Fossato di Vico first developed because of its strategic importance on the Flaminian Way, but for this same reason, after the fall of the Roman Empire it was also the cause of violent clashes between the Goths and Byzantines and of later battles over control of the area which continued through the Middle Ages. In the 10th century it was a fief of the counts of Nocera, and in the 12th it passed to the counts of Marsciano who, after subjecting it first to Gubbio and then to Perugia, finally sold it to Gubbio. In the 13th century, after Perugia had conquered the area militarily, it established itself as an independent commune. In 1442 it succeeded in resisting against the attacks by the troops of Francesco Sforza, but in 1500 Cesare Borgia, son of the Pope, sacked and destroyed the town, as did the Duke of Urbino in 1517. In 1540 it became part of the Papal States and remained such, apart from the brief Napoleonic period, until the creation of the Kingdom of Italy (1860).
ART, CULTURE, ENVIRONMENT
The municipal territory is divided into two parts, one linear and level along the Flaminia state road and the other perched on the hillside. The latter, called Fossato Alto, is a typical medieval village, with beautiful historic buildings, such as the Old Town Hall, the Clock Tower built by the Gricci brothers, the Crenellated Tower above the entrance gate, and old religious buildings such as the Church of San Pietro, dug into the rock and built in the French Gothic style imported by the Cistercians, the Church of San Benedetto, a Benedictine abbey and today a national monument, which has the remains of frescoes from the Gubbio school and a portrait of Urban V by Matteo da Gualdo.
Then there are the extraordinarily beautiful "Rughe", a street covered by round-arched stone vaults, a rare example of 13th-century castle architecture having a chiefly defensive function. Also of interest are the Chapel of the Piaggiola, with excellent frescoes by Ottaviano Nelli of Gubbio, the Camaldolite Church of San Cristoforo (13th cent.), the Church of San Sebastiano and the Monastery of Santa Maria della Fonte (13th century), a community of Benedictine cloistered nuns. Another sight deserving of a visit is the Municipal Antiquarium, which documents Republican and late Imperial Roman sites and artifacts.
Nearby is the Roman Bridge dating from the 1st century BC, the San Giovanni Bridge from the Augustan age situated along the Flaminian Way, and the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Ghea, in the open countryside. Part of the municipal territory lies within Mt. Cucco Regional Park, a natural protected area since 1995. It has a very rich landscape and environmental heritage, both for its fauna (foxes, weasels, martens, wild boar, squirrels, hares) and its flora.