Cosa vedere a Foligno, la Rosa dell'Umbria-Foligno-Piazza della Repubblica-Duomo-San Feliciano-Palazzo delle Canoniche-

A Brief Guide to Discover the “Pink City” of Umbria, also known as the “Center of the World”

Planning a trip to Umbria? Read this article and discover what to see in Foligno, the intriguing Umbrian city known as the “Pink City,!

Foligno, the third-largest city in Umbria, is situated in a flat area just a few kilometers from Perugia. Its nickname, the “Rose of Umbria,” stems from the fact that, like the center of a rose is surrounded by petals, Foligno is surrounded by hills featuring beautiful villages such as Spello and Assisi. Positioned as an excellent base for exploring the surrounding area, its historic center has retained much of its medieval charm. The pedestrianized center makes it a delightful place to explore on foot or by bike.

So, you might wonder, what is there to see in Foligno? Keep reading, and you’ll find out!

What to see in Foligno: The Historic Center

Our journey to discover the must-see attractions in Foligno starts with a realization. The historic center of Foligno is small, eliminating the need for a map to navigate. Our advice is to wander without worrying about getting lost and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of its streets.

The Basilica of Santa Maria Infraportas

After parking near the Canapè Park, enclosed by a section of the ancient city walls between Porta Todi and Porta Romana, you’ll encounter Piazza San Domenico. Here, you’ll find the eponymous church and, notably, the Basilica of Santa Maria Infraportas. This basilica boasts a facade with bands of white and pink stone adorned with a bifora and a small portico. Inside, you can admire beautiful 14th and 15th-century frescoes from the flourishing local painting school.

What to see in Foligno-basilica santa maria infraportas-pink stone
Basilica of Santa Maria Infraportas (credit to Matteo Marongiu)

What to see in Foligno: Piazza della Repubblica

The second stop in our itinerary of what to see in Foligno is Piazza della Repubblica. This square is home to Foligno’s most important buildings, including the Cathedral, the Municipal Palace, and Trinci Palace. The Cathedral, dedicated to San Feliciano, features a Latin cross plan and a typical facade with bands of white and pink stone. Inside, you can’t miss the large Baroque-style canopy above the altar, reminiscent of the one in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and the beautiful paintings and frescoes adorning the walls.

A few steps away, visit the Diocesan Capitol Museum, housed in the adjacent Canonica Palace, which preserves valuable medieval and Baroque works, including Nicolò Liberatore’s “Crucifix with Jesus, Mary, and John,” better known as the “Alunno.”

Cathedral of Foligno-San Feliciano-Foligno-Palazzo delle Canoniche-Diocesan Chapter Museum of Foligno-white and pink stone
Side facade of the Cathedral and Palazzo dei Canonici (Credit to Matteo Marongiu)

On the other side of the square is the Municipal Palace, with its neoclassical facade and unique tower. Below, the acronym S.P.Q.F., inspired by the Roman acronym S.P.Q.R., echoes Foligno’s glorious past when it was one of the most important municipalities in Central Italy during the Middle Ages.

Town Hall- Foligno- SPQF-neoclassical-tower-
Municipal Palace of Foligno (Credit to Matteo Marongiu)

On the short side of the square is Trinci Palace, one of the most interesting late Gothic residences in Central Italy. Inside, you’ll find a pictorial cycle by Gentile da Fabriano and other artists of the time. Its rooms house the rich civic art gallery with beautiful works by local painters from the 14th to the 16th century.

“The Center of the World” and the “Cosmic Calamity”

Continuing the stroll through the historic center, you’ll frequently come across residences with medieval details, such as finely decorated biforas, elegant arcades, and overpasses connecting them to another palace

You’ll likely traverse Corso Cavour, passing by what Fulignati claim to be the “Center of the World.” This legend arises from Foligno’s location at the center of the Italian peninsula, Europe, and the Mediterranean. Thus, for many centuries, it was considered the center of the world based on the scientific knowledge of that era.

The curious part of this story is that, until a few decades ago, the exact point was identified by the central pin of the billiards table at the historic “Caffè Sassovivo.” Now, a crystal embedded in the floor of the shop built in place of the vanished café serves as a reminder.

If you’re also an enthusiast of contemporary art, a stop on your tour should be the former Church of SS. Trinità in Annunziata on Via Garibaldi. Since 2011, it has housed the ambiguous and highly controversial work of Gino de Dominicis, “The Cosmic Calamity.” This monumental symbolic sculpture depicts a human skeleton, and from the phalanx of the right hand, a magnetic rod extends towards the sky. Truly impressive!

Foligno is not only the “Center of the World” but also the birthplace of beautiful events and delicious dishes. Discover them with me!

What to see in Foligno: Its Events

In Foligno, there are also beautiful events that help better understand the city’s medieval past.

The most famous is undoubtedly the “Giostra della Quintana,” a spectacular medieval jousting tournament where the 10 districts of Foligno compete twice a year, first in June and then in September for the rematch.

The competition involves knights armed with lances charging at a puppet, attempting to thread a ring suspended from its hand.

What to see in Foligno-Giostra della Quintana-Horse-Knight-puppet-ring-Spear
Giostra della Quintana (Credit to Francesco Bini)

During the same period, the “Fiera dei Soprastanti” takes place, recreating an ancient market in the city. Here, only goods existing in the Middle Ages are exhibited, and they can be purchased only with the currency of the time, the Quattrino di Foligno. How do you buy? No problem! You can easily exchange it on-site with our Euros.

This fair is followed by the “Palio di San Rocco,” a playful challenge where representatives of various districts compete on donkeys, and the “Corteo Storico,” where residents parade in typical Baroque period attire.

What to Eat in Foligno

Foligno is also a land of excellent dishes, so we recommend trying them in the many establishments in the city. Among the dishes to try are “Spaghetti col Rancetto,” a hearty dish with bacon, tomatoes, and marjoram.

Desserts are no joke when it comes to goodness. In fact, the typical sweet, “La Rocciata,” similar to apple strudel but with nuts and cocoa enriched with Alchermes, is a true explosion of flavor that delighted us. There’s also its savory version made with spinach, chard, chicory, and other vegetables, known as “Fojata,” a kind of local street food. Among the Umbrian wines we had the pleasure of enjoying, we recommend the “Sagrantino.

Now that you’ve read this article and know what to see in Foligno, all you have to do is decide when to go!

 If you decide to stay for a few nights, click here and discover the best accommodations at the best prices!

Article Name
What to see in Foligno
Planning a trip to Umbria? Discover what to see in Foligno, the captivating Umbrian city known as the "Rose of Umbria."
Publisher Name
La Scimmia Viaggiatrice