Nestled between the Sibillini Mountains rises Norcia, a beautiful Umbrian city with a great religious vocation.
The town was the birthplace of San Benedetto, patron saint of Europe and founder of the Benedictine order.
The central square of Norcia is adorned by the Basilica of San Benedetto, in Gothic style, of particular interest is the facade with its wonderful rose window adorned with the depictions of the four evangelists; tradition has it that the sacred building was built on the remains of the saint's birthplace.
Inside, the church has a single nave and is spread over two levels, the upper one that of the church and under the floor it is possible to admire the crypt which has Roman remains inside.
From the sixteenth century is the Portico delle Measure, a place dedicated to the exercise of the market.
The symbol of the papal authority is the Castellina, the palace seat of the papal governors built in the sixteenth century at the behest of Pope Julius III on a design by Vignola.
The Cathedral of Santa Maria Argentea and the Palazzo Comunale also overlook the square; the Cathedral of the sixteenth century inside has numerous frescoes representing St. Benedict and St. Scolastia; the medieval town hall, XNUMXth century, and the bell tower are a typical example of late medieval central Italian architecture, inside it is possible to visit the Sala del Consiglio Maggiore, the Cappalla dei Priori, where the precious reliquary of San Benedetto and the Sala dei Quaranta.
Other interesting monuments in Norcia are the Church of Sant'Agostino and the Monumental Complex of San Francesco in Gothic style.
The city of Cascia is unquestionably linked to the cult of the time, in this city Santa Rita da Cascia was born and lived between 1381 and 1457, consecrated only in 1900.
Destination for all visitors are the Sanctuary and the Monastery.
The Basilica went through three stages: the first fifteenth century, then replaced by a sixteenth-century reconstruction that was replaced by the current conformation dating back to the twentieth century. The Augustinian nuns of the cloister are still present in the monastery.
Inside the Sanctuary, the remains of the Saint are kept in a chapel. On the occasion of the religious celebrations for Santa Rita, the town and the Sanctuary are visited by many people from all over the world.
Also in Cascia it is possible to visit the Gothic-style church of San Francesco, the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria built in the period of Lombard domination and the Church of Sant'Agostino.
A relaxing walk through the streets of the historic center is also recommended.