Spoleto is an attractive destination all-year-round, a peaceful hilltown with a fine cathedral, interesting sights and pleasant walks. But it is during June and July that Spoleto comes to life. The Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of Two Worlds) takes over the historic town centre, with high-quality performing arts events taking place throughout Spoleto. Churches, piazzas and theatres are turned into festival venues, the streets are thronged and accommodation is fully-booked.
Spoleto, a Roman colony and subsequently a Lombard Duchy, is built on a hill at the top of which (the Acropolis) Theodoric the Great (454-526) erected a Castle. This was strengthened with towers by Cardinal Albornoz in his reconquest of the Papal State in the XIVth century. In 1860 Major O'Reilly with 300 Irish Guards gallantly fought the Piedmontese. The Castle was used as a prison until very recent years. A careful restoration is bringing back the original structure and many paintings.
The BAR ANTICO CAFFE'
Located in the Piazza del Mercato, this little cafe is a wonderful place to soak up the local life with a delicious beverage or an Italian ice.
Luciano and his wonderful, friendly staff don't speak much English, but just try to speak a little Italian and you'll feel right at home here.
IF and when you're ready for the check, just say, "Il conto per favore" and unlike some "tourist" places, they won't rip you off if you hold a bunch of Eurocoins out in your palm to pay your bill because you haven't figured out how to count in Italian yet. (Like I did)
I unfortunately only drove by this town. I wanted to stop and walk around, but I could not find the correct exit. Next time I'll make sure to stop. I did not know the name until I found it listed on another VT page. The town is slightly north west of Spoletto, you can't miss it.
If you keep on walking up past the Piazza del Duomo you'll reach the Ponte dele Torri, a lovely 14 th century bridge. Along the way there are park benches that grant you wonderful views of the Spoleto countryside. There is a little snack bar that sells soda and sandwiches. Great place to relax or meet other travelers. The day I was there the bridge was closed, but apparently accross the bridge is a path to a 12th century church with lovely carvings called San Pietro.
A small, but full of interesting sites, village at just few km from Spoleto.
To see... the beautiful churches (S.ta Maria a Matterella and St. Stephen), the Abbey of S.Pietro in Valle and the two castles guarding the valley.
The crypt of the St. Stephen church in Ferentillo, is unique in Italy for its fenomenon of mummification of the bodies buried there.
It has been used since the middleage as a cemetery... and now it became a very interesting museum.
For respect of the holy site... it's not allowed to take pictures inside.
Touristy, but quite lovely and worth the drive.
About an hour away from Spoleto.
Check out my Assisi page.