Your thoughts about fun things to see & do in Tuscany and Umbria in October

We are heading to Florence October 9-12, the Chianti-area October 12-16, Umbria (Narni) from the 16-21, and ending in Rome 21-23. We've been to Italy a few times, but only during the summer. Since this is our first time in the Fall, we thought we'd ask others for their recommendations on where to go and what to do. What are your favorite things?
Thanks, Scott

Posted by Laurel
Rome, Italy
3119 posts

Same as summer but with better weather! Cool mornings and evenings, some warmer afternoons when sunny. Perfect for hiking, long walks exploring towns. Assisi, Spoleto and Spello are on my Umbrian hit list. If you are wine lovers, Gusto Wine Tours runs a day tour in Umbria that is wonderful. No car needed as Mark will pick you up. Gusto Tours Chianti area gives you access to many great towns: Volterra, Monteriggioni. Also many wonderful drives you can take. Slow Trav has several such as this one. Rome for two days: The Forum and Palatino are so nice when it isn't blistering hot. We also like to hike the Aventine Hill and the Gianacolo, and get away from the high tourist areas. Lovely!

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
5885 posts

In addition to the places already posted, I love Gubbio and Todi in Umbria, Arezzo and Cortona in Tuscany. Last summer I spent a couple of days in Rieti (in Lazio) on my way to Rome, lovely little city and not overrun with tourists but very tourist-friendly. Could be a daytrip from Narni.

Posted by Virginia
Portland, Maine, USA
171 posts

I have been to these falls 3 different time and it is quite a beautiful scene. You should check the website for the times they turn on the falls I have cut and pasted the information below from their website.
Terni is also quite a lovely town. Valnerina" from Terni, you'll reach the very famous Marmore Waterfalls after only 7 km. This is definitely an absolute must for whoever decides to visit Umbria. The Waterfalls, which are immersed in a natural scenery of incomparable beauty, are an artificial work due to the Romans. In fact, at that time, the Velino river was greatly enlarged and had created a vast zone of stagnant waters, swampy and unhealthy. Aiming to make these waters deflow, the consul Curius Dentatus had a canal dug which directed them in direction of the Marmore cliff.

Posted by Gordon
Portland, Oregon, United States
220 posts

Visit Carsulae, Roman ruins a short drive from Terni by San Gemini. An old city on the Via Flaminia in Roman times. Some think it originated from 300BC.

Posted by michelle
spello, umbria, italy
5 posts

Good for you for coming in October! I think it's the perfect time to visit Umbria. You should definitely look into festivals. There's a marvelous chestnut festival in Piegaro in October, but I'm not sure how close to Narni you'd want to stay (it's actually not far from Tuscany either). I agree with the poster about visiting Spello, but I live here, so I can't help being heavily in its favor. If you do decide to trek to this area, feel free to PM me and I can look into festivals around here for you during that time, and also give you the name of my favorite winery in the area (it's carbon neutral, with jeeps to take you through the vines, and the wine and olive oil are out of this world). Wineries are a great place to visit in October, since many are harvesting. Finally, I think walking would be a great fall activity here. The weather is perfect, it's a wonderful time to park in one village, walk to the next for a hearty lunch, and then walk back.

Posted by Sheron
Alta Loma, CA, USA
1238 posts

Scott, I would add Volterra & Orvieto to your list of places to visit. We immensely enjoyed both places. In Volterra, we took a half-day tour with Annie Adair (the tour guide that Rick Steves talks with in his show about Volterra) & it was really informative. You should definitely visit the Etruscan Museum there & of course check out the alabaster shops. The Roman amphitheater is also worth seeing in Volterra. In Orvieto, we enjoyed the underground tour & seeing the facade of the Duomo sun-lit (I think it's my favorite duomo facade in Italy; it's really stunning). You can also walk down to the bottom of St. Patrick's Well but we most enjoyed getting away from the town center & exploring the back streets. Both towns make for nice day trips. Have a great trip!