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Polino (Terni province)

A town of SE Umbria: 42°35N, 12°50.5E. Altitude: 836 m. Population in 2015: 233.

[image ALT: A small town, seen in its entirety: almost all its houses built of stone and tile-roofed, perched on a low, somewhat level outcrop of the surrounding forested hills. The town is crowned by a prominent cylindrical fortress. A church belfry can also be seen, but less prominently, not much higher than the surrounding house roofs. It is Polino, Umbria (central Italy).]

Umbria's smallest comune is what you see here: a tiny fortress-topped cluster of houses hanging onto a hill in a pocket of sparsely populated mountainous terrain at the eastern end of a road from Terni (25 km) and Arrone (11 or 12 km). To give you an idea of the landscape: as the crow flies, Polino is about 12 km west of Leonessa in Rieti province, but by the road around and thru the Monti Reatini, the distance is 51 km.

Polino was once famous for its marble quarry and its silver and iron mines, but all are now exhausted. Its past is marked by that powerful fortress — once the customs house between the Papal States and the Kingdom of Naples, now a museum — and by a 16c fountain monumental in the strictest sense of the word.

I'm no expert on Polino: I walked there one day from Arrone and spent a scant couple of hours in town, as you can read in my diary, Sep. 3, 2000. It was enough, though, to get an idea of the small place and pass it on to you.

[image ALT: Against a distant backdrop of a forested hill, a stone statue of a human figure, probably female, crowned and wearing a cape, looking medieval. She stands facing us, her arms open and thus spreading her cape behind her; her hands are now missing. We don't see her legs: she appears to rise from a mass of water. More information is given in the caption on this webpage.]

Along with the fortress, one of the two main sights of Polino is the Fontana Castelli, a monumental fountain built in 1615 by her new lord and master; it's worth more than a passing glance.

[ 11/17/17: 1 page, 4 photos ]

[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 Polino, Umbria (central Italy).]

This small, remote patch of Umbria has very few churches to see; and on my one swing thru town, I found them closed, so I've barely seen the ones there are. My orientation page to the churches of Polino, is just a placeholder then: a sort of checklist for my next trip.

[ 1/20/07: 2 churches, 1 page, 3 photos ]

When I was in Polino, the town's fortress (or Rocca) was closed to visitors, although my diary does includes a good photograph of it; but a decade and some later, it has now been opened as a Museum and Laboratory of the Umbrian Appennines, geared to the young but apparently fun for adults as well. For further information on the town, see the websites linked in the navigation bar at the bottom of this page.


Polino is one of the 8 or 9 comuni in Umbria that have no dependent towns with enough of an administrative identity to be a frazione.

[image ALT: A view of what seems to be most of a small tile-roofed farmhouse built of mortared stone. It is in two sections joined in the center by a recessed hayloft with a wooden railing; to the viewer's left part of the house is a lower room-sized shedlike section, also of stone masonry, its roof slightly more steeply pitched than the main roof. It is a farmhouse on the outskirts of Polino, Umbria (central Italy).]

On the edge of town, a typical farmhouse.

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 26 Oct 18