is well worth a visit both on account of its wonderful location on
the slopes of the Apennines and for it Roman, mediaeval and
Renaissance art and architecture. The history
of Spoleto is long and illustrious and this is reflected
in its art and architecture.
Spoleto is strategically located on the important Roman highway,
the Via Flaminia, which ran from Rome to Ravenna. Spoleto remained
an important stronghold throughout the Italian Dark
Age and the Longobards established the capital of their empire in
Spoleto during the 8 C. The Longobard Duke of Spoleto ruled most of central Italy.
The Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi
(Festival of the Two Worlds) has developed into a world famous three week festival of music, drama and dance
that takes place every year in late June-early July - not to be
missed by avant-garde art enthusiasts.
Among the main sights of Spoleto are:
The Spoleto Archaeological Museum
The Archaeological Museum is a former Benedictine convent and
incorporates the Roman theatre. Among its displays are Roman artifacts, including an inscription warning against damaging a sacred forest.
The Spoleto Diocesan Museum
The Diocesan Museum of Spoleto displays religious art from the Middle Ages to the Baroque period and
the entry ticket includes admission to Sant'Eufemia Church.
Church of San Gregorio Maggiore
San Gregorio was built in 1069 with an exterior constructed from Roman spoils and an interior with patches of Romanesque frescoes, unusual stone confessionals, and a
Church of San Pietro
The mediaeval Church of San Pietro, which is famed for the
sculptures on its facade, is 2 km outside Spoleto (walkable).
The sculptures illustrate biblical stories and mediaeval
themes and are among the most interesting and skillful Romanesque
stone carvings in Umbria.
Church of San Ponziano
This 12 C church on the outskirts of Spoleto is dedicated to Spoleto's patron saint. It has a
beautiful Romanesque facade and extensive mediaeval frescoes in the crypt.
Church of San Salvatore
In contrast to most of the churches in Spoleto which are Romanesque,
the Church of San Salvatore is in fact a Roman structure. It was built in the late
4 C in the style of Classical temples and is remarkably well-preserved.
Church of Sant'Eufemia
Sant'Eufemia was built in the 12 C over a Longobard palazzo neighbouring the Duomo
and is known for its unique women's galleries above the nave. It is now part of the
The 12 C Cathedral of Spoleto is characterised by a fine Romanesque facade,
splendid frescoes by Fra Filippo Lippi and others, and houses
among it relics a handwritten letter by St. Francis of Assisi.
Worth a visit.
More about the
picturesque city of Spoleto.
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