Here we have a classic view of a group of farmhouses in Umbria, the “green heart” of Italy, with a typical strada bianca running between the hedges. A strada bianca (plural strade bianche) means neither more nor less than a “dirt road”. The significance of the term, which is widely used, is that we have a great many dirt roads in Tuscany and Umbria and they are well worth exploring. Most of them run to case coloniche (farm houses) which are usually quite picturesque, but if you study your map you’ll find many back roads leading to ancient castles, monasteries and similar sights of interest.
These roads support car traffic as long as you don’t try to drive too fast, but are ideal for bicycling and especially for walking excursions. If you’re visiting Tuscany or Umbria for ten days or more, I strongly recommend that you set aside at least one day for a stroll through the countryside. There’s no better way to get to know the real Tuscany or Umbria.
More about the strade bianche of Tuscany.
More about the wild orchids of Tuscany.
More about the Region of Umbria.