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A b o u t   S p e l l o

Spello is a wonderful town, an ancient Roman settlement that became an industrious village during the Renaissance. Today it offers splendid views and sights, and warm traditional places. Though Spello is small, its charm and its many small churches, combined with several good hotels and a fair number of restaurants, make it a popular tourist destination.

Spello (Latin: Hispellum) [see a City map with points of interest from the Associazione Turistica "Pro Spello", or a Google map of Spello town] is an ancient town and comune (township) of Italy, in the province of Perugia in east central Umbria, 42°59N 12°42E, at 313 meters (1027 ft) above sea-level on the lower southern flank of Mt. Subasio.
Spello is close to Florence (about 160 Km) and Rome (about 170 Km).

It is 6 km (4 miles) NNW of Foligno and 10 km (6 miles) SSE of Assisi.

The old walled town lies on a regularly NW-SE sloping ridge that eventually meets the plain. From the top of the ridge, Spello commands a good view of the Umbrian plain towards Perugia; at the bottom of the ridge, the town spills out of its walls into a small modern section (or Borgo) served by the rail line from Rome to Florence via Perugia.

The densely-inhabited town, built of stone, is of decidedly medieval aspect, and is enclosed in a circuit of medieval walls on Roman foundations, including three Roman or Late Antique gates and traces of three more, as well several medieval gates. Spello boasts about two dozen small churches, most of them medieval: the most important are:

  • S. Maria Maggiore (13th century), with a very fine chapel frescoed by Pinturicchio
  • S. Andrea
  • S. Lorenzo
  • S. Claudio (11th century or earlier), an elegant building with a rose window and votive frescoes, said to have been built on the remains of a Roman temple

In the plain, near S. Claudio, are the remains of a semi-excavated Roman amphitheater; and a small valley to the east of the town is remarkable for its traces of Roman centuriation.

Beyond the town proper, the comune's chief monuments are the church of S. Silvestro at Collepino, and the church of the Madonna della Spella with late-medieval votive frescoes and graffiti.

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