Come and visit one, or all, of these 7 towns in Umbria by train.
Are you wondering how to travel in Umbria by train and bus?
It’s hard to know how easy towns and villages in Umbria are to access without renting a car.
You get ideas from ‘Best of’ lists of where to travel in Umbria.
And these lists work well for ideas and dreaming of your next holiday.
But do you believe that these lists apply to you? There are lots of great towns to visit in Umbria, how can they know what’s best for you?
To visit many of the towns on these best of lists, like Montefalco, Todi or Gubbio, you’d want to rent a car. With no train station close by, and infrequent buses, the hours spent in transport doesn’t make sense.
So why take a Train to the Towns in Umbria?
Wanting to travel by train in Italy makes sense.
It’s affordable, easy and good for the planet.
Maybe you just aren’t comfortable driving manual and you’re worried about the different rules of the road.
Or maybe you just don’t drive.
If this is you, don’t worry. There are many beautiful towns to visit, without a car.
So here’s a list of great little towns easy to access with public transport.
A note on trains and stations from Rome or Florence
Below I’ve listed if the trains depart in Rome from Tiburtina or Termini or both. All the trains leaving Florence are from Santa Maria Novella, in the historic centre.
Seven of the Best Towns in Umbria:
1. Umbrian Town: Assisi
Assisi the most famous of the towns in Umbria. And it’s a must for any trip to central Italy. Home of one of the two patron saints of Italy, San Francesco, or Saint Francis.
The Basilica in Assisi is one of the finest in the country.
Asides from all things Saint Francis, expect to see Roman Ruins, olive groves and lots more churches.
Assisi is a popular destination for religious pilgrims. This means Sundays are a popular day, so try to visit on any other day.
And who knows? You might end up on the train in a carriage full of nuns.
Find out all about what to see, do and eat in Assisi here.
Your train journey to Assisi:
The train from Perugia: A short train ride from Perugia. It takes under 30 minutes and costs around 3 euros
The train from Florence: There are direct trains that cost around 16 euros and takes about 2.5 hours to 3 hours.
The train from Rome: There are direct trains from Rome that take from 2 to 3 hours and cost about 11 euros
Arriving at the train station in Assisi:
The train station is at the bottom of Assisi. I don’t recommend walking up, especially with suitcases.
The cheapest and easiest way is to catch a bus. They depart right in front of the station, costs only a few euros, and takes you right up in the center. And they seem to be there for every train that arrives.
Otherwise you can take a taxi.
2. Umbrian Town: Orvieto
Orvieto’s another town famous for its cathedral. It’s well worth a visit inside for the beautiful frescos.
There are also thousands of caves below the city. You can’t enter without a guide, but a tour is a great way to learn all about this ancient city.
Don’t miss sipping a glass of their famous Orvieto white wine.
Planning on spending a day or two in Orvieto? I’ve written about it here.
Your train journey to Orvieto:
The train from Perugia: prices start at 8 euros and taking 2 hours. Not bad for having to change trains in Terontola-Cortona. And you’ll have lovely scenery on your left with the first train from Perugia along Lake Trasimeno.
The train from Florence: A 2 hour train ride for 17 euros. Almost all are direct.
The train from Rome: From Roma Termini or Tiburtina, it takes from an hour to an hour and a half. And either 8 or 16 euros.
Arriving at the train station:
Leave the train station and follow the signs for the “funicular” or tram, that for 1.50 euros will take you up to the town. Easy, unusual and great fun!
*A note about the train options. If you’re departing from Rome or Florence, this is an easy train journey. If you’re departing from Perugia, you’ll change at Terontola-Cortona. Not a bad, just could be a little longer.
3. Umbrian Town: Spello
Why Spello? It’s a very sweet little town, just down the road from Assisi.
In fact, if you’re finding Assisi a little busy tourist wise, Spello is a great option. It doesn’t have Assisi’s Basilica, but it has a great deal of beautiful little streets, Roman mosaics and lots of great food.
Late spring is a beautiful time to visit, between May and June, as they hold the Infiorata del Corpus Domini. The entire town is covered in a blanket of flowers.
Your train journey to Spello:
The train from Perugia: from 30 to 40 minutes at 3.50 euros. What’s not to love?
The train from Florence: There are several direct trains throughout the day that cost 17 euros and take from 2.5 to 3 hours.
The train from Rome: Around 10 euros and departing from Roma Termini. These trains take from 2 hours to 3 hours.
Arriving in Spello by train:
Spello is a hilltop town with a train station at the bottom.
But don’t worry, it’s only a 10-minute walk to the beginning of the historic town which begins at the bottom of the hill and climbs up from there.
If you’re staying a few nights and have luggage, it might be best to find a taxi.
4. Umbrian Town: Spoleto
I love visiting Spoleto. A town that was built for the Romans to escape the heat of Rome, it has a lot going for it.
Great olive oil. An arts festival, the festival of two worlds. And an impressive bridge, Ponte Delle Torri.
There’s also a church from the 4th or 5th century, San Salvatore. Even for Italy, that’s old.
And then there’s the Duomo, made in the 12th century, with a
Want to find out more about Spoleto? I’ve written all about it here.
Your train journey to Spoleto:
The train from Perugia: There are a lot of direct trains that take an hour or just a little more and cost 5.50. Don’t buy the 14 euro one that takes even longer!
The train from Florence: It costs around 20 euros and should take a little over 3 hours.
The train from Rome: Departing from Roma Termini it only takes 1.5 hours and costs about 9 euros.
Arriving in Spoleto by train:
Spoleto is one of the many hilltop towns in Umbria, that begins at the bottom and works its way up.
The train station is a straight line and a flat five-minute walk to the beginning.
And the best part is you don’t even need to worry about climbing up with luggage. Once you’ve walked about 10 minutes, there are elevators that take you down to escalators that will take you to the top of the town!
5. Umbrian Town: Castiglione del Lago
Are you looking for a small town close to the Tuscan border, on the historic lake Trasimeno? This is a great option.
Jutting out on a peninsula, Castiglione is looking out on a Roman road or a beautiful lake.
With a medieval fortress and tower which hold summer concerts, a boat race around the end of July, and a medieval palace.
The wines from around this area are some of my favourites, like from the cantina Morami.
Your train journey to Castiglione del Lago:
The train from Perugia: It takes about an hour. You’ll change trains in Terontola-Cortona and it costs 5 euros.
The train from Florence: This should be a direct train that takes an hour and costs 13 euros.
The train from Rome: Don’t pay 26 euros when the 11 euro ticket is even faster! The direct trains depart from both Termini or Tiburtina. It will take around 2 hours.
Arriving in Castiglione del Lago by train:
Grab a cab. Or enjoy a flat straight road before a great deal of stairs. But at the top of the stairs? Turn around and look out over what was once a Roman road you just walked on, and out to Tuscany.
Once up the stairs the town is fairly easy to get around in and fairly level.
6. Umbrian Town: Passignano
An easy day trip from Perugia, this small town right on the lake is a great spot to embrace small town Umbrian life.
Staying in Perugia? You can even come for a day and take the ferry to an island, Isola Maggiore, on Lake Trasimeno for lunch.
It’s only a 10 minute flat walk from the train station to the centre of town where you’ll find a pier to catch the ferry.
This town was hit hard in WWII, so many of the buildings are newer. But if you climb the stairs to the upper part of town you’ll be rewarded with some beautiful panoramas and old homes.
Find a restaurant along the water front and try some of the lake fish.
Your train options for Passignano sul Trasimeno:
The train from Perugia: There are lots of trains, all direct, all under 30 minutes and costing 3.50 euros.
The train from Florence: All options take less than 2 hours. Tickets cost 13 or 17, but the 17 euro ticket isn’t much faster. There are direct options for 13 euros.
The train from Rome: You can depart from either Termini or Tiburtina. The cost is about the same, 12 to 14 euros. There has to be a change, either at the Terontola-Cortona station or Foligno. The ones that change in Foligno tend to cost more and take longer. Expect the journey to take 2 hours and 40 minutes to 3 hours.
Arriving by Train at Passignano
This is a tiny town and an easy walk into town from the station. You want to double back along the road; so exit the train station and turn right on via II giugno.
The road will cross the train tracks and you’ll be on viale Roma which will take you to the waterfront, the town and the ferry terminal.
Ferry to the island Maggiore on Lake Trasimeno.
7. Umbrian Town: Citta di Castello
You probably haven’t heard of this town in Umbria.
Found in the north of the region, it has a lot going for it.
It’s in the Tiber valley along the Tevere river, which runs through Rome.
Citta di Castello is famous in Umbria for white truffles.
They also host the ‘alternative’ chocolate festival that happens over a weekend every year in late October. It’s all about
It’s also one of the few places in Umbria with easy to access hot springs.
And as the name Citta di Castello implies, it has some beautiful architecture. Like the Palace of Vitelli, a cathedral with one of the only round bell towers and one of the great artists of the 20th century,
Your train journey to Citta di Castello:
The train from Perugia: from an hour and a half to 2 hours, cost 4.65, and with a change in Ponte San Giovanni, just outside of Perugia.
The train from Florence: from 17 to 22 euros, it’s a long journey that takes from 3 to 4 hours. You’ll change twice.
The train from Rome: From Termini or Tiburtina, it costs 10 euros, you’ll change just before Perugia in Ponte San Giovanni and head up to Citta di Castello from there.
Of the towns listed, this Umbrian town would be best if you’re staying in Perugia for a longer period of time.
Arriving in the Citta di Castello train station:
This is one of the towns in Umbria that’s actually flat, and the train station is located just outside of the city centre.
Looking for an Itinerary for visiting Umbria by train?
I have a two week itinerary that you can break up and make your own. It includes southern Umbria, northern Umbria and the Trasimeno Lake are. Interested? Check it out here.
So you’ve decided which towns in Umbria to visit. Now how do you find train tickets?
If you’re interested in taking trains in Europe, or the world for matter, I highly recommend checking out this website: seat61. I’ve booked overnight trains from Milan to Paris, he gave me the idea of taking a train all the way to Sicily (a train on a ferry!!
Generally, I use trenitalia to book tickets in advance. But you need to know the Italian names of cities. So the most common examples are: Roma not Rome. Firenze not Florence. And Venezia not Venice.
For English speakers the train line is an easier site to navigate, and sometimes the prices have been even cheaper.
If you aren’t planning on booking everything in advance, you can always buy tickets at the train station. For short local journeys the price shouldn’t change. It’s only for the faster longer distance trains that booking ahead of time has advantages, like Florence to Venice.
I normally have a look on the two sites mentioned above to see about times and may or may not book online, or buy at the station. But if you buy a ticket at the train station, make sure to timestamp it BEFORE getting on your train. If you don’t, they will fine you around 80 euros. For online purchases you don’t have to worry about this step.
If I could only see 1, which of these 7 Towns of Umbria would I choose?
It really depends on what you’ve already seen and how long you’ll be here for. I think of all the towns, Spoleto is the hidden gem with so much to see and do.
But only if you’ve already been to Assisi.
Have you been to any of these towns by train? Did you find it easy? Let me know in the comments below, or send me an email if you have any questions! email@example.com