The Etruscans lived here in the 4th century BCE, followed by the Romans, and in 1136 the castrum of Corciano was listed as one of the possessions Pope Innocence II confirmed ownership of in a report to the bishop of Perugia. In 1223, Saint Francis was on his way back from Maggiore Island on Lake Trasimeno, where he had spent Lent, and stopped in Corciano. In memory of his passing through town, according to tradition, construction was begun on the Church of San Francesco. In 1334 a Papal Bull issued by Pope John XXII authorised the building of a monastic complex for the Augustinians. In 1364, the castle was sacked by the Compagnia Bianca in the service of the Papal Legate, Egidio Albornoz. In 1416, the soldier of fortune Braccio Fortebraccio da Montone conquered Corciano after a long siege. In 1482 they began construction on the tower of Porta Santa Maria to bolster the defences of the castle. In 1860, it became part of the Kingdom of Italy.
ART, CULTURE, ENVIRONMENT
High city walls enclose the medieval castle of Corciano, a town steeped in history and rich with works of art. It is a town of narrow streets, stairs, palazzos, towers, gardens, churches and bell towers, all set in a framework of intact medieval allure.
Not to be missed: in the historical centre is the tower of Porta Santa Maria, the main Piazza Coragino with its 16th century well, City Hall, residence of the Corgna Dukes in the 16th century, the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo and the Palazzo dei Priori, the church of Santa Maria Assunta, which houses a painting by Perugino entitled Assunta (1513) and the city banner painted in 1472 by Benedetto Bonfigli, and, finally, the Gothic-style Church-cum-museum of San Francesco, home to frescoes dating back to the late 13th-early 14th century. Under its floor are 21 family tombs closed with stone slabs that bear the heraldic emblems of the town's most important families.
Another point of interest is the church of Sant'Agostino (1334), set on top of a hill dotted with olive trees facing the hill on which Corciano rises. It is home to various paintings from the 13th century and wooden statues of the patron saints San Michele Arcangelo, San Sebastiano, San Rocco and San Macario.
Inside Corciano you can visit the 16th century Church of San Cristoforo, the museum of the Pievania and in a typical home in the centre, on Via Tarragone, is the peasant's house museum.
Outside the walls, on Via Cornaletto, in a modern building destined to become a cultural centre of great importance for the region, is the Antiquarium, which houses paleontological, prehistoric, Etruscan and Roman relics from all over the surrounding area.
In the environs of the town, aside from the Strozzacapponi Etruscan necropolis, the magnificent castle of Pieve del Vescovo, restored and turned into a villa designed by the architect Galeazzo Alessi in 1570, is also well worth a visit. As is the little church dedicated to Saint John, home to a lovely fresco by the artists of the school of Il Perugino. Other major points of interest are the castles of San Mariano, Mantignana and Solomeo, a beautifully renovated town, Chiugiana, Castelvieto, Capocavallo and Migiana, where there is a quarry of great paleontological interest with numerous ammonite fossils.
The region around Corciano is home to an environmental and naturalistic heritage of importance on a European scale. From the town you can enjoy wonderful views that span from the verdant tops of Monte Malbe, Monte Tezio and Monte Acuto to that of far away Monte Amiata, which on clear days is visible in the distance. The top of Monte Malbe, known as Colle della Trinità, is a wooded area of typical Mediterranean vegetation and includes several different species: holm, turkey and sessile oak trees, arbutus and juniper.