Spello is located in the province of Perugia. It is one of the prettiest Umbrian towns, full of that characteristic charm of the Italian hinterland. It is no coincidence that it is awarded the Bandiera Arancione (orange flag) and is part of the Most beautiful villages in Italy.
The origin of Spello is very ancient. It was founded already by the Umbri, pre-Roman people, and then enjoyed great splendor under the Romans themselves. In this period it is renamed Hispellum and appeared also denominations such as Splendidissima Colonia Julia (by Julius Caesar) and Flavia Costante (by Constantine). As evidence of how much Spello has always been loved by eminent historical figures. It suffered a serious devastation in the barbaric era and was part of the famous Duchy of Spoleto under the Lombards, before entering the domains of the Church State. It is therefore during the Middle Ages that it acquires the appearance and the characteristics that we admire today.
The village of Spello in Umbria
Spello is perched on a hill. Its narrow streets going up, down and opening suddenly to the view of a landscape, invite anyone to long walks. It is in fact the village itself that deserves to be visited and lived, unique in every stone, every road and every door. But there are actually three more important doors. They are the ancient passages of access to the city, which open along the beautiful wall circuit, still standing since Roman era. These are Porta Urbica, Porta Consolare and Porta Venere. This one, called so for the proximity of an ancient temple dedicated to the goddess, is the most characteristic one, with the three great arches and the two imposing Towers of Properzio. Cross it and lose yourself among the alleys, stopping sometimes on a panorama.
Spello, qual canto palpita nei petti / delle tue donne alzate in su la Porta / di Venere?
Spello is fantastic not only in its urban appearance. Even inside it hides some unique masterpieces. The Roman House for example is an important archaeological site of the first century A.D. It was probably owned by the mother of the Emperor Vespasian. Excavations and restorations have highlighted the floors of some rooms, decorated with beautiful wave mosaics and colored tiles. Like any respectable medieval village, there are many churches. There is that of Sant'Andrea, of the 13th century, which preserves the Madonna enthroned and saints, table of beginnings of 1500 by Pinturicchio. By the same artist, one of the most important of the Italian Renaissance, is the fresco of the Nativity of the Baglioni Chapel, inside the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Maggiore. This is the main church of Spello, completed in the 13th century on a previous and ancient pagan temple.
The Infiorate (flower festival)
Every year between May and June the Infiorate del Corpus Domini takes place. It is the most important and characteristic event of Spello. About 1.5 km of streets in the old town are decorated and completely covered with works of art made with flowers. This is obviously a religious tradition, but the evening before Corpus Christi Sunday you can attend the Night of Flowers. It is the culmination of the street decorations preparation, with numerous musical shows and typical markets. That’s why several people call Spello the Capital of Flowers.