Inside the cyclopean walls of the ancient Amelia, Umbria
Amelia (pic n°1) is located in Umbria, the region known as the green heart of Italy. This ancient village lies on a rocky hill, whose slopes are covered with holm-oak woods and olive-tree groves, alternating with the twists of river Tiber.
Amelia was established in 1134 B.C. but it seems that the area was inhabited even earlier, probably already during the Bronze Age. The real origin of Amelia is lost in many legends, in any case, its megalithic walls date back to the sixth century B.C. The walls, originally formed by huge polygonal blocks, still surround the town together with the more recent Roman and Medieval walls. Later, during the Roman Empire, Amelia had a very prosperous period and used to play an important role.
Nowadays Amelia is a small lovely village of about eleven thousand inhabitants, with many Medieval and Renaissance palaces, churches, remains of mosaics and hot springs, which has taken advantage of its favorable geographical position together with its great artistic and architectural importance.
Porta Romana (pic n°2), built in the 16th century, is the main, and also the most important entry point of the 4 gates that allow accessing the city. Dating back to Medieval times, there are some monuments, churches, and buildings you should include in your visit:
- the Church of San Pancrazio (pic n°5), whose portal is a rare example of decorative art;
- the Church of Saint Francis (pic n°4), which preserves some sculptures by Agostino di Duccio;
- the Cathedral dedicated to Saint Mary of the Assumption, which was built in the first half of the eleventh century, as evidenced by its mighty bell tower, although it was reconstructed during the Baroque era.
- the rural Church of Santa Maria delle Cinque Fonti, which has also hosted Saint Francis.
- also worth visiting and Palazzo Farrattini, both built in the sixteenth century to celebrate the Renaissance age of the town.
History lovers should also visit the Museum "Museo Civico Archeologico e Pinacoteca Edilberto Rosa" displaying a very interesting exhibition of finds from the pre-Roman period up to the early Medieval era. Here is exposed the famous bronze statue of the Roman general Nero Claudio Druse, known as the "Germanicus" (pic n°6). This beautiful bronze statue is high more than two meters, armed and covered by a richly decorated armor.
You can also visit the "Cisterne Romane", (the Roman Cistern) which consists of ten underground halls built in the first century B.C. and served to collect rainwater.
An absolutely not-to-be-missed exhibition is "Palio dei Colombi", inspired by the ancient statutes Amerini of 1346 with public parades and historic medieval tournaments, which involves more than 400 people dressed in medieval costumes.
Some pics of Amalia:
Amelia (pic n°1); Porta Romana (pic n°2); Street view (pic n°3); Church of Saint Francis (pic n°4); Church of San Pancrazio (pic n°5); The bronze statue of the Roman general Nero Claudio Druse, the "Germanicus" (pic n°6);