Italian vacations in Umbria is not complete without visiting Montefalco. The small town is dubbed “the balcony of Umbria” for its elevated position and views over the valleys below.
Start discovering Montefalco by entering the town through the imposing 14th century Porta Sant’Agostino with a tower and head to the main square Piazza del Commune. The pretty piazza is surrounded by stunning buildings: the 13th century Palazzo Comunale, the former Church of San Filippo Neri and the Oratorio di Santa Maria. If you brave 110 steps to the Town tower top you will be rewarded by breathtaking panoramic vistas of Umbria.
Many Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance style churches in Montefalco are richly decorated with stunning frescoes depicting some of the saints (six in total!) that the town has produced over centuries. In the deconsecrated 14th century Church of San Francesco that has been turned into a museum (Museo Communale) you can admire the majestic fresco cycle by the 15th century master Benozzo Gozzoli telling the story of Saint Francis and Saint Jerome. There are beautiful artifacts salvaged from local churches.
Montefalco is famous for its red Sangratino wine that has become popular with wine buffs across the world. The town is surrounded by renowned vineyards that continue vine cultivation started here well before the ancient Romans arrived. You can taste local wines at the Enoteca Federico II that is located in the central piazza. Here you can also sample excellent typical products such as salami, olive oil, and different cheeses.
The old town center is filled with pretty artisan shops where you can find excellent quality gifts to take home from your Italian vacations. Montefalco has preserved an old tradition of woven linens, kept alive by the Pardi family. They have two outlets in town that sell home linens produced at the local weaving mill to the highest standard. Every Monday two lively markets are held at largo Santa Chiara and largo Buozzi, where you can taste and buy the best of the fresh Umbrian farm produce.
Photos by: Diego Pino García, Giovanni Picuti,Tom Kelly.