[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
mail: Bill Thayer 
[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]
Italiano

[Link to a series of help pages]
Help
[Link to the next level up]
Up
[Link to my homepage]
Home

Montefalco (Perugia province)

A town of east central Umbria: 42°54N, 12°39E. Altitude: 473 m. Population in 2003: 5600.

[image ALT: An imposing three-story building, its ground floor shaded by a tall, deep portico of six round arches; the building is surmounted by a stepped pediment, featuring a clock, topped by an antefix. It is the town hall of Montefalco in Umbria (central Italy).]

The Palazzo Comunale of Montefalco: its Town Hall.

Montefalco is one of the classic hilltowns of central Umbria, on the eastern flank of the Colli Martani about 7 km SE of Bevagna, 11 km SW of Foligno, and 9 km NW of Trevi.

In addition to being one of the places — along with Trevi and Todi — from which you have the most wide-ranging views in the region (but beware the moniker "Umbrian balcony", a bit of boosterism found pretty much only in tourist brochures), Montefalco has half a dozen good medieval churches, most of them retaining more of their frescoes than similar churches elsewhere in Umbria. The most important of them is the church of S. Francesco, which includes among its frescoes a cycle by Benozzo Gozzoli, and has also been turned into one of the three museums in Umbria that you should see: small, but a collection of masterworks of the Umbrian school.

Finally, the town is famous for its dry red wine (rosso di Montefalco), arguably the best in Umbria; and for a more recent red wine, Sagrantino di Montefalco, which has eclipsed the other and is one of the best wines in Italy; there is also a most curious passito of Sagrantino, a sweet red tannic wine like none I've ever had anywhere else.

You should not confuse Montefalco, prominently overlooking much of E central Umbria, with Montefranco, an equally beautiful but less famous town perched above the valley of the Nera in Terni province.


A proper website is obviously in the works, since I've been to Montefalco and walked the area a few times. Here are my first steps in that direction:


[image ALT: A composite capital of the Renaissance period, with Ionic volutes on Corinthian foliage, and a grotesque face in the foliage on each side. The image serves as my icon for the book 'Spello, Bevagna, Montefalco' by Giulio Urbini.]

[ 4 pages, 34 photos ]

Giulio Urbini was an Umbrian art historian who devoted much of his life to telling the story of his part of the world; the Montefalco section of his book Spello, Bevagna, Montefalco provides a fairly complete overview of the town. (In Italian)


[image ALT: An engraving of a bird rummaging in a small rectangular box and pulling out a ribbon. It is an illustration of an ancient Graeco-Roman pyxis.]

Montefalco in Umbria (AJAH 8:226‑230): in the Antiquary's Shoebox — a collection of items that attracted me from various scholarly journals in the fields of classics and archaeology — a letter from Montefalco from the year 1893, detailing some of the town's artistic treasures and bewailing their condition.


[image ALT: zzz zzz.]

[7/14/11: 11 churches and 4 edicole, 8 pages, 29 photos ]

My churches of Montefalco page is a quick visual sampler; for now, only the little chapels of S. Maria di Piazza and S. Lucia get the coverage they deserve. As usual, stay tuned.


[image ALT: zzz zzz.]

[2/26/08: 1 page, 3 photos ]

If you're studying or visiting Italy, it's useful to speak or at least read Italian. . . . Here is a section of Indice-guida dei monumenti dell' Umbria: the 19c Umbrian historian Mariano Guardabassi on Montefalco; dry but illustrated with some of my own photos.


[a blank space]

You may also find it useful to read these entries of my diary, which also include another photo: Sept. 27, 1997 Oct. 15, 1997 Apr. 24, 2004.

Frazioni

Like most of the comuni in Italy, Montefalco 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"): a complete list of them follows.

Casale • Cerrete • Fabbri (try your best not to confuse the place with another village by the same name, less than 10 km away, in the comune of Giano dell' Umbria) • Fratta • Montepennino • Pietrauta • S. Luca • Turrita


[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 24 Aug 12