The Città della Pieve undergrounds
An itinerary to get to know the hidden treasures of the Perugino homeland
Piazza Mazzini 10 - 06061 Castiglione del Lago
Città della Pieve, a border town combining naturally and harmoniously traces of Umbria, Tuscany and Lazio, is placed on a hill overlooking the Valdichiana and the Trasimeno Lake.
Seen from above, its urban setting recalls the shape of an eagle, whose parts coincide with the three Districts, the areas making up the city in the medieval epoch. Yet, even seen from below, the Perugino homeland knows how to surprise its visitors.
Then leave for a journey that will bring you in its undergrounds, among ancient prisons, crypts and tunnels twists.
The Cathedral’s Undergrounds
The Cathedral of Città della Pieve, devoted to the SS. Gervasio and Protasio, is located in the area hosting Piazza Gramsci and Plebiscito, the most central squares of the town.
Its undergrounds, particularly the so called “crypt”, keep important and monumental remains of a lodge, partially demolished to make space for the Cathedral’s extension.
The recent restorations opened a direct connection from the Church: we are talking about imposing finely crafted columns built in sandstone, presenting a Gothic architecture with strong cistercian influences.
The ribbed vaults are partially visible and their function must still be precisely interpreted: some scholars assume it was the lodge of a public building, whereas other think it belonged to a baptistery and to a “pilgrims arcade”.
Several traces of the original fresco decorations are still preserved along the pillars.
Duke of Corgna Cellars - Underground
A magnificent underground, still today under study and set up, has been recently found in correspondence of the Town Hall.
Actually the underground has been known for a long time but not in its full extension: the tunnels, supported by vaults of an acute arch and carved in the 16th century, were already known and have been used for years as cellars to age the wine.
Later it was discovered that these facilities represented just a part of the viable underground system: in 2014 the demolishment of an old wall of bricks allowed access to another series of cavities.
Currently the Corgna cellars are open upon request, while waiting to open also the new underground monuments to the public.
On the ground floor of the Bishop Palace there are two small prisons still keeping most of the bland plaster, with several engravings, inscriptions, dates and references, and the most ancient ones date back to the mid-17th century.
It is assumed that they were the imprisonment rooms of the Ecclesiastic Tribunal based in the town.
For further information: