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Fossato di Vico (Perugia province)

A town of northeastern Umbria: 43°17.6N, 12°45.8E. Altitude: 584 m. Population in 2003: 2500.

[image ALT: A short, narrow canyon of a street descending between the stone walls of attached rustic houses at a slope of about 10 degrees into the background; in the middle ground about 20 meters from the viewer, a slender arch spans the street at about 3 m from the ground. It is a view of a street in Fossato di Vico, Umbria (central Italy).]

One of the larger streets in the upper town: la via Regina Margherita.

Fossato di Vico is a town on the Via Flaminia in the northeastern corner of Umbria, between Gualdo Tadino (7 km to the south) and Sigillo (6 km north).

In 1998 I walked some longish sections of the Flaminia and wound up in Fossato twice, briefly, and wrote about the experiences in my diary (Sept. 23 and Nov. 3).

Well, it's an attractive place and I liked it: I decided to come back and live here for three months from June to September 2000, and during that summer I got to know Fossato much better. A proper site is therefore slowly making its way online, and the first step in that direction is to give you an idea of some of the beautiful sights in town. (For the other sights and for more mundane information about Fossato, you can use the search box in the navigation bar at the bottom of this page to pick up dozens of diary entries about Fossato for the year 2000: they sometimes include photos not yet used or linked on the page you are now reading.)

Note on the Name

The name of this town is Fossato di Vico, and not "*Fossato di Vicolo". The latter is a mistake that has spread all over the Web because it appeared for a while in the GoogleMaps database and maps, abetted by the fact that vicolo is a common Italian word (meaning "alley, small street"), and *vico, in modern Italian, is not a word. If you won't take it from me after my having lived there for three months, take it from the town itself, whose official site is listed first among the offsite links in the footer bar below.

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The single most handsome monument in Fossato is La Piaggiola, a medieval votive chapel. For the time being closed to the public, since it is being restored; but I certainly hope it reopens soon. Thanks to the kindness of Mrs. Anna Burzacca, Vice-Mayor and Commissioner of Culture, I was able to see and photograph the splendid frescoes, and I will be sharing them with you on this site soon.

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The church of S. Benedetto is also not to be missed; I'm telling you that because it's outside the walls, and I think an inattentive visitor might not see it! Frescoes, of course (is this Umbria?) but a good building in a nice setting.

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[ 2/22/01: 1 page, 3 photos ]

Recently restored in a non-local style that has the Fossatani up in arms (and I agree with them), S. Sebastiano on the other hand could not be missed if you wanted to: a massive but not inelegant Renaissance church providing a striking backdrop to the vegetable gardens and houses of the upper town.

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You might be getting the idea Fossato is all churches. In Roman times, however, it was a fairly important place on the Via Flaminia, very likely — it is not quite certain — the Helvillum mentioned in ancient sources. Two Roman bridges still stand within the territory of the comune, both within very comfortable walking distance of the town: I have one of them online now, and the other will eventually come online as well.

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Neither should you leave this little page of mine without getting a feel for the landscape. So climb with me to the top of the Cima del Mútali, the mountain in Fossato's back yard, and look at the view. Yes, there'll be a page here on the windpower generators: for now, see my diary, which also has 2 offsite links on them.

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[ 1 page, 1 photo ]

Finally — not all Fossatani are in Fossato: in my travels thru Italy this is about the last place I expected to see a commemoration of the great Italian emigration to America, but I did.


Like most of the comuni in Italy, Fossato 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. Because I lived in Fossato for three months and walked all around it, I've been to all of them, and this site has information on them: in some cases pretty marginal, but sometimes not, even including one or more photographs. Links are often to my diary; they may also contain further links — as usual on my site, don't forget to check the navigation bar at the bottom of this page.

Colbassano •  Colle di Fossato (not much of a place: a few houses, no clear local identity) • Fossato Borgo •  Osteria del Gatto • Palazzolo • Purello

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Page updated: 6 Dec 21