Today I am going to introduce you to the medieval hill town of Città della Pieve in Umbria, Italy.
Città della Pieve
Castello della Pieve
Città della Pieve is an Italian hill town in the Province of Perugia, Umbria which dates back to the 7th century AD. In the 11th Century the settlement was enclosed within walls becoming the ‘Castello della Pieve’, its old name. The modern name was assigned to the town by Pope Clement VIII in the 17th Century. The main buildings were built between the 13th and 16th century from the red bricks for which the town became famous. You can see examples of red brick construction in many of my images. You can read more about the history of the town here.
The Town Has Real Presence
Città della Pieve looks down on the surrounding countryside. The two tall towers of the Duomo (cathedral) and the Torre del Pubblico can clearly be seen for miles around down in the valley below. The area in which the town sits is surrounded by Etruscan tombs.
Birthplace of Artists and the Perugino Roof
It is the birthplace of il Perugino (Pietro Vannucci about 1450) and Niccolò Circignani (about 1520). As well as being a famous artists, Perugino is known for a particular style of roof that you can see all around the local area. When we had a roof placed on our outside terrace we chose to have it ‘Perugino style’. You can see an example of the roof in Perugino’s painting ‘L’Adorazione dei Magi‘ which is in the Oratorio di Santa Maria dei Bianchi in Città della Pieve.
Hidden Gems Down Alleyways
As a town to walk around, Città della Pieve is a delight. Although it is bustling with visitors during the tourist season, it retains the feeling of normal Italian lifestyle. If you walk away from the main square and central area, be prepared to see some beautiful old alleyways, archways and other architectural features. I confess to having been totally seduced by the hidden views that you stumble upon as you wander around the town.
The red brick architecture is simply stunning. A beautiful contrast of dark and shade as you walk through an alleyway and then bright sunlight as you emerge into the light. A wonderful array of archways await to be discovered.
Events to Watch Out For
Apart from the weekly market which is held on a Saturday, Città della Pieve participates in Umbria Jazz and Trasimeno Blues. In June there is the famous flower festival ‘infiorita‘ when the streets are covered in designs made from flower petals. A medieval pageant, ‘Palio dei Terzieri’ is held in August and in September there is a saffron festival (saffron being a local crop).
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!