|Regions in Italy Umbria|
Umbria Region, Italy
In the true heart of Italy, both geographically and spiritually, the region is not touched by the sea, and the territory is for one-third mountains and for the rest hills covered with olive trees and vineyards, and acknowledgedly among the most beautiful landscapes in Italy.
For thousands of years the Umbrian region has had a crucial strategic role for its location halfway between the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic, the proximity to Rome and the powerful states of Tuscany and Marche, which explains why each city or hamlet are perched on top of hills and mountains for better defense.
The Provinces of Umbria
The only peninsular region not washed by the sea, Umbria is however rich in water courses as the Nestore, Paglia, Chiascio and Velino, which enters the Nera with a leap of 165 meters, giving rise to spectacular Marmore Falls, among the highest in Europe. In Umbria, along the Tuscan border, is also Lake Trasimeno, the largest in the Italian peninsula.
Inhabited by the ancient Umbrians, the region was in the first millennium BC under the influence of the Etruscans, then was conquered by the Romans in the 4th century BC and later became the Sexta Regio of the Roman Empire.
With the barbarian invasions and the destruction that followed the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the region shared the destiny of great part of Italy: the beautiful flourishing cities were plundered and destroyed, the population took refuge in the mountains, where later the Lombards, giving finally some political stability, built castles and citadels and established the Duchy of Spoleto in 571, including also parts of Marche, Abruzzo and Latium.
The Lombards were in the late 8th century defeated by the Franks, though Spoleto maintained its dominant position in central Italy still for centuries. The rise of the Communes brought along intestine wars in Perugia and Assisi, and then coalitions against the Emperors Frederick I and Frederick II.
The region fell more and more under the influence of the Church State, which was practically in power since the 15th century until 1798, when the region was occupied by Napoleonic Army and a Republic established in Rome. With the Restoration of 1815 Umbria was returned to the State of the Church, though the movement of the Italian Risorgimento was strong among the population, which was finally united to the Italian Kingdom after a referendum in 1860, at the time of the Second War of Italian Independence.
The Umbrian soil is suited to agriculture, the main produce being cereals, tobacco, sugar-beet, sunflowers, vineyards; Umbria is also among the first producers in Europe of black truffle.
Industry is especially connected to the electrical power plants and steel mills in the province of Terni. Renowned ceramic production is flourishing in Deruta, Gubbio and Orvieto. Thanks to the temperate climate, the beautiful landscapes and the religious, cultural and artistic wealth of many cities like Assisi, Gubbio, Spoleto, Perugia, tourism is also an important resource.
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