The ancient Italian city of Gubbio dates back to the Etruscan period, and its stunning architecture, ruins and museums chart the successive epochs perfectly, from Romanesque to Gothic and Baroque.
Set foot in Gubbio, a city in Central Italy’s Umbria region, and you’re instantly immersed in Roman antiquity and Middle Ages ideals. Whether you’re marvelling at the remains of ancient ruins or saintly murals linked to the town’s history, the best attractions in Gubbio give you a glimpse of everyday life across the centuries. Here’s Culture Trip’s pick of the must-visit sights in Gubbio.
Ever ridden a “birdcage” to a mountaintop? Funivia is a ski lift-like cable car that whisks you to Monte Ingino, standing in a rickety, hanging metal basket for six minutes while Gubbio shrinks into miniature below. At the summit, you can enjoy a cappuccino while catching some rays at the café, which is also a perfect place for taking in the dramatic mountain views stretching far and wide. Bolstered by caffeine, you can trek down, stopping for a picnic on the way.
Constructed over a 13th-century Romanesque church with a pointed portal, the Cathedral of Saints Mariano and Giacomo sits in the foothills of Mount Ingino. The cathedral’s red-brick exterior lends an aura of simplicity, but the contrast inside is stark. The mainly Gothic-style interior boasts a single cross-shaped nave propped up by 10 arches, and practically the whole place is adorned by 16th-century paintings and 14th-century fresco traces. The Baroque-tinged chapel provides an awe-inspiring experience as hushed voices and heeled shoes echo off stone floors.
In the heart of the historic San Martino neighbourhood you’ll find this 13th-century palace, which was the former private residence and public office of Cante Gabrielli, a counterweight to the then-noble political class. The Gothic-style palace with its distressed, monochromic limestone facade features ogival arches and is now a museum displaying torture devices. Opening its doors, you’ll be stepping inside gruesome medieval Europe.
To explore more of Italy, discover the best hotels in Bologna, or the best hotels in Positano. These are bookable with Culture Trip. During your Italian adventure, explore the best hiking trails in Sicily, and relax on the best beaches in Rome accessible by public transport. Make sure to also visit at least one of the best restaurants in Sardinia to sample some delicious Italian cuisine.