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Norcia

Description

The town's name probably derives from the Etruscan name "Northia", which is the name of the Roman goddess "Fortune".
Municipality in the province of Perugia, located on the Western edge of the plateau of St. Scholastica, in a wide valley protected by the Sibillini Mountains, the town of Norcia is intersected by roads, that feature Neoclassical buildings, in contrast with the imprint typically conferred by the medieval walls. It is famous for being the birthplace of St. Benedict. The area is characterized by great diversity in terms of landscape, located between the Umbria-Marche Apennines and Valnerina, with pastures and woods, enriched by a great variety of flora and fauna.
The area was inhabited since the Neolithic period, as evidenced by the several traces, while the first settlement was founded by the Sabines, probably in the V century, with the name of " Nursia". It was subdued by the Romans in the III century B.C. and became a Roman Municipality and Prefecture. Once the Empire dissolved, the town was destroyed by the Goths and conquered by the Lombards. In the early IX century the main center suffered numerous Saracen attacks. After gaining independence and proclaimed municipality, Norcia became part of the possessions of the Papal States and, although reluctant, after several attempts of cleavage, the citizens voluntarily submitted themselves to the Pope's rules in the XVI century.

Attractions:
- the Church of San Benedetto, located in the homonymous square, was built in 1389 on the ruins of an existing building, which, traditionally, is believed to have been the dwell of the saint. The current building was remodeled in the XIX century. The church is preceded by a large staircase and features a gabled façade with rich central rosette window above a Gothic portal and two niches that house the statues of St. Scholastica and St. Benedict. The interior features a single nave plan with a semicircular apse and in the crypt, there are visible remains of Roman walls. On the right hand side, before reaching the Bell Tower, there is the famous Loggia dei Mercanti, an arcade of the XVI century, which still preserves, on its walls, the grain measures used by the merchants in the Middle Ages;
- the Cathedral, built in the second half of the XVI century and renovated in the XVIII century, features a beautiful Gothic portal and a massive Bell Tower;
- the XIV century Church of St. Augustine, which features frescoes dating from the XV and XVI centuries;
- the XIV century Church of St. John, which houses important artworks of the artist Dalmata;
- the XIV century Church of San Francesco;
- the medieval Town Hall with a beautiful porch, on which stands a portico of the XIX century and flanked by an XVIII century Bell Tower;
- La Castellina, a XVI century fortress with four corner watchtowers, designed by the architect Vignola for Pope Julius III and currently houses the Civic Museum;
- the Shrine, built in limestone, with a square base and arches, which date back to the XIV century;
- the XIV century medieval town walls with bastions and watchtowers.

Map

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