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Montefalco

Description

A charming municipality in the province of Perugia, located on a hill covered with vineyards and olive trees overlooking the Umbrian valley, the town of Montefalco, surrounded by typical circular shaped ancient walls, also known as "the Balcony of Umbria", is enriched with late medieval buildings and embellished with fine Renaissance decorative elements. From the main square depart several streets, arranged like the points of the compass. The main access to the old town centre is Porta Saint Augustine, which features an arched gateway, topped by a crenellated watchtower, once part of the fortifications built in the XIV century.
The territory, included at Roman times between those of the Municipium of Mevania, became part of the territory of Spoleto. The first documented news of the presence of a castle date back to the XII century. In the nearby of the early settlement, just outside its walls, near the main entrances, developed the convents of the Augustinians and of the Franciscans and the new districts of Colle Mora and of Castellare. In the XIII century it became necessary to build new fortifications, which embraced also these new areas. Few traces remain of the old fortified walls, because they were partly demolished to give space to new buildings. In the XIV century developed also the new district of San Leonardo.
Directly involved in the struggles between the Guelphs and Ghibellines, in the XIV century, Montefalco was incorporated into the curia of Spoleto, a period in which the artistic development of the town was promoted, and thereafter in the first half of the XV century, it was assigned in fief to the Trinci, until it returned under the direct control of the Church.

Attractions:
- the Church and Convent of San Francesco, built in the XIV century, were restored in the following centuries. Within are preserved precious frescoes by Gozzoli depicting the life of St. Francis, completed in 1452; a group of late XIV century paintings, that derive from the Art School of Giovanni di Corraduccio from Foligno and a rich collection of artworks, tables and pieces of furniture;
- the Church and Convent of St. Augustine, which date back to 1275 and submitted renovations at a later date. Inside are featured several Renaissance frescoes by Umbrian artists;
- the Church of San Bartolomeo, built around year 1000, still preserves the original structure of the apse;
- the Complex of Santa Chiara, which consists of a church and a convent, built in the late XIII and early XIV centuries on the ruins of an existing chapel. It was completely rebuilt in the XVII century and inside features the chapel of Santa Croce;
- the early XIII century Convent of San Leonardo;
- the XVI century Monastery of San Clemente;
- the Church of Santa Maria de Platea;
- Porta Saint Augustine, with its square watchtower with battlements, which was the main gateway entrance to the main centre. In the lunette above the arch, it features a fresco depicting the Madonna and Saints;
- the Town Hall, built in the second half of the XIII century, is preceded by a beautiful porch added in the XV century.

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