In a timeless city where eras chase each other, overlap, coexist, and lead to the present day, I cross Ponte Garibaldi, one of the main bridges that provide access to the city of Spoleto, and immerse myself in one of the oldest cities in Umbria, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I was travelling from Rome to Assisi when I decided to stop here.
Looking up at the streets that rise up to the fortress, your breath will inevitably get caught by the sight that presents itself to you. From the train station, the entrance to the city is not far (about 1 km). The walk also has several signs that guide the visitor to the three main routes to visit Spoleto.
Located between Rome and Assisi, the city of Spoleto is dominated by the Albornoziana fortress, the symbol of the city. I only visited two parts: the outer part which sees the Courtyard of Honor and the weapons courtyard on the ground floor, and the inner part that sees the Hall of Honor and the Pinta room on the first floor. Recommended for those who are not afraid of heights is the light brick bridge, built to protect the city following the sacking around 1200, and that connects the classic touristic routes of Spoleto with the lesser known side of the mountain, between the trees and streams.
My walk continues to the city’s cathedral: the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. Its Romanesque structure, the plaza in front, the three interior naves, and the rose windows of the façade along with the sacred mosaics are all beautiful examples of architecture. Most striking however is the altar at the end of the left aisle, whose simplicity and elegance of statues and frescoes really leaves me with a deep sense of inner peace.
From here I descend toward the Piazza del Mercato, between narrow streets and quaint restaurants, and I stop to visit the Roman house. Dating back to the first century, it still retains its original structure showing the union that Spoleto has among the different civilizations that have inhabited it. The Roman Theatre, dating from the same century, is a place still used today for various shows and performances.
Near the piazza Libertà it is possible to take the Line A shuttle which will bring us back to the station, as well as find all the information regarding the places to visit in Spoleto, including times and ticket prices. It’s worth noticing for those who wish to visit all the museums that the city has to offer, on top of the monuments mentioned above, that the Spoleto CARD has a validity of seven days and only costs EUR 9.50. It allows access to seven museums as well as the use of the city’s public transportation.
Having said all this, I wish you all a lovely visit to the wonderful city of Spoleto!
Photos by Lahiri Cappello, Manuelarosi, Zyance, Pawel Cichocki from Wikipedia Creative Commons