Umbria Jazz Festival, widely known as the King of Umbria music festivals, first began in 1973, and continues to attract some of the greatest names in jazz and beyond.
The festival’s early years saw the likes of Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Gil Evans and Chet Baker come to town, and with the exception of a three year hiatus in the late 70s, Umbria Jazz Festival continues to put on a memorable spectacle.
Perugia, as Umbria’s capital and host of the festival, embraces impromptu street parties, open-air performances in the piazza and welcomes jazz greats to play headliner ticketed shows in some of the city’s historic theatres.
For both the curious traveller and dedicated jazz listener, it’s also an easy sell. Italy’s la dolce vita, or ‘the good life’, is there for anyone who desires it during the 10-day festival. Indulging in long, alfresco lunches will revive the crowd weary, as will keeping up a steady flow of Chianti, feasting on fresh regional truffle and retreating to the countryside for dips in a farmhouse hotel pool. Soak up the quintessential Italian vistas, balance busier event days with lots of leisure time, and it will be difficult to leave Italy’s landlocked heart.
WORDS OF WISDOM
- Have wheels, will roam. Part of Umbria’s regional charm is its bucolic blanket of rolling hills, which require flexibility (in the form of a hire car or Vespa) and a willingness to wander. All the better to discover vineyards, grand rustic villas, and farmer’s markets.
- Stop by the Avis counter at Perugia Airport or two of the other city-wide branches.
- Allow time to park. For anyone who is staying outside of the town centre and plans on driving in, leave an hour to find a good park.
- Rushing during the festival is never a good idea and the extra time will accommodate potential traffic jams, and could even allow stopping off to purchase a bottle of nice wine to take in for showtime. Add on extra travel minutes if attending a sold out evening show.
- Book ahead and stay in rustic farmhouse accommodation or a boutique hotel. Both Castello Di Reschio in Northern Umbria, and Torre Di Moravola are two exceptional places to retreat to for the ultimate dolce vita experience.
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