Umbria

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Umbria (Italian pronunciation: [ˈumbrja]) is a region of modern central Italy. Is one of the smallest Italian regions and the only peninsular region that is landlocked. Its capital is Perugia. The official language, as in the rest of Italy, is Italian.

Contents

Geography

Umbria is bordered by Tuscany to the west, the Marche to the east and Lazio to the south. Mostly hilly or mountainous, its topography is dominated by the Apennines, with the highest point in the region at Monte Vettore on the border of the Marche, at 2,476 m (8,123.36 ft), and the Tiber valley basin, with the lowest point at Attigliano, 96 m (314.96 ft). It is the only Italian region having neither coastline nor common border with other countries.

The Tiber forms the approximate border with Lazio, although its source is just over the Tuscan border. The Tiber's three principal tributaries flow southward through Umbria. The Chiascio basin is relatively uninhabited as far as Bastia Umbra. About 10 km further it joins the Tiber at Torgiano. The Topino, cleaving the Apennines with passes that the Via Flaminia and successor roads follow, makes a sharp turn at Foligno to flow NW for a few kilometres before joining the Chiascio below Bettona. The third river is the Nera, flowing into the Tiber further south, at Terni; its valley is called the Valnerina. The upper Nera cuts ravines in the mountains; the lower in the Chiascio-Topino basin is in a fairly large floodplain.

In antiquity the plain was a pair of shallow, interlocking lakes, the Lacus Clitorius and the Lacus Umber. They were drained by the Romans over several hundred years, but an earthquake in the 4th century and the political collapse of the Roman Empire resulted in the reflooding of the basin. It was drained a second time over five hundred years: Benedictine monks started the process in the 13th century and it was completed by an engineer from Foligno in the 18th century.

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