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What to see in Foligno

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Unlike most of the Umbrian towns, which cling to the hills, Foligno is in the plains on the banks of the Topino River and is easily visited on foot or by bicycle.

Starting from Piazza Repubblica, the heart of the city and the focal point from which the main streets branch off, you can admire some important city buildings, whose façades frame the square itself: the Palazzo Comunale which still preserves its original crenellated tower, Palazzo Trinci that reminds us of the noble family that ruled the city throughout the fourteenth century, Palazzo Orfini where in 1472 the first printed copy of the “Divine Comedy” was made and the Palazzo del Podestà which was annexed to the latter. On the opposite side of the square stands the Cathedral, dedicated to the city’s patron saint St. Feliciano, which is connected to the Palazzo delle Canoniche (the old vicarage), which now contains the Museo Capitolare Diocesano (the diocese museum of religious art). If you do not want to forget anything, behind Palazzo Trinci in the small Piazza del Grano, you can find the Church of St. Apollinare also known as the Church of Death. But do not be scared by the unusual name; its function was anything but negative from the moment that the friars of the brotherhood were concerned with giving last rites, burial and assistance to those condemned to death. Going back along Via XX Settembre you will arrive at what was once the medieval gateway to the city, Porta San Giacomo (St James Gate), a short distance from the square of the same name and the church dedicated to the saint. Following the course of the Topino River, you will be able to admire a good part of the ancient city wall that is still pretty well preserved. When you arrive at Porta Ancona, at the crossroads with Via Garibaldi, you can walk along this city street and see many other religious buildings on both sides: first on your right, the former church of the SS. Trinità in Annunziata (the Holy Trinity), now home to the CIAC Museum Center (Italian Center of Contemporary Art), where the famous “Cosmic Calamity” by Gino de Dominicis is kept. A few meters further on, on either side of Piazza Garibaldi, you will see the church of S. Agostino (St Augustine) and that of S. Salvatore (St Salvatore), the only surviving part of the old monastery. Returning almost to the center of the city, you will see the small church of S. Maria del Suffragio (St Mary of Intercession) not far from the Oratorio della Nunziatella (Chapel of the young girl that received the annunciation), which you should enter to admire two works by the famous painter Perugino:The Baptism of Jesus” and the “Eternal Father. ” Continue along the same road, which in the meantime has changed its name to Via Mazzini, and you will come to the square of San Domenico, which overlooks the ancient church of S. Maria Infraportis, which once stood outside the city walls,  the Oratorio del Crocifisso (Chapel of the Crucifix) and the former church of S. Domenico, now owned by the Foligno municipality, which transformed it into a an auditorium at the end of the twentieth century.

At this point your tour is almost over. As you move along for a few hundred meters, you will find on one side the Parco dei Canapè, close to the medieval walls, and on the other the church of S. Niccolò (St Nicholas) where the Polyptych of the Nativity by the Foligno artist Nicolò di Liberatore, called the Student (Alunno), is preserved. The value of the work even impressed Napoleon who stole it in 1812 and kept it in France, where still today, a part of it – the predella or alter steps, the only piece never returned to Italy after the restitution occurred in 1817- can be seen at the Louvre.

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