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.
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.