CATHEDRAL OF SANTA MARIA ASSUNTA
The Cathedral’s construction began after 1155 - the year when Spoleto was devastated by Frederick Barbarossa’s imperial army – upon the site of the ancient Cathedral of Santa Maria del Vescovato, built between the eighth and ninth centuries.
The interior of the Cathedral, entirely rebuilt in the seventeenth century and further renovated by the architect Giuseppe Valadier in the eighteenth century, among other works, accomodates a bust of Urban VIII by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and frescoes by Pinturicchio, Annibale Carracci and Filippo Lippi. The Cross painted by Alberto Sotio, among the best examples of Romanesque in Italy, is displayed in the left aisle. A letter written by Saint Francis is still preserved in the Chapel of the Relics.
TEATRO NUOVO GIAN CARLO MENOTTI
Built in the nineteenth century upon the area of a religious complex which stood on Roman baths of the second century and designed by Ireneo Aleandri, its rich interior boasts four tiers of boxes and a gallery. The external niches house four statues of the seventeenth century, a gift from Maestro Gian Carlo Menotti, founder and first artistic director of Spoleto Festival dei 2Mondi. The theater also holds a concert hall designed by Aleandri as well, and the museum created by Adriano Belli - founder in 1947 of the Teatro Lirico Sperimentale - which testifies the intense theater activities of Spoleto, and preserves letters written by Rossini and Verdi.
TEATRO CAIO MELISSO SPAZIO FENDI
After several transformations of its original wooden structure, this seventeenth-century theater of Spoleto - among the oldest Italian theaters with boxes - was rebuilt in the nineteenth century and, after long neglect, opened up again in the middle of the twentieth century. It is with the restoration of the two precious nineteenth century curtains and the scenic apparatus, that the complete renovation, carried out by the Carla Fendi Foundation, is inaugurated today.
Dating back to the first century AD, damaged and already restored in Roman times, it suffered collapses, overlaps and dismemberments before being excavated in the nineteenth century and restored starting from 1954. It accommodates beautiful outdoor performances of the Spoleto Festival dei 2Mondi. The adjacent monastery houses the National Archaeological Museum.
CHURCH OF SAN NICOLÓ
Built by the Augustinian friars on the area of San Massimo’s Church and the ancient San Nicolò di Bari Church, it was an important cultural center for centuries. Severely damaged by the earthquake of 1767 - with an almost total loss of the decorations and the many chapels built from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century – it was restored after more than two centuries. Today, the complex maintains a very large Great Hall covered with truss beams and a majestic umbrella vault opened by means of double lancet windows.
CHURCH OF SS. SIMONE AND GIUDA
Built by the Franciscan friars in the thirteenth century, it underwent several renovations and was finally turned into a barrack after the unification of Italy, but then severely damaged. Afterwards the whole complex was used as a boarding school for orphans of state employees. The imposing façade of the Church retains the characteristics of the local Gothic, influenced by the Romanesque. Recently renovated, the complex now hosts events and shows.
It is a massive fortress on the highest point of Spoleto, which in the fifth century BC was the site of the Acropolis, a worship center of which no trace remains following the medieval interventions. Built starting from 1359 to reaffirm the Pope’s authority in central Italy, it gets its name from the Spanish Cardinal Egidio Albornoz, sent to Italy by Pope Innocent VI. Residence of Papal governors, among others it hosted Julius II and Lucrezia Borgia, ruler of the Duchy from 1499 to 1502. Over the years it was enriched with decorations and frescoes, many of which were lost when the building was converted into a prison in 1817, whose function was maintained until 1982. After the end of a long process of recovery it now houses the National Museum of the Duchy of Spoleto, a multipurpose hall and an outdoor theater for 1,200 spectators. It is home to the European School of Book Restoration and a diagnostic laboratory for the restoration of cultural heritage. A park, a restaurant, a guesthouse and several shops complete the structure of the complex.
AUDITORIUM DELLA STELLA
Built in the eighteenth century upon Battista Dotti’s design and commonly called Santa Maria della Stella, the Church of the Saints Stefano and Tommaso is one of the most important examples of eighteenth-century Neoclassical architecture in towns. Recently used as an auditorium, it hosts important cultural events.
Historic cinema of Spoleto, it has been recently renovated by the Italian firm Frau.
PALAZZO LETI SANSI
Built in the seventeenth century upon the area once occupied by the Palazzo del Podestà, it has recently undergone a discerning restoration. The exterior features an elegantly carved portal and the interior the noble floor which preserves precious wood ceilings and a fully painted ballroom. The building – today one of the venues of the "Wines in the World" exhibition - hosts important exhibits during the Spoleto Festival dei 2Mondi.
PALAZZO RACANI ARRONI
The palace, built in the early 1500s, originally belonged to the Racanis, illustrious family of Spoleto, which between the seventeenth and the eighteenth century was passed on to the Brancaleoni and Arroni families. It is located to the right of the entrance steps to Piazza del Duomo and has a gray façade embellished with beautiful graffito decorations, unfortunately very damaged, which were probably carried out by the local artist Giovanni da Spoleto within the first quarter of the 1500s.The palace, which internally preserves a courtyard with a beautiful nymph , represents one of the finest examples of Renaissance art in Spoleto.
PALAZZO DEL COMUNE
The town hall palace, whose original nucleus dates back to the thirteenth century, is now visible in its eighteenth-century appearance, derived from numerous construction phases that were needed over the centuries due to frequent earthquakes and the unification with the surrounding buildings. The only thirteenth-century element still visible is the high tower which overlooks the rest of the structure, while the main body has two views: one on the north side, built between 1784 and 1786 by the architect Pietro Ferrari, and one on the south side, looking on to the Town Square, designed by the local architect Francesco Angelo Amadio known as "Lo Scheggino". This side ends with the neo-Gothic façade of the Brancaleoni Palace, which is the last amalgamation with the objective of enlarging the municipal seat, decorated in 1913 by the Spoleto artists Giuseppe Moscatelli and Benigno Peruzzi. The latter is also entrusted with the pictorial and stucco decoration of the majority of the interior rooms, recently renovated (2007), which are also home to valuable works of art from the former Municipal Art Gallery, including a large canvas by Guercino and two detached frescoes of the Renaissance painter Giovanni di Pietro called "Lo Spagna". Then there are the outstanding "Sala dei Duchi" whose ceiling is adorned with the idealized portraits of the most important Lombard duchies of Spoleto, the "Sala Caput Umbriae", whose decorative program is based on the exaltation of the most illustrious from Spoleto of various ages, and the chapel inside the palace dedicated to Saint Ponziano.
PALAZZO COLLICOLA VISUAL ARTS
The building, belonging to the noble Collicola family, was built starting from 1717 upon a design by the Roman architect Sebastiano Cipriani. The palace retains its original architectural structure, characterized by a central body and two laterals of smaller dimensions which frame the internal courtyard, dominated by a front with three rows of arches. The interior is enriched by a gallery entirely decorated with exquisite eighteenth century tempera, situated on the noble floor, once frequented by illustrious figures who were guests of the palace, including Carlo di Borbone (the future King Charles III of Spain), Pope Pius VI and Carlo Emanuele, King of Sardinia. The valuable interior furnishings, the paintings and the tapestries belonging to the Collicola family were later auctioned off when the family became extinct. The palace was then purchased by the town hall and was seat of the State Institute of Art "Leoncillo Leonardi" for a long period, but today, after careful restoration, it is home to the remarkable collection of modern and contemporary art "Carandente Museum" when in the month of June 2010 the main noble floor was re-opened with part of the original furnishings, and the second floor intended for major exhibitions of contemporary art.
The sixteenth century palace that was the home of Maestro Gian Carlo Menotti for years, is now home to the Documentation Center of the Festival of Two Worlds. Casa Menotti collects audio, video and photographic material relative to the editions of the Festival from 1958, the year of its foundation, to this date, allowing the visitor to immerse himself in a sort of journey through time for the rediscovery of emotions and atmospheres related to the Festival of Two Worlds and the unforgettable Maestro.
PONTE DELLE TORRI
With spectacular views over the hills and the Tessino river, it is an aqueduct of amazing dimensions (230 meters long and 76 meters in height) made of local limestone and supported by nine pillars connected by pointed arches. The two central supports are hollow and contain old guard posts. Presumably completed in the thirteenth century, it still retains the long and picturesque walkway that connects Monteluco to the historic center of Spoleto.
BASILICA OF SAN SALVATORE
Originally dedicated to the martyrs of Spoleto, Concordio and Senzia, the Church is part of a series of early Christian basilicas built around Spoleto in the fourth and fifth centuries. The renovation of the seventh and eighth centuries gave the building the rare beauty that still characterizes it. With other important Italian monumental testimonies to the Longobard period, in 2011 it became part of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
CHURCH OF SANT’EUFEMIA
Located in the enclosure of the Bishop’s Palace, it was reconstructed in the Romanesque period and remedial measures were carried out in the nineteenth century. The interior has three naves, the only "women’s galleries" in Umbria and a substantial "frontal" (lining of the altar) in marble with bas-reliefs of the thirteenth century.