What to see in Spoleto

With a particular fascination for the interpenetrated relationship with the surrounding nature, Spoleto is one of the most suggestive Umbrian cities.
Of particular beauty are its monuments , which have allowed Spoleto to rediscover in the recovery and management of cultural heritage, a strong tourist vocation which is a primary source for its economic development.
The tourist vocation has allowed Spoleto to equip itself with accommodation facilities , ranging from hotels, bed and breakfasts, to restaurants and farmhouses for a holiday dedicated to relaxation and food and wine in the Spoleto tradition.

The squares and buildings

The urban structure was characterized throughout the Renaissance and the Baroque age by economic wealth and a little traumatizing building activity. The flourishing Spoleto nobility undertook the construction of large complexes within the medieval urban structure, forming closed squares, surrounded by the wide fronts of the palaces and the manor buildings: the cadet palace , the chapels and the stables. In this period many churches were also built, some external such as the Madonna di Loreto , connected to the city by a long portico, and others internal such as S. Maria della Mamma d'Oro and S. Filippo Neri .

In order to allow easy access to vehicles within the city, in 1834 the urban equilibrium was broken with the construction of the Internal Traverse . The construction of this road imposed a new organization of the city with new road fronts that changed the appearance of the city. However, in those years Spoleto gradually lost its role as an administrative center, and only began to gain prestige again after the war with a series of cultural proposals such as the Italian Center for Studies on the High Middle Ages , the experimental opera theater and the Festival dei Due Mondi which with its shows, between June and July, it represents one of the most worldly and prestigious international events.

Among the most important squares we find Piazza della Vittoria , Piazza Garibaldi and Piazza della Torre dell'Olio, Piazza S. Domenico and contiguous to this also Piazza Collicola in which the great Collicola palace emerges, a sumptuous residence rich in works of art from the inheritance of Christina of Sweden, and today used as the seat of the Civic Gallery of Modern Art.

Another square of significant importance is Piazza della Libertà , in which stands the seventeenth-century Ancaiani palace, where the Italian Center for Studies on the Early Middle Ages was built there by the will of the Spoleto Academy, in order to promote studies, research and publications on civilization. early medieval.

The upper town

In the upper part of Spoleto are concentrated the places and representative offices of city life and institutions such as the Papal Fortress on the top of the promontory, the Piazza del Foro and the town hall , the episcopal nucleus and the Cathedral .

The Rocca was the residence of the pontifical and the seat of temporal power, today it is converted into a prison. The Piazza del Foro is the secular fulcrum of Spoleto society, with the public palace and its high tower, from which a bell has marked the rhythm of civil life for several hundred years.

On an artificial terrace we find the Piazza del Duomo , full of architectures that delimit it, composing a rich space. On the right you can see the Fabricolosi house and a sarcophagus with a hunting scene from the Palazzo Campello and now used as a fountain basin. On the left, the Opera del Duomo house, followed by the Caio Melisso theater and the church of S. Maria della Manna d'Oro.

Built towards the end of the 12th century, the Cathedral was consecrated by Pope Innocent III in 1198. The facade of the Cathedral divided into three orders, presents in the lower order a Romanesque portal of classical style, in the middle area a large central rose, surrounded by symbols of the Evangelists, and finally in the upper part three ogival arches are outlined.

To the left of the facade rises the mighty bell tower, built in the 12th century with Roman, early Christian and early medieval materials.

Spoleto and surroundings

The historical events have strongly characterized the territory of Spoleto, which is rich in manor villas, rural houses, abbeys, villas, churches and castles.
The main pivot of the fortifications was the Rocca, which led both the Church and the Municipality to extend the territorial domain with the construction of a dense network of fortified centers that laid the foundations for the definitive colonization of the countryside. The structuring axes of the Spoleto territory became the communication routes between the city and the castles, and it was along these roads that the nobility invested to make profits from uncultivated land. Thus were built the dovecote towers where the settlers settled and began the work of reclamation of the plains and hills with sharecropping contracts. The natural environment was further transformed with the introduction of polyculture and within this new landscape the nobles built their prestigious villas there.

In the foothills important monastic settlements were born, such as the structures of S. Salvatore and S. Ponziano which represent two important documents of Spoleto Romanesque architecture, while further south towards Monteluco we find the church of S. Pietro, one of the highest expressions of Umbrian late-Romanesque culture.

Monteluco since ancient times was chosen as the environment where to enhance the sacredness of nature, it was a sacred wood to Jupiter and being a natural place of isolation it was often chosen by Syriac hermits for meditation and prayer. Born on a Franciscan settlement and a pilgrimage destination is the sanctuary of Monteluco that we find before entering the dense oak forest.