Special Umbria is happy to tailor-make itineraries for our guests, including guided tours of national parks, city culture tours or other activities. We are able to organise a private chef for your entire stay or someone who can prepare traditional, local food when required. Please contact us directly for rates and availability.
In addition to the fabulous festive atmosphere, Umbria offers a variety of activities to make your holiday season unforgettable. Be moved by beautiful concerts featuring traditional Italian Christmas music inside some of the most glorious buildings on earth, explore the region's renowned art galleries and museums, or simply relax and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Umbrian countryside from the cosy comfort of your luxury rental.
What to do and where to go
The world's biggest Christmas tree in Gubbio
Gubbio takes Christmas seriously, not least by lighting up the world's largest tree featuring thousands of multi-coloured bulbs that twinkle over the town from Mount Ingrino. Gubbio itself, an ancient medieval town famous for its Roman ruins and historic aqueduct, hosts delightful attractions and events for both young and old. Discover Christmas Land, the fantastic markets, the tree - which was ratified by Guinness World Records as the world's biggest Christmas tree in 1991, 3D images on the façade of the Palazzo dei Consoli, the ferris wheel, the nativity cribs tucked away in the town's pretty streets, and much, much more.
Concerts and the nativity in Assisi
At the start of December every year, Assisi and its surrounding villages come alive with the sights and sounds of Christmas and this year will have particular resonance since it is the 800th anniversary of St Francis' first nativity scene.
A rich programme of events combines history, tradition and spirituality with a message of hope for the future, paying particular attention to environmental sustainability. The Town is decorated with Christmas trees and puts on spectacular light displays, Christmas markets, concerts and nativity scenes that offer a moving immersive experience.
Perugia's Christmas market
Perugia's Christmas market can be found in Rocca Paolina, the university town's 16th-century Renaissance fortress. Not as big as other European markets but the biggest of its type in Umbria, its comfortable size makes it the perfect place to find delicious food and drinks, as well as beautiful artisanal presents.
Additional stalls can be found throughout Perugia’s historic centre, including in Piazza Italia and Piazza Matteotti, while the main street, Corso Vannucci, is strung with twinkling lights and there's even an ice rink.
A Christmas tree on Lake Trasimeno
Head to the delightful town of Castiglione del Lago and throughout December and into the start of the new year you'll be able to see another of the world’s biggest Christmas trees. Part of the Luci sul Trasimeno festival, the tree is picked out in lights on Lake Trasimeno. A kilometre in length, the tree is made up of 2,450 bulbs that hover just above the water, held up by 5km of cable. Visitors are able to see the tree from just behind the castle tower and can even sponsor a light. For every light sponsored, an olive tree will be planted as a symbol of peace and hope. Guests will find lots of other things to see and do, from a Christmas market to a huge nativity scene.
Winter Jazz Festival in Orvieto
Umbria's Winter Jazz Festival is now in its 30th year and the 2023 programme has 90 events performed by 30 bands and more than 150 musicians. Spread over five days, from 28 December to 1 January, visitors can soak up soul, jazz, gospel and funk from noon 'til night in the delightful Umbrian town of Orvieto.
There are two moments that have always characterised the Winter Jazz Festival. The first is the New Year’s Eve Dinner and the concerts before and after midnight - an excellent augur for a happy new year. While the second is the gospel concert that follows New Year's Day Mass in the Duomo, performed this year at 5pm by the Virginia State Gospel Choir, with the religious songs of the African American tradition now a firm festival fixture.
New Year's Eve
There is no better place to celebrate the end of one year and the start of another than here in Umbria. The region's towns and cities come alive with fireworks, live music and traditional Italian feasts. Whether you choose to join the local celebrations and have a New Year's Eve dinner in one of the many incredible restaurants, or to host your own party in private luxury at your SpecialUmbria property, you are guaranteed to see in the New Year in style.
The Christmas holiday season in Umbria offers a unique blend of cultural experiences, festive celebrations and a proper switch-off giving you a chance to reflect and reset in this extraordinarily beautiful part of Italy. With one of our luxury rental villas as your base, you can explore all that this stunning region has to offer, creating fabulous memories to last a lifetime.