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Valtopina (Perugia province)

A town of W central Umbria: 43°3.5N, 12°45E. Altitude: 366 m. Population in 2003: 1400.

[image ALT: A view, looking up at a sharp angle, to the upper story of a square brick belfry with cornices and copings of stone or concrete. The five little pillars of a balustrade in front of the arch with the bell are twisted askew, and part of the brick is cracked. It is avw of the belfry of the church of Valtopina, Umbria (central Italy), a few days after the Umbrian earthquake of 1997.]

Detail of the belfry of the modern church of S. Pietro Apostolo.

The photo isn't purely decorative: look closely and you will see damage from the 1997 earthquake, a few days before I took this picture.

Valtopina is a small town on the west bank of the upper reaches of the Topino river (whence its name), more or less along the Via Flaminia in Umbria, between Foligno, 14 km to the south, and Nocera Umbra, 7 km north.

In fact, at this point of the Topino gorge, the Via Flaminia of Roman days was on the east side of the river; it is on the SS3, a modern successor road merely borrowing the name Flaminia, that the town lies. In the latter part of the 20c, a superhighway version of that same road was built, once again on the east side of the river, thus bypassing the town, so that now Valtopina is mostly a dormitory town for Foligno: pleasant, but with no particular signs of ancient habitation.

A proper website will eventually appear here, since I've been to Valtopina and walked the area several times. In the meanwhile, you might find it marginally useful to read the Oct. 10, 1997 entry of my diary (which does include a photo of a fresco in the hamlet of Marco Frate just outside the town).


Most of the comuni in Umbria include in their territories 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"). In Valtopina there are only two, and I haven't been to either of them, so any links will be offsite:

Giove (not to be confused with the comune by that name, a much larger town in the province of Terni) • Sasso

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Page updated: 27 Oct 17