Umbria is a region of central Italy. It includes Lake Trasimeno and Marmore Falls, and is crossed by the River Tiber. The regional capital is Perugia. Umbria is known for its landscapes, traditions, history, culinary delights, artistic legacy, and influence on culture.
The region is characterized by hills, mountains, valleys and historical towns such as the university centre of Perugia, Assisi, a World Heritage Site associated with St. Francis of Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and other Franciscan sites, works by Giotto and Cimabue, Terni, the hometown of St. Valentine, Norcia, the hometown of St. Benedict, Città di Castello, main center of the early Renaissance situated in the Tiber High Valley, Gubbio, the hometown of St. Ubaldo, Spoleto, Orvieto, Todi, hometown of the Franciscan mystic Jacopone da Todi, Castiglione del Lago, Narni, Amelia, and other small cities.
Umbria is bordered by Tuscany to the west and the north, Marche to the east and Lazio to the south. Partly hilly and mountainous, and partly flat and fertile owing to the valley of the Tiber, its topography includes part of the central Apennines, with the highest point in the region at Monte Vettore on the border of the Marche, at 2,476 m; the lowest point is Attigliano, 96 m. It is the only Italian region having neither a coastline nor a common border with other countries. The comune of Città di Castello has an exclave named Monte Ruperto within Marche. Contained within Umbria is the hamlet of Cospaia, which was a tiny republic from 1440 to 1826, created by accident.
Umbria is crossed by two valleys: the Umbrian valley ("Valle Umbra"), stretching from Perugia to Spoleto, and the Tiber Valley ("Val Tiberina"), north and west of the first one, from Città di Castello to the border with Lazio. The Tiber River forms the approximate border with Lazio, although its source is just over the Tuscan border. The Tiber's three principal tributaries flow southward through Umbria. The Chiascio basin is relatively uninhabited as far as Bastia Umbra. About 10 km farther on, it joins the Tiber at Torgiano. The Topino, cleaving the Apennines with passes that the Via Flaminia and successor roads follow, makes a sharp turn at Foligno to flow NW for a few kilometres before joining the Chiascio below Bettona. The third river is the Nera, flowing into the Tiber further south, at Terni; its valley is called the Valnerina. The upper Nera cuts ravines in the mountains; the lower, in the Tiber basin, has created a wide floodplain.
In antiquity, the plain was covered by a pair of shallow, interlocking lakes, the Lacus Clitorius and the Lacus Umber. They were drained by the Romans over several hundred years. An earthquake in the 4th century and the political collapse of the Roman Empire resulted in the refilling of the basin. It was drained a second time, almost a thousand years later, during a 500-year period: Benedictine monks started the process in the 13th century, and the draining was completed by an engineer from Foligno in the 18th century.
The eastern part of the region, being crossed by many faults, has been often hit by earthquakes: the last ones have been that of 1997 (which hit Foligno, Assisi and Nocera Umbra) and those of 2016 (which struck Norcia and the Valnerina).
In literature, Umbria is referred to as Il cuore verde d'Italia or The green heart of Italy. The phrase is taken from a poem by Giosuè Carducci, the subject of which is the source of the Clitunno River in Umbria.