Spello, che bello!
Yes, a medieval hilltown gem, famous for the area olive oil, the famed wine cellar there and the splendid Renaissance fresco…..
What a view of Spello as you approach up a side road from Assisi:
And on a recent tour, a new discovery for me as well as tour guests Sue and John: outside of the medeival walls of Spello, the coat-of-arms of Pope Paul III (16th-century!) surmounts a fountain where many a local fills water bottle with this fresh and cold spring water.
After our stop at the fountain, we headed up the mountain road winding out of Spello for a visit to one of Umbria’s last “castle-villages,” Collepino.
Olive groves spread out below us and Foligno was off in the distance:
As we neared Collepino, we pulled off the road for photos of the tiny walled medieval castle-village:
Entering the medieval protective walls in local pink limestone of Collepino, the tribute to the Collepino boys who died in World War I greets the visitor, each name inscribed in the local pink limestone plaque, the laurel wreath of victory beneath the plaque:
The war monument is affixed to one of the four remaining medieval guard towers of the village: there were once seven.
You’ll spot others as you stroll the winding alleyways of this gem of a medieval fortress-village:
The slit-like opening, il feretoio (“embrasure”) at the base of the tower was for the shooting out of crossbows.
Another embrasure survives in a section of the wall near Collepino’s medieval entry and not far away an abundant rosemary bush hangs off the medieval wall, its deep green accenting the local pink limestone:
Another medeival tower – embrasure at its base – towers over the medieval wall and a plaque with the griffin (part eagle, part lion), symbol of Perugia is on the wall, indicating the subjection of the fortified village to Perugia centuries ago:
You’ll enter Collepino through a medieval arch:
Just inside the medieval arch, we stopped at the drinking fountain, a red cross inscribed in the pink limestone plaque over the date of its construction, 1548:
Another 16th-century fountain is around the corner – not built for drinking water and for thirsty animals but for the wash area for the local women:
As you walk Collepino, winding narrow alleyways in the rosy pink limestone are flanked by medieval homes of the same stone.
These pink limestone streets – each one an artisanal masterpiece – loop around the tiny Collepino church:
Pointed arches over the entryways are testament to Collepiino’s medieval past….
Outside of an ancient wooden door of a stall, a rusty ladder and a cane-seated chair mended with rope flanked a broom – made of broom.
I had showed Sue and John a broom plant growing on the edge of town….
In May and June, the plants are abundant with perfumed yellow flowers…
but at the end of summer, the dried bloom bushes are cut and bound by the farmers for use as brooms to clean out the stalls.
As you leave Collepino, a frescoed Madonna holding the Christ Child – always fresh flowers before her – seems to bid “arrivederci.”
The Christ Child’s hand is raised in blessing:
…..perhaps to wish the visitor a buon viaggio…..and a return soon to Collepino?