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Monteleone d'Orvieto (Terni province)

A town of W central Umbria: 42°54.5N, 12°03.1E. Altitude: 494 m. Population in 2003: 1600.

[image ALT: A brick archway, asymmetrical from side to side, and tapering in depth as well, leading to a small archway onto the countryside. Next to the archway, a bricked up square window. It is a view of a street in Monteleon d'Orvieto, Umbria (central Italy).]

An archway off one of the main streets, yet thru it, Umbrian farmland.

Monteleone d'Orvieto is a small town stretched out along a ridge above the Ripignolo river, a creek that flows into the Tiber, on the old highway SS 71 from Orvieto (27 km S) to Castiglione del Lago (33 km N by the road, although that includes a dogleg W to the outskirts of Chiusi in Tuscany); a small crossroad leads thru some of the wildest areas of southern Umbria to Montegabbione, S. Venanzo, and Marsciano (4 km, 31 km, and 41 km E respectively).

Because the ridge is narrow, Monteleone essentially follows a single long main street, the closed feeling of which, and the compact brick architecture, contrast sharply with the extensive views and fresh air just a block away where the town meets the edge of the hill. The town is not very old by Umbrian standards: like nearby Montegabbione, it was built in the 12c as a bastion to defend the northern approaches of Orvieto — and thus has a certain unity of style which contributes to making it a place of great charm.

Remains of the walls and its towers can be seen, as well as the collegiate church of S. Pietro e Paolo with several good paintings of the Umbrian school, including a Pietà of the school of Perugino. The 17c church of the Crocifisso has a rather striking late baroque altar of wooden marquetry.

You should not confuse Monteleone d'Orvieto, in W Umbria, with Monteleone di Spoleto in the eastern part of the region.

[image ALT: A damaged wall painting of a Madonna and Child. It is a detail of the door of the church of S. Michele in Monteleone d'Orvieto, Umbria (central Italy).]

[ 1/25/07: 4 churches, 1 page, 5 photos ]

My sole visit to Monteleone so far was in the rain and on a bit of a schedule. My orientation page to the churches of Monteleone, is just a placeholder then: a sort of checklist for my next trip.

At some point, I may put up a few more photographs of the town; or even, if I go back for another visit, a much expanded site. In the meanwhile, you may find it useful to read the Apr. 19, 2004 entry of my diary, which includes 2 more photographs; and for fuller information, the sites in the navigation bar at the bottom of this page.


Like most of the comuni in Italy, Monteleone includes in its territory some smaller towns and hamlets, usually 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. I haven't been to any of them yet, so any links will be offsite.

Colle • S. Lorenzo • S. Maria

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Page updated: 28 Oct 17