The Bridge of Towers

Vista panoramica del Ponte delle Torri. Guardando da Monteluco si vedono, incorniciati dalle fronde della vegetazione, il Ponte delle Torri e la Rocca di Albornoz in cima a Colle Sant'Elia.

The Bridge of Towers as Was Seen by Goethe

In September 1786, the great German poet, J. W. Goethe (1749 – 1832), left for a journey to the discovery of Italy, that would last nearly two years. This adventure, overfilled with beauty, would later inspire his Italian Journey. In the pages of that report, a memory of Goethe’s visit to the Bridge of Towers (Ponte delle Torri) in Spoleto is also included. He recalls, “I ascended to Spoleto, and reached the aqueduct, that is also used as a bridge to connect two mountains. Its ten arches, that cross the valley, are built in stone; they have been there for centuries, and carry water to every part of the town. This is the third monument of Antiquity I see; and, one more majestic one. The architecture of those times is almost like a second Nature, in accordance with civic needs. . .”

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Basilica of the Holy Savior (San Salvatore)

Vista scorciata del fianco della Basilica di San Salvatore a Spoleto.

Basilica of the Holy Savior in Spoleto
Ancient Origins

Although not included in the standard tours, the Basilica of the Holy Savior (San Salvatore) is surely among the “must see” things in Spoleto. The history of this church is still partially enveloped in mystery because of its very ancient origins, no documents existing of the same era as they started to build it. We anyway know for certain that it is dedicated to Christ, the Holy Savior, thanks to a document dating back to the year 815. Such an old “genesis” makes the basilica a rare witness of past eras.

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The Springs of Clitunno, and the Little Temple

Vista laterale del tempietto sul Clitunno. In basso le acque del Clitunno, una costruzione in muratura accompagna lo sguardo fanno alla destra dell'immagine dove, rialzato da terra, si stacca il tmepietto.

“Now everything is silent”: The Little Temple

In 1876 an Italian poet, Giosue Carducci, wrote a famous poem called Alle fonti del Clitunno, “At the Springs of Clitunno” (River). It dealt precisely with this site, that is now part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. Some lines from another poem are reported on Carducci’s monument in Perugia, in the city park (Giardini) named after him, where the Rocca Paolina had existed. Located in the territory of Campello, near Spoleto, the Springs of Clitunno River will bewitch your soul with the delights of its uncontaminated, silent Nature. Underground springs flow into a small lake with still, crystal clear waters, where swans, ducks, fish, frogs live. The surrounding vegetation is luxuriant, so that all kinds of trees mirror themselves in the transparent water of the lake, which thus acquires different nuances of green.

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Spoleto’s Cathedral

Vista scorciata dal basso a destra della facciata della cattedrale di Spoleto. La facciata e la torre campanaria si stagliano sul cielo azzurro.

The Cathedral during the Centuries

Surely outstanding in Spoleto is the Annunciation Church, that is also the Cathedral. A building so powerful in its beauty that will impress all those who take the staircase that suddenly opens up among the alleys. But, please do not trust the first impression: this, in fact, is not only a unique setting, but also and especially a place where the tracks of Time can be detected.

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The “Oratory” at Santa Maria dei Bianchi

Affresco del Perugino nell'oratorio di Santa Maria dei Bianchi.

The Church of the White-clad Brotherhood

The Oratory (smaller church) and Church of Santa Maria dei Bianchi, “Holy Mary of the [Brotherhood in] White,” are in downtown Città della Pieve. You may reach this monument by following a fascinating street, Via Pietro Vannucci, that runs from the Della Corgna Palace to a gate called Porta Sant’Agostino or Porta Fiorentina, the northern entry to the town.

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Oratory of Saint Bartholomew, Church of Saint Francis

Oratorio di San Bartolomeo. Vista dell'affresco di Jacopo di Mino del Pellicciaio. Sopra all'affresco, che rappresenta la Crocifissione, è visibile il soffitto a capriate lignee.

The Church of Saint Francis

Near the imposing Fortress in Città della Pieve a Church of Saint Francis exists, now also renamed Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima.
The Church of Saint Francis was built precisely by the Franciscans, just outside the town gate called Porta Perugina, in approximately the second half of the 13th century. It was then renewed, especially in its interior, in the late 18th century.

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The Stronghold of Perugia Soldiers

Vista leggermente scorciata della facciata della Rocca Perugina.

The Rocca dei Perugini Nowadays

The powerful Rocca dei Perugini, “Fortress of Perugian (soldiers),” was built along the town walls near Porta Perugina, the town gate toward Perugia, in fact. This is whence, already in 1296, the road called Via Pievaiola started, that still nowadays connects Città della Pieve and Perugia.
The fortress, currently incorporated in the town center, faces Matteotti Square; and thanks to an intelligent restoration, has become a key factor for the development of tourism.
With reference to its structure, the stronghold is a noteworthy example of military architecture in Umbria. At the same time, its very presence makes an important chapter in the history book of the town, insofar as it reminds us of the time when it was controlled by Perugia. The village was then called Castel (castle) della Pieve; pieve meaning a country church.

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The Cathedral of Saints Gervasius and Protasius

Vista dell'interno della Cattedrale di Città della Pieve dall'angolo sinistro dell'unica navata. Sul fondo è visibile l'altare mentre sulla destra le nicchie nelle quali si trovano le opere dei grandi pittori come il Perugino e il Pomarancio.

A Cathedral in a Small Town

On walking in the streets of Città della Pieve, you will be noticing many fine buildings, both public and religious, that enliven the place. To whose who come from Gramsci Square, that is the downtown nucleus, one of the main monuments will immediately appear – the Cathedral, dedicated to the Saint Gervasius and Protasius. They were Christian martyrs whose story is in connection with the famous saintly bishop of Milan in the fourth century, Ambrose.

The Cathedral should be observed while keeping in mind that it is a very dynamic monument, the outcome and witness of pressing architectural interventions in the course of history.

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