We spent a wonderful day visiting the walled medieval hill town of Spoleto in Umbria, Italy. This quaint town is at the foot of the Apennine hills and as a result a perfect base for exploring the nearby towns of Todi, Assisi, Perugia, Spello, Montefalco, and Orvieto.
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This little town is off the tourist “beaten path” and another hidden gem to discover!
The lower parts of the medieval wall are dated from the 6th century BC. There are many Roman remnants to be found throughout the historic city center. In addition, Spoleto is also known for its delicious cuisine, vineyards, truffles, and lots of small stores filled with traditional handicrafts.
At the top of Spoleto is Rocca, a must stop. We found out there are a series of elevators and escalators you can take to the top. Of course, we found this out after we made the climb!
You can enter the beautifully preserved castle but can only go inside with a guided tour. Check with the ticket office for the schedule. It is said Rocca Albornoziana was built on the foundation of a Roman acropolis during the 14th century. It has six towers, two very large courtyards, and inside beautiful frescoes and a museum. The views of Spoleto in Umbria and the Umbrian countryside are magnificent.
Ponte delle Torri
This beautiful Bridge of Towers is located near the Rocca and spans the deep gorge. It was built in the 14th-century over the foundation of a Roman aqueduct. This bridge is about 780 feet long and spans 300 feet above the deep gorge.
We didn’t see how to get to the small fortification tower on the other side. We found out later you can walk on the bridge for breath-taking views of the valley below. Wish we did that!
Piazza del Duomo
The Duomo itself is a beautiful sight but so is the piazza it stands upon. It has a Romanesque facade with amazing pink-ish stone and a total of eight rose windows and stunning gold mosaics. Above the entrance is a Bernini bust of Pope Urban VIII and stunning frescoes by Pinturicchio and Filippo Lippi.
In the photo below, they are setting up the stage for the festival that was held on the weekend.
Piazza del Duomo also is the setting for the Spoleto Festival, the festival of the two worlds held each year from June through mid-July. Festival dei 2 Mondi, is an international festival of music, theater, and dance.
Fun Fact: Television Entertainment
Don Matteo, a popular television “soap” in Italy is filmed in Spoleto! I found this out when reading an article in Italy Magazine.
It is filmed here because Spoleto is considered the purest of all the Italian cities. Spoleto is welcoming to tourists but has been said to be self-sufficient and not spoiled by tourism.
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Conclusion: Getting There
Spoleto in Umbria is an easy reach by train or car. Although, doesn’t a drive through the Umbrian countryside sounds like an exciting trip? It is simply stunning. It’s about 1.5 hours from Rome and about 2.5 from Florence. Most of all, this providence of Perugia is an amazing part of Umbria and should be on your Bucket List.