This just in from ISB readers' favorite Umbra, Xtina. The NY Times is advising vacationers to shun cliché Tuscany for Umbria. The Times writes:
While many Americans aspire to the archetypical villa vacation in Tuscany or the south of France, other regions can offer comparable cultural immersion at significant savings. “Tuscany is on our lips,” said Tim Roney, director of worldwide sales at LaCure Villas, which specializes in luxury rentals, but Umbria, from its cuisine to its rolling agricultural countryside and medieval stone villages, offers a very similar experience “at rates 40 and 60 percent below Tuscany prices.”
What Xtina and Mr. Roney are not telling you is that Umbria is Italy's only land-locked region after mountainous Valle D'Osta, its wine is generally inferior to neighboring Tuscany, Marche and Lazio, and most Umbrians still practice black magic, randomly putting the evil eye on unsuspecting outsiders (at least that's what my friend Lara tells me).
In seriousness, Umbria is a beautiful place. Plus, it's close to Tuscany and Marche.