Umbria: Amelia (part 2)

The church of San Francesco is located right next to the archaeological museum of Amelia. It replaced an earlier parish church dedicated to Saints Philip and James. My travel guide actually still calls the building the church of Santi Filippo e Giacomo, and this caused some confusion at the tourist…

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Umbria: Amelia (part 1)

The main reason we wanted to visit the lovely town of Amelia was its archaeological museum. This museum has a larger-than-life bronze statue of the Roman general Germanicus (15 BCE-19 CE) on display. Germanicus was a son of Nero Claudius Drusus, brother of the emperor Tiberius. Drusus had died in…

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Umbria: Carsulae

It took us a while to find the ruins of Carsulae, one of the most interesting archaeological sites in all of Umbria. This is a place where history becomes tangible and people from the twenty-first century can walk in the footsteps of Roman travellers, soldiers and traders. Carsulae was a…

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Spoleto: Remains of a Roman city

The area around Spoleto has been inhabited since at least the eighth century BCE. Rich grave finds from several necropolises demonstrate that there must have been a settlement here of some importance. Excavations in 2008-2009 in the Piazza d’Armi, north of the railway station, have for instance uncovered the tomb…

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Spoleto: San Pietro

The San Pietro is located south of the historical centre of Spoleto, at the foot of the Monteluco. The church is and has always been outside the city walls and is therefore also known as San Pietro extra moenia or San Pietro fuori le Mura. It occupies a site that…

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Spoleto: The Duomo

Spoleto’s cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta or Duomo can certainly be counted among the city’s many highlights. The current Duomo was built in the late twelfth and early thirteenth century and replaced an earlier cathedral which seems to date from the eighth or ninth century. This earlier cathedral, known as…

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Giotto in Rome

The Florentine painter and architect Giotto di Bondone (ca. 1266-1337) can be counted among the most important Italian artist of all time. Among his most famous works are the frescoes in the Cappella degli Scrovegni in Padova, the campanile of the cathedral of Florence and – probably – various frescoes…

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Assisi: Rocca Maggiore

The Rocca Maggiore is the former citadel of Assisi, the eagle’s nest towering high above the town. It is a stiff but rewarding climb to get there: the Rocca offers a panoramic view of Assisi itself, the valley down below, the Umbrian countryside and the imposing Monte Subasio. From the…

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Assisi: San Rufino

By far the most important object kept in Assisi’s cathedral of San Rufino is the baptismal font that was used during Saint Franciscus’ christening in 1181 or 1182. It was also used for the baptism of Chiara Offreduccio (ca. 1193/94-1253), the future Saint Clara of Assisi, and perhaps for that…

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Assisi: San Damiano

It is an easy 15 minute walk from Assisi’s Porta Nuova to the church and convent of San Damiano down in the valley. Visitors looking for great art and architecture are likely to be disappointed here, but the place is of immense spiritual importance. In 1205, Franciscus of Assisi was…

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