The Beauty of Spello
by Alessandra Marzufero
Spello belongs to the Club
I Borghi Più Belli d’Italia
Thanks to its stunning location on a gentle hill in contrast with the nearby Monte Subasio, Spello is one of the Borghi più Belli d’Italia (the most beautiful hamlets of Italy).
Famous for its majestic flower decorations during Corpus Domini, which year after year become increasingly popular even outside Umbria, and during which the streets are colored with flower carpets representing religious scenes, the small village was founded by the Umbrian and then it fell under the Romans around 41 BC. In the Augustan era it was named “Splendida colonia Iulia” (Splendid Iulia Colony). The Romans gave to Spello the Empire’s typical urban structures, such as walls, spas, a theater and even waterworks that, despite the various vicissitudes – from the Barbarian invasion to the Dukedom and Papal domain, have been preserved up to now.
Thanks to the rediscovery of one of them, the hamlet has become an attraction for sportsmen as well: if you are hikers with a passion for nature there is a wonderful path for you! In fact, in 2009, a section of the Roman aqueduct was recovered thanks to a planned project by architect Stefano Antinucci, in order to create a trail for hikers and mountain bikers. The old structure made of white and rose limestone, underwent several renovations over the years and was operative until the Nineteenth Century when, due to excessive losses, it was replaced by a new structure and therefore it temporarily fell into oblivion. But today the aqueduct is an important find, preserving many original traces that can be admired during the journey, intersecting with old bridges and even a drinking trough, once used to water animals. Now, there is a little fountain from which fresh water can be drawn.
The trail has its starting point in Spello: from the city center you have to reach Fonte della Bulgarella (313 m). From there you go through a well-traced path that comes under the small and characteristic village of Collepino (456 m altitude), but of course it is also possible to walk through it in the opposite direction, and indeed, it is considered as the natural continuation of the pre-existing Path 52, which directly connects Mount Subasio to Collepino. It develops for about 5 km and is predominantly flat, and it is suitable for hikers of all ages, including children and the elderly. Along it there are benches that allow people to rest, but, above all, to enjoy and admire the surrounding scenery: glimpses on the Chiona Valley, the Apennine hills and Spello are undoubtedly good reasons to undertake this walk.
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