Gubbio

Set in the green foothills of Mount Ingino, with spectacular views of the Umbrian Valley, is the ancient town of Gubbio. It is one of the most picturesque and characteristic towns, not only in Umbria but also in Italy, thanks to its nearly intact medieval features. Gubbio has a simple street plan of five parallel streets running at different levels on the slopes of the hill with interconnecting alleyways.

The buildings are mainly Romanesque in shape. An unusual aspect of the town is the so-called “Door of the Dead”, a narrow pointed arch door above street level, which, according to tradition, was reserved for the passage of coffins. However, a more likely scenario is that they were used as a means of entry to their homes by way of a retractable wooden ladder thus protecting themselves during the middle ages.

The main building is the Palazzo dei Consoli, which dominates the town. There is also a Roman theatre - one of the largest surviving of its kind dating from the 1st. century A.D Besides the famous Basilica of St Ubald, there are numerous churches and museums which are well worth a visit along with various shops specialising in local art and craft. A market is held every Tuesday.

Corsa dei Ceri
The traditional festival known as the “Race of the Candles”

This age-old traditional event, which may well date to the pagan era, is normally held the day before the feast day of St. Ubald (16th May), patron saint of Gubbio. The Ceri are three enormous wooden statues of St. Ubald, St. George and St. Anthony. The townspeople carry statues on their shoulders as they race through the historic city centre, up to the Basilica of St. Ubald on the top of Mount Ingino. The high point of the event is the race: as the Ceraioli dash through the city streets and up the steep slope, they are accompanied by the thrilled crowd of shouting onlookers. This one-day event is one of Italy's most traditional and well-known popular/religious events.