Spello and Foligno in a day

Spello is one of the most breath-taking towns in Umbria, both from a naturalistic and urban point of view. This village still perfectly preserves its Roman past: the base of the medieval walls surrounding the town centre still holds Roman remains, as well as many other buildings like a Roman amphitheatre, a theatre, a thermal bathing complex and a temple. The beauty of this town will amaze you with its colourful quaint alleys, paved with the local Subasio pink stone. Our tour starts south from Porta Consolare, where we take the main street up to the northern Porta Montanara, then proceeding along the Roman walls up to Porta Venere. This path will lead you through the three quarters of Spello: Borgo, Mezota and Posterula, which correspond respectively to the working-class quarter, the town centre and the late-medieval quarter. Via Consolare starts from the Porta bearing the same name and shapes the quarter of Borgo in an interesting mix of Roman and medieval architecture. Strolling along this street, you will reach the Tega Chapel (14th century), which hosts a huge fresco by Pietro di Mazzaforte and a beautiful Crucifixion by Niccolò Alunno dating to the 15th century. Not far from there stands the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, which is known since 1025 and depends on the Camaldolese monks living in the nearby San Silvestro da Collepino Abbey. Inside this beautiful church, you can admire the Baglioni Chapel, housing a striking cycle of frescoes painted by Pinturicchio between 1500 and 1503. The Church of Sant’Andrea is another interesting cultural site in Spello, thanks to its 13th century façade, a crucifix realised by the school of Giotto and a 1508 panel painting by Pinturicchio. The beautiful Piazza della Repubblica square opens in the middle of two streets, via Cavour and via Garibaldi. Here the Town Hall, built in 1270, hosts an archaeological collection and the renowned Edict of Milan. Walking along Via Giulia you will pass by the Church of San Lorenzo (1120) and the remains of a Roman gate, known as the Arch of Augustus. At the summit of the town, you will reach the monastery of Vallegloria, dating to the 1320. Proceeding on this tour, we reach Porta Cappuccini and Piazza Belvedere square, the highest point of the town where you can enjoy the stunning sceneries of the Umbrian valleys. Walking for another km you will finally have the chance to visit the Roman amphitheatre (1st century a.C.), the Church of San Claudio (12th century) and, further on, the marvellous complex of Villa Fidelia with its stunning Italian garden.

Halfway between Assisi and Spoleto, and 40km far from Perugia, Foligno is the perfect destination for a day trip. Starting from the main town square, Piazza della Repubblica, you can admire the beautiful San Feliciano Cathedral, consecrated to the patron saint of Foligno. Many other interesting building overlook the square, such as the Town Hall with its adjacent Torrino and the splendid Palazzo Trinci. The cathedral is in neoclassical-Baroque style and houses a crypt and the diocesan museum. Palazzo Trinci (1407) is the true gem of Foligno, hosting precious frescoes by Gentile da Fabriano and his school. Palazzo Orfini too overlooks Piazza della Repubblica and during the 16th century was the house of Emilio Orfini, the pressman who realised the first printed edition of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Other interesting building to visit in Foligno are the 15th century Church of San Giacomo and the Oratory of Nunziatella (1492), which houses a painting by Perugino depicting the baptism of Jesus Christ and God Almighty. Piazza San Domenico square is where you will find the Church of San Domenico and the Santa Maria Infraporta building, now converted into the San Domenico Auditorium.