Lovely Umbrian Hill town, with some of the best scenery in Italy
A bit dead when we visited at the end of October
One of the greatest Umbrian towns!
The apse of Spoleto cathedral is decorated with a beautiful - and recently restored - fresco cycle by Filippo Lippi which shows scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary. The frescos show the Annunciation - when Mary learns that she has been chosen to bear the son of God, a Nativity scene, the death of Mary and the Coronation of Mary surrounded by...more
Walking through the - quite steep and winding - streets of Spoleto a visitor can come across the cathedal, which is set in a peaceful square, quite suddenly. It was rebuilt at the end of the 12th century and the facade is decorated with a beautiful mosaic and a rose window. The columns at the main entrance are elaborately carved with birds and...more
This church is situated just off Piazza Mercato, the old Roman Forum. It is built upon the foundations of a Roman temple and shop, as some fragments of walls and part of a column show. The church was built in the 12th century, but its present appearance dates from a makeover in the 18th century.There are two good reasons to visit this church: one...more
Spoleto's Roman theatre (1st century AD) didn't stand the tooth of time undamaged. On the contrary, a church and convent were built over the theatre in the Middle Ages, which gives the place a disorderly appearance nowadays. You can see most of the theatre through the railings at Piazza della Libertà and for most tourists this will probably be...more
San Salvatore is one of the oldest churches in Italy still in existence. Its origins date back to the 4th century, but the building was restored in the 8th century. This makes it a rare example of Lombard art. It's clear to see that the church was built in Roman times, many columns and other ornaments were taken from other buildings and...more
Close to Piazza del Mercato, which used to be the forum, the remains of a Roman house were found in the 19th century. It is claimed to have belonged to Vespasia Polla, mother of emperor Vespasianus, but this is far from certain. Whoever the owner was, the remnants give a good impression of the lay-out of an aristocratic Roman villa from the 1st...more
Arguably the most famous monument of Spoleto, the Duomo is beautifully situated at the bottom of a sloping square. It's an example of the Romanesque style, but many alterations were made later, especially during the Renaissance. The church was consecrated in 1198, when it was rebuilt after a devastating visit by Barbarossa.The façade is very...more
Much of the interior of the Duomo fell victim to renovations in the 17th century, which robbed the church of most of its charm. Fortunately, the original marble floor and the wonderful frescoes in the central apse survived. The latter were painted by the Florentine artist Filippo Lippi and his assistants Fra' Diamanti and Pier Matteo. On the lower...more
Built in the 1st century AD, with a diameter 70 metres long, the structure was long buried underground and not easily identifiable because of the various medieval buildings that had arisen around it; it was totally restored only in 1954. One can admire part of the old flooring and other remains. Important cultural events are held in it each year.more
The so-called Ponte Sanguinario was built in the 1st century BC, in the period when the Via Flaminia was improved by order of Augusto: formed from large blocks of travertine, it is 24 metres long, 4,5 metres wide and 8 metres high, divided into three arches; now it is in part subterranean. According to what some history scholars say, the name...more
Its entrance is situated in the courtyard of the Archbishop's Residence; the building, dating back probably to the 12th century, is rather interesting: in Romanesque style, it has a simple façade, the interior divided into three naves with three apses, and, the only one in Umbria, women's galleries.more
The magnificent Duomo of Spoleto, dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, was built at the end of the 12th century, in Romanesque style, in the place of the old cathedral destroyed by Barbarossa in 1155, and was consecrated by Innocenzo III in 1198. The facade, divided into three vertical compartments, presents in the lower part a splendid Romanesque...more
If you're in Spoleto don't miss the interior of the Duomo. The Piazza del Duomo which sits in front of the church is lovely, and at first when you walk into the church the interior seems out of context, it's much too bright and lavishly Baroque. However if you walk to the back of the church to the aspe, you'll see the lovely 15h century fresco by...more
We are here for 2 nights. The rooms are spacious, beautifully decorated, modern bathrooms. The hosts...more
San Luca is a sweet hotel that used to be a Villa, set in a very quiet part of Spoleto. The grounds...more
This three star hotel is a good choice if you want to stay in the centre of town. The rooms are...more
During our week-long driving trip through Tuscany and Umbria, we spent one evening in Spoleto. There's not much to see or do in Spoleto and there aren't very many dining options in town, but while wandering around we decided to pop in this restaurant to eat dinner. The owner / chef greeted us warmly and welcomed us with open arms. The restaurant...more
Owned by the Patrizi family, this restaurant will give you far more than you pay for!The "tourist menu" is authentic and wonderful. It changes every day and is a GREAT value if you want to sample the local cuisine. The staff is great and they handle large groups with the attention you deserve.They make their OWN balsamic vinegar that you will want...more
This was truely one of the best meals I've ever had. I know people say that a lot, but this place is amazing. It's just a small little local joint, run by a young couple, but the food is so fresh, and tasty. They feature typical rustic, Umbrian style dishes. Nothing fancy, just plain good. The crostini is the best I've ever had, and so were the...more
Parking in Spoleto is a a pain.
Try parking at the train station and taking
the bus up the hill to Spoleto.
It will save you from driving with very
assertive locals and maneuvering your car on
very narrow streeets.
Gorgeous pottery stores. Very nice selection.
What to buy: Anything, it's all lovely
What to pay: It was a little more expensive, but better quality, and more diverse selection.
After enjoying the fare at the Trattoria del Festival, you might want to head back to your bed for a nice little nap, or "Siesta."
Most of the shops close down after lunch and don't re-open until about 4 or so. It's the perfect time to stretch out and catch some rays or just snooze in the shade. It's also a great time to get some nice photos without so many pesky tourists in the shots, but keep in mind that most attractions are closed as well, so as they say, "When in Spoleto, do as the Spoletinis do!"
More pics later...
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...more
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...more
Favorite thing: Lose yourself in the winding streets of Spoleto, and look for signs of it's roman past. The Roman arch in the picture is called "Arco Druso". Many of the buildings retain Roman bricks and arches.