: 396 m a.s.l. - pop. 40,000
[ MAP ]
Spoleto: 396 m a.s.l. population
Town of great artistic interest in hilly location dominated by
the imposing 13th C. rocca (fortress).
It has medieval features
with churches and palazzos, mainly in Romanesque and Renaissance
style. Rich in monuments, celebrated by poets and writers
such as Stendhal, Goethe, Hesse and many more. It has been inhabited since
the prehistoric age,
then became Etruscan and Roman. It had a period of splendor and
growth during the Middle Ages.
Duomo: Santa Maria Assunta (Our Lady of the Assumption)
Romanesque structure with a central nave and two aisles and
transept. It was finished in the 13th C bc. The Romanesque façade is
embellished by 5 rose windows, arcades and by the mosaic of
“Cristo benedicente” It has a refined portal with sculptured
architrave and jamb-stones. There are two pulpits to the sides of
the portico. The interior preserves several works of art. The abside shows frescoes of “Episodi della vita della Madonna” (Episodes of the life of Madonna), by Filippo Lippi,
the painter is also buried in the church. The Cathedral also preserves works by Pinturicchio (Pietà,
Madonna col Bambino e Santi) and by the sculptor Bernini (Bust
of Pope Urbano VIII). The chapel of “Santissima icona” displays
a sacred image of Madonna. In front of the Duomo opens a
scenographic piazza where every year, in July, the
final concert of Festival dei Due Mondi takes place .
- Rocca Albornoz: the fortress was built by order of Cardinal Albornoz on the hill overlooking Spoleto
between 1359 and 1370’s -
It housed illustrious personages of the past and was a papal
residence. It is squared shape with six towers. Inside is the
Cortile delle Armi, (Courtyard of Arms) and Cortile d’Onore(
Courtyard of honour). The courtyard itself is surrounded by a
portico on two floors. A large hall looks out onto it, together
with the room of the lord of the castle which is called the
“Camera Pinta”(painted room) with noteworthy frescoes. The Rocca
Albornoz was used until recently as a prison, and looks like one, too. Now it is
open to the public and being converted to other uses. Via del Ponte goes around
the Rocca to the south and leads to the Ponte delle Torri, a remarkable medieval
bridge over the Tessino. There is an extensive network of footpaths and dirt
roads accessible from the far end of the Ponte delle Torri.
beautiful bridge “Ponte delle Torri” is 236 m long and consists
of 10 arcades, each up to 80m high. A road and an aqueduct built
into the stone construction run along the top.
- The Roman theater is used for dance performances
during the Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of Two Worlds), a performing arts
festival held every summer since 1958.
- Ponte Sanguinario: It is so called because tradition says many
Christians were myrtirized in this place
- Arco di Druso and Germanico – Built in 23 A.C. it consists of a
great arcade leaning against a medieval buildings. Next to the
arch, the remains of a Roman temple are visible under the church of San Ansano
- Roman Temple: Dates to 1st C a.c. and it is included in the
crypt of St. Isacco
- Roman house: Seigneurial residence built next to the Forum.
It is located on the terracing immediately above Piazza del Mercato. Similar to Roman “Domus” with interesting mosaics on the
floor. An inscription ascribes the property of the house to Vespasia Polla, the mother of emperor Vespasian.
- Church of St Gregorio: Church of paleochristian origins
finished in the 12th C. It has adorned facade with statues and
- Church of St Ansano and Crypt of St. Isacco : it is a very
complex church including some pre-pre-existent Roman buildings -
On the right side is an altar with a beautiful fresco by
Giovanni di Pietro nicknamed Spagna
The Crypt dates back to the 12th C and preserves on the walls fragments of
bizantine school painting ornaments.
- Church of St. Paolo Intervineas(16th C) – It preserves an
exquisite fresco cycle of the 1200’s featuring “Profeti e storie
dalla creazione del Mondo” (profets and stories for the creation
of the world)
- Church of S. Eufemia – Romanesque church dating back to the
- Pinacoteca (Picture gallery): It preserves a large collection of
works coming from the churches of Spoleto including
paintings, ligneous statues, detached frescoes. A particular
mention is due to the works of Guercino and Alunno.
- Archelogical Museum – It bears witnesses to the man settling
here since the
Iron Age and preserves many archeological finds from the Spoleto
- Museo Diocesano (Diocesan Museum) : It preserves sculptures
and paintings from the 13th C to 18th C
- Modern Art Gallery : On display inside are works by the most
important contemporary artists such as: Moore, Calder, Consacra,
Pomodoro, Leoncillo etc…
- Museum of Textiles and Costumes. On display are art fabrics
and clothing objects such as sacred vestments, embroidery and
- Church of “St. Pietro fuori le Mura” : It emerges on the top of
a staircase outside of Spoleto with a beautiful façade adorned
with bas-reliefs dating back to the 12th C, among the most
interesting il all of Umbria. Iconography includes sacred
objects from the Old Testament.
- St. Salvatore; It is a paleochristian building built between
the 4th and 5th C with scraps of Roman Epoch. Thank to this
particularity it has been defined “ The most beautiful
monument of antiquity”
- Church of St. Ponziano : honours Spoleto’s Patron Saint. In
the crypt are preserved votive frescoes.
Piazza del Mercato. The Roman Forum which stood here held great
importance for the social life of the city. This square still
represents today the "centre" par excellence. The Baroque Fonte
di Piazza (1746), proudly stands out at one end of the square.
- Festival dei Due Mondi / Two worlds Festival) : It runs from
the end of June through the middle of July and is based in
Spoleto. The event is the extraordinary creation that the
world-class composer Gian Carlo Menotti ideated 50 years ago to
bring in Spoleto the most glorious
names of the artistic and cultural world. The Spoleto festival is
a guarantee of excellence, from operas to orchestral and
chamber music, from visual art to cinema and literature,
becoming the European and International cultural center.
- Teatro Lirico Sperimentale di Spoleto:
Opera season is
usually held in Spoleto in September
- Flea Market: every 2 nd Sunday d of the month :
- August 15 : Feast of Assumption
- Le Vaite: The event takes place from August 15 to the 1st
Sunday of September in honour of Lucrezia Borgia who was a
Spoleto governor in 1499 and proposes medieval dinners,
tournaments, historical parades, conferences, concerts, cinemas,
exhibitions and more in a natural and unique scenery. The
customed parade and the show of flag-wavers, archers,
crossbowmen, chevaliers ends the feast.
- Sept 8 /9 - Big Market dedicated to Madonna di Loreto – On the
stalls there is everything
Spoleto is easily reached by frequent trains on the Rome-Ancona line;
trains for Assisi and Perugia also stop there. City buses circulate
throughout the town and may serve to save you a twenty minute uphill
walk from the train station to the upper town.