Umbria (Perugia) - Central Regions

"Umbria (Perugia) - Central Regions" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Thursday 28th April 2011

The name Umbria comes from the name of the ancient people Umbrians who before the Roman epoch lived on the territory of the region. The modern Umbria was formed immediately after the unification of Italy in 1860 from the division and distribution of the ex-pontifical state territory. In 1923 the region lost Sabina which was assigned to the province of Rieti in Latium.
Area: Its surface is 8 456 (3264 sq.miles) (2.8%), population 831 000 inhabitants (1.2%), density 98 inhab./

The name Umbria comes from the name of the ancient people Umbrians who before the Roman epoch lived on the territory of the region. The modern Umbria was formed immediately after the unification of Italy in 1860 from the division and distribution of the ex-pontifical state territory. In 1923 the region lost Sabina which was assigned to the province of Rieti in Latium.

Area: Its surface is 8 456 (3264 sq.miles) (2.8%), population 831 000 inhabitants (1.2%), density 98 inhab./

The territory of Umbria is very favourable for the life of a human being thanks to vast plain areas, plenty of water, rich vegetation. So it was inhabited since the Neolithic ages. Nowdays the region is behind the other central parts of Italy by the economical development and interventions in territory arrangement. The first who started this kind of work were Etruscans, Umbrians and Romans, which founded the first cities (Perugia, Orvieto, Spoleto, Todi, Assisi), introduced the new agricultural growing and built the roads.

During the Middle Ages the most important activities were conducted by the monastery communities and Perugia became one of the centres of the central Italy with its University founded in XIII century; this was the period when the artisan activity was born on the territory of Umbria (ceramics in Deruta).

Several centuries later Umbria was included in the pontifical state territory and as a consequence passed through the phase of immutability and isolation. Only with the unification with the Italian state the intervention on the territory was continued: construction of railway, production of the hydro-energy in Ternano; first industrial plants in Terni. Nevertheless most of the economical activities remained on its traditional level and never got to know any innovations and improvements. One of the primary sectors in economy of Umbria which could give the new places of work is tourism thanks to the fact that the nature and art of this region remained nearly untouched by intervention of men and still conserve its original beauty and value.



Man and Territory Economy and Resources

Archeology and Art


The region was inhabited already in the Neolithic epoch. Before Romans here were living Etruscans and Umbrians.
Umbrians founded Spoleto, Todi, Assisi and Etruscans built Perugia and Orvieto.
The rests of Etruscan civilization in Orvieto and Perugia.

Roman Epoch
(from II century b.C.)

Rome conquered the region.
Foundation of Narni and opening of the via Flaminia; regulation of the water of Velino (waterfalls of Marmore) and first usage of Tiber for the navigation purposes.
Interesting Roman centers along the consulate roads (Flaminia, Cassia, Salaria).

Middle Ages

(V - XV centuries)

Devastation of the region by Goths. In 596 Spoleto became the capital of the duke-dome which continued till the end of XII century when Umbria passed under the domination of the Church (till XIII century).
Grave economic and civic decline.
Blooming of civic architecture and perfect urbanistic arrangement of some cities. Foundation of the church S.Francesco d'Assisi (XIII century) where worked Cimabue and Giotto. Construction of the cathedral in Orvieto (XIII-XIV centuries).


(XV - XVI centuries)

Domination of the local noble families till the XV century, when the Church managed to reaffirm its power over the region.
Development of different artisan activities among which is publishing, elaboration of iron and ceramics.
The spledour of Umbrian art with Perugino, Pinturicchio and Raphael. Construction of Rocca Paolina in Perugia in 1540.

Modern Ages (XVII=XVIII)

Lasting pontific domination.
The regional economy conserves essential agricultural character.

XIX - XX centuries

In 1860 the region is annexed to the kingdom of Sardinia. In 1923-1927 Umbria lost Sabina in favour of Latium and the province of Terni was established.
Till the middle of XIX century the economic decline continues. In 1860-1870 were built the first railway lines; by the end of past century the production of hydroenergy was begun in Velino and Nera; industrialization of Terni.

Umbria (Perugia) Map

Umbria (Perugia) Map


Umbria is the only peninsular region without exits to the sea. It borders on Tiscana (north-west and west), Latium (south) and Marche (north-east and east).


The climate in Umbria is continental with very hot summers and quite cold winters. But in the western part of region the climate is milder.


January: 1.6 C

July: 21.6 C


Umbria doesn't possess numerous ways of communications and because of geological and landscape factors it was cut from the program of connection between the north and south of the country.


Total: 4 000 000

Italians: 71%



The landscape of Umbria consists mostly of mountains and hills. The rivers crossing the territory of the region are: Tiber, Nera, Velino. To the east of Terni is located an amazing water-fall "cascata delle Marmore". here is also the greatest lake of Apennines - Trasimeno (128 but only 6m deep.


plain: 0%

hill: 70%

mountain: 30%


Agriculture: 7%

Industry: 31%


other: 62%

Agriculture and breeding.

Agriculture in Umbria is quite modest from the productive point of view, the main reason is the excessive division of the property, lack of big companies with the modern means of cultivation and technics. The principal productions are: corn, vegetables, sugar beet, tabacco, olive and grape. The mountain forests of Spoleto, Norcia, Cascia are famous for the growing there black truffle. Should also be noticed the breeding of pigs and production of wood.


The greatest obstacles to the industrialization of the region was the nature and lack of roads. The principal industrial centers are Terni and Perugia. The last is a seat of food, textile, clothing industries. Terni is specialized in iron metallurgy, mechanics and electronics. One of the examples of minor productions that exist here is publishing of colored post cards and artisan ceramics production in Deruta.
The touristic industry is not very well developed also due to the little quantity of the communication ways, as well as commerce and banking activities didn't grow much .



44 000 000 kWh


1 800 000 kWh



128 000 000 kWh


900 000 kWh

Births (per 1000)

Italy: 9.9


Deaths (per 1000)

Italy: 9.3

Umbria: 10.4


Italy: 0.6

Umbria: -1.8



Till the 70's of this century Umbria was intensively depopulated and emigrants went to the north of Italy. Nowdays this process nearly stopped mostly because the northern industries reduced the offer of work and partly because of the local industrial development supplies the young population with the working place. 70% of regional population live in the province of Perugia.


The last decades didn't show any grave change in the life of Umbrians. They are not rich and stay close to average Italian rate of consumption and produced product per inhabitant. The cost of life here of course is lower than in any other region located to the north of it. The air in Umbria is one of the purest in Italy not only thanks to a great untouched area but also because of little quantity of cars . The criminal level is very low and life in general is calm and tranquil. Here the percent of marriages celebrated with religious rite is high and percent of divorces and family conflicts is low. The Umbrians say that their life doesn't go ahead and doesn't move back.

Inhabitants per car

Italy 2.0

Umbria: 1.7

Monthly income

per inhabitant

1 370 000 It.Liras 

(685 US Dollars)

Provinces and Communes.

The region Umbria is compound of only two provinces Perugia and Terni divided in 92 communes.
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