Umbria

Nature and countryside

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Nature and countryside

From harsh gorges to sweet hills, wild woods to fertile plains transformed by wise and varied cultivations; oases of fresh, crystal-clear spring water; chis is the typical Umbrian landscape - a region spread over 8456 sq. kms., nestling between Tuscany, Marche and Lazio. The area is divided between plains, hills and mountains but, as statistics show, it is the mountains which prevail. 53% of the total surface is classified as mountain terrain, 41% hills and the remaining 6% as plainland. Profound differences and contrasts make the countryside extremely varied; a result of the geological, hydrographical and climatic features of the area.

The Mountains and the Hills
Towards the Marches (le Marche) the Appenine chain winds in a north-west south-east direction. The peaks of these mountains rarely rise above 1500 metres and only in the extreme southeast do they reach a height of 2476 metres with the imposing Mount Vettore and its summit of Redentore in the Sibilline range, only part of which is in Umbria. The prevalently limestone relief creates huge stores of water and numerous springs. Conical depressions known as dolines or multiple basins with swallow-holes are common. The most famous of these basins are chose of Castelluccio above Norcia at about 1300-1400 metres, dominated by Mount Vettore with Colfiorito at 750 metres.