Located only 39 kilometers from Gallano Resort, Spoleto stands on top of the hill of Sant’Elia, at the foot of the Monteluco mountain. It has long been one of the most popular Umbrian destinations for Italian tourists and is a must-do stop for anyone traveling around the region.
The millennia-old historic center of Spoleto is filled to the brim with art and history. You will probably want to spend a day here exploring the main sights, whether it be by walking up and down the hill or climbing the escalators all the way up to the upper town. Like other ancient Umbrian towns, Spoleto offers a maze of winding streets and breathtaking views that will reward you with unforgettable memories.
The historic center
Spoleto is an attractive, quiet hill town filled with numerous interesting sites and lovely promenades. Immersed in a captivating atmosphere, you will step back in time and history as you come across a number of intriguing centuries-old architectural treasures that are well integrated in the current urban fabric. Within the ancient defensive walls, plenty of interesting monuments and buildings are just waiting for you to visit.
Spoleto was an important Roman colony and later a Roman municipium, but it was also the ancient capital of the Lombard dukes. Among the precious remains that reflect the town’s Roman past are the Roman House and Theater, the Arch of Drusus and Germanicus, and an amphitheater that has yet to be restored.
Towering over the town below is the impressive Rocca Albornoziana, the fortress symbol of Spoleto that harkens back to the days of the popes and the ancient governors of the city. In the nearby Piazza Campello, you will find the Fontana del Mascherone. This particular fountain features both human and feline traits, perhaps representing a pagan deity; water flows from its mouth before pouring into a three-level basin; above the fountain, an aedicula bears an inscription dated 1736 dedicated to Pope Clement XII.
Other must-see attractions include the Romanesque Duomo, the Church of Sant’Eufemia, and the Church of San Pietro, with its stunning Romanesque façade. From the Church of San Pietro, you get a wide view looking out across the city as far as the massive 80-meter-high Ponte delle Torri. The bridge dates back to the late 14th century and was built as an aqueduct in order to bring water into the city.
Other landmarks include the beautiful and picturesque Piazza del Mercato; Palazzo Collicola, home to the “G. Carandente Modern Art Gallery”; the Episcopal Palace; Palazzo Racani-Arroni; the State Archaeological Museum, located inside the former Monastery of Sant’Agata; and the Diocesan Museum.
Just outside the historic center, you will come across the Church of San Ponziano and the Church of San Salvatore. The latter was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it is part of a collection of Lombard “Places of Power”.
Spoleto, the home of “Don Matteo” and the “Festival dei Due Mondi”
Since it was transformed into the movie set of the successful TV show “Don Matteo”, Spoleto has gained greater popularity, allowing more and more tourists to come explore the beauty of this thousand-year-old town. With its churches, palaces, and impressive fortress, the town makes a charming setting for the stories that feature the detective-priest Don Matteo as he rides his famous bike through Spoleto’s quaint alleys.
The “Festival dei Due Mondi” is an international music, art, and cultural event that has allowed Spoleto to gain worldwide fame. Held annually in the summer since 1958, it was designed to bring together the American and European art and culture, hence the name “Festival of the Two Worlds”, with the aim of celebrating all forms of art.