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Collemancio (Perugia province)

A town of central Umbria — a frazione of Cannara — 42°58.5N, 12°31E. Altitude: 506 m

[image ALT: A single-lane dirt road leading slightly downward, then at the end back up again, to a clump of old houses on a little butte: a square belfry pokes up out of the group. The left side of the road drops off at a slope of about 30° thru an olive orchard; in the distance, low forested hills. It is a view of the village of Collemancio in Umbria (central Italy).]
Here we see the town from the W, from the path up to the Roman ruins behind us.

Collemancio is a very small village on top of a hill (colle in Italian), or more accurately on the slowly declining northern rump of the Colli Martani, the chain of hills that forms the backbone of central Umbria. The nearest comune is Bettona, about 5 km NW by footpaths; but the paved road goes to Cannara, 7 km E, which is the seat of the comune. Now Collemancio may be small, and in one of the less inhabited pockets of central Umbria, yet it's not really that remote, a fifteen- or twenty-minute drive to Assisi, Foligno, and Perugia; and even closer to Torgiano, Spello, and Bevagna.

The visitor will in fact find two towns for the price of one. Today's Collemancio dates back to the Middle Ages, which left us the parish church of S. Stefano and the Palazzetto del Podestà, still today the town's community center, as well as bits of wall, a gate, just outside of which a second simple but beautiful Romanesque church, S. Maria della Fontanella; but a few hundred yards to the N, a small Roman town was found in the 1930's, which is still being excavated.

For my brief encounter with the two towns, see the Sept. 2, 1998 entry of my diary, which also includes two photos not found in these slightly more formal pages. Now I can hardly say I know Collemancio well, so they're really a sort of scrapbook in three parts: on this page some general views of the town; a page on S. Maria della Fontanella; and another on the Roman remains.

[image ALT: A single-lane asphalted road, bounded on the left by a one‑meter-high stone wall and on the right by a two- or three-story stone building, windowless for the first three meters from the ground, leads to a plain Gothic archway, attached to the building, and spanning the road. It is a view of the main entrance to Collemancio, Umbria (central Italy).]

The town's gate: secular on the outside, with remnants of defenses and a coat of arms . . .

[image ALT: A medieval gate of rough stone masonry, about 6 meters high, with a central archway about half that, over which a recessed niche (seen in the next photo). It is the interior of the town gate of Collemancio, in Umbria (central Italy).]
[image ALT: An ogive-shaped recessed niche, painted with religious subjects. It is a niche over the entrance of the town gate of Collemancio, in Umbria (central Italy).]

. . . and religious on the inside, as we see in this closer look at the niche and its (16c? 17c?) painting: a Madonna and Child with two Franciscan saints. St. Francis' home base was only about 10 km from Collemancio, and he must surely have visited the town several times.

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Site updated: 24 Apr 11