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Home: artistic itineraries

Umbria: artistic itineraries
Umbria is one of the most toured regions in Italy because of its many cultural and historical itineraries. But its landscape with its green and gentle hills and the medieval, Roman and Etruscan traces also inspire a sense of peace and calm. Here you can find important art collections as well as very small local museums which stand for the enormous cultural treasure enhanced by wonderful artists such as Pietro Vannucci called “Il Perugino” or with a remarkable religious and spiritual tradition being the birth-place of several important religious personages.who are also known outside Umbria and Italy. The Francescanism gave an impulse to a real renewal also in apparently different fields. You should not miss to visit the many Umbrian natural parks with their multitude of green tonalities being the background of a painting which captures the clear and rolling lines of the hills on the horizon.

In the very near proximity: The Valnerina (Valley of the Nera-River)
The country house 'Agrifoglio' and the Farm Holidays 'Il Boschetto' are in the district of Spoleto, Norcia and Cascia. Since ancient times the Valnerina has been a very important communication link between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Adriatic Sea. Many archaeological findings have proved that some of the passes were already being used in prehistoric times. In this land of mysticism where the spiritual adventures of St, Benedetto, St. Rita and St.Scolastica started, there are castles and towers which seem to watch the quiet flow of the Nera-River and its affluents. Many picturesque villages are along the route: Triponzo rises at a height of 420 m and owes its name to the three bridges which cross the Nera-River. The medieval castle overlooks the surrounding plain from its circuit of turreted walls of a rectangular plan and its high tower dating back to the 14th century which was part of the former fortress. The sulphureous water of the Bagni di Triponzo (Triponzo spa) already known in Roman times is also famous. Preci dates back to the 13th century and was originally a slope castle which was destroyed twice by the people of Norcia (16th century). In the upper part there is the church of St. Maria with a portal of the 14th century on the frontside and another portal of the 15th century but with earlier elements. It is said that the Abbey of St. Eutizio was already the main political and commercial centre of the region in the 10th century and up to the end of the 12th century, the Benedictine monastery was able to increase the extension of its possessions and properties as proved by one of the oldest documents written in vernacular at the end of the 11th century.
Norcia is located at the margins of the fertile plain of St. Scolastica. The famous square is dedicated to St. Benedetto, the founder of the western monasticism, who was born around 480 and who is now the patron saint of Europe. The church was probably built on top of his parents’ house in the high medieval age as tradition hands on. It has been renovated several times, but its façade of the 14th century has been preserved. After 1859 only the upper part of the church has been rebuilt with the addition of a beautiful gothic portal with reliefs and shutters dating back to 1578. On the right side there is the Portico of Measurements where nine ancient local weights for cereals are exposed on a stone bench. Inside the church there is a work of Vincenzo Manenti showing the Virgin Mary and the Saints of Norcia. The massive structure of 'The Castellina' was built by Giulio III as a residence and eventually transformed into a fortress by the apostolic governors according to the plan of Vignola (1554). Since 1967 it has been the home of the civic-diocesan museum where you can see paintings and sculptures created by artists of the Norcia district, for example Nicola da Siena, Giovanni Dalmata.

The Via Flaminia (The Flaminia route): Spoleto, Foligno.
Spoleto, famous for the 'Festival dei Due Mondi' (Festival of the Two Worlds), but also for its many churches, amphitheatres and buildings more or less dating back to Roman times. The cathedral with its big central rose-window in the façade, its vigorous church bell tower and its beautiful portal is a Romanesque building of the end of the 12th century. Foligno is one of the few Umbrian towns located in a plain. Piazza della Repubblica together with Piazza del Duomo (main squares of Foligno) are the vital centre of the town. Only a few people know that the first edition of the “Divina Commedia” (Divine Comedy) was printed in Foligno in 1472. Foligno is also famous for the “Giostra della Quintana” (a horse-riding tournament). Trevi, famous for its olive groves, offers an extraordinary scenery thanks to its position on a hill overlooking the plain of Spoleto.This really uncontaminated centre is the home of history, art and culture.

From Foligno to Perugia
Montefalco which is also called 'Ringhiera dell’Umbria' (The railing of Umbria) due to its position on a hill, overlooks and dominates the plain of the Topino-River and Clitunno-River and offers a panorama of extraordinary beauty. Of particolar interest for the Umbrian art are the frescoes of Benozzo Gozzoli in the church of St. Francis. Bevagna surrounded by rivers which have always been its first natural defense, is famous for the “Mercato delle Gaite”, now a joyful challenge among artisan shops which recalls the division into districts of the town in medieval times and which had once the task to protect it. In Spello, an ancient village on the hills, more than in any other Umbrian places, you can see traces of the Romans. You should not miss the 'Infiorate' of the Corpus Christi Day where flower petals are used to create street pictures the night before the procession. Every year millions of tourists visit Assisi. As soon as you get into this town, you will be surrounded by the francescan atmosphere. Its monuments and buildings embellish every angle of its lanes. The Upper and the Lower Basilica with Giotto’s frescoes are of great artistic and spiritual interest. Do not miss the “Eremo delle Carceri” ( prison hermitage) climbing up towards the Mount Subasio: It is situated in a naturalistic park of about 7500 hectares and protected by the district authorities. Perugia is the seat of the local government and offers many facets from a historic, artistic and town-planning point of view. The Rocca Paolina (Paolina fortress) built by Pope Paul III Farnese in the middle of the 16th century and designed by Antonio da Sangallo, the Umbrian National Gallery with Perugino’s frescoes, the streets of the historic centre within the Etruscan

Other places to visit in Umbria
If you have time, there are still many other places of historic interest to visit, such as Orvieto, Todi, Gubbio, Città di Castello and the Trasimeno Lake district.