Umbria, 'the Green Heart of Italy', is a fascinating region of Etruscan and Roman monuments, medieval castles and cathedrals, and the Renaissance art of Giotto, Perugino and the young Raphael. Everywhere, vibrant cities, evocative hill-towns and tranquil villages are set amid glorious landscapes. This superb cultural guide makes the perfect traveller's companion. Ian Campbell Ross tells the story of Umbria from the days of the ancient Umbri, a thousand years before Christ, through to the unification of Italy and up to the present day. He shows how Etruscans, Romans, early Christians and Longobards all left their mark, and how powerful city-states like Perugia, Spoleto and Orvieto, as well as smaller towns and villages, took pride in cultural achievements visitors still enjoy. St. Francis and his followers transformed Assisi into a spiritual centre embracing one of the greatest collections of late medieval and early Renaissance art and architecture in Europe. This thoroughly revised edition, newly illustrated, provides a compelling narrative along with chapters on the region's art and the local food and wine. A gazetteer gives visitors full details of what to see in the cities, hill-towns and mountain and lakeside villages of one of Italy's most beautiful regions.