Art in Umbria

Discover the rocche (fortresses) Albornoziane in Umbria

Immerse yourself in the 1300 history, to discover the fortresses wanted by the Spanish Cardinal Egidio Albornoz, to feel like a medieval knight or a dame. 

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Tourist information and welcome office
Piazza del Comune 22 - 06081 Assisi
Tourist information and welcome office
Piazza della Libertà 7 - 06049 Spoleto
Tourist information and welcome office
Via Cassian Bon, 4 - 05100 Terni

Egidio Albornoz was a Spanish cardinal, politician and leader. He arrived in Italy at about the second half of the 1300 according to the will of Pope Innocenzo the 6th who, at that time, was in Avignone, with the aim of consolidating the power of the Pontifical State.

The Cardinal was responsible for reconquering wide territories of the central Italy, carrying out a policy of control also thanks to the so called "Fortresses". Indeed he had numerous fortifications built with the aim not only of reinforcing the Papal state at the military level, but above all to allow a control over communication roads as well as over the population.

After this quick historical outline, you can start the tour crossing all Umbria to discover the Rocche (Fortresses) Albornoziane in Narni, Spoleto and Assisi, that dominate the underlying cities in a perfect state of conservation.

The path is going to start in Assisi, from the Biggest Fortress (Rocca Maggiore) occupying the top of the Asio mountain. From here, thanks to its location, you can enjoy a wonderful view. Then you can go on with the fortress visit: inside its halls, you can admire some re-enactments inspired to the medieval life.

Originally, this fortress was a feudal castle built according to the will of Federico Barbarossa: the first historical information dates back to the 1174. In 1198 it was strongly damaged by the Assisi citizens during the popular revolts supporting the independence. It remained destroyed until the intervention of Albornoz who had it rebuilt by reusing a portion of the western external walls as well as part of the internal ones.

By going on with the itinerary, at about 50 kilometers from Assisi, you can meet Spoleto and its Fortress: it's for sure one of the most representative monuments of the city.

Located on the Saint Helen hill, the fortress raises over the Monteluco wood that is connected with the monumental Bridge Aqueduct of Towers. The works for its building are documented starting from 1362 and have been directed from Matteo di Giovannello, called the Gattapone.

Inside its rectangular framework, you can visit the extraordinary National Museum of Spoleto Dukedom, open to the public since 2007, including works dating back to a wide time frame, going from the fourth to the fifteenth century, the period of the Spoleto Dukedom. If you fancy taking a walk, we advise you to do the Fortress Tour: a path about one kilometer long, where you will be able to admire the most significant monuments of the city.

Your path among fortresses can end with the visit to the Narni fortress. It's the most southern fortress in Umbria, at about 50 kilometers from Spoleto and very few kilometers from the Narni historical center. It was erected in the second half of the 1300 and, thanks to its recent renovations, today it hosts a big interactive museum.

So, if you are in children's company, this is the right occasion to make them discover the Middle Age fascination. Coming back to the fortress, inside that, you will be able to admire environments, many of which perfectly rebuilt, to admire and to discover the way of dressing, as well as getting to know the musical instruments and the weapons used in the Middle Ages.

Beyond the classical visit, you will be able to relive the Middle Age in the real sense of the word. Indeed, from April to September, guides dressed in ancient clothes are going to accompany you in an alternative visit during which you will be able to challenge relatives and friends in the nut game and put the ring on, as well as try the archery or competing using the sword. 


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