Perfect Spoleto

Yesterday I gave you a preview of the loveliness of Spoleto, but now I’ll actually enumerate all of its charms in writing. In all of my previous visits to Italy Spoleto was not on my radar. But in May, while I was in the US, my dear companion was in Rome for a few weeks and he wanted to go on a day-trip. His initial plan of going far south had to be scuttled and so I hunted around and around for an ideal destination and came up with Spoleto. Not too far from Rome, there seemed to be nice sights, and inexpensive to boot. My dear companion was enchanted, and I’ve been dreaming of Spoleto ever since.

looking over the back of the cathedral (church on the right) from the hill above
looking over the back of the cathedral (church on the right) from the hill above

And when I finally made it to Spoleto the other day, it was even better than I thought it was going to be. Only about an hour and a half away on the train, the city is up on a high, high hill in the wild Umbrian countryside, which is like Tuscany, but better. There are bits of Roman ruins, medieval churches, Renaissance paintings, Baroque re-dos and modern conveniences like a huge outdoor escalator for people to reach the top of the hill with ease. The sight Spoleto is probably best known for is this giant bridge:

GIANT bridge!
GIANT bridge!

Which is actually high enough to be scary to walk across, but also unlike any other structure I’ve seen in Italy. Everything about Spoleto was dramatic and awesome. You would turn a little corner and be confronted with the remains of a Roman arch:

arches be archin'
arches be archin’

Or a castle up on the hill:

castle! this photo was taken from the giant bridge

Or, have Filippo Lippi’s AWESOMELY AWESOME, unsung, unfamous, but ASTONISHINGLY BEAUTIFUL cathedral choir frescoes all to yourself:

too much awesomeness to bear!
too much awesomeness to bear!

Also, like in most smaller, lesser visited towns, lunch was delicious and cheap. So, basically, Spoleto is perfect. From what I understand, Spoleto isn’t considered to be much of a destination, aside from its annual Due Mondi arts festival. I suppose it’s just the vagaries of travel trends, but Spoleto’s awesomeness cannot be denied. It might be my new favorite day-trip from Rome! Sorry Orvieto, you’ve been de-throned!


2 thoughts on “Perfect Spoleto

  1. Hello Brenna,

    I just got your website from Marianne Graham, your grandmother. She is my mother’s cousin. My mother passed away in 1991. Her name was Helen “Hannah” Pierce. My maiden name is of course, Pierce. I go professionally by Donna Pierce Clark. You can see my art work at

    Nice to “meet” you!

    I don’t see a way on your blog to subscribe to updates.
    Is there a way you can keep me updated automatically into my email inbox. I would love to follow your travels.

    Blessings to you!


    1. Dear Donna,

      It’s nice to “meet” you! Say hello to my grandmother for me! Thanks very much for reading! If you would like to Follow my blog, there’s a button you can click on the upper right-hand corner of the main page that says “Follow Ruins and Relics.” That should send you email updates about when I post (which is usually every weekday). I looked at your paintings, they’re lovely! Again, thanks for following my travels!
      Best wishes,

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