The Cathedral of Orvieto

Duomo di Orvieto: Santa Maria Assunta, vista leggermente laterale della facciata e del fianco della cattedrale di Orvieto.

The History of a Centuries-old Building Site
Origins of the Cathedral of Saint Mary’s Assumption

The Cathedral is a sign of the presence of God, as well as of an active and industrious Christian community; it shows the relationship between God and His people’s yearning. The bond with the town history and its inhabitants is so strong that still nowadays the Cathedral is Orvieto’s very symbol, the monument that most shapes its identity.

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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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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 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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Saint Ubaldo’s Basilica – Gubbio

Vista della Basilica di Sant’Ubaldo, a cui piedi si trova un prato con una stradina che porta alla grande scalinata e all’ingresso.

A Brief Biography

The personage of young Ubaldo – who was officially declared a saint on March 5, 1192 – cannot be divided from Gubbio and the great love the town’s inhabitants still have for him. More than eight centuries later, in fact, its unique memory has not faded away: a sign of gratitude toward the Patron Saint for having been an inspirer of peace and reconciliation

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Saint Francis’ Church in Gubbio

Vista aerea di una porzione di Gubbio, con San Francesco ben visibile sulla sinistra. Sullo sfondo le campagne umbre e il Teatro Romano.

Francis, the Man; and Gubbio

The story of Gubbio and Francis of Assisi means the discovery of an intense relationship, interwoven with travels, friendship, and feelings. Francis’ father, Bernardone (“Big Bernard”), had frequent trades with Gubbio, often taken care of by Francis himself, who therefore happened more than once to get there for business. In Gubbio the wealthy Spada familiy, a.k.a. Spadalonga (respectively = sword, and long sword), active in the field of wool and fabrics, also “provided” Francis with the friendship of their young sons, with whom he would spend his days over there. One of them was among his comrades in arms in the 1202 war between Assisi and Perugia.

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Saint Peter’s Abbey

Saint Peter’s Abbey in “Borgo Bello”

The way that starts from the Church of Saint Ercolano, and that in past times led directly to Rome, ends in Borgo Bello, the “Beautiful Suburb,” an area that developed thanks to the Benedictine abbey dedicated to Saint Peter.
As soon as you pass one of the monumental town gates, designed by Agostino di Duccio (1418 – ca 1481), you will notice the geometrical shape of Saint Peter’s belfry, with a sharp steeple that overlooks the low houses in the quarter. That belfry is one of Perugia’s symbols, along with the Etruscan Arch and the Great Fountain.
The complex currently includes – beside Saint Peter’s Church – the department of Agriculture of the Perugia University, and a Medieval-like botanical garden.

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The Cathedral of Saint Lawrence – Perugia

Vista dell'interno della Cattedrale di San Lorenzo con vista della Madonna delle Grazie sulla destra. La sinistra dell'immagine è occupata dalla navata centrale della chiesa che mostra le colonne e le volte affrescate.

A Cathedral to Welcome Them All

The current Cathedral of Saint Lawrence replaced an older church, a Romanesque church, that therefore must have been built in the 12th century. In March 1300, the Communal authorities in a plenary session – after ascertaining that the size of the Romanesque cathedral did no longer fit the needs of Perugia, then in a phase of expansion – decided to start a new building from zero: a bigger one, and in the same place as the older. The architect chosen for this new, important public enterprise was Fra (Brother) Bevignate, a Benedictine monk of the Order of Saint Sylvester. He was also entrusted with some of the most meaningful monuments of Medieval Umbria, such as the Great Fountain and the aqueduct in Perugia, and the Orvieto Cathedral

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The Necropolis at “Crocifisso del Tufo”

Veduta di un tratto di percorso della Necropoli del Crocifisso. Il percorso è in terra battuta, di fronte una breve scalinata, ai lati le tombe in pietra.

When the Etruscans Founded Orvieto: From Sky down to Earth

A tour between earth and sky: this is how Orvieto can be visited and discovered because of both its geographic position (a town rising on top of a cliff, surrounded by a valley) and its history (from ancient Etruscans to nowadays). In Orvieto, in fact, tuff and human genius live indissolubly together since the era when the Etruscans founded it. But, who were the Etruscans? Even if their origin has still to be completely explained and many conjectures are made, they for sure were a people who existed in Central Italy between the ninth and the first centuries BC. Etruscans, basically, were skilled merchants in touch with the other civilizations of the Mediterranean Sea. The top expansion and power of their city-states took place between 800 and 600 BC, before they fell under Roman domination.Orvieto was among the last towns to be conquered by the Romans, namely when it was defeated in 264 BC.

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