Clitunno and environs

Clitunno and Environs

This area near Spoleto is well known for the Clitunno river, close by there’s an ancient little temple.
The tempietto del Clitunno is located on the left of via Flaminia. The building was erected in the IV-V century from antique fragments of the pagan period.
It has a beautiful exterior with classical columns and carved christian friezes in the pediments.
The charming interior has a lovely carved decoration around the apse and the tiny tabernacle. These frescoes represent St. Peter, St. Paul and God dating back to the VII and the VIII century

Guided Tour in Colfiorito

Colfiorito: discovering the ancient Umbri

The Tiber river, was the boundary of two ancient civilizations which populated Umbria in the ancient times: in the West were the Etruscan domains, wheras the East was the Territory of Umbri which gave their name to the whole region.

Trails of the past: an historical path in Umbria

We start the discovering of the ancient populations which lived in the region, by visiting the Museo Archeologico di Colfiorito. Here we find many finds, the majority coming from grave goods of pre-roman ages.

Next we will see the ancient Church of Santa Maria di Plestia, and we’ll visit the opposite archeological site, where we could find traces of the transit of Annibal and of the battle he fought with the roman armies.

Finally I suggest a Walk alongside the natural reserve Oasi naturalistica di Colfiorito towards the Molinaccio and the natural sinkhole, typical of these karstic areas.

Marmore Falls

The Falls and the Territory

The Marmore Falls, with its 165m course divided into 3 falls, is the highest in Europe. It’s located in Valnerina, near the town of Terni, in the part comprising the Nera River Park also called “the Water Park”). Incredibly rich from a cultural, historical and environmental point of view, the park is a protected area that considers this waterfall its greatest attraction.

The Marmore Falls, between Nature and Romanticism

This is the result of an impressive work of water engineering, established in 271 b.C. by roman consul Curio Dentato to drain the river Velino waters from the Marmore plane.

Starting from XV Century and towards all XVIII century, many were the interventions by the most famous architects, among which Antonio Sangallo. From ‘800 on, its waters are used in hydroelectric energy production.

Its extraordinary beauty was well-known even in the ancient times: since 18th century, in fact, it has been described by poets and writers, used as inspiration by great artists, and visited and admired by royals, academics, scientists, and all those lucky enough to take the Grand Tour of Europe.

Guided Tour of Todi

Todi: from ancient past to present

Todi was founded by the umbri, and it became a town in the middle ages.
Todi was the birthplace of a poet and a mystic called Jacopone – known as Jacopone da Todi.

Guided Tour amongst thousands-year stones

The main square called Piazza del Popolo was built a series of roman cisterns on the site of the roman forum.
Opposite the cathedral there’s Palazzo dei Priori dating from 1293-1337. The coat of arms of the town is a bronze eagle.
The Dome has a lovely interior with a raised presbytery and a semi-dome in the apse. There are frescoes by Spagna by Giovanni—and by Ferraù Fenzoni. At the end of the north aisle steps lead down to the lapidary museum and crypt.
In the Piazza del Popolo a flight of steps take you to an entrance to the town hall square which occupies the gothic Palazzo del Popolo.
This one of the oldest town halls in Italy. The adjoining Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo has two elegant three-light windows. Inside these palaces there’s the town museum and the Pinacoteca.
In a raised position there’s the church of San Fortunato.
The façade is unfinished and the portal has a carving with saints and curious figures. The interior is an example of german gothic churches. In the crypt are presented the remains of Jacopone da Todi.
Outside the walls of the town there’s the church of Santa Maria della Consolazione, a masterpiece of the Renaissance. The architect Cola da Caprarola begun the church in 1508 and finished it in 1607.

Guided tour of Trevi

Trevi: the roads of olive oil

Trevi is the capital of oil and one of the most ancient umbrian towns, quoted by Plinio as Trebiae, is located on the slopes of Mount Serano.
Beside the wonderful panoramic view of the Umbrian valley, Trevi has numerous buildings with frescoes on their façades, the charming theatre Clitunno by Domenico Mollaioli, the Town Tower and some churches.
To be mentioned is that of San Francesco with some works of Spagna or, outside of walls, that of Madonna delle Lacrime (XV – XVI Centuries) with the Cappella del Presepio, beautified by the master Benozzo Gozzoli’s frescoes..

The Plateau of Castelluccio

Castelluccio di Norcia: a show of nature and flavours

The piana (level) of Castelluccio di Norcia, with the legendary and mysterious Sibillini Mountains in the background, seems a lunar landscape located at an altitude of 1400m.
Enchanting in spring with it’s striking green or magic in winter with the snow covering its intact landscape without buildings,
the Piana of Castelluccio is the good place to play sports or just rest. IT’s maybe at its best in the period of the flower blooming when thousands and thousands of flowers colour the valley. From the red poppies to blue bottles, from yellow daisies to the white flowers of the leguminous plants: around the mid March, this plateau turns into a natural palette.

Guided Tour of Orvieto

Orvieto: an History carved in stone

Orvieto: the rock of Orvieto is an important etruscan city, and it’s one of the chief cities of etruscan confederation. In 264 B.C. the town was destroyed by the romans and the inhabitants went on the north-east side of Lago di Bolsena. In the Middle Ages the town became a municipality.

Guided tour: magnificent Orvieto

The Dome is one of the most important building of gothic style. It has a splendid façade with beautiful 14 C. carvings and it contains the chapel of the Holy Corporal.
In 1264 the ope Urban IV institued ehe Festival of Corpus Domini, to celebrate the Transubstantiation.
The other masterpiece ist the “Cappella della Madonna di San Brizio”: it contains frescoes by Signorelli. The chapel was built in 1409-1419 by Fra Angelico and his helper Benozzo Gozzoli. Between (1499-1504) Luca Signorelli represented the Day of Judgememt and life after death.
Opposite the façade of the cathedral ist the Palazzo dell’Opera del Duomo, next door is Plazzo Faina, which houses a museum and the Museo Civico Archeologico.
Near the Junction with via del Duomo is the tall Torre del Moro (12C.). From Corso Cavour, via Piazza del Popolo leads to the large peaceful Piazza del Popolo, dominated by the impressive Palazzo del Popolo (12C.)
Corso Cavour ends in Piazza della Repubblica, the central square of Orvieto. Here the 12C. Chrch of San Andrea has a fine 12-sided campanile. Next to the church the Palazzo Comunale, built in 1216, with a façade of the 1580 by Ippolito Scalza.
At the easternmost part of the town is piazza Cahen with the funicolar. To the left an avenue descends to the Pozzo san Patrizio built by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger (1527-1537)

Guided Tour of Assisi

Assisi: walking alongside the trails of Saint Francis and Santa Chiara

Assisi is an umbro-etruscan settlement and it became the important roman town of Assisium.
Numerous and famous painters worked in the basilica of S. Francesco in the 13-14 C.: Cimabue, Giotto, Pietro Lorenzetti and Simone Martini.
In 1226 St. Francis died in the transit chapel in S. Maria degli Angeli.
His body was buried in the church of S. Giorgio. In 1230 the tomb of St. Francis was transferred to the new basilica. This wonderful building was consecrated in 1253.
The lower church has a renaissance porch by Pietrasanta and a gothic portal. The interior is in Romanesque style and has a tau cross.
The oldest frescoes are in the walls of the nave and they represent the passion of the life of St. Francis.
A staircase descends to the crypt where a stone coffin houses the Saint’s body. Two more staircases continue up from the terrace to the transepts of the upper church.
The upper church full of light, unlike the lower church, is rich of masterpieces painted from 1277 to 1300 by Cimabue, Jacopo Torriti and Giotto. In the lower register of the nave are famous scenes from the life of St. Francis painted by Giotto and his assistants. Towards in the upper part are frescoes of stories from old and new testament by Cimabue and Jacopo Torriti. The medieval stained glasses are the most important in Italy.
The façade of the upper church has a beautiful rose window and a fine gothic portal. The street of S. Francis leads towards the centre of the town.
Walking along the way up on the right you can see the “Oratorio dei Pellegrini” of the 15 C. It has a fresco on the façade by Matteo Da Gualdo. On the left a 16 C. Palace “Bartocci-Fontana” and opposite the porch called Monte Frumentario.
The main square was built above a roman settlement, and nowadays the temple of Minerva of the 1 B.C. has a preserved pronaos of six Corinthian columns. In 1539 this building was transformed into a church and in 1634 it became in baroque style. Next to it in the 13 C. the tall Torre del Popolo and the Palazzo del Podestà were built. Opposite the temple there’s the town hall and “Palazzo dei Priori”.
From the town hall square, via S. Rufino leads up to a splendid roman square, which houses the wonderful façade in Romanesque style. All its interior was transformed in 1517 by the architect Galeazzo Alessi.
In Piazza S. Chiara built in 1257-1265 there’s a fantastic view of the Valle Umbra. Inside the church there’s a chapel which houses the crucifix that is said to have spoken to St. Francis. In the crypt there are S. Chiara’s relics.

Santa Maria degli Angeli

This masterpiece was designed in 1569 by Galeazzo Alessi to cover the little 11 century oratory la “Porziuncola”.
Behind there’s the Cappella del Transito where St. Francis died the 3 October 1226. The roses chapel is a barrel volted chapel built by St. Bonaventura over the cave of St.Framcis.

Guided Tour in Norcia

Norcia: between History and spirituality

Norcia is a little town of roman origins, it was the birthplace of S. Benedict and his twin sister Santa Scolastica.

Porta Romana is the main entrance to the town that leads to Corso Sertorio that is the main street.
In Piazza S. Benedetto there’s St. Benedict’s Basilica. Its façade of the 14 C. has two statues in tabernacles.
All the church was restored in the 18 C.
Stairs descend to the crypt which was the birthplace of the twin saints.
The town hall houses the wonderful Cappella dei Priori and its porch dates back to the 1st century.
The enclosed Loggia above was rebuilt by Domenico Mollaioli.
Opposite is the fortified palace called La Castellina. Vignola was commissioned by the pope in 1556 to do this work.
On the upper floor there’s the civic museum. Beside the Castellina there’s the Dome, S. Maria Argentea, built in 1560. A road on the left hand side of the dome leads to St. Lorenzo’s church built in the middle ages. Opposite is the fine 14 C. gothic church of St. Francis.
At the foot of the walls of the town there’s a beautiful valley known as Marcite.

Guided Tour in Cascia

Cascia and Roccaporena: walking the roads of sacred in Valnerina

Cascia is famous for Santa Rita’s sanctuary. After her canonisation in the 19th century a new Basilica was built, in 1937-1947, dedicated to her.
Every year thousands of pilgrims visit the Basilica of Saint Rita.
She was born in Roccaporena in 1381: she was married to a violent man who was killed by his enemies. After her husband’s death she persuaded their two children not to take revenge. Rita became an Augustian nun.

The tour: the arts and the sacred in Cascia

In the main square of Cascia there’s S. Francesco’s church built in 1424, it has a splendid portal and a rose window. At the other end of the square there’s the collegiate of Santa Maria founded in 856.
From Piazza Garibaldi steps lead down to the Church of S. Antonio Abate.
The museum Palazzo Santi, of the 17 C., houses a local archeological collection and wooden sculptures.
The most important annual festival of the town is on 22 May to celebrate Saint Rita.
Now we are coming to the end of our tour and we are going to visit the famous village of Roccaporena, the birthplace of Santa Rita.