Corciano, a walk through the Middle Ages
Corciano is a town of ancient history and tradition, located halfway between the Umbrian capital, Perugia, and the majestic Trasimeno lake. Legend has it that after the fall of Troy, in the long circumnavigation of the sea, Ulysses and his companions arrived in the Italian peninsula until Perugia. Here, Coragino, one of the noble Trojans who accompanied Ulysses, decided to stop and build a settlement. Centuries later, this settlement is on the list of the of the most beautiful villages in Italy with the name of Corciano, in honour of its mythological founder. On the top of a hill, guarding the passage that connects Perugia with Trasimeno lake and the Tuscan territory, Corciano is a crossroads of places that allows you to fantasize about multiple itineraries. The village is part of the “Città del Vino” association for its wine “Doc Colli del Trasimeno” and has a wine tradition from which the event “Corciano Castello diVino” (every year in October) draws its origins. Another important event, which will allow you to spend a pleasant summer in the village, is the Corciano Festival, with concerts, theatre performances, art exhibitions and literary presentations. Due to its intense commitment to developing relations with European partner municipalities, in 2012 the Municipality of Corciano won the “Award of Europe”. Since 1955 only 8 Italian municipalities have managed to win this award.
What to see in Corciano
The history of Corciano dates back to the 6th century BC and it was first inhabited by the Etruscans and then by the Romans, even if the town has a decidedly medieval imprint. Towers, practically intact walls and ancient stone buildings represent a magnificent setting that embellishes the panorama of the city. You can access to the historic center through two entrances: “Porta Santa Maria” to the south, with the imposing tower (where in the Middle Ages a cage that showed people condemned to death was displayed) and “Porta San Francesco” to the north, from which the visitor is catapulted in an untangling of alleys, houses in limestone and travertine surrounded by hanging gardens. Among the visits not to be missed there is the Town Hall, the sixteenth-century residence of the dukes Della Corgna and then, along Cardinale Rotelli street, you can find the “Palazzo dei Priori” and the “Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo”, one next to the other. Finally, on the left side of Coragino square, is located the circular-shaped well, named after the mythical founder of Corciano (Coragino, a companion of Ulysses), who has a particular charm. Among the most popular places of worship, are especially interesting the former convent of Saint Francis and the Gothic-style museum church dedicated to the saint. The parish church of Saint Mary also deserves special mention as it contains two masterpieces: the Assumption painted by Perugino in 1513 and the Gonfalone by Benedetto Bonfigli dated 1472. Also interesting is the church of Sant'Agostino (1334), in top of a hill full of olive trees facing the hill of Corciano, with 18th century paintings.
There are at least three stops that we recommend around Corciano. First of all, the ancient church of San Salvatore in Sasso, better know as “Romitorio”, built in the XI century in the heart of Monte Malbe, at 520 metres above sea level, in a wooded area of typical Mediterranean forest. The second recommended stop is the castle of “Pieve del Vescovo”, an imposing medieval building restored during the Renaissance, above all because an important fresco of Perugino's school is preserved in the small church dedicated to San Giovanni. Finally Solomeo, a curious example of a village-factory entirely restored in its original medieval conformation by the patron and entrepreneur Brunello Cucinelli. If you have a little time left, take a walk along the “Path of the almond trees”, a very simple path that runs along the walls dating back to the 13th century. It begins flat and then descends, returning after a while to the walls of the village. The idyllic scenery is unforgettable during the spring, in the shade of the almond trees in bloom.
Il Perugino Hotel, Via Antonio Gramsci, 157
Where to stay in Corciano
If you intend to sleep and want to enjoy the enchantment of the country and the Umbrian delicacies by night, the winning choice is to stay at Il Perugino hotel. This modern structure offers an excellent value for money and abundant breakfasts, ideal to begin the morning with strength and good humor. But it's not just a perfect hotel to stay when you are visiting Corciano: its location near the motorway allows guests to be connected quickly with Trasimeno lake, Assisi and Perugia, above all during the periods of maximum influx of tourists in the Perugian capital such as the journalism festival, Eurochocolate and Umbria Jazz. Simply decorated, the rooms offer every comfort such as TV and free WiFi in the lobby. The hotel, which has been awarded the Tripadvisor certificate of excellence, offers free parking and makes available 50 rooms, 6 suites and a restaurant.