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Gaglioli (Perugia province)

A town of central Umbria, a frazione of Bevagna: 42°54.3N, 12°34.5E. Altitude: 347 m. Population in 2001: 28.

[image ALT: A narrow street; the one-story house on the left is of irregular stone masonry, that on the right of mixed stone and brick, with a narrow metal-railed staircase decorated with baskets of flowers. Across the street in the background, not 10 meters from the camera, a windowless stuccoed one-story arch crosses it. It is a typical street scene in Gaglioli, near Bevagna, Umbria (central Italy).]

Gáglioli is a tiny village, three short streets and fewer than three dozen inhabitants. Though it is a frazione of Bevagna, 4 km NE, the nearest town of any size is Gualdo Cattaneo, about 3 km W, whose priest serves Gaglioli's church. As small as it is, I cannot say I've visited it thoroughly, merely passing thru it in the early morning on one of my Umbrian walks (see diary, Sept. 30, 1998). The 14c church (S. Maria) was still closed because of damage suffered in the earthquake the year before; I can look forward to seeing it next time, although the interior has been much reworked.

[image ALT: A stretch of narrow street, about 25 meters long, heading from the camera into the background and curving slightly to right. It is bordered by one- and two‑story houses of irregular brick and stone masonry. It is one of the main streets in the hamlet of Gaglioli, near Bevagna, Umbria (central Italy).]

The same street, from a little further back.

Although a mere ten- or fifteen-minute drive puts you in Foligno, Spello, or Assisi, Gaglioli is locally considered a remote backwoods, probably because coming from Bevagna it's only after crossing a densely wooded ravine that we find it tucked away in a fold in the hill; but on the other side, a very few hundred meters to the W, the landscape opens up onto an attractive olive-planted plateau with wide views.

[image ALT: A landscape of open fields of olive trees, extending maybe 700 meters and sloping upward to the horizon. It is a view of the immediate area west of Gaglioli, near Bevagna, Umbria (central Italy).]
Olive groves just outside Gáglioli. In the distance, the white tower of Gualdo.

Note on the Placename

I like to think there is a connection between the name of this hamlet and that of the man whose tombstone you see here. My little theory is plausible, since this inscription (CIL XI.5299), now in the lapidary collection of the Palazzo Comunale of Spello, does seem to be that of someone who could afford to be a small landowner; since Spello, the Roman town of Hispellum, is only 10 km away (the stone itself was found on a farm outside the town, although accounts differ and are fuzzy as to exactly where); and since it was refounded by Augustus as a colony of veterans rewarding their loyalty, precisely, with land grants: but I have not read whatever scholarly literature there might be and thus know of no evidence to support the idea.


[image ALT: A small vertical rectangular stone topped by a triangular pediment mostly filled by an incised rosette. The rectangular area is mostly blank, but the top two lines bear an inscription in capital letters, as transcribed and explained in the text of this webpage.]

CN · CAIOLIVS · L
OVF

Gnaeus Caiolius, son of Lucius,
of the Oufentina tribe


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Site updated: 24 Aug 12