You can make jazz, you can study jazz, but only sometimes you can be jazz. To be produced at very high levels, jazz needs a metaphysical capacity, a mystic embrace with pure passion and the feeling of the sublime, inclinations that are proper of the Umbria region and that have weaved during the centuries the weft of the Umbrian soul. Every year Umbria gathers in Perugia the greatest musicians of the world during the Umbria Jazz Festival and every year art and culture meet in Spoleto at the Festival dei due mondi (Festival of the two worlds). And two worlds truly coexist in this land of saints and jazz musicians.
From the Cantico dei cantici of St. Francis of Assisi to the lyrical and licentious lauds of Jacopone da Todi, from the figures with a serene and absorbed expression of Perugino, Giotto or Cimabue to the powerful black sculpture of Alexander Calder that marks the avenue that leads to the old heart of Spoleto - one of the sculptures that has remained from the Festival dei due mondi of 1962 - sacred and profane blend well in this land of sharply profiled villages climbing up the slopes and of inhabitants with firm souls. They are strong even in times of tragedy, that here occurred in the shape of the 1997 earthquake that caused the collapse of the transept of the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and twenty thousand evacuees, still today exiled from their homes.
Umbrian wines are pleasingly strong too. Wine cellars are quite numerous, for the joy of those who wish to taste and appreciate some of Italy's best wines. Whether you move along the Trasimeno or towards Città di Castello, Gubbio, Assisi, and Todi or further down towards Spoleto, Orvieto and Amelia, everywhere one finds indigenous grape varieties dating back to the mists of time. With its 23 certified products, Umbrian cooking is characteristic and rich also in sweets with anise, cakes, tozzetti and a whole series of first and second courses (risotto, pappardelle, fillet etc.) made especially precious by two quality ingredients: Sagrantino di Montefalco, a local wine with registered and guaranteed denomination of origin, and Torgiano Rosso Riserva. The region boasts 11 Doc and 6 Igt wines, sufficiently fleshy to accompany the hams of Norcia, the game and the delicate and delicious lentils of Castelluccio. They are all specialities "blessed" by the Umbrian oil with protected denomination of origin, declined in five olive varieties: Moraiolo, Frantoio, San Felice, Pendolino and Agocia.