Sightseeing Tours of Umbria & Sagrantino Wine

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Sagrantino Wine

Sagrantino Wine - Barrel
Sagrantino Wine - GlassesSagrantino Wine - BarrelsSagrantino Wine - Grape

The Sagrantino di Montefalco Wine, or simply called Sagrantino, is an Italian wine produced with 100% Sagrantino grape. This grape variety is cultivated only in the Province of Perugia, particularly in the Montefalco and Bevagna area. 25 producers have dedicated about 250 acres of land to this unique grape. This small production is probably the reason why this delicious wine is not always very well-known outside Italy.

In 1991 the Sagrantino gained the DOCG title (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin); this is the highest rank for an Italian wine.

There are two variations for this wine: the Sagrantino Secco (Dry Sagrantino) and the Sagrantino Passito. The first one is a rich dry red wine with an inky purple color and a bouquet of red fruit, plum and cinnamon. The Passito is a dessert wine thicker and sweeter than the dry version.

After the vendemmia the wine is conserved in oak barrel for 1year and than transferred in regular barrels for other 18 months.

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The wine production of this area can count on a very long tradition; it was already well known during the roman period. For centuries the Sangrantino grape was used mostly for the passito wine. Only in 1976 the trend started to change and the Sagrantino Dry began to become the main production.


Bevagna - Piazza Silvestri
Bevagna - Duomo - InteriorBevagna - FountainBevagna - Church of Madonna della Neve

Bevagna is a little beautiful town located in the province of Perugia, Umbria.

As many Umbrian cities Bevagna’s origin is Etruscan. When the roman took the Etruscan dominions it became a roman municipality.

The roman domination’s presence is still evident. Two temples, mosaics and an amphitheatre are visible when wondering around the city. The walls built during this period were destroyed and it is believed that the medieval fortification was built on top of the ancient one.

When the Lombards conquered central Italy Bevagna became part of the Duchy of Spoleto. In the year 1000 the town became a free commune. In 1152 Bevagna followed the unfortunate destiny of many cities of the area and it was destroyed by the Frederick Barbarossa’s army. Not even 100 years later what was rebuilt was destroyed again by the Count of Aquino. After few centuries of relative quiet Bevagna became part of the Papal States; in the late 19th century the city was annexed into the newly born Italian Reign.

Things to see

Piazza di Silvestri is the principal square of Bevagna. Palazzo dei Consoli, a beautiful example of gothic architecture, and the Church of St. Sylvester and St. Michael overlook the piazza. The two churches were built by the architects Brunello and Ridolfo during the 12th century. A fountain was added in the 19th century.

The Churches of St. Francis and of The Madonna of the Snow are worth a visit too. They were built on an area were once stand a Roman Temple and the Roman Bath.

The interesting city’s history is showcased in a small museum located in the city hall.

In June Bevagna hosts a Medieval Festival. The city streets become the stage of a “medieval city”, the visitor will feel the thrill of living in the past.


Montefalco - view
Montefalco - Piazza Palazzo ComunaleMontefalco - Chiesa di Santa LuciaSagrantino Wine - Barrels

Montefalco is an enchanting little town situated high in the Colli Martani, in the Umbria region.

The town was founded by the ancient Umbri Tribe. Montefalco was dominated by the Etruscans, the Romans and the Lombards. In the mid 13th century it was destroyed by Frederick Barbarossa’s army. The Porta di Federico II (Door of Frederick II) still showcases the Swabian Cross and the Imperial Eagle to remember the Emperor’s “passage”. The town later became a free commune governed by the local nobles. In 1446 Montefalco was annexed to the Papal States until in 1861 it became part of the Italian Reign.

The city has many beautiful churches that spaced from the Romanesque to the Renaissance style. The most famous one is the deconsecrated Church of St. Francis today converted into the city’s museum. The Church was built by the Franciscan monks in 1336. The façade was heavily remodeled during the 16th century. The 15th century frescoes dedicated to the life of St. Francis are gorgeous.

Another beautiful church is the one dedicated to Saint Agostino, it is a beautiful example of gothic style.

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The most important public buildings of the city are located in the central Piazza del Comune; they were all built between the 15th and 16th centuries. The Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall) in particular has gorgeous windows dated 13th century and a beautiful 15th century portal.

The Montefalco countryside is very famous for the production of wines. Every year around the Easter period the town hosts the Settimana Enologica (Wine Week). the most famous wines of the area are the Montefalco Rosso, a simple red table wine, the sophisticated Sagrantino Wine and the Montefalco Sagrantino Secco.


Spoleto - Roman Theatre
Spoleto - Rocca Albornoziana - viewSpoleto - Ponte delle TorriSpoleto - Village - view

Spoleto is part of the province of Perugia; it is one of the oldest cities in Umbria. The city is located between Rome and Assisi on a low hill at the base of the Apennines.

Spoleto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Thanks to its strategic geographical location Spoleto have been very important since the Umbri tribes’ time. They fortified the town in the 5th century BCE; it is still possible to see part of the walls.

During the Roman period it was a flourishing city, its wine was already very popular.

Under the Lombards domination Spoleto became the capital of the Duchy of Spoleto; in 774 it was annexed to the Holy Roman Empire. Almost four centuries later the city was destroyed by Frederick Barbarossa. In 1213 the town became part of the Papal States.

At the beginning of the 19th century when Napoleon’s troops conquered part of the Italian territory Spoleto became the capital of the Trasimene Department. Not even five years later the city went back under the Papal command. In 1860 it became part of the Italian Reign.

Spoleto is dominated by the Albornoz fortress; the fort is considered the symbol of the city. The building was constructed at the end of the 14th century by the architect Matteo Gattapone of Gubbio for Cardinal Albornoz. The Fortress is formed by six towers that divided the structure in two separated spaces: the Cortile delle Armi and the Cortile d’onore. The first one was used by the army while the second one by the Spoleto’s governor.

Very famous is the Camera Pinta (Painted Room) with its stunning frescoes.

The fortress protected the city from many attacks for centuries. At the beginning of the 19th century however it was converted in a jail. Only in 2007 was opened to the public as a museum.

Walking around Spoleto its history will unfold in front of your eyes. In particular the roman presence is still strong; many roman buildings survived the centuries: the Ponte Sanguinario (Bloody Bridge) dated 1st century BCE; a gorgeous house with stunning mosaics floors (probably the house of the Emperor Vespasian’s mother); a theatre and an amphitheater. The last two were heavily rebuilt many times. On the theatre’s stage it was built the former Church of St. Agatha that today houses the National Archeological Museum, however part of the ancient theatre is still used to host various performances. The amphitheatre was converted many times: it became a fortress, later it was used for storage and divided in many shops, and finally when the Albornoz fortress was erected many of its stones were used as building material.

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Notable are also the numerous churches of Spoleto. The Duomo of S. Maria Assunta (Assumption of Mary) is a beautiful example of Romanesque style. The construction started at the end of the 12th century and it was completed in 1227. The Cathedral houses the tomb of the famous artist Filippo Lippi and an original letter wrote by Saint Francis of Assisi.

The Church of San Pietro extra Moenia is considered together with the Church of San Rufino in Assisi the best representation of Umbrian Romanesque architecture. The first church was built on top of a necropolis in 419 to store the chains of Saint Peter; however there are many doubts about their authenticity. Many renovations have interested the building; the most important it was the one that added the Romanesque façade with stunning relief decoration. During the baroque period the interior was restyled.

The Basilica of San Salvatore is considered a very important example of Early Christian Architecture. Originally built during the 4th century it was renovated during the Lombards dominations. In 2011 the UNESCO nominated it a World Heritage Site.