayfish, the nuthatch and the polecat.
It is an area which is off the beaten track, rich in history, nature and local products, which is attractive to visitors. Some are attracted by the peace of the natural environment. For others it is the culture offered by the fortified towns of Gubbio, Perugia, Cortona , Urbino and many others. The Valle del Carpina is centrally placed between Umbria, Tuscany, Emilia Romagna and the Marches. For lovers of jazz and folk music, Umbria Jazz is perhaps the most famous event, but there are also numerous festivals and historical re-enactments in the villages of Montone and Pietralunga. Walkers can follow the ancient Via Francigena, or go ‘leaf peeping’ – guided walks to admire the most beautiful seasonal colours. For young people and school children the Valle has fully equipped educational Farms, well-run and officially approved workshops and an observatory. One can also arrange to visit one of the many blacksmiths’ or carpenters’ workshops.
As for enogastronomy, gourmets will be well served by the specialities of the Valle, 2 of which are the truffle and the white potato, not forgetting the Sollucchero di Monte Valentino, of course.
How to get here from Rome by car:
A1 motorway to Orte, take the Superstrada E45 in the direction of Cesena, leave at the Umbertide or Montone exit.
A1 motorway to Arezzo, take the Superstrada 73 in the direction of Città di Castello, then the Superstrada E45 in the direction of Perugia, leave at the Umbertide or Montone exit.
Take the Superstrada Flaminia in the direction of Rome, leave at Cagli Ovest-Pietralunga, and then follow the direction Perugia.
From Rome to Terni or Perugia S.Anna or Ponte S. Giovanni, then Ferrovia Centrale Umbra to Umbertide, Città di Castello, Gubbio.
San Francesco di Assisi Airport in Perugia. From there hire a car or take a coach.