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What to see in Sellano

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Discover what to see in Sellano

The territory of Sellano covers an area of 85 square kilometers along the Vigi mountain stream. It is surrounded by lush vegetation including woods with beech trees and oaks that alternate with beautiful forests, valleys and plateaus inhabited by wildlife and dissected by limpid brooks. Although numerous earthquakes over the years damaged many buildings, the form of the medieval castle foundation of the hamlet has resisted rather well; a main road runs along the crest of the mountain from which lateral roads branch off. At one time the town center seems to have been protected by two rows of defense walls, many of which are still standing; entrance to the town was through five gates, only two of which are visible today among the more modern buildings – the Porta dell’Annunziata and the Porta Spoletina or the Santa Maria gate. While strolling through the narrow streets in the center,  you will have to stop off and visit some religious and civic buildings – the Palazzo Comunale (town hall) from the 15th century and the church of S. Francesco (St Frances) also known as S. Maria della Croce (St Mary of the Cross), in the characteristic octagonal layout, and the chiesa parrocchiale di S. Maria (the little parish church of St. Mary), where the remains of Sellano’s patron saint the Blessed Giolo are preserved. A visit to the town center will be brief, leaving you more time to explore its surroundings. Don’t miss the chance to visit Castello di Postignano, one of the most charming locations in all of Umbria. Totally abandoned already in the 1960s, this hamlet from the 1200s has been the object of important renovation projects since 2007and came to life again as a tourist attraction in 2011. In Montesanto  you have the opportunity to admire another ancient castle completely walled in; for those more interested in cult sites, there is quite a choice: the Chiesa di S. Maria Novella church in Cammoro, a rare example of an elevated church built on the side of a cliff; the Chiesa di S. Sebastiano in Pupaggi has frescoes from the 14th-16th centuries; the Chiesa della Madonna delle Grazie (church of the Madonna of Clemency) has a beautiful wooden sculpture of the Madonna and Child from the 13th century. You can also visit Villamagina closely associated with the handmade files and rasps by master artisans. A whole section of the Ecomuseo della Dorsale Appenninica Umbra (the Ecomuseum of the Backbone of the Umbrian Apenines) is dedicated to this well-known tradition; and since 1945 the town of Sellano has hosted the Società Cooperativa Artigiana di Villamagina (the Villamagina Artisans Co-op). Both of these initiatives were formed to protect a tradition and to safeguard the production and marketing of these prestigious tools. The handmade rasps have irregular tips on the surface, which make the artisanal tools much more valuable than those factory-made. The Villamagina Co-op is still the only one in Italy able to produce round rasps, roasting cages for chestnuts (birolere), and other tools for goldsmiths, farmers, glass workers and cobblers, which they use to make a variety of high-market objects. According to tradition, in the 1600s every home in the area had the particular wooden work table used to make files and rasps and every member of the family knew how to use it.

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