Tracks in Umbria

Discover Bevagna and Umbria

BEVAGNA
A city of the Umbrian Valley in the Province of Perugia, with a population of approximately 5,000, located 35 km from Perugia, the regional capital, and 148 km from Rome.
Away from the modern Flaminia Road, Bevagna is connected with the nearby towns of Foligno and Todi by the state highway with the same name. By choosing alternative routes of significant interest, you can reach Spoleto by way of Montefalco or Perugia by crossing through the territory of Bettona.
The city walls feature many towers and bastions and are pierced by medieval gates as well as more recent openings that lead to the historic town centre.

History
The oldest information we have about Bevagna dates back to the Roman conquest of Umbria, although there are traces of human settlements dating back to the Iron Age and significant archaeological findings that support the presence of Umbrians in the territory of Bevagna.

A Roman municipality (90 BC) ascribed to the Aemilia tribe, Bevagna is at the heart of the great road system built by the Romans. In fact, the Flaminia Road (220 BC), together with river transportation, made trade easier and consequently Mevania (ancient Bevagna) flourished until the 3rd century, when the section of the Flaminia Road that went through Terni and Spoleto became more important.
With the spread of Christianity, the city was the scene of many martyrdoms, including St. Vincent, the first bishop and patron saint of the town.
Bevagna was part of the Duchy of Spoleto and later, in 774, of the Papal States, even though it continued to depend upon the Empire.
After the year 1000 it was established as a free Commune under the administration of Consuls, and went through different periods of subjection to the Church and the Empire but remained essentially faithful to the former until Italian Unification.
An important part of the history of the city and the surrounding environment, just as it was for other communes in the Umbrian Valley, was the effort and struggle to reclaim the swampy areas and to regulate the various waterways. The reclaiming of the Bevagna plain was begun in 1456, achieving concrete results in the second half of the 16th century.
In the 18th century and, especially during the 19th century, the set up of the water system in this area became more definitive.

Panorama
Despite subsequent interventions, the primary look of Bevagna is one of a medieval city with an artisan tradition that is still very much alive. There are workshops that open onto its characteristic alleys, monuments and a magnificent square, where the main religious monuments and the Consul Palace, positioned asymmetrically to each other, can be found.
Friezes and Roman columns add to the beauty of the city, which is home to the remains of the most important monuments dating back to the 1st and 2nd century AD.
The ancient inhabited area of Mevania coincides almost entirely with the medieval and modern city, as seen by the sections of the Roman walls that emerge beneath the medieval ones, the arrangement of the streets in a Roman network that faces Corso Amendola, and the semicircular layout of the area where there was once a Roman theatre. In a more recent period, the development of the city extended outside of the walls, where a part of the Roman city was once located, as supported by significant findings that date to a few centuries before Christ.
The morphological conformation of the municipal territory (56 sq km), which includes the hamlets of Cantalupo, Castelbuono, Gaglioli, Limigiano and Torre del Colle, is primarily flat with the most significant elevations to the South - West (Monte delle Civitelle - 713 m. a.s.l.). The Topino River worked the mills near Bevagna (located 225 m. a.s.l.) in the past and now marks the border with Spello; in its place runs the Clitunno, which near the city unites with the Tiber becoming the Timia. These cross through the fertile Bevagna plain and flow into the Topino near Cannara.
A network of riverbeds, holes and channels, which are connected with the main river bodies, complete a hydro-morphological system that runs towards confluence with the Tiber River through the Chiascio River.
What today seems to be a well regulated basin is the result of centuries of effort the signs of which are the numerous water works that are still in existence in the countryside.
Geologically interesting is Lake Aiso, located between two rivers. It is a karstic phenomenon similar to the Clitunno Springs.
Its deep and very cool waters that pour forth from the depths of the earth have always been a source of inspiration in popular imagination.

Interesting facts.
Aiso or Abisso is a small lake - the source of which pours forth from the depths of the earth - located on the Bevagna plain, between the Timia and Topino river towards which the outflowing stream pours out.
Legend says that where the lake is now there was once the home of a wealthy peasant named Chiarò, who was very ungrateful towards God and little predisposed to Christian charity.
His wife, on the other hand, was a pious and charitable woman who, against her husband's will, gave handouts to the needy while he was away. On the feast of Saint Anna Chiarò, he threshed the harvested grain in the farmyard despite his wife's pleas and the fact that it was against religious tradition.
The voice of an angel warned the devout woman: "Your home will sink in a few moments. Take what is most precious to you and flee”.
Filled with horror, the pious woman immediately took the child she was nursing in her arms and her other child by the hand and fled.
By the time she moved, the house had already sunk, submerged in the whirlpool with everyone who was inside.
While fleeing, the frightened woman realized that behind the mark left in the ground by the swaddling bands that had come undone from the nursing child's body, the stream of water that had submerged the house followed her, threatening to drown her too.
However, the voice of the Angel came to help her, telling her to lay down the nursing child, for he would become as cruel as his father was; once she did this, she continued to flee and saved herself.
And where this child had been left, the earth opened to swallow him up, forming the Aisillo. Every year, on the feast of St. Anna, anyone who goes to visit the Aiso sees through the punishing water the beams of the submerged house with the furnishings of the kitchen where the irreverent merrymaking had taken place, and hears Chiarò's sad voice driving the horses. (City Gate Municipality of Bevagna)

ASSISI - SANTA MARIA DEGLI ANGELI
Assisi is one of the most visited cities in Umbria. It is the city of the patron saint of Italy and founder of the mendicant order, and the city of Saint Clare, founder of the order of the Poor Clares, making it the main religious centre of Umbria.
The Basilica of St. Francis and the Church of St. Clare are the main tourism destinations, but are not the only ones. In fact, Assisi has many sacred and historic places, like the Eremo delle Carceri (Carceri Hermitage), the Church of St. Damian, the Sacro Tugurio (Sacred Shed) and the Porziuncola, the Temple of Minerva, the fortress known as the Rocca Maggiore, and much more.

SPELLO - SPOLETO - CASCIA - NORCIA
Spello:
The city of Spello, surrounded by the ancient Roman walls, has three main gates of entry: the Porta Urbica, the Porta Consolare, and the Porta Venere (Towers of Properzio). Amongst the most beautiful attractions in Spello are undoubtedly the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore with its famous frescoes by Pinturicchio, the Roman house, the Church of Sant’Andrea, and finally the Church of San Lorenzo.
The most famous event is its "Infiorata ", the flower festival held every year in the city for the festivities of Corpus Domini (ninth Sunday after Easter).

Spoleto:
Ancient capital of the Lombard duchies, Spoleto will leave you breathless thanks to the richness of the city’s historic and artistic assets. Amongst the wonders of the city of Spoleto are the cathedral or Duomo, Palazzo Arroni and the Church of Santa Maria della Manna d'Oro, the Roman Theatre, the Druso Arch, the early Christian Basilica of San Salvatore, the Eroli Chapel, the Chapel of Relics, and the majestic Albornoziana Fortress that dominates the city.

Cascia:
Cascia is a town famous for the Basilica of Santa Rita da Cascia (Christian pilgrimage centre). It is also home to the church of San Francesco (in Gothic style), the church of Sant'Antonio Abate, and the Roman Temple of Villa San Silvestro.

Norcia:
Norcia is a small municipality with a population of approximately 5,000. Like in every town in Umbria, Norcia boasts churches and historic buildings left by the Romans. The area is also famous for Castelluccio di Norcia, a village in the heart of the Sibillini Mountains. The Castelluccio Plain is known as a premier outdoor destination, giving access to sports activities like trekking, horseback riding, rafting, mountain biking, etc. It also offers the beautiful and famous Fioritura della Piana, a natural flower display that attracts hundreds of tourists from around the world every year.

TODI - ORVIETO - MARMORE FALLS - DERUTA
Orvieto:
Orvieto is one of the most ancient cities in Italy and is famous for its beautiful cathedral. A colourful example of Romanesque-Gothic architecture, it has numerous works of art: the façade, for example, is decorated by a large series of bas reliefs and sculptures done by the Siena-born architect Lorenzo Maitani. Another must-see during a visit to the city is Orvieto Underground. The wealth of wells and grottoes includes the Pozzo della Cava, the Grotte di Adriano, the Necropolises of Crocifisso del Tufo and Cannicella, and the more famous Well of San Patrizio next to the Albornoz Fortress.

Todi:
The Piazza del Popolo is the historic city square, one of the most important and interesting medieval squares in Italy, a true testimony of the period of free communes. Around the square we find many of Todi’s most important monuments: the Cathedral of the Santissima Annunziata, the Palazzo Vescovile or Bishop's Palace, the Palazzo dei Priori or Prior's Palace and much more. Todi also attracts a lot of religious tourism thanks to its famous Church of San Fortunato (a thirteenth-century gothic building with crypt) and the temple of Santa Maria della Consolazione.
Marmore Falls:
In addition to religious attractions, Umbria also offers great natural attractions like the area of the Marmore Falls, where tourists can visit a large natural park. For more information marmorefalls.it

Deruta:
Deruta is a small Umbrian town famous throughout the world for its production of artistic ceramics.

PERUGIA
Perugia is the regional capital and a must-see destination while visiting Umbria. The city is a jewel that still has traces of medieval life. With so many monuments to visit, the historic town centre can be considered a true open air museum.
Must-sees: the Maggiore Fountain, the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, the National Gallery of Umbria, the Paolina Fortress, and the Oratory of San Bernardino.