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01/01/2020 15:36:13
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Perugia the great "Guelf strong-hold" rises up in the region's heart, with its 5 storical quarters closed-in by its Etruscan town walls. These enormous bastions formed by cyclopic square masses, were constructed 22 centuries ago and are still visible for long stretches.When the city of Rome was little more that an encampment of huts, one could already enter the etruscan Perugia Italy using one of 7 portals, among which one was particularly mighty, the Porta Pulchra or of Augustus, dating back to Etruscan times..

Entering the city via Porta San Pietro, whose exterior was remodelled by Agostino di Duccio in 1475, you'll arrive at the basilica of St. Dominic on the right-hand side; the very important National Archeological Museum of Umbria is to be found in the adjacent cloisters and convent. Continuing along, you'll reach the Piazza del Sopramuro, where the 15th century Palace of the Old University and the adjacent Palace of the People's Captain look down on the square. Further on, after a short climb, you'll find yourself in one of Italy's most important squares, where you'll see the Priors'Palace, the Cathedral and the 13th century fountain Major Fountain at the center. These monuments render the Piazza Grande of Perugia (now called Piazza IV November) a superb architectural complex. At the extreme end of Corso Vannucci you'll find famous panoramic gardens built on the foundations of the Rocca Paolina, a strong-hold built by Pope Paul III in 1540. These foundations contain, similar to under an enormous bell, an entire quarter of the old Perugia: a dead city, a sort of Medieval Pompei which has been brought tot light again and which is fascinating to visit. Perugia's ascents and stairways are usually quite steep, both the most ancient and the most recent. The way Via delle Prome is a typical example.

Leaving from the Augustus Arc, this way lead to the upper point of Perugia, where used to be the castle of Porta Sole, erected in the XIV century by the dal Gattapone, and destroyed later for willing of the whole town people. A short visit in Perugia is definetly interesting, but is a longer visit which will reveal all the atistic jewels in detail. Even if you are on a short visit, you should not miss the archtectural complex of St. Francesco, with the Oratory of St. Bernardino, a masterpiece of Agostino di Duccio, who, in covering the facade with bas-reliefs of enchanting grace and modelled fineness made it a little poem of Renaissance sculpture. 

Among the most important manifestations taking place in the city we should absolutely mention the musical festival Umbria Jazz and the gastronomic festival Eurochocolate..


Laying on the slopes of Monte Ingino, Gubbio is one of the most ancient towns of Umbria, extremely well preserved during centuries and rich of monuments testifying its glorious past.Two important witnesses of the past are the Tavole Eugubine, one of most important documents referring to the ancient people called Italici and the Roman Theatre just outside the walls of the town. Dominated from the top by the Basilica on which the rests of St. Ubaldo are buried, Gubbio keeps architectonic masterpieces testifying the beauty and the imprtance of what used to be during the Middle ages, a real town-state


At the beginning of the XIV century the Consuls Palace, today symbol of the town, was constructed together with the square Piazza Pensile and Pretorio Palace. To remind the palaces Beni, del Bargello with the famous fountain, of People Captain , in typical renaissance style, Dukes Palace by Francesco Giorgio Martini which testity the importance of the period on which the Montefeltro's family had the administration of the town. 


Very interesting are also the Cathedral (XII century), St. Maria Nuova (inside which one can admire the Madonna del Belvedere painted by Ottaviano Nelli on 1413), Church and Convent of St. Agostino (XIII century ) with inside frescoes of Nelli, Church and Convent of St. Francesco (XIII century), St. Giovanni (XII century) characterised by the facade and bell tower in romanic style, St. Peter enlarged in 1505 and St. Domenico enlarged in the XIV century. 


Among the most important manifestations taking place in the city we should absolutely mention the Racing silk of the Crossbow and the Ceri Race.


Assisi in Italy stretches out on the slopes of the Monte Subasio, above the plain where the Topino and Chiascio rivers flow. Although it can boast Roman origins, its present-day appearance, because of the buildings and also the urban structure, is surely due to the city's development during the Middle Ages.

Assisi's oldest nucleus, which is protected by a defensive apparatus made up of eight fortified entrance portals and a long belt of town walls, which are still perfectly preserved, is topped by two castles on peak of the mountain: the Major Castle, reconstructed by the Cardinal Albornoz in 1367 and the Minor Castle. Apart from religious buildings too important to not be considered solely the heritage of Assisi such as the basilica of St. Francis, the tourist can also visit the churches of St. Clare and St.Peter.

Nearby, places which are connected with the life of St. Francis can be visited, sich as the Eremitage of the Prisons, immersed in a thick wood of oaks and ilex on the slopes of the Subasio Mountain, and the convent of St. Damian, which was built up around the oratory were, according to tradition, the Cross spoke to the Saint. Finally, in the plain, the impressive basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels was built according to the plans of Alessi between 1569 and 1679 to protect the Porziuncola Chapel, which was the first simple meeting-place of the Francescan brotherhood. 

All those who have the good luck of visiting this splendid town have to agree with who says that the beauty of town goes beyond a short, and necessarily incomplete list of works of art more or less extraordinary, but is however to be found in the atmosphere of places which the story and the faith of the Saint have rendered unique all over the world..


The city of Orvieto exists in symbiosis with the tuff cliff on which it stands, an extraordinary example of the integration of nature by the work of man.An example of the fact that our ancestors were aware of this relationship between architecture and nature is the inscription on the famous well of San Patrizio which reads: quod natura munimento inviderat industria adiecit (What nature denied for defence - in this case water - was added by the work of man).Visiting this town means journeying through history, for traces of each and every period of the almost three thousand years of its existence crop up everywhere in this preconstituted physical entity.The two statues of Boniface Vlll set in the city gates at the opposite ends of the town suggest an ideal itinerary for the tourist of today, for the Pope entered the town through the Porta Soliana, known later, after the "Rocca" or Fortezza dell'Albornoz was built, as Porta Rocca, and he left through the Porta Maggiore.Boniface Vlll was anything but a tourist and had even been Capitano del Popolo in Orvieto, yet somehow these two statues, which earned him no less than a charge of idolatry, can serve as symbols both of the attention the city of Orvieto so truly merits, and the traditional hospitality of its inhabitants..

Nowadays one no longer has to reach the top of the cliff on a mule, for a modern system of "alternative mobility" provides an access to the town that is both easy to use and fascinating with the funicular (run by water in the nineteenth century and now completely modernised) at one end and a lift and an escalator are at the other, signs that the old historical centre, built on a human scale, has been returned to citizens and tourists alike and is once more the realm of the pedestrian


Structurally speaking, Spoleto is an intimately mediaeval city. Its stratifications are tightly interlaced not only by the lanes and streets running through it but also by the palazzi and buildings constituting it. Not uncommonly, in fact, do certain buildings present their façades on one street level yet back on to either a higher or lower street level. Such is the case, for example, of the Municipal Offices, Palazzo Rosari-Spada and Palazzo della Signoria. Analogously some buildings have entrances for their various floors on entirely different street levels. Urban development was concentrated in very little space. With a little imagination, it could be described like a "huge pine-cone". Nowadays the urban context is no longer as compact as it was in the early middle ages because modern-age construction spaced it out somewhat with the building of numerous, impressive family dwellings and squares or wide open spaces in front (historical notes). Towards the end of the nineteenth century Spoleto was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy. It was then that two other major urban "events" were to change the layout of the city even more: the railway station (characterised by the huge "Theodolapius" by Calder) and Viale Trento e Trieste (at the beginning of which stands a sculpture by Arnaldo Pomodoro).

These events allowed for suburban expansion and the opening of the internal National Cross-Road. This road winds its way up with one-way traffic thus connecting Piazza Garibaldi to the true city centre. The Fortress and the Tower Bridge constitute the focal point of the city. Indeed, the monumental nature and the rare beauty of the two constuctions afford a strong visual impact from above thus characterizing the city.


Foligno is one of the very few Umbrian cities built in the plain. It rises up on the banks of Topino river where the river erupts into the valley in an area where extensive drainage of the large swamplands took place, first during Roman times, then during the 15th and 16th centuries, and finally in the 19th century.Very probably, the most significant part of one's stay at Foligno is a visit to the Piazza della Repubblica and the adjoining Piazza Duomo. The former, in its present-day appearance, with its elongated shape and the junction of four streets at the corners was planned according to the lay-out popular in the 12th and the 13th centuries for many Umbrian town squares. The Cathedral and the Town Hall, erected between 1262 and 1265, the Pretorio Palace, the Orfini Palace (1515) and the Trinci Palace, which preserves traces of the original beautiful decorations and some rooms with valuable frescoes, look down on the square. 

Among the most important manifestations taking place in the city we should absolutely mention the festival Tournement of the Quintana.

More attentive tourists should not leave Foligno without having visited the Romanic church of St. Mary Infraportas and the Abbey of Sassovivo,(actually in restoration) situated at only 6 km's distance from the city center. The former is distinguished, other than by the frescoes dating back to to the 15th and 16th centuries, by its beautiful bell-tower and by its 11th century portico. You'll remember the latter because of its Romanic cloister (13th century), with its 128 slender columms and its mystical atmosphere, typical of Benedictine places of worship.


There are several theories on the origin of the name: the word Todi or from the etrurian "tudicolare", or even from "tutus" ("a fortified place"). Beside the legends about the origins of Todi, the town was founded by the Umbrian people on 2700 before Christ. Later on, before the etrurians and after the romans held the power of the town, and building up a number of monuments, most of which can still be admired, like the Nicchioni Romani, on Mercato Vecchio square, which at the beginning were probably part of a basilica. On 88 b.C. Marco Crasso took for himself all the wealth of the town, and during the fall of the roman empire the town was robbed and destroyed. During this time bishop Fortunato bacame the protecting Saint of the town. During the Middle Ages, Todi was always in fight against the close Orvieto. On the XII century it bacame free commun, being this the onset of a very positve period, and marvelous monuments like Capitain Palace, il Priori Palace, the Dome and the very remarkable St. Fortunato Church were built. On 1236 Jacopone da Todi was born here, one of the firts poets to write in italian dialect and not in latin. On 1500, after a long dark period, the town rised again under the Renaissance influence; dated during this time has to be found the marvelous Consolazione Temple. Many of the public buildings rised during this time are due to the bishop Angelo Cesi.


The ancient "Interamna Nahartium", which means "land between two rivers", at Terni, the Nera and the Serra rivers, was the birthplace of the emperor Marcus Claudius Tacitus and of the author Cornelius Tacitus, among other important personages of the past. In the second half of the 19th century, Terni took part in the industrial revolution, and was awarded the appellative of "Manchester of Italy". Its present-day appearance, due for the most part to the heavy bombardments to which it was subjected during World War II, is mostly modern and dynamic.


This notwithstanding, the city conserves a part of its old town center and some impressive monuments. Among these, we would like to point out in particular the church of St.Francis, (12th century) with its very beautiful Paradisi Chapel decorated with frescoes dating back to the 14th century; the ancient small church of St. Alò, which is a small romanic jewel; the church of St. Salvatore, probably built upon a pre-existing Temple of the Sun dating back to Roman times; the church of St.Peter, with its interesting structure of the apsis and the cloister; and finally the Cathedral, built in the 17th century. 


The ruins of the Roman Amphitheater, the old town walls and the medieval quarters, with their remains of ancient towers and beautiful palaces, are also noteworthy. Among these, Palazzo Spada, attributed to Sangallo, is particularly interesting. 
But, above all, Terni is interesting because of its modern architecture: is owes Piazza Tacito with its distinctive Fountain, the Corso del Popolo and Largo Villa Glori to the architect Ridolfi, one of this century's greatest architects. The Obelisque "Lancia di Luce", however, is owed to the artist Arnaldo Pomodoro. 


Furthermore, the Basilica of St.Valentine, which guards the Saint's remains, is to be found at Terni. The Saint, who was Bishop of Terni, was martyred in the 3rd century and has become the Patron Saint of lovers all over the world.

At 6 km distance from Terni the impressive Marmore Waterfalls, which, with falls totalling 165 meters in height, are the highest waterfalls of Europe, are to be found. Also you should not miss the ruins of Carsulae, an ancient Roman city, the charming medieval village of Cesi, and Piediluco Lake with its evocative village of the same name. 

Among the most important manifestations taking place in the city we should absolutely mention the festival Cantamaggio.

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