Misteri di Spello- Porta Venere- Torri di Properzio- Prigione d'Orlando-Leggenda

Exploring the Most Mysterious Stories of “Splendidissima” Spello

Spello, a town rich in history and art, is also a place that has inspired its inhabitants to create curious and mysterious myths and stories. If you want to discover the legends and mysteries of Spello, read on and explore the places associated with them.

Legends and Mysteries of Spello: The Ghost Monks of Mount Subasio

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Sunset on Mount Subasio (Credit to Paolo C photo on flickr)

Among the lesser-known legends and mysteries of Spello is one that extends beyond the region at the foot of Mount Subasio. This unsettling story is linked to a monastery that existed many years ago in an unspecified area between Spello and Assisi.

The devout population frequently requested the monks to organize prayer vigils to stop or bring rain, or simply to thank God for a good harvest. However, the monks were discontented, grumbling incessantly as they waited for the faithful, showing little restraint. Rumors circulated that these monks violated Church discipline and were notorious sinners, engaging in carnal acts. One day, a severe epidemic struck the monastery, causing the death of all monks and the destruction of the building.

Legend has it that, months later, locals began seeing hooded figures walking in a procession with torches, singing and praying. It became apparent that these were the spirits of the monks, compelled to perform the rituals they detested in life. Some claim that strange processions of hooded figures with torches can still be witnessed on the mountain.

The Devil’s Rock

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Devil’s Rock (credit to oldbroadabroad.com)

In this saintly territory, there’s a rocky outcrop named after the Devil— the “Devil’s Rock.” Positioned on the rocky ridge of Mount Subasio facing Assisi amid olive groves, it earned its name from the legend that, on the coldest and stormiest nights, the Devil himself crouched here, awaiting an unfortunate soul to claim. Many swear they’ve seen him! If you dare to be the next… good luck!

Legends and Mysteries of Spello: The Paladin Roland

The most famous legend of Spello revolves around the Paladin Roland, the renowned companion of Emperor Charlemagne.

According to the legend, during one of his countless adventures, Roland passed through Spello. Unrecognized by some locals, despite his immense fame, they imprisoned him in a room, giving rise to the place now known as the “Roland’s Prison,” located next to the higher tower of the two Properzio Towers near Porta Venere. Once identified, the Spellans promptly released him, proclaimed him the city’s protector, and remained so faithful that many would follow him and perish with him at Roncesvalles.

Another relic of Roland’s legendary visit is found along the city walls near the Church of S. Ventura and Porta Urbica. An inscription alludes to the Carolingian hero, suggesting that the cavity about ninety centimeters from the ground was caused by Roland urinating or, in an alternative version, corresponds to the height of his knee. The two ovoid dimples above are believed to be formed by his elbows, and the three-meter protrusion is thought to represent his neck.

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Roland’s epigraph on the city walls of Spello

Now that you’re acquainted with the legends and mysteries of Spello, the only thing left is to visit the places where these stories unfold!


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Article Name
The legends and mysteries of Spello
Explore the enchanting town of Spello, a haven of art and history that has inspired captivating legends and mysteries.
Publisher Name
La Scimmia Viaggiatrice