Valfabbrica

Valfabbrica, between art, culture and trekking

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Valfabbrica, situated on the slopes of Monte delle Croci, is on the left bank of the river Chiascio
The area lies at the centre of the Assisi-Perugia-Gubbio triangle, amidst green hills and forests, and is one of the natural oases typical of the Umbrian foothills of the Apennines.
The origins of the castle of Valfabbrica, documented from the 9th century, are closely linked to the fortunes of the Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria, of which it was a possession. Today, near the cemetery, only the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta remains of this ancient monastery. It has been largely restored, with frescoes by the Umbrian School of the 14th century. The Church is referred to as the place where St Francis was welcomed after leaving Assisi, en route to Gubbio.
The castle of Valfabbrica was long disputed between Perugia, Gubbio and Assisi, which rebuilt the fortifications in the 13th century, parts of which are still preserved today. The ancient structure retains its mighty tower, which was once the gate of the castle. A second tower was added at the end of 1100, and as time passed it assumed the function of bell tower. Within the castle is the Chiesa di San Sebastiano (14th century), renovated in the 17th century with the addition of altars on the side walls.
Along the main road is the modern Parish Church of Santa Maria Assunta, built in 1960 to a design by the architect Primo Saccardi.
Each year, between late August and early September, the city revives the medieval atmosphere with the Autumn Festival and the Palio di Valfabbrica. These festivals feature local historical re-enactments, with huge numbers of both people and events.
Valfabbrica is also a place of pilgrimage and nature excursions, and is part of the Franciscan Assisi-Gubbio Path of Peace, walked in 1207 by St Francis after his famous dispossession of suffering, clothes and money in the square in Assisi. It is also a stop on the Via di Francesco.