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Spoleto and the Surroundings
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Spoleto Outside the Walls

Itinerary # 3

Along the road to Monteluco, close to the Southern access to town, there rises the church of San Pietro, one of the most important churches in Umbria. The present shape dates back to the end of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th century, the most flourishing period of Romanesque architecture in Spoleto. Its precious façade testifies it, whose reliefs show scenes from the life of the saint apostle and episodes by the moralistic purpose, from the Middle Ages' short story writing.
From the upper Fortilizio dei Mulini, there starts the charming promenade "Giro dei Condotti", which offers one among the most beautiful sights on the town. The footpath ends by the Ponzianina quarter, not far away from the Monastery and Church of San Ponziano. It is here that, according to the tradition, the young Spoleto martyr Ponziano was buried in 175 AD, to become later patron saint of the town. The façade of the church shows the usual features of Spoleto Romanesque between the end of 12th and the beginning of 13th century.

Not far away there is the basilica of San Salvatore, by the exceptional artistic and historical value. Originally dedicated to the martyrs Concordio and Senzia, it was possibly built by the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 5th century.

The basilical plant and the decorations on the prospect have led to think that the building be the peculiar product

of an exceptional, ancient renaissance of classical art, in which Western- and Eastern-Christian elements recur.

At this point of the itinerary you go back towards the lower part of the town, to Piazza della Vittoria, where there is the Ponte Sanguinario (underground), from the 1st century BC. Past the modern Porta San Gregorio you're in Piazza Garibaldi, with the church of San Gregorio Maggiore. Great part of the present building dates back to the 12th century, but the church is older. Often reworked during the 16th and 18th century, it still shows a similar aspect to various other local churches, an evidence of the Lombard penetration.
From Via dell'Anfiteatro you reach the former Monastero della Stella, where there is the 18th-century old church of SS Stefano and Tommaso, the monastic buildings and the Amphitheatre from the 2nd century AD, now on its way to be restored.

Going on along Via dell'Anfiteatro and Via Cecili, you can catch a glimpse of the ancient urban wall best preserved part ; a lower layer dates back to the 6th century BC, an upper one to the times the Roman colony was founded (241 BC).
Shortly after, the 13th-century old Torre dell'Olio stands out against the sky. Its name recalls the defensive habit of pouring boiling oil from the tower over assaulters. Close to the tower there is Porta Fuga, thus named after Hannibal's retreat from Spoleto in 217 BC. From Piazza Torre dell'Olio you may take Via Gregorio Elladio, to reach the church and former convent of San Nicolò, an old Augustinian settlement. Owned by the Town's Administration, nowadays it hosts conventions and cultural events.

Coming back and going on along Via Pierleone Leoni, you reach the church of San Domenico, with its rare ornament of white and pink marble and, past the bend, the Teatro Nuovo, built between 1854 and 1864 by Ireneo Aleandri. Going on along Via Filitteria you reach the church of SS Giovanni and Paolo, Romanesque church with important frescoes from the 12th/13th century. If you walk along the left side of the Theatre instead, you may easily reach Borgo San Matteo, a.k.a. Borgaccio, a medieval quarter between the Roman boundary wall and the medieval one, risen at the end of the 13th century. From Porta San Matteo you may go on towards the church of Madonna di Loreto or to the church of San Paolo inter vineas, interesting Romanesque monument, decorated with 13th-century old frescoes.
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