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Spello

A town in Italy,
in the east central part of Umbria.
Hispellum was already several centuries old
when greatly expanded by Augustus Caesar in the 1c BC.

If you've just landed here out of the blue from a search engine, this is merely a summary page: For considerably more information, you should go to my home page for this town, with about 45 pages and 70 high-quality photos, offsite links, etc.

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Administrative:

Comune of Perugia province; with 2 frazioni: Collepino and S. Giovanni. The comune has an official website: a fair amount of construction (Apr 00), but already some very nice pages.

Population:

7900 (source: DeAgostini Guide to Umbria, from Italian census of 1991)
By my estimate, this population figure, which is for the entire comune, divides up ⅓ each for the paese or upper town, the borgo or lower town, and the rural areas including the 2 frazioni.

Coördinates:

42°59.5′ N, 12°42.4′ E
Ptolemy puts Hispellum at 42°30′ N and 35°40′ E of his base meridian in the Canary Islands.

Altitude:

The top of the hill is at 313 meters above sea level; the plain is at 226 m (Porta Consolare) to 219 m (train station). Since there is no regular bus or taxi service, and almost all the accommodations are on top of the hill, visitors arriving by train have a bit of a climb: travelling light and using a wheeled suitcase will help. For my personal experience of this, see this entry in my diary. . . .

Principal Sights:

Two major churches, S. Claudio and S. Maria Maggiore: the latter includes the frescoed Cappella Baglioni, one of the best works of Pinturicchio. Many smaller churches, including the Cappella Tega with remarkable 15c frescoes. The city walls, partly Roman, are particularly attractive and include about a dozen Roman or medieval gates. A small museum of medieval art. Remains of a Roman amphitheatre. Splendid views.

Spello is within reasonable walking distance of Assisi and Bevagna, and of the Regional Park of Monte Subasio. Also comfortably nearby: the high Romanesque church of S. Giovanni Profiamma, the mountain retreat of S. Silvestro di Collepino, and the cloister and abbey of Sassovivo.

The local tourism association, Pro Spello, is active and helpful.

Access:

Spello is 8 km S of Assisi and 6 km N of Foligno, 35 km SE of Perugia, and 110 km N of Rome. The town is served by frequent daily trains from these places and from Terni and Spoleto. Direct trains daily from Rome and Florence.

Map References:

1/4 000: Associazione Turistica "Pro Spello": city map (locally available for free)
A 1/12 500 map can be found in the TCI Guide to Umbria.
1/25 000: Istituto Geografico Militare (IGM) military staff maps: 131 IV NE
1/50 000: Kompass: No. 665 Assisi-Camerino (with summary gazetteer of towns on the back of the map)


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Page updated: 22 Jan 07