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A carriage ride in the vineyards

A fantastic tour through the vineyards on a horse-drawn carriage, with a final tasting

60€ Per person
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Along the river Clitunno

From Trevi towards the river deemed sacred by the Romans

from 90€ Per person
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Between Trevi and Spoleto on the Valle Umbra cycle path

A quiet cycle ride, protected by the hills of the Umbria valley

from 65€ Per person
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Bevagna, Spello and Santa Maria degli Angeli

The shortest version of its twin tour, but with the same exhilaration guaranteed

from 90€ Per person
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Biking on the Plains of Bevagna

Biking around Bevagna, on the Umbrian countryside, immense beauty and very little effort

from 90€ Per person
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Canyoning in Umbria, Valnerina

Hurl yourself onto sheets of glistening water or white-water torrents or climb down rock faces and dive into the river. Experience the canyoning in Umbria!

80€ Per person
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Cross Country – Discover Montefalco by MTB

Come and discover Montefalco, biking off the beaten track

from 90€ Per person
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Cross Country – from Bevagna to Gualdo Cattaneo

Spectacular landscapes only for the best cycle-trained legs

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Cross Country – Mountain bike in Umbria

Mountain bike in Umbria. Get ready to pedal hard and keep your eyes on the peaks, without ever lowering the head

100€ Per person
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Cross Country – The landscapes of Valle Umbra

A tour through countryside and vineyards, with gentle plains and rugged climbs

from 100€ Per person
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Cross Country – The Sagrantino Grand Tour

A tour through the landscapes and vineyards of Sagrantino, where fatigue gives way to wonder and astonishment

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Cross Country – the Sassovivo woods by MTB

In these magnificent woods you’ll need maximum peddle power

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What to see and what to do in Foligno

At the heart of the Umbrian valley and crossed by the Topino River, Foligno has always been, since its origins, an important communication hub from which all the towns and villages of the region and even the capital Rome could be reached.

Due to its favorable position and the richness of the surrounding environment, the city has long been a destination for pilgrims, artists and artisans who have transformed the ancient village into what is now the third largest Umbrian city after Perugia and Terni.

Bombardments in the Second World War and numerous earthquakes have profoundly altered its exterior appearance, and today Foligno presents mostly modern forms; but the numerous religious buildings that embellish the streets of the center will enthuse you by the variety of still preserved shapes and styles. The traditional medieval “ovata” shape (very narrow streets, tall stone buildings and towers) is today the historical heart of a very large city, which has spread to the suburbs, but which has retained all the naturalness and purity of its ancient spirit. How can one not lose oneself in the magic of the past when the famous Giostra della Quintana (a jousting festival in period costumes) is held? Or how could you not feel privileged to still be able to see the fifteenth-century religious painting Polittico by dell’Alunno, whose charm not even Napoleon was able to resist? And still, how could one remain indifferent to the pride of a city that for the first time, with a far-sightedness out of the ordinary, made the first printing of what would become the mother of Italian literature – Dante’s “Divine Comedy”?

All this and much more is Foligno, the only flat city in the region that is easily visited even by less athletic tourists and which, together with the remains of the past, also offers emotions of modernity with the exhibitions at the CIAC (Italian Center of Contemporary Art) and the timeless delicacies of oils, wines and local products.

Discover Foligno

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.

According to a seventeenth century manuscript preserved in the Foligno city library and another in the Monastery of  St. Croce di Sassovivo, the famous Foligno historian Ludovico Iacobilli found that the church was founded in 1094 by Bishop Bonfilio and that a few years later, in 1120, another Bishop, Andrea, had granted the structure to the Blessed Albert, abbot of Sassovivo, who was the guarantor of the construction of the annexed convent.

Whatever the true origin of the complex, the first documented presence of the church only dates back to 1138 when Pope Innocent II in the papal bull “Religiosis desideriis” reiterated and definitively sanctioned the concession of the church and convent to the monks of Sassovivo.

In 1248 the complex returned under the control of the bishop of Foligno, who in turn gave it in 1348 to the Benedictine monks of the Congregation of S. Maria del Monte Oliveto (St Mary of Mount Oliveto). It was precisely these Olivetan monks that carried out the first major renovation of the dilapidated buildings. Very few traces of this first intervention remain in the current structure, but they are recognizable in the side door of the church and in the cross vault of the sacristy.

The monks financed the expensive works and officiated in the church until 1434 when they were definitively replaced by the Hermit monks of S. Agostino (St Augustine) of the S. Maria del Popolo (St Mary of the People) congregation, who still manage it today.

In the fifteenth century the entire building was embellished with chapels and wall paintings among the most beautiful in the city of Foligno, works of important local artists such as Bartolomeo di Tommaso and Nicolò di Liberatore, known as the Alunno.

Today the Crucifix preserved in the sacristy is the most worthy work to mention.

The architectural interventions, however, were not yet completed and between the seventeenth and eighteenth century the church and convent underwent new important structural changes that gave them the modern appearance that locals and visitors can admire today. The works lasted for six years, costing the considerable sum of 2050 “scudi” and involved the intervention of the famous architect Luigi Vanvitelli, due to a dispute among the builders.

The events of the church did not end, and between 1798 and 1799, following the French invasion, the ecclesiastical building was transformed into a military warehouse.

It was not until 1814 that the complex was once again under the control of the Augustinians who first used it as a public school in 1861, then as the seat of the famous school of Arts and Crafts of Foligno, in 1875.

So we finally arrive at the modern age; the junior high school “Giuseppe Piermarini” has occupied the premises of the former convent since 1962.

The linear external façade is embellished by the central door, in Renaissance style, built in the eighteenth century with material from the demolished internal chapel where the most famous polyptych of the church was kept. On the left wall the signs of the old door are still visible, replaced by the current one, and on the right wall the square bell tower leans against the sacristy. The internal space is divided into three naves, the central one of greater dimensions than the two lateral ones that contain niches with frescoes from the 15th-17th centuries dedicated to various saints. The best known are those by the Alunno, a renowned local artist, on the right transept that depict the Coronation of the Virgin and the Saints Anthony Abbot and Bernardino of Siena.

The central presbytery houses the high altar behind which you can admire the very valuable double rows of walnut choir stalls, dating back to 1751.

But without doubt the great fame of the church is due to the work of Alunno, which after various vicissitudes and disputes in the city, is still preserved in the chapel of San Giuseppe (St. Joseph), in the center of the right wall of the church. This is a polyptych depicting the Nativity with Saint Sebastian, St. Nicholas of Bari, St. Michael the Archangel and St. John the Evangelist. It is a tempera on a large board (300 cm x 340 cm) commissioned in 1479 by the noblewoman of Foligno Brigida degli Elmi, widow of the merchant Michele di Nicolò Picchi.

In reality, the work was carried out only many years later in 1492 after the death of the woman. Because of its value, in 1812 it was stolen by Napoleon and kept in France until 1817 when Italy obtained partial restitution. In fact, the polyptych is today devoid of the predella or altar step, which is still preserved in the Louvre Museum.

In modern times the work has been the subject of disputes and controversies between the parish priests of the church and the municipality officials of Foligno who, on the occasion of an attempted theft, had the polyptych transferred to the Palazzo Trinci Municipal Art Gallery for a short period. Only after various events was the work returned to the original location desired by the commissioner, where today one can admire it in all its splendor.

In Piazza Garibaldi, across from the St Augustine Church, stands the Church of San Salvatore. According to the Foligno historian Ludovico Jacobilli, the monastery was built in the year 970, but the first refernces to it date back to 1138. The historians of the time spoke of “black monks of the ancient Benedictine congregation…” and of “a very powerful abbey…”

In reality, the complex soon lost its prestige and predominant role, because in 1239 mention was made only of the church and no longer of the monastery, almost certainly abandoned following the transfer of the monks to the nearby Abbey of Sassovivo.

The building you see today is the result of subsequent alterations, also due to natural events such as the earthquake of 1997 that seriously damaged the church and bell tower. The 14th century façade is enriched by three ogee arched doors, each one surmounted by small rose windows, designed and built in 1889 by the architect Bevenuti. The interior is in the eighteenth-century style built between 1748 and 1759 by the architect Pietro Loni. Among the frescoes that decorate the walls, the most noteworthy are a Virgin among the saints, by an unknown artist, dated to the XIII century, and the flight into Egitto, attributed to Bartolomeo di Tommaso, dated to the XIV century,  This fresco was originally to the right of the central door to decorate the main facade and was transferred inside the church only in modern times.
Finally, on a lateral altar on the right, is the painting showing Madonna with her Child and Saint Stanislao Kostka, by the Sicilian artist Gaetano Sortini, dated 1756.

On the western side of Piazza S. Domenico, opposite the church of the same name, stands one of the oldest religious buildings in the Foligno area towns – the Church of S. Maria Infraportas.
The basilica is mentioned in official documents from 1087 when the annexed hospital of Santa Maria was documented. The eleventh-century Romanesque structure stood on an earlier sacred ground, today preserved in the chapel of the Assumption (or of St. Peter) dating back to the 7th-8th century.

Throughout its history, the building has assumed different names because of its borderline position: built outside the city walls it was called “extra porta” or “foris portam” (beyond the walls), then changed to “infra portis” in the 12th century when it was incorporated into the urban center with the expansion of the city walls.

The external façade, made of pink and white stone bricks in alternating rows, is a reconstruction done in the nineteenth century, as is the small portico that precedes it made from columns and capitals of the 11th and 12th century.
To the right of the main façade there is a small niche from 1480 painted from the sinopia of a fresco depicting St. Anne crowned by the angels, attributable to Mezzastris. The bell tower is a little further ahead  on the same side.

The interior is divided into three naves, the central one with a barrel vault, the two smaller ones are cross vaulted. Immediately to the left, just after the entrance, you can see the famous Chapel of the Assumption, the oldest part of the church and perhaps even one of the oldest sepulchral chapels in the entire city, where two important 12th century Byzantine frescoes are preserved. The figures are the Archangel St. Michael and St. Disma, the good thief, on one side, and Christ blessing St Peter and St Paul on the other. A legend not documented by official sources claims that the two saints officiated the sacred rites in this chapel.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, a wooden statue of the Madonna and Child completed the decoration. Today this work is no longer visible as it was transferred to the parish museum without the Child, which was stolen in 1987.
Official documents certify that the building already functioned as a parish in 1631 and a wide range of works of art made by local and non-local artists definitely makes the Church of S. Maria Infraportas one of the destinations not to be mi ssed if you decide to visit the city.

In Piazza della Repubblica, the heart of the city and the hub of social and religious life, stands the beautiful Foligno Cathedral. The cathedral, dedicated to the town’s patron saint Feliciano, was erected in 1133 by the master architect Atto, as evidenced by an inscription on the main facade. The building, built on the remains of the saint’s burial site to which it is dedicated, was superimposed on a pre-existing construction dating back to the 9th-10th centuries and has undergone numerous restorations and modifications up until the modern era.
The front main façade opens onto the small piazza del Duomo and was freely restored in 1904 with a mosaic depicting “Christ on the Throne”, Saint Feliciano and Messalina (protectors of the city) and Pope Leo XIII (commissioner of the work).

But the actual façade of the church, worthy of note and with some valuable works, opens on the left side of the building onto Piazza della Repubblica and presents a magnificent Romanesque door made in 1201 by the masters Rodolfo and Binello; it is decorated with bas-reliefs depicting Frederick Barbarossa, Innocenzo III, the symbols of the evangelists and some of the zodiac signs.
The church dome inside is a sixteenth-century work of the master Giuliano di Baccio D’Agnolo, whereas the interior, completely transformed between 1772 and 1819, is a neoclassical masterpiece by Giuseppe Piermarini who modified the previous project by Vanvitelli.
The church has a single central nave over which stands the beautiful Bernini-style canopy or ciborium, a faithful copy the most famous one in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Below the walkway you can visit the crypt, which is the oldest part of the church with capitals and architectural remains dating back to pre-Romanesque periods.
Among the works of art kept here, the most noteworthy are a 19th century statue and the chapel of the Sacrament, built in 1527 by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger.

In the square of the same name, at the end of the present-day Via Gramsci, the ancient merchants’ district, stands the former Church of St. Domenico with an adjoining convent.
The building dates back to 1285, according to a seventeenth-century inscription of an epigraph on the façade of the church. However, due to its poor state of preservation, today the date is no longer clearly visible and historical sources seem to credit the hypothesis that the church could have been built a century later, at the end of the 14th century.

The main entrance consists of an imposing ogee arched door that opens onto the single nave with a wooden truss roof, typical of the Mendicant Orders.
The value of the building is due to the richness of the pictorial decorations inside: more than fifty figures, some difficult or impossible to identify, animate the side walls of the entire room and are some of the most significant examples of 14th and 15th century painting of central Italy.

Among the most beautiful depictions are the “Martyrdom of St. Sebastian” and the “Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine“. From the stylistic characteristics, scholars have believed that they can recognize in the cycle of frescoes the hands of many local artists such as Alunno, Bartolomeo di Tommaso and Giovanni di Corraduccio.

In modern times – since the end of the twentieth century- the architectural complex has lost its religious function, becoming the property of the Foligno municipality, which has transformed the former convent into an auditorium. The Umbrian architect Franco Antonelli was responsible for the functional and partly structural transformation, but he was not able to conclude the work according to the project by his studio Antonelli e Associates.

Among the prominent buildings in the city of Foligno is Palazzo Trinci, whose current form is the result of construction works carried out by Ugolino Trinci. The local family of lords controlled the fate of the city from 1305 to 1439; as attested by the stele or stone slab showing the figures of Love and Psyche (amore e psiche), one of the marble statues collected by the family during their rule of the city, the elaborate works on their mansion were done between 1389 and 1407. In those years Ugolino Trinci III bought a number of buildings belonging to a wealthy merchant Giacomo Cicarelli de Zitelli that bordered on the houses already inhabited by the Trinci family.
The palace is built around a large main courtyard and two smaller ones. In the courtyard with the well there was the very famous, prestigious Gothic monumental staircase that gave access to the three floors of the building. The large rooms of the mansion had multiple purposes – from those used in the private life of the princes, to those for commercial purposes and others where they exercised their power and those used for public city life.
The elaborate staircase, now inside the building, gives access to the loggia, frescoed with the Legend of the Foundation of Rome, probably used for private use. From here you can go to the main floor with the Chapel containing paintings recounting Stories of the Virgin (by Ottaviano Nelli– 1424) and the Hall of the Arts and Planets and that of the Emperors or the Giants, whose frescoes dated 1411-12 and are attributed to the famous di Gentile da Fabriano.

The monumentality of the complex, now partly lost due to subsequent remodeling, was evidenced by the two walls that connected the new Palazzo Trinci to two other important buildings: the Palazzo delle Canoniche (a rectory and former residence of the Trinci) and the Palazzo of the Podestà (offices for chief magistrates).

Today, the old noble building has become a cultural center with sections for the City Art Gallery, the City Archaeological Museum and the more modern Multimedia Museum of Tournaments, Jousts and Games. Since 1936 the Civic Art Gallery has exhibited a collection of paintings that cover the history of the Foligno School of Art between the fourteenth and sixteenth century including renowned artists such as Bartolomeo di Tommaso, Nicolò the Alunno, Giovanni di Corraduccio and Pier Antonio Mezzastrisi. The Archaeological Museum, divided into two sections, tells the history of the city of Foligno from early Roman influence due to the Via Flaminia (Flaminian Way) and dedicates a special section to the Trinci family’s collection of sculptures from the 1400s including noteworthy works such as Love and Psyche, a statue of a figure in a toga, and a bass-relief with Hermes and the ram. Finally, the Multimedia Museum, opened in 2001, collects all the documentation of events, documents, archeological findings and customs that in part still influence the social life of the city; it also includes a document center for research, cataloging and the digitalization of materials and documents.

The Confraternity of the Crucifix, so called for its cult of the Cross and of Saints Peter and Paul to whom it was dedicated, has been active in the town of Foligno since 1410 but it was formally established only in 1570. In the 16th century following the Catholic Counter-Reformation, many lay associations called confraternities were formed in many Italian towns; these were supported by wealthy noble or upper middle-class families. The members were dedicated to assisting the weakest people, taking care of the sick, helping with burials for the dead, doing charity for the poor and foreigners, assisting widows and young girls without a dowry. These were only a few of the charitable works they did.

At the end of the 1500s the members of the Foligno chapter of the brotherhood obtained from the Dominican friars the use of a vegetable garden next to the convent in Piazza della Canapa (today St. Domenico), where the current Oratory of the Crucifix (Chapel of the Crucifix) was built between the Palazzo Scafati Candiotti and the church of St Domenico, which is today the municipal auditorium.        The valuable, elaborate Baroque forms of the modern church testify to the frequent, generous donations that the Brotherhood must have received over time.

Restructuring interventions on the building can be subdivided into three main phases. The original nucleus was built between 1570 and 1642; of that period, only a portion of the fresco depicting St. Helena and the discovery of the Cross, dated 1626, remains. Work began in 1643 to enlarge the oratory with the building of the wooden ceiling painted in tempera depicting the Risen Christ with Cherubims and Seraphims, and works of the artists Francesco Costantini, Cristoforo Lacchi and Giovanni Battista Michelini. Finally, the third and last phase took place in the early 1700s when the interior decoration project of the church was completed thanks to the works directed by Felice Tucci from Foligno.

The structure and the interior decorations of the oratory were seriously damaged  in the earthquake of 1997 and impressive restoration work has been ongoing till recently when it was reopened to the public in 2015.

At the very beginning of via Umberto I, not far from the eighteenth-century church of Suffrage, is the Oratorio della Nunziatella (small chapel of the girl who received the annunciation). Built in 1494 on commission of the municipality of Foligno, probably designed by the architect Francesco di Bartolomeo di Pietrasanta, the small building was built in the place where, according to tradition, in 1489 near a fresco depicting the Virgin, a prodigious event took place. On that occasion, the town wanted to dedicate a temple to the Madonna to ensure its protection. The interior decoration, with very fine details, is embellished by two famous works created by Perugino: The Baptism of Jesus and The Eternal Father.

The monastic complex of Santa Maria in Campis is located in the present suburbs of the city in what were once the outskirts of the ancient town of Fulginae. The oldest part of the building has been dated to the 5th century and is supposedly one of the oldest basilicas in Foligno. According to some sources, in ancient times the church was also known as S. Maria Maggiore (St Mary Major) as it was recognized as a mother church.

The monastery was built on the remains of a Roman necropolis, with tombs dating from the 1st century BC to 400 AD, on the branch of the Flaminian road that connected Narnia to Spoleto.
In 1373, the bishop of Foligno entrusted the monastery first to the Cistercian friars of the Body of Christ and then to the Benedictine monks of Monte Oliveto Maggiore, who occupied it from 1582 until modern times.

The interior shows signs of modern restructuring carried out between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries that changed, often extremely, its original shape. The most invasive restoration was that done in 1849 following the earthquake of 1832 and during which, without any consideration for the style or the proportions of the building, rebuilt the damaged central nave with different dimensions, and it was asymmetrical with respect to the two lateral ones.

In the nineteenth century, the second chapel on the left aisle was heavily damaged because of its use as a dwelling, whereas the fourth chapel was used as a sacristy with the consequent loss of all the frescoes that decorated it, which were unfortunately covered with plaster.

In 1950, thanks to works directed by Domenico Schenardi, the chapel of St. Marta was discovered, commissioned by the bishop of Foligno Paolo Trinci in 1330, and several frescoes attributed to Alunno.

On the left side of the church façade there is the coat of arms of Pope Boniface IX, surmounted by the papal keys and the papal tiara in commemoration of the Pope’s visit in 1392.

The church is now part of the Foligno Town Cemetery, but its external appearance does not do justice to the beautiful works it contains. Among the frescoes most noteworthy are those in the first chapel on the left aisle, known for Pietro di Cola delle Casse, who was the commissioner who financed it in the mid-1400s. In the center of the fresco, which constitutes a jewel in the panorama of Italian Medieval painting, is Christ engaged in calming the stormy waters of Lake Tiberias. The figure of the boat was an allegory to show that the Church was capable of maintaining its stability even in the face of difficulties.

Adjacent to the church is a square-shaped cloister whose sides consist of three round arches supported by brick columns on each side. Along the portico there is a cycle of frescoes dedicated to the life of the blessed Bernardo Tolomei painted by the Venetian artist Lino Dinetto in 1963.
The Blessed Bernardo, member of a noble Sienese family, decided to devote himself to a hermit’s life in 1313. In the solitude of Accona, he wore a white robe as a symbol of devotion to the Virgin and in 1319 founded the first nucleus of the Monastery of Monte Oliveto Maggiore, which the Church of St. Maria in Campis was called for more than four centuries.

The founding monk died there with eighty of his brother monks during the plague in 1348 after assisting the needy.

Located in Piazza della Repubblica, the city’s center, the building is connected to the adjacent Palazzo del Podestà by an underpass, making it a single complex. Built around 1200, it was certainly restored and remodeled by the Trinci family. The large loggia that characterizes it, in fact, used to be connected directly to the Palazzo Trinci, a stately home, by a bridge that was lost in the mid-eighteenth century.

The decorations of the large loggia are quite significant: externally above the arches, the four cardinal virtues (Wisdom, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance) are represented that oversee the exercise of political power, a work attributed to Giovanni di Corraduccio. On the same wall, on the inside, on wooden thrones above the city walls, the three theological virtues are represented: Faith is symbolized by a man holding a cross to his chest and a chalice in his lap, Hope is symbolized by a woman in the act of praying, and Charity by a woman nursing two children. The group includes a fourth figure representing Harmony, personified by a robust woman who has convinced two citizens to embrace. The rest of the painted decoration depicts the mythical foundation of the city of Foligno and the birthplace of the Trinci family, always committed to ennobling their origins for political-propaganda purposes.

In 1470, just five years after printing spread to Italy, the Orfini brothers (Emiliano, Mariotto and Antonio), engravers and papal minters, began the famous printing art of Foligno. The intelligent brothers, after having made their own home available, called and financed three prominent personalities of the time – Johann Numeister and two Germans Craf and Stephan Arndest – who created authentic masterpieces. It was here that on 11 December 1472, 200-300 copies of “The Divine Comedy” were printed for the first time.
Since 2012 the building has contained the Printing Museum that shows the various stages of the spread of the art of printing in Foligno.

Together with the Churches of St. Magno, St. Maria in Campis and the Miglio St. Paolo, the little church of St. Mary of Fiamenga (Santa Maria della Fiamenga) was built in the Middle Ages about a mile away from the burial site of St. Feliciano (the current Folignate Cathedral), in one of the crossroads in the city, almost as if it formed a protective cross around it.

It was built in Romanesque style in the twelfth century (the first official mention dates back to 1138) and was headed by the local church of St. James. It seems that the church was the destination of many pilgrims and travelers walking along the Loreto path, but it was also visited by former prisoners, whose passage is confirmed by their graffiti found there. It became a destination of pilgrimage also by the people of Foligno, who went there every Sunday. In the 1500s the church was entrusted to a hermit who lived in rooms adjacent to the little church.

The church, small and very simple, was built of Assisi stone in a rectangular plan, with a single nave and a central main door.

Inside there used to be three altars, two of which were dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua and St. Feliciano, but which have been lost.

The last restoration works were carried out in 2004 under the direction of the architect I; the work was commissioned by the local Rotary club in order to make it easier for the public to visit the church.

On the square of the same name, close to the main course of the Topino River in the Poelle district, which is one of the most picturesque parts of the city, stands the church of San Giacomo (St James) attached to the Servi di Maria (Servants of Mary) convent. The building has belonged to the order of monks since 1994 but lies atop a previous complex dating back to the thirteenth century. Subsequent remodeling altered the interior and exterior of the building between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries.

The present façade, constructed of alternating bands of white and pink stone, the elegant ogee arched door and the octagonal dome that covers all three internal naves were done at the beginning of the 1400s.
In the left aisle there is a beautiful painting depicting St Rocco, attributed to Mezzastris, and there are noteworthy frescoes that decorate the convent cloister, with scenes depicting the life of St Phillip  Benizi, painted between 1657 and 1659 by Giovan Battista Michelini.

Outside the city walls, in the current suburb of Giovanni Profiamma, stands the church of S. Giovanni Battista (St John the Baptist). The current building was erected in 1239 on a pre-existing structure dating back to the early centuries of the Christian era. Historical documents attest to the presence of a basilica and presiding bishop since the time of St. Feliciano, the town’s patron saint martyred in the III century AD.

The church was seriously damaged in the earthquake of 1997 but at the end of 1998, it had been restored and was reopened for worship. The façade has an elegant decorative rose window in the center with ten spokes and there are two small double windows on both sides; the main door made of white stone by a master artisan Filippo, is adorned with figures committing sins. On the right you can recognize the silhouette of a bishop in the act of killing a dragon with his staff, perhaps a representation of the patron saint Feliciano, the first bishop of the city.
The interior, in Romanesque style, has a single nave with the presbytery raised on a base of thirteen steps below which you can access the crypt, a large area divided into three naves supported by six columns.

On the left corner of Piazza del Grano, accessible from via Gramsci through via del Quattrocento and via Deli, stands the small church of St. Apollinare, also known as the Church of Death (chiesa della Morte) for the name of the Confraternity that used to live there.

The Fraternity of Good Death was in charge of accompanying and officiating the last rites to prisoners that were sentenced to death.

The building, built in 1148, is one of the most ancient churches in the city; but the Greek-cross architectural shape is the result of subsequent reconstruction work done in the eighteenth century based on a design by Francesco Antonio Bettini.

Inside, some important works are preserved such as the Annunciation by Gaetano Gandolfi and, on the altars are paintings representing the Resurrection and the Entombment attributed to Nasini.

According to the testimony of Ludovico Iacobilli, the Church of Santa Caterina (St Catherine’s) was built in 1225 as a religious building annexed to the convent of the Order of the Poor Claires (also called Vergini del Campo or Virgins of the Field), cloistered nuns of the second Franciscan order founded by St. Claire of Assisi.

Today the small church is the only part remaining of the entire monastic complex, which stood outside the 13th century city walls not far from the current Parco dei Canapè. From 1869, when the nuns transferred to the convent of St. Lucia, the building was gradually dismantled and used for various purposes: barracks, a seed warehouse, a garage for the agricultural machinery of the Sugar Factory of Foligno and more, until it was taken over by the local arts and architecture supervision office at the end of the twentieth century, which allowed the former church to be used as a special space for exhibitions, concerts and conferences.

The church has a monumental façade decorated with a stringcourse cornice with three-lobed hanging arches. In the lower part there is the main entrance door decorated with twisted columns and pillars crowned with acanthus-leaf capitals, while in the upper part one can see the beautiful rose window.

Inside, the large space consists of a single nave divided into two levels: the lower choir area, also called the choir stalls of the nuns, was reserved for the cloister nuns; the upper choir area was used for public ceremonies. The two rooms were connected with each other through a small window behind the central altar, from which the nuns could hear Mass and receive communion, without being seen and without seeing anything.

The church, in existence since the thirteenth century, was initially dedicated to St. Matthew and only in 1256 was named for St. Francis of Assisi who, according to tradition, frequently attended it. Beginning in 1796 the ancient structure was completely modified according to a project by the architect Andrea Vici. The works, which lasted several years, were supervised by Giovanni Bettini and Vincenzo Vitali. In 1856 the building was reopened to the public, but it was still without the facade, which was only built by the civil engineer Giovanni Bertucci in 1886.
The three entrance doors, with architraves and simple frames, are complete with stucco decorations of five pilasters with capitals.
The interior is in neoclassical style consisting of a single nave on either side of which are four apsidal chapels.
The apsidal basin is decorated with frescoes dating back to the eighteenth century, while the sacristy and the chapel of St. Matthew preserve the fragmentary fresco decoration of the fourteenth century.

This small church was built in the mid-fourteenth century and it seems that it owes its name to the proximity to the Topino river, according to the Foligno historian Ludovico Iacobilli. The original structure was divided into two naves later used for different purposes: one continued to be used as a place of worship, the second as a sacristy, preserving the original Gothic structures.

Inside there are works worthy of note such as a painting of St. John the Evangelist  painted by Carlo Botti in 1884 and a wooden statue of St. Apollonia, attributed to Antonio Calcioni.

Outside, on the wall facing via delle Ceneri, there is still an aedicula with a fresco by an unknown artist dating back to the fifteenth century.

The monastery church dedicated to the SS. Trinità in Annunziata (Holy Trinity) was built in 1760 by master masons Pietro and Giuseppe Buccolini, as designed by the architect Carlo Murena. It seems that it was built on the site of another church dedicated to Saint Cecilia.

The ambitious initial projects included a precious stucco decoration that was never made. Twelve years later in 1772, Murena had died and only the supporting structure of the church had been completed. The nuns, anxious to begin church functions, decided to suspend the works and still today the building preserves only its wall structure.

Religious functions were suppressed in 1860, and the former church of the Holy Trinity is now home to the second CIAC museum center (Italian Contemporary Art Center) and hosts, among the various works, the famous “Cosmic Calamity” by Gino De Dominicis (1947-1998).
It is a very large skeleton lying on its back – twenty-four meters long by four meters wide, which was exhibited for the first time at the Museum of Contemporary Art Magazin in Grenoble in 1990, and finally ended up in Foligno after a long international tour.

At the side of the cathedral, in the heart of the city, inside the Palazzo della Canoniche, there is the Museo Capitolare Diocesano, accessible through a monumental staircase and divided onto two floors. The main item of the exhibition is the statue of St. Feliciano, recently restored and included in a path that traces all the historical-artistic phases of the religious building from the Romanesque to the neoclassical style periods.

A second part of the exhibition preserves objects of various kinds (paintings, statues, tapestries and processional crosses) from the churches of the diocese, now closed due to the earthquake in 1997.
The itinerary ends in the cathedral crypt – with its beauty, the crowning touch of your visit.

The building was built as a place of private worship for the confraternity of the Brothers of Mercy, whose establishment dates back to 1428. The Company of St. John Decollate was also known as the Confraternity of Giovanni degli Impiccati (St John Brothers of the Hanged) for the important activity that they carried out: assistance to poor prisoners and burial of those condemned to death.
They disbanded in 1469 but the confraternity was restored in 1565 on the initiative of Giovanni Battista Orfini and Vincenzo Cantagalli. For this purpose, and due to the strong increase in religious vocations, the group made a request to the city officials and to the bishop of Foligno for a new headquarters and obtained a structure that later became the Oratorio del Gonfalone.
It seems that the Oratory of Mercy was built in 1591 and only completed between 1649 and 1658 in its current forms: a simple brick and stone facade on the outside and beautiful Baroque decorations on the inside, where you can admire four elaborate altars dedicated to St. John the Baptist, the Immaculate Conception, St. Francis Saverio and St. Eligius.
Not everyone knows that on the night of December 13, 1846, Colomba Antonietti and the Count Luigi Porzi married in secret in this chapel. Colomba was an Italian patriot, to whom Foligno has dedicated a road; she was even praised by Giuseppe Garibaldi for having decided to fight alongside her husband who had joined the Roman Republic. Colomba cut her hair and dressed in a bersagliere military uniform; she was killed under the fire of French artillery in the siege of Porta San Pancrazio (the entire event is recounted in the City Council Chamber in the Palazzo Comunale, in the frescoes by the painter Mariano Piervittori).

Opposite the cathedral, overlooking the central square of the city, Piazza Repubblica, stands the Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall), whose oldest nucleus dates back to the 13th century. Structural reconstructions have been carried out several times – in the sixteenth century when it was almost completely rebuilt and in the nineteenth century when it was necessary to repair the serious damage caused by the earthquake of 1832. For this reason, between 1835 and 1838, the current neoclassical façade, which is three floors high and which has six Ionic columns supporting five round arches, was built on the designs of the architect Antonio Mollari.
The only part left of the original structure is the crenellated tower, which, however, was strongly damaged by the earthquake in 1997; the upper part has been restored.

Legend has it that once in Rome two men were quarreling under a statue of the Madonna with Child. The one who was having the worst of it begged the other to spare him, in the name of the Virgin, but the other man killed him anyway. From that moment on, it is said that the Madonna began to cry and the cult of the weeping Virgin spread quickly from Rome to many other cities. In Foligno, the statue was preserved as early as 1637 in the church of St. Leonardo. Located in the heart of the city, the building became an important sanctuary but was completely razed to the ground by World War II bombardments. Because of this, the continuity of the cult was made possible thanks to the transfer to the Church of S. Agostino (St Augustine), opposite Piazza Garibaldi, where the statue of the Madonna del Pianto (Weeping Madonna) is still preserved today.

It is standing inside a niche above the central altar, enclosed in a wooden temple-like structure supported by two angels and hidden by a painting on canvas depicting the Virgin herself, a work by the Foligno artist Matilde Galligari Mattoli. The statue is taken out and shown to the faithful only on the day of its commemoration, the Sunday before the feast of St. Anthony the Abbot, in the month of January.
Built in the thirteenth century and then modified and renovated in the eighteenth century, the monastic complex was the seat of the first nucleus of the Augustinian order of friars in Foligno, where it remained until 1810.
The church still preserves some Gothic structures – in the bell tower in rows of pink and white stone, typical of many churches in the city, and in the two large windows on the left side.
Reconstruction work from 1748 to 1750 gave the church the main facade consisting of four Corinthian columns and two symbolic statues, created by Nicolò Cesari and Francesco Antonio Bettini on a design by Pietro Loni.
Under the tympanum, you can read the dedicatory inscription mentioning the friar Generoso Cialdelli, administrator of the convent and last exponent of the family who financed the work of the external façade and that of some chapels inside.

Together with the Churches of St. Magno, St. Mary in Campis and St. Mary of Fiamenga, the eighteenth-century Church del Miglio San Paolo (Miglio of St Paul Church) stands outside the city along one of the main crossroads that link Foligno to surrounding towns. These churches were built in a cross formation around the burial site of St Feliciano (currently the Foligno Cathedral) with the function of protecting it.

The building sits on Viale Ancona (Ancona Road) and is very simple in form – a single polygonal-shaped room decorated with a stringcourse frame that divides the structure horizontally. The main entrance door and small octagonal windows are in the lower part; in upper part are large rectangular windows. All parish functions stopped in 1986 and were definitively replaced by the town parish of the Church of the Good Shepherd.

Outside the town of Foligno, along the Corta di Colle, about a hundred meters from State Road 77, you come to the hill of S. Valentino di Civitavecchia. Few Foligno citizens know the area where it seems there used to be an ancient town or civitas with its place of worship in the early centuries of Christianity. The historian Ludovico Iacobilli speaks of a fortified village that developed in the third century following the martyrdom of the bishop of Terni Valentino, to whom the building was dedicated. In the 16th century, however, the entire complex must have been in a state of neglect because it is no longer mentioned in any texts.

In 1530 the noble Foligno family Cantagalli entrusted the custody to the Capuchin friars who abandoned the structure definitively in 1560, moving to the nearby hill of S. Giuseppe.
Today there are only a few remains of the perimeter walls of the entire monastery, and the remains of two columns; numerous fragments of Roman and Medieval inscriptions on stone found on the site are kept in the crypt of the St. Feliciano church.

The walk in the historic center will surely have filled your eyes with the most varied forms of architecture and religious decorations. Almost a miniature Rome, Foligno preserves a vast range of ecclesiastical buildings belonging to different historical periods, but between a chapel and an oratory you will also have the opportunity to visit the city’s museums: the Museo Capitolare Diocesano (Diocese Religious Museum) in Piazza della Repubblica, which also includes a visit to the ancient crypt in the St. Feliciano church, the CIAC (Italian Center of Contemporary Art), which is divided into two parts – one in the historic center and the other at the former church of the SS. Trinità in Annunziata, the Archaeological Museum, the Pinacoteca and the Multimedia Museum of Jousting Tournaments that are all inside the Palazzo Trinci, and can be visited with a single ticket, and finally the Printing Museum in Palazzo Orfini.

If you are overwhelmed by all this culture, you can rest your mind in the green Canape City Park, built in the late 1700s in order to save the medieval walls that were falling into disrepair, or you can do sports in one of the sixteen municipal sports facilities in the city.

Finally, if your thirst for knowledge has not yet been quenched, you just have to explore
the town surroundings, where other churches and abbeys can be found outside the gate, to satisfy your curiosity. There are the churches of Miglio San Paolo (St Paul Miglio), of S. Maria in Campis (St Mary of the Field) and of the Madonna della Fiamenga, as well as the Abbey of Sassovivo (sitting up high, surrounded by greenery and still inhabited by monks) that will not disappoint you!

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The oldest remains of the town were found on the current hill of S. Valentino, east of the city, which has traces of cemeteries and dwellings.
Throughout the Middle Ages this settlement was known as “Civitavecchia,” (old city) to distinguish it from a subsequent inhabited center (the current one) that originated as a commercial center downstream along the Topino River.
The name of the city calls to mind the deities, Supunna and Fulginia, venerated in the area before the arrival of the Romans.
In the twelfth century the town was known as castrum sancti Feliciani (holy town of Feliciano) in honor of the bishop saint martyred in 251. Its name was then changed to civitas nova Fulginii from which the modern name of Foligno evolved.

In his writings Naturalis Historia, Pliny the Elder mentions the Fulginate people who supposedly founded the city. Whatever the true origin, the position of the thriving center of commerce, downstream of the rivers Topino and Menotre, naturally defended by the surrounding hills, must have made the Romans so envious that they attempted to conquer it on several occasions often clashing with the hostility of the inhabitants.

Together with nearby Spoleto, Foligno was the only city to slow down the rapid Roman conquest of the Umbrian-Etruscan territories. The city fell into the hands of the conquerors only at the end of the third century BC with the battle of Sentino.

From 295 BC, Foligno became part of the Roman State with the title of praefectura and experienced an important phase of expansion in the Augustan period following the deviation of the Via Flaminia.
In the second century, as had happened previously with the Roman conquest, the spread of Christianity suffered a strong arrest near the town that remained for a long time faithful to idolatry and pagan superstition until the fifth century when the new town was formed near the tomb of the bishop Feliciano, near the current Cathedral in Piazza Repubblica.
Saved from the advancement of the Lombards in the fifth century, the town was sacked by the Saracens in 881 and devastated by the Hungarians twice in 916 and in 925, causing a period of crisis and oblivion for the community.


Sources attest to the presence of the podestà (presence of high officials) beginning in the 11th century
In 1240, Emperor Federico II, who was baptized in Assisi but grew up within the walls of Foligno, made his triumphal entry into the city accompanied by his court. The imperial favor brought prosperity to the city for a few years until it clashed with the pro-papal town of Perugia that besieged it in 1253. The people of Foligno showed up barefoot on the opponent’s field, with ropes around their necks and knives pointing downwards, asking for forgiveness and declaring that they had been subjugated by the emperor; but the response of Perugia was very harsh and the people had to destroy the walls, fill in the defense ditches and give the winners the keys to the city and the city banner.
The hard blow did not prevent the inhabitants from rising up again, so much so that the 13th century was the period of maximum splendor and urbanization and architectural development in Foligno. In 1284 the city even managed to rebuild the walls that are still visible today.


In 1305, the citizens of Perugia and Spoleto again took up arms against Foligno to help the Guelph party. After having forced the head of the Ghibellines Anastasi to seek refuge in Todi, the invaders penetrated into the city and succeeded in conquering the Town Hall and in electing Nallo Trinci as leader of the people.

From this moment on, the rule of this family began, which, between high points and low points, governed the city until 1439.
In that year, in fact, urged by the citizens who had asked the Pope for help against the despotic politics of Corrado Trinci III, Cardinal Giovanni Vitelleschi gathered troops in Orvieto and besieged Foligno taking over the city’s government in the name of the Church.
Even the cardinal, however, had little luck and not even a year later he was captured and killed in Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome.
The city government passed into the hands of Ludovico Scarampi and numerous local lords who progressively took away municipal freedom from the citizens. Foligno, while sharing the fate of all Italian municipalities, managed to maintain a certain independence thanks to the agricultural, industrial and commercial vitality that characterized it.
Between 1798-99 and 1809-14 the city fell into the hands of the French government before being definitively incorporated into the newly forming Italian state in 1860.

Because of heavy bombing suffered during World War II and the strong earthquake of 1997 that profoundly changed the urban layout, today Foligno preserves only in part the ancient and famous “ovata” shape that had characterized it for centuries. The suburban expansion, made possible by the flat plain on which it stands, is a clear sign of the strong commercial activity of the city which is one of the most active centers in the Umbrian territory.

Because of its nature as a communication hub and an important commercial center, since ancient times Foligno has been the destination of both Italian and foreign artists and artisans, and where a great quantity of arts and crafts were created that have left their mark on some of the most important periods in Italian history.
Surely worth mentioning are the artist studios that between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries saw the emersion of artists such as Alunno, Mezzastris and Bartolomeo di Tommaso, whose works are among the major attractions of the city churches; the famous printing tradition that altered the path of the history of Italian literature thanks to the initiative of the Orfini brothers with the first printed edition of the Divine Comedy; and to conclude, the production of candied almonds (in Italy called confetti) that was carried out in Foligno from 1401 to 1900 and that made the city so famous that it was remembered as the “city with sugar streets.”


That Folignians are lovers of good food is confirmed by a town initiative that has even dedicated an annual event to it since 1999. Between late September and early October, you can attend the Festival dei Primi d’Italia (a festival of first course dishes), a city event where talented chefs, producers, experts and critics come together to compete in a unique culinary marathon.
But if you want to delight your palate with a local specialty, you cannot skip the famous Rocciata, a typical Foligno dessert consisting of a thin pastry made of wheat flour wrapped around a mixture of nuts, sugar, olive oil and apples, which can also have other ingredients such as alchermes liqueur, cocoa, raisins, dried figs, cinnamon and pine nuts, depending on the tastes or whims of the pastry chefs.


Foligno is part of the many Umbrian producers of high quality oil and wine. As for olive growing, the “Italian oils” section of the Gambero Rosso magazine awarded the Viola family of Foligno for producing one of the best organic oils in Italy for the year 2017.
Foligno’s wine products are an integral part of the regional project called “The Wine Roads”, aimed at sponsoring and promoting local products through itineraries within the territory for tasting the area products. In Foligno the most important wineries are Tenuta San Lorenzo and Terre dè Trinci.

On 13 February 1613, on the orders of the city priors, the Giostra della Quintana or Jousting Festival was held for the first time. The nobleman Ettore Tesorieri, chancellor and notary of the municipality, was instructed to write out the rules, giving form to one of the most famous and beloved medieval events in Italy. For many years this tradition was lost and was only resumed in 1946, turning the event- not to be missed- into one that fills the streets of the historic center of Foligno twice a year. Today, the tournament consists of two encounters: the first, called “the challenge” is held in June, and the second called “getting even” takes place in September. The most skilled riders of the city neighborhoods compete to put their lance through nine rings hanging on effigies set along the track, three each time around, with growing difficulty as the diameter of the rings is gradually reduced from ten then to eight and then to six centimeters.

Related to the same spirit as the Giostra della Quintana, is the Festival of Baroque Signs, which has taken place every year since 1981 between the end of June and the beginning of September. There is music, theater, exhibitions and cinema that recall signs of the Baroque. Another popular fest is Carnevale dei Ragazzi (mardi gras for youth), held during the last three Sundays before fat Tuesday when there are parades with elaborate floats- the most famous in the entire region.

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