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Corciano

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Corciano

PRIVATE GUIDED ROADBIKE TOUR
A tough route from the Tiber Valley to Lake Trasimeno

Test your true grit on the hills that border Lake Trasimeno

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EDUCATIONAL WALK
Birdwatching in Umbria, on the shores of Lake Trasimeno

Discover birdwatching in Umbria by visiting the natural oasis on Lake Trasimeno.

from 42€ Per person
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ADVENTURE
Cable Wakeboarding in Perugia

Adrenalin-pumped excitement, for an unforgettable day with the cable wakeboarding in Perugia

25€ Per person
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WINE TASTING
Craft beer tasting in Umbria

Enjoy the experience of a craft beer tasting in a brewery nestled in the lush greenery of Umbria.

40€ Per person
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CRAFT WORKSHOP
Craftsmanship of Perugia: the artisans in the city centre

Discover the true craftsmanship of Perugia

from 50€ Per person
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PRIVATE GUIDED MTB TOUR
Cross Country – Perugia and Monte Malbe, nature and the city

Steep cross country uphill cycling on Perugia’s closest mountain, Monte Malbe, with a cross country trail

from 55€ Per person
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PRIVATE GUIDED MTB TOUR
Cross Country – The Abbey of Montecorona

A satisfyingly tiring biking trip from the Abbey of Montecorona in the woods, in contemplation of beauty and spirituality

from 55€ Per person
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PRIVATE GUIDED MTB TOUR
Cross Country – Up towards Mount Tezio, in central Umbria

High up to Mount Tezio on your bike, with breath-taking views. Then down again on dirt tracks and through the undergrowth

from 55€ Per person
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CRAFT WORKSHOP
Deruta Ceramics – the Potter’s Wheel and Painting Workshop

A workshop to discover the craft techniques of the ceramics district of Deruta

from 40€ Per person
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WINE TASTING
Discover the wines of Torgiano

A spectacular wine tasting to discover the wines of this historic area of Torgiano

23€ Per person
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WINE TASTING
Discover Umbria’s Wine and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

A small tasting of wine and extra virgin olive oil

23€ Per person
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PRIVATE GUIDED ROADBIKE TOUR
Etruscan Umbria – From Corciano to the underground tomb of the Volumni family

Discovering the Etruscans. The first stage of the itinerary in search of the great Necropolis

from 60€ Per person
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Discover Corciano

Discover Corciano with us 

13 km from Perugia, on the top of a hill that straddles the Trasimeno region and the Tiber valley, stands Corciano, regarded as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. The origin of its name, as well as the exact date of its founding, are still debated among scholars due to the lack of definitive historical data, but there’s no doubting the striking beauty and peculiarity of this long-since sleepy medieval village.

Maria Sticco, a 20th-century writer from Coriano, cites its two outstanding features: its sublime beauty and its peacefulness. Anyone who has the good fortune to wander along the age-old paved streets that wind their way past pretty houses with their limestone and travertine facades, ablaze with flowering balconies and enchanting views, could not but enjoy the rarity of a place that has remained unspoilt and unchanged over the centuries, as if embracing the magical atmosphere of a timeless past within its walls.

Legend has it that the name Corciano derives from Ciano Razzeano, the son of Giano, founder of Perugia. According to the Vatican Code 4834, the village was founded by Coragino, Ulysses’ travelling companion. Popular tradition holds that Corciano means simply ‘the heart of Giano’ but the most likely explanation is that it derives from the Latin name Curtius, Corisius or Coricius, possibly a landowner in the area. While the date of its founding is uncertain, the settlement probably already existed in the Etruscan-Roman era, as the discovery of a necropolis of the time suggests. Whatever the case, this village has played a dominating role in the valley for centuries, its views embracing breath-taking, bucolic landscapes that reach as far as Lake Trasimeno and the Malbe and Amiata mountains.

Take the path known as the ‘sentiero dei mandorli’, especially in spring when the almond trees are in bloom, to see nature at its finest. Trekking, hiking, horse riding and cycling, in addition to visiting the beautiful old village and its museums, are the best way to ensure an exceptional and unforgettable experience. From the civic buildings to the churches, all lavish with incredible masterpieces, every corner is steeped in the magic and tranquillity of the past, far from the hustle and bustle of the madding crowd. And if all this were still not enough, don’t forget the village’s most important work of art: the local cuisine, which is as rustic and genuine as you can get. Don’t miss out on the chance to taste some of the typical local dishes such as palombaccio (a relative of the pigeon) and the minestra al battuto, a simple vegetable soup flavoured with the ham bones and ‘battuto’: finely chopped lard, marjoram and garlic.

Along with other nearby towns such as Perugia, Umbertide, Panicale and Città di Castello, to name just a few, Corciano is part of one of the five geographical areas with Umbria DOP certification, namely the ‘Colli del Trasimeno’. The Umbria region was the first in Italy to receive the title of DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) for its extra virgin olive oil, with its producers’ consortium committed to ensuring and protecting the genuineness of its premium product to consumers. The best time to taste Umbrian oil is in October and November during the numerous regional events dedicated to sales and tastings and snap up the chance to sample the oil of the Corciano area, made from different varieties of expertly-combined olives, including Moraiolo, Dolce Agogia, Frantoio and Leccino.

And if you choose a spring visit, go to Corciano in April, when the ‘Primavero dell’artigianato’ (Spring Craft Fair) takes over the streets of the old village for about 10 days, with multicoloured and festive craft stalls, workshops and market exhibits where you’ll be able to admire or snap up an example of the local craftwork, from glass to ceramics, to wrought iron, wood and embroidery.

Corciano will make sure all of your five senses are artfully entertained!

Discover What to see in Corciano 

Walk along the steep, narrow alleys of this perfectly-preserved medieval village to experience a unique series of breathless twists and turns. Against the backdrop of a still-perfectly-preserved triple-walled enclosure (13th – 14th century), you can walk its entire length for more than a kilometre while taking in views of nativity scenes both outside the village walls – against the spectacular scenery of Monte Malbe – and inside, with the dainty houses and medieval buildings made of finely-carved blocks of limestone and travertine. The village will seem shrouded in silence, as if in a centuries-long slumber, with the slowness of rural life and the simplicity of its forms making for just the right atmosphere in which to explore its hidden nooks and crannies or its most famous buildings.

You can choose to access the old village from one of two monumental city gates: the San Francesco gate to the north, not far from the church and former convent of the same name which tradition has it were erected in 1223 after a visit to the village by St Francis, and the Santa Maria gate to the south, whose majestic Torrione (tower) has become the very symbol and emblem of Corciano. While you’re looking up and admiring its grandeur, take a moment to notice the very special suspended cage, which was used for the village’s death-row inmates. Once over the threshold, the village will appear proudly right in front of you. Walking along the main street, Corso Cardinale Rotelli, you’ll wind up in front of the Palazzo Municipale (Town Hall) built in 1500 by Alessi and Vignola as a stately home for the della Corgna dukes. The Sala del Consiglio still has a beautifully-decorated wooden ceiling, the work of the Zuccari school. Carrying on along the same road, you’ll come across two other important buildings representing municipal power, both dating back to the 15th century: the Palazzo dei Priori e della Mercanzia, which was the site of the village market and square for public assemblies and the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo made with stone and bricks in the Renaissance style. At this point you’ll be in the centre of Piazza Coragino, the main square which takes its name from the legendary founder of the village and which sports a beautiful circular well bearing Corciano’s coat of arms. The Torre Comunale stands proudly on the village’s highest point and has marked its centre since the 13th century, being the main hub of all the communication ‘spokes’ that radiate out from it. Once you’ve seen all the civil buildings, the first suggested stop on a tour of the churches and religious buildings should be the Church of S. Maria Assunta, a few metres from Piazza Coragino, which houses stunning works such as the Pala dell’Assunzione (Altarpiece of the Assumption) created by Perugino in 1513, the Gonfalone della Peste (Banner of the Plague) painted by Benedetto Bonfigli in 1472 and the statue of the Madonna del Rosario. The church was built in the Gothic style in the 13th century and then transformed into the neoclassical style at the end of the 19th century.

Other churches worth visiting are the Church of S. Cristoforo, erected in 1537 and home to the Museo della Pievania, the church of S. Maria del Serraglio (16th century) with its highly-treasured 14th-century fresco of Madonna and Child and the Church and Convent of S. Agostino (14th century), just outside the city walls.

The church of Santa Maria Assunta is near the main town square, Piazza Coragino. The building dates back to the 13th century and was originally Gothic in style before being completely transformed into the neoclassical style in 1870 by the architect Lardoni from Perugia. He added a bell tower by adapting the town’s previous ancient four-sided tower, which tradition has it belonged to the rich Corciano feudatories, the Della Corgna and the Montemelini.

The building’s elegant facade is in pink and white stone, while inside it has a single nave with a raised presbytery, central apse and several altars, each decorated with outstanding works of art.

Don’t miss the imposing altarpiece that decorates the main altar: it was created by Perugino in 1513 and depicts “l’Assunzione della Vergine” (The Assumption of the Virgin) and the “Gonfalone della Peste” (Banner of the Plague) painted in 1472 by Benedetto di Bonfigli depicting the merciful Madonna protecting the inhabitants of the city under her cloak.

Next to these two masterpieces are two minor side altars, dedicated to the Sacro Cuore (Sacred Heart) and the Madonna del Rosario (Madonna of the Rosary).

On the village’s main street, (Corso Cardinale Rotelli), near the main square, two very elegant civil buildings dating back to the 15th century stand side by side: Palazzo dei Priori and Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo.

The exquisiteness of the architecture, in Renaissance style, of both palazzi is clear evidence of the political and economic importance enjoyed by Corciano during the late Middle Ages.

The first building, also called Palazzo della Mercanzia, is made of finely-decorated stone blocks that give the building a distinctive white hue. It consists of two floors: the first has four beautiful arches, three of which are sealed, and housed the city market, while the second, upper storey is embellished with a round arched window, takes the form of the large hall where public meetings were held.

The second building, also known as Palazzo del Capitano del Contado is built on three levels: the first is made of blocks of white stone and has two beautiful arches, while the other two are built of red brick, decorated with four windows with projecting frames that span the entire length. The building was home to the Captain of the Contado (local countryside), a magistrate who was sent by the city of Perugia to all the territories under his jurisdiction and who enjoyed executive and judicial power over the inhabitants of the villages entrusted to him.

After Pope John XXII issued a papal Bull in 1334, the Church and Convent of Sant’Agostino were erected not far from the hill on which Corciano was founded.

The complex, with its original gothic forms, was radically modified both inside and out around the 18th century: the wooden truss cover and the supporting arches were removed and replaced by decorative elements in stucco, the altar dedicated to the Madonna del Carmine and the statues of the four patron saints of the city (S. Macario, S. Michele Arcangelo, S. Rocco and S. Sebastiano). Until 1879, the church even housed the famous ‘gonfalone’ (a Perugian-style banner painted on canvas or linen) painted by Benedetto Bonfigli in 1472 for this building but now in the parish church of Santa Maria.

In 1811 the monastery was closed by order of Napoleon, then restored for a short period until it was completely shut down in 1860. On the Unification of Italy, the structure became the property of the Italian State.

The convent has a beautiful inner cloister, decorated with frescoes telling the Stories of St. Augustine, painted by the native of Corciano, Costanzo Ricci. They are now in a state of disrepair and not on public display as the entire complex is part of the Ministry of the Interior’s cultural assets.

A short distance from the town of Corciano, not far from the village walls, stands the monumental Necropolis of Strozzacapponi. About one hundred burial chambers with staircase-like corridors (dromos) are set out according to a pre-existing town-planning system, making it one of the most interesting attractions in the area. Benches carved into the travertine running along three sides of the burial chambers were used to display urns made either in travertine or ceramic, containing the ashes of the deceased. Construction was generally simple, with smooth, well-polished surfaces, but there are also funeral urns with lids engraved or painted with the name of the deceased or even decorated with multi-coloured motifs. Although no trace has been found of the inhabited settlement that was the source of this great necropolis, it’s clear that figures of various rank, from nobles to slaves, were engaged in the extraction and processing of travertine at the area’s quarries not far from Santa Sabina. Along with the urns, other interesting tomb-side objects were also found, and although very modest they identify the work carried out by their owners.

Thanks to the museum-standard preservation of the necropolis, numerous tombs can now be viewed and studied by visitors from all over the world. They are part of a wider naturalistic-archaeological itinerary that also includes the Fosso Rigo necropolis, another burial site for stonemasons.

The imposing castle of Pieve del Vescovo stands on the top of the hill of Migiana di Monte Malbe, around a kilometre from the town of Corciano. The fortress-like structure, which is still in very good shape but not open to visitors, has very remote origins. The original nucleus seems to date back to the 7th or 11th century, when there was a ‘Plebs Sancti Joahnnis’ in the area, that is, a place of worship dedicated to S. Giovanni (St. John). In 1396 the municipality of Perugia granted permission for it to be fortified, which led to its present appearance: imposing quadrangular walls with four corner towers. The following year the building hosted the famous and extravagant wedding of the Captain of Ventura, Biordo by Michelotti, to the noblewoman Giovanna Orsini. From then on, the castle acted as a defensive post until the Renaissance period when it was transformed into a magnificent residence for the bishops of Perugia. The Mannerist-style decor and internal gardens date back to this period, while the castle was turned into an arms depot by German troops during WWII and then into an agricultural warehouse during the rest of the 20th century.

Since 2005 and after major restoration, the complex has housed the Museo Diocesano Diffuso di Pieve del Vescovo.

Discover What to do in Corciano 

If you are a fan of museums, you’ll have the chance to retrace the development of the village via its many archaeological finds, dating from prehistory through to the Etruscan-Roman age at the Antiquarium and the Museo Paleontologico (located inside Palazzo Municipale). In the Museo della Civiltà Contadina, you can discover all the secrets and peculiarities of life in pre-industrial Corciano via a display of original tools and utensils, from both the domestic and agricultural workaday worlds and then round off your museum trip at the Museo Diocesano della Pievania, which explores religious life in Corciano.

At this point, even if you think you’ve already seen everything, don’t stray from the village walls because immediately outside Porta di San Francesco, you’ll find the famous ‘sentiero dei mandorli’, an almond tree-lined path that runs along the entire outer perimeter of the village walls, offering lovers of trekking, cycling or simple walks breath-taking panorama of the valley below, with views that span from Monte Malbe up to Monte Amiata and even as far as Lake Trasimeno.

At this point, you will finally have seen everything – at least in the village! But just a few kilometres away, other interesting places await. Don’t miss out on a visit to the Etruscan necropolis of Strozzacapponi (3rd – 1st century BC), the Castello di Pieve del Vescovo (14th century), the church of S. Salvatore in Sasso (11th century) and Solomeo, a very unusual factory-village rebuilt in perfect medieval style.

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