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Gualdo Cattaneo (Perugia province)

A town of central Umbria: 42°55N, 12°32.5E. Altitude: 466 m. Population in 2003: 6100.

[image ALT: A tiny public square, almost filled by three parked cars and a monument about 4 meters tall in the form of an obelisk on a cubical base, and totally dominated by a massive almost windowless cylindrical stone masonry tower of squat proportions on a flaring base. It is a view of downtown Gualdo Cattaneo, Umbria (central Italy).]

Pope Alexander VI's torrione in the main piazza.

Gualdo Cattaneo is a small town in the Colli Martani of central Umbria, about 11 km west of Bevagna and 9 km north of Bastardo. It has several medieval churches, including SS. Antonio and Antonino, in the crypt of which can be seen the bodies of the titular saints and that of the Blessed Ugolino. The most striking presence, however, is that of a massive tower built by Pope Alexander VI Borgia: as with most papal fortifications in Umbria, it was not so much designed to defend as to intimidate.

You should not confuse Gualdo Cattaneo, a rather small town in central Umbria, with Gualdo Tadino, which is a much larger town at the NE edge of the region towards the Marche; nor with the tiny frazione of Gualdo di Narni at the far southern tip of Umbria.

A proper website is starting to appear here, since I've been to Gualdo and walked a fair bit of the surroundings. For now, my pages are all about those surroundings rather than the town itself:

[image ALT: A muddy stream about 50 cm wide and maybe only 1 or 2 cm deep flowing under a cylindrically vaulted passage of large square stones. It is a view of the Roman bridge at Cavallara, Umbria (central Italy), from underneath.]

[ 1 page, 4 photos ]

A Roman bridge at Cavallara, near Bastardo: some like to call it the Ponte del Diavolo, or Devil's Bridge. Now that I've seen it, I can confirm it. It stands for "How the devil do you find it?"

[image ALT: A stone sculpture depicting the Paschal Lamb in the usual manner: a lamb carrying a cross-tipped staff. Beneath it, a one-line inscription in uncial letters, the text of which is given and translated in this webpage. It is a fragment of medieval sculpture on the façade of the church of SS. Antonio e Antonino in Gualdo Cattaneo, Umbria (central Italy).]

[1/10/07: 9 churches, 8 pages, 23 photos ]

The churches of Gualdo are a varied group: Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and nineteenth-century. At least one of them, though semi-abandoned, is very beautiful; and another — S. Terenziano, about which though for the time being I've no text for you — is of an unusual double-decker construction.

[image ALT: A stone or concrete shrine (it is in fact concrete) in the form of a domed tempietto, about 3 meters tall and a meter and a half wide, partly obscured in an olive grove. It is a memorial shrine to Ancilla Antonini near Gualdo Cattaneo, Umbria (central Italy).]

[ 1 page, 4 photos ]

History in the making: the 1942 monument to Ancilla Antonini.

Finally, the Sept. 30, 1998 entry of my diary may be of interest to those traveling along the area's roads; it also includes a different and softer photo of the town than the one that heads this page.

The Frazioni

Like most of the comuni in Italy, Gualdo includes in its territory some smaller towns and hamlets, of a few hundred inhabitants if that, with a certain administrative identity of their own: as elsewhere in Italy, these are referred to as the frazioni of the comune (singular: frazione, literally a "fraction"). I've been to seven of them; for now I have a little site on just one:

Marcellano is a village with several churches, and a much loved Christmas pageant.

[ 2 pages, 6 photos not already included above ]

[image ALT: A clump of five or six attached stone houses from one to three stories each, with in the center a taller square tower, about 13 meters high. It is the central part of the hamlet of Marcellano, near Gualdo Cattaneo, Umbria (central Italy).]

Completing the list, mostly with links to my diary, sometimes with offsite links: Barattano • Ceralto • Cerquiglino • Cisterna • Collesecco • Grutti • Pomonte • Ponte di Ferro • Pozzo • S. Terenziano • Saragano • Torri

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Page updated: 24 Aug 12