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Montefalco: the railing of Umbria

And in out for the runaway Ox!


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Where is


06036 Montefalco PG, Italia (444m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

"It rises high and swaggering on a hill " - Hermann Hesse wrote in 1907 - "and despite its seemingly warlike air is today one of the most peaceful places in the world..." Montefalco occupies the summit overlooking the Topino and Clitunno valleys, offering such a wide panorama as to justify the popular appellation 'railing of Umbria.' The original name was Coccorone, later changed to its present one to please Emperor Frederick II, falconer par excellence, who stayed there in 1240.

Why it is special

The forma urbis is exemplary: at the highest point of the village stands out the almost circular-shaped square, a medieval setting with the Town Hall, the church of San Filippo Neri and the palaces of the main town families. From this central point, a radius of five gently sloping streets divides the township into districts. All of this, within the circle of walls that follow the slope of the hill, opened by the gates of Sant'Agostino, the Rocca and San Bartolomeo.

Not to be missed

Any time of year is favorable for visiting one of Umbria's most charming villages. Those who love folklore, costumed re-enactments and food festivals, however, should not miss theAugust in Montefalco, three weeks in which events of the most varied kinds follow one another at a heart-stopping pace. The most spectacular: "La fuga del Bove," a team race - six neighborhood boys and a snow-white Chianina steer - that sympathetically reprises an ancient town joust.

A bit of history

In ancient times, the Via Flaminia, which passed through Spoleto and Foligno, was the pulsing artery of this part of Umbria. Montefalco saw it only at a distance, but this did not prevent it from hosting a religious center, the monastery of San Francesco, which in the 14th century was defined as "of world prestige." The frescoes painted by Benozzo Gozzoli: Stories of St. Francis, a work of extraordinary fame, which over the centuries has attracted scholars and enthusiasts from all over Europe to Montefalco, remain as evidence of this.


he name of Montefalco is inextricably linked to one of Italy's most titled wines, Sagrantino, made from a red berry grape that is the exclusive pride of the municipality, apparently imported in the Middle Ages by Byzantine monks. Testifying to this, in the monastery of St. Francis, are the so-called Cantine dei Frati, that is, the rooms of the monastery intended for the production of a wine that in the raisin version was considered "da Messa," a sacred beverage, hence the name that still distinguishes it.

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Francesco Soletti

Many associate Montefalco with Sagrantino, and in searching for its origins they discover a village of enchantment.