The meeting of different histories and cultures has always contributed to shaping Umbria‘s identity. One of the smallest regions of Italy preserves intact the evident traces of its past.
All the Umbrian cities manage to offer visitors a rich artistic and cultural heritage, preserving diversity, localism and traditions that globalised civilisation tends to pull down.
Assisi, the village of San Francesco, is famous for its Basilica, but also for other historical and artistic places.
Surrounded by a massive wall, it is dominated by the bulk of the Rocca Maggiore and the great Basilica.
The Rocca Maggiore has protected the city of Assisi for more than eight centuries. Above its walls it is possible to enjoy a splendid panorama of the Umbrian Valley.
In 1228, Pope Gregory IX commissioned Brother Elijah to build a church where the remains of St. Francis could be kept. The “Colle dell’Inferno” was chosen, where the public executions of criminals were carried out: from that moment on it was named “Colle del Paradiso“. The Basilica is divided into two zones: the Upper Basilica, where the Cycle of the Life of St. Francis by Giotto is kept, and the Lower Basilica, a beautiful and characteristic medieval church.
Among the Franciscan places, the Eremo delle Carceri is an oasis of peace and silence, immersed in the woods, where Francis loved to retire in prayer. The history of the Hermitage dates back to 1215, when the “Saint of Assisi” officially requested the possession of the chapel as a gift to the Benedictines.
San Francesco root is the long and fascinating straight road that connects the Basilica to Piazza del Comune. The street preserves the typical medieval style and is surrounded by wonderful buildings such as the Casa dei Maestri Comacini, the Palazzo Giacobetti and the Oratorio dei Pellegrini.
Spoleto retains, with its structure and its narrow streets, the appearance of a medieval village, but the influences of the Roman era are evident.
In Spoleto you can visit the Roman Theatre, the Arch of Drusus and the early Christian Basilica of San Salvatore.
Dominating all the monuments is the fortress built by Cardinal Albornoz in the second half of the fourteenth century. The Cappella Eroli contains splendid frescoes by Pinturicchio, while the Cappella delle Reliquie houses the fourteenth-century statue of the Madonna and Child.
In the centre of the city stands the famous Duomo and a short distance away the Palazzo Arroni and the Church of Santa Maria della Manna d’Oro. Spoleto is the promoter of the Festival dei Due Mondi: a festival of cinema, theatre, art, music and ballet.
Italy is not only wine: the extra virgin olive oil Umbria DOP is obtained from the fruits of the olive trees of the Leccino, Frantoio, Moraiolo, San Felice, Rajo and Dolce Agocia varieties.
The extra virgin olive oil Umbria DOP is obtained from the fruits of the olive trees of the Leccino, Frantoio, Moraiolo, San Felice, Rajo and Dolce Agocia varieties: has a strong taste and a fragrant aroma that make it ideal for seasoning and enhancing simple dishes with a strong flavour. It is excellent with bruschetta or on grills and roasts.
The olives can be harvested by mechanical means or manually by December 31st of each year.
The maximum yield of the olives must vary between 17% and 21% depending on the geographical area of harvest. The cultivation of the olive tree in the production area of Umbria DOP dates back as far as the Etruscan populations. The commercial activity linked to it is already documented in the first century B.C., when the Umbrian oil reached Rome.