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Umbria - Places to visit - Spoleto

Town Hall: Via Municipio - 06049 Spoleto (PG)
Tel. 0743/2181
Altitude a.s.l.: 396 m. Maximum Altitude: 1.286 m.
Population (Spoletini): 37622 N. of Hamlets: 22
Twin Towns: Orange (F), Charleston (USA)

Spoleto is one of the principal economic and tourist centres of Umbria thanks to its rich history, archaeological and artistic features and the importance of its cultural events.

Spoleto in Umbria

Its economic resources depend not only on tourism but also on the considerable presence of agricultural, industrial, handicraft and commercial activities in very diversified sectors (food, textile, engineering, construction, graphics and jewellery, etc.)

BRIEF HISTORY

Spoletos history is very ancient and evidence of a human settlement dating back to the Iron Age can be proven by the numerous archaeological findings.

Historical documents dating back to the 4th and 3rd cent. b.C. reveal the influence and presence of Rome. In 241 b.C. an important Roman colony was founded here and in 90 b.C. Spoleto became a Roman Municipality "optimo iure" and was given a wide range of privileges and rights

Spoleto in Umbria

After the fall of the Roman Empire (493 a.C.) Spoleto was defended and embellished by Theodoric, King of the Visigotgic and later (536) by Narsete the Byzantine.

In 545, Totila sacked and destroyed the city, which was later liberated by Narsete the Byzantine.

Later the Longobards invaded Italy, choosing Spoleto as the Capital of a flourishing Duchy whose territory extended from Rimini (on the Adriatic Sea) to Benevento (in the Campania Region).

After the Longobards, the Duchy of Spoleto was taken over by the Franks of the Carthaginian Empire.

In 1155 Spoleto was conquered and destroyed by Frederick Barbarossa.

A series of battles than followed between the Guelphs (supporters of the Pope) and the Ghibellines (supporters of the Emperor). Spoleto was then reconciled by Cardinal Albornoz becoming a possession of the church and a very important centre within the Papal State.

Papal rule (with the exception of the Napoleonic period) lasted until Spoleto was united to the newly formed Italian State

SIGHTS TO SEE

In the centre of town

Cathedral (12th cent.), contains paintings by Pinturicchio, di Filippo Lippi and others, and a bronze by Bernini.

Church of St. Gregory the Great (12th cent.), with frescos from the 14th and 15th centuries.

Church of the Misericordia (14th cent.), with paintings from the 14th and 15th centuries.

Church of St. Domenic (13th 14th cent.), frescos from the 14th to the 17th centuries.

Church of St. John and St. Paul (12th cent.), contains frescos from the 12th and 13th centuries.

Church of S. Filippo Neri (17th cent.), contains paintings and reliefs from the 17th to the 19th century

Ruins of the Church of St. Agatha (10th 11th cent.), contains frescos from the 13th century

Church of St. Peter (12th and 13th cent.).

Church of S. Eufemia (12th cent.).

Church of S. Ansano (18th cent.), contains frescos from the 11th to the 12th century.

Church of S. Paolo Inter Vineas (10th cent.), frescos from the 13th century.

Church of S. Maria della Manna dOro (16th cent.).

Monastery of the Madonna della Stella (13th cent.), with cloister from the 15th 16th century and frescos from the 16th century. Today houses the "Minervio" military barracks.

Ruins of the ancient city walls (6th cent. b.C.).

Roman theatre (1st cent. a.C.), still used for summer performances.

Arch of Monterone (3rd cent. b.C.), gate of the Roman wall

Arch of Drusus the Younger (1st a.C.).

Ponte delle Torri (lit. Bridge of the Towers) (12th 13th cent.), imposing aqueduct.

Collicola Palace (18th cent.).

Zacchei Travaglini Palace (16th cent.).

Spoleto in Umbria

Pianciani Palace (17th 18th cent.).

Arcaiani Palace (17th 18th cent.), seat of the Italian Centre of Studies on the Early Middle Ages.

Toni Palace (12th cent.), contains a collection of physic instruments from the 18th century to the present.

Mauri Palace (16th and 17th cent.).

Leti Sensi Palace (17th cent.).

Archbishops Palace (15th 17th cent.).

Fortress (14th cent.), a rectangular shaped castle-fortress. For a long time used as a prison. Today, it hosts cultural events

New Theatre (1854 64).

Caio Melisso Theatre (1877 1880).

Museum of Modern and Ancient Textiles, housed in the Racani Arrone Palace (16th cent.).

Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, housed in the Rosari Spada Palace.

Archaeology Museum housed in the ex-Benedictine Monastery.

Surrounding Area

Church of the Holy Saviour (4th cent.)

Church of S. Ponziano (12th 13th cent.)

Church of St. Julian (12th cent.)

Sanctuary of Monteluco founded by St. Francis in 1218

FOLKLORE AND EVENTS

Festival of the patron saint S. Ponziano (January)

Childrens Carnival (February)

Week-long seminar on the Early Middle Ages (April)

Organ Concerts in the churches (May - June)

Festival of the "Two Worlds" (June - July)

Opera Season of the Lyric Experimental Theatre (September)

National Figurative Arts Exhibition (only even years)

TYPICAL LOCAL PRODUCTS

Oil

Truffles

Jewellery.

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