Spoleto stands at an altitude of 396 mt. (1300 feet) along the Flaminia Road. Its dominant and strategic position determined its status of Caput Umbriae
that lasted unceasingly from the 4th century b.C, when the city was fortified with “Cyclopean walls”, till the Unity of Italy, when the capital of the Region was transferred to Perugia. Its economical development and urban and architectonic transformations didn’t cease with the end of the Roman Empire, thanks to its Dukedom status, to the vitality maintained by the Flaminia Road and to the more or less charitable interest of several emperors, as Teodorico, who drained the surrounding valleys (at the beginning of the 6th century), Narsete who restored the town walls in 553 after the ransacking of Totila, and Barbarossa who razed the city in 1155, during the Commune age
, determining a radical urban redevelopment.
In the 13th century, the arrival in town of several mendicant religious Orders
determined a new urban expansion: Dominicans, Minor Franciscans, Augustinians, and the Terziari Continenti built several monumental compounds, while the city built a new town wall to embrace the urban growth. During the Renaissance
and in the Baroque age the patrician buildings, with their closed courtyards and stables, enriched the town’s architecture.
The transfer after 1860 of the capital region to Perugia determined the economical decay of the city, finally compensated from the ‘50s, by the tourist growth and cultural institutional events, among which the Festival of the Two Worlds, founded in 1958 by musician Gian Carlo Menotti
is available on the website of the Umbria Region
that also offers a list of travel agencies and useful maps guides in pdf format, concerning arts, culture, nature, handicrafts and cuisine.