Destination> Perugia

Perugia - Umbria

Spoleto is a small Umbrian town located against the western side of the Apennines. It is a breathtaking sight, a small peak 396 meters above sea level.

Spoleto was originally a Roman colony on the via Flaminia, which was constructed in the 3rd century B.C. as the road connecting Rome to Rimini. Like many Italian cities, Spoleto has a checkered history of rulers. After Rome fell, Spoleto was occupied by the Goths, then became a Lombard duchy in 576, and was taken over by Perugia in 1324 until it went under the control of the Papal States.

Spoleto's time under several different regimes explains its diverse architecture, much of which can still be seen today. Remains of the inside and outside city walls of both the Umbrian polygonal and medieval types still exist, as well as Roman, medieval, Renaissance and more modern architecture. The duomo of Spoleto, also known as the church of Saint Peter, boasts one of the most elegant façades in Umbria. The church dates back to the 5th century, the façade is from the 12th century and the interior is from the 18th century. There are three doors in the façade and the middle door is surrounded by bas-reliefs that represent themes from the New Testament, fairy-tales and medieval bestiaries.

Today Spoleto is known for its love of the arts, in part because it is home to the Festival of Two Worlds, which was started by the composer Giancarlo Menotti in 1958. He started the festival as a forum for young American artists in Europe, and each summer it showcases a mixture of dance, theater, opera, music and the visual arts.

Spoleto is located 75 miles north of Rome and can be reached in two hours by car and one hour and 20 minutes by train.

Links: Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds:

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