What to see in Spello

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A Brief Guide to Discover the “Splendidissima”

Are you a lover of ancient villages and their timeless beauty? Then read on and discover what to see in Spello, the ideal village for you!

Spello is a village surrounded by olive groves situated at the foot of Mount Subasio, in the heart of Umbria, just a few kilometers from Assisi and Foligno. Its flower-filled alleys, pink stone houses, and monuments steeped in history and charm make it undeniably one of the symbols of the beauty of this region and one of Italy’s most beautiful villages.

The village’s millennia-old history is told through its urban layout of clear Roman origin and the numerous monuments accumulated over the centuries in its streets. Spello is a treasure trove full of wonders to be discovered slowly, allowing yourself to be carried away by wonder and curiosity, free from the everyday life frenzy.

But you might be wondering, what makes “Splendidissima” Spello so special? Here’s an itinerary of what to see in Spello designed just for you!

What to See in Spello: Porta Consolare

The tour of must-see attractions in Spello visually takes you through the Roman, medieval, and Renaissance history of the village. Starting from the south, where the information point is located, you can inquire and possibly opt for a guided tour of the village.

Nearby, you’ll find Porta Consolare, the main entrance to the village since Roman times. It features three arches topped by three statues from the Republican era, originating from the amphitheater site. The door is flanked by a medieval tower, topped with an olive tree, perhaps symbolizing the area’s main product.

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Porta Consolare in Spello (Credit to Matteo Marongiu)

The Collegiate, Cappella Baglioni, and Pinacoteca Civica

After passing the gate, you’ll notice a series of stone-pink houses along Via Consolare. Climbing along the street, you’ll reach the Chapel Tega, a small frescoed hall preserving a vivid crucifixion by the 15th-century painter Niccolò Alunno.

A few steps away lies one of the most interesting places in Spello: the Collegiate of Santa Maria Maggiore. This 13th-century church is a veritable museum of Renaissance art. Inside, the beautiful Baglioni Chapel, frescoed by Pinturicchio, showcases scenes of the Annunciation, Nativity, four Sibyls, and the author’s self-portrait. The church also houses two Perugino frescoes and a splendid Deruta maiolica floor

Adjacent to the Collegiate is the Canonici Palace, hosting the Civic Pinacoteca, rich in valuable Renaissance artworks. Continuing our journey, we arrive at the Church of Sant’Andrea, with its braided arch of the portal, a 14th-century altar, and a Pinturicchio-painted panel featuring his assistants.

Continuing along Via Cavour, passing the oldest shops in the village and crossing Republic Square, where you can glimpse the Baglioni fortress, you’ll reach the Collegiate of San Lorenzo. The church, with a 12th-century loggia and 15th-century rose windows, is adorned with beautiful 16th-century wooden inlays. Our tour continues along Via Giulia, the road leading to the upper part of the village, offering truly picturesque views of the surrounding countryside.

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Glimpse of the Umbrian countryside from via Giulia (Credit to Matteo Marongiu)

What to See in Spello: Porta Arce and Porta Venere

Ascending to Belvedere, you’ll enjoy a beautiful panorama and the remains of the Roman arch of Porta Arce. Its large limestone blocks testify to Spello’s millennia-old history. Descending to the lower part via Via delle Mura Vecchie, you reach another crucial site on the itinerary: the monumental Porta Venere, from the Augustan age. Its three-arch structure is flanked by two towers dedicated to the Latin poet Propertius, believed to be the birthplace of “Splendidissima” Spello. These towers, likely from the 12th century, are linked to a Spello legend involving the legendary companion of Charlemagne, Orlando. (We discuss this and other Spello legends in this article)

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Porta Venere and Towers of Propertius (Credit to Matteo Marongiu)

A few meters away, outside the ancient walls, lie the remains of the ancient amphitheater and the simple but beautiful Romanesque church of San Claudio. Finally, along the ancient Augustan city walls, one of the best-preserved stretches of Roman walls in Italy, you return to Porta Consolare, where our tour of what to see in Spello began.

What to See in Spello: The Villa dei Mosaici

Are you particularly passionate about history? Then we recommend adding to your list of what to see in Spello, in the Sant’Anna area, the recently discovered Villa dei Mosaici. It features beautifully preserved late imperial mosaics in twenty rooms, splendidly narrating the history and life of ancient Hispellum.

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Some of the Mosaics of the Villa dei Mosaici (Credit to regione umbria CC BY-NC)

“Splendidissima” Spello, however, caters not only to history and art lovers. Keep reading to discover other delights this beautiful village has to offer.

The Infiorata, Good Food, and Walks on Mount Subasio

Adding to the charm of Spello is the traditional Infiorata, which takes place on the village streets during Corpus Domini. Here, flower arrangers, hunched over, design sketches and then lay millions of petals to create their sacred art compositions. This extraordinary example of popular participation attracts thousands of tourists each year, captivated by this splendid spectacle.

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A work created with petals during the Infiorata (Credit to infioratespello.it)

For culinary enthusiasts, Spello is also a land of excellent producers of high-quality extra virgin olive oil. I recommend trying it on a simple bruschetta with a bit of garlic; you’ll be amazed! Still not enough? Then also taste the excellent black truffle abundant in these parts and the local multifloral honey with exceptional fragrance and clarity. I also invite you to accompany these delicacies with excellent Grechetto wine, rich in aromas and personality.

If you stay in Spello for several days, I recommend an excursion to Mount Subasio, where you can immerse yourself in the splendid Umbrian nature and enjoy a breathtaking panorama from its summit!

Now that you know what to see and do in Spello, all you have to do is go to Booking, book your hotel, and get ready to fully experience the atmosphere of the “Splendidissima” Spello.


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Article Name
What to see in Spello
Explore the timeless charm of ancient villages. Discover what to see in Spello, the ideal destination for lovers of historic beauty.
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La Scimmia Viaggiatrice

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