Umbria is a region apart but not isolated, mountainous but not impervious.
It invokes the image of an ideal earth, a sort of collection of some of the best aspects the Italian peninsula has to offer.
It also boasts world-class historic and artistic attractions set in an environment and landscape equally world-class.
Spoleto is rich in natural beauty as well as great and antique civilization. The greatest treasure of Spoleto (and all of Umbria) is its landscape.
The notable size of the township of Spoleto (349,63 sq.km) makes it amongst the largest in the Umbra (or Spoletina) valley. 11,4 % consists of plains, 31,1 % of hills and 57,5 % of mountains. The latter form the eastern and south-eastern areas with limestone formations of modest heights.
The "Rocca Albornoziana", begun in 1359 under orders of Cardinal Albornoz and Pope Innocent VI, then supervised after 1362 by Matteo Gattaponi. Furnished with six robust towers of which the central one facing the city is the most important. Internally, two courtyards; the vast "cortile delle armi" and the beautiful "cortile d'onore".
The Bridge of Towers, an impressive structure of the late 13th century, over 80 meters tall, joins the hills of Sant'Elia and Monteluco. In the center a wide window looks out on a suggestive landscape.
The Arch of Drusus (23 A.D.) built on the initiative of the Spoletine senate in memory of Rhenish conquests. Beside it is a Roman temple from the II century A.D.
The cathedral of S. Maria Assunta includes elements in its facade from all the major artistic periods in Spoleto's history. Even Roman remains are present which were used in constructing the bell-tower.
CULTURE IN UMBRIA AND IN SPOLETO
Top level cultural events have always flowered in the region attracting thousands of spectators from all parts of the world: the most noted among these are the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Sagra Musicale Umbra and Umbria Jazz.
Side by side with these initiatives, nearly every Umbrian town has retained or revived sincere expressions of traditional popular culture: festivities such as the Corsa dei Ceri and the Palio della Balestra in Gubbio, the Calendimaggio in Assisi, the Giostra della Quintana in Foligno, the Corsa all'Anello in Narni and the Corteo Storico del Corpus Domini in Orvieto.
Once again, Umbria expresses its ancient and modern spirit unequivocably, without division, emanating a multi-faceted image of a composite reality.
HISTORICAL INFOS ABOUT UMBRIA
Umbria is a region which has lived its three millenia of history in the role of protagonist, leaving a tightly woven cultural fabric.
Already in the middle-ages Benedictine monasteries were the store-houses of both classical pagan culture and the new philosophical and mystical Christian culture, centers of art, medicine, science and agriculture.