Is Soriano in Tuscany or Umbria?
|Is Soriano in Tuscany or Umbria?
|Expectations & Planning for Our Soriano Vacations
|Jan 30, 2019
|soriano tuscany umbria
To Italians, Tuscany and Umbria are regions that define political boundaries. You might consider them the way we consider counties. To foreigners, the names Tuscany and Umbria represent a picture we draw in our heads based on photos or films we have seen, or stories people have told. Soriano is technically in the region of Lazio (Latium in English), however, it is at the extreme northern part of Lazio. It is just about 4 miles from the border with Umbria, such that when you look at the valley below Soriano, you are looking mostly at Umbria. It is just about 20 miles from the border with Tuscany, such that when you cross over Mount Cimino behind Soriano, you are looking out at Tuscany.
Northern Lazio, Tuscany, and Umbria are all extremely similar, such that to look at these areas, they can be easily mistaken for one another. It is an area of Italy that is full of rolling hills, vineyards, and similar vistas. The characteristic towns of this area are very similar in nature.
'Tuscian', not 'Tuscan''
If you stand in Soriano, you are in a 'Tuscian' town. If you stand in a town within Southern Tuscany, you are in a 'Tuscan' town. The difference is all in the 'i'. Historically southern Tuscany, Northern Lazio, and Southern Umbria were all once part of the same region. It only really changed in the late 19th century when Italy was unified and new political borders were drawn. They were originally part of a land called 'Etruria', which was the home of the ancient Etruscan civilization. Over time, as language developed, Etruria became 'Tuscia', and later 'Toscana'.
But I want to see Tuscany Wineries
Many people will go to Florence, since it is the biggest city in Tuscany, then venture out on day trips to wineries. The image that most of us have in our heads of the Tuscany Vineyards comes from an area of Tuscany called Val D'Orcia, which is the home of world-famous wines such as Brunello and Vino Nobile. In fact, if you look at the area of Tuscany near Florence, you will feel like it looks less like Tuscany than Soriano does because the southern area is what we have all come to think of like that 'Tuscan look'. The Val D'Orcia area is actually closer to Soriano than it is to much of Tuscany, including Florence! For example, the world-famous 'Brunello di Montalcino' comes from an area that is about 60 miles to the northwest of Soriano, while it is 90 miles to the southwest of Florence. This makes many winery day-trips much easier from Soriano than many places you might think to be closer.
What you get in Umbria and Tuscany that you will not get in Soriano
Nothing, really. With respect to Umbria, we are so close to the border with Umbria that Our freeway exit is in Umbria. With respect to Tuscany, the only real difference is the number of tourists staying in the towns. Since 'Tuscany' is such a popular place, it is full of tourists and there are many tourist traps. Soriano has the same feel, and many in the know say that it reminds them of what Tuscany was like 30 or 40 years ago. After all, it is in the same area, just not as well known internationally.