Spoleto is the city of theaters: the Teatro Romano, built in the 1st century to.C. and brought back to light in 1891 thanks to the excavations of Spoleto archaeologist Giuseppe Sordini; the 18th-century Teatro Caio Melisso, Spoleto's oldest theater and one of the oldest Italian theaters to palchetti; the Teatro Nuovo, built in the 19th century and named in 2010 after the founder of the Festival dei Due Mondi Gian Carlo Menotti; and the small Teatrino delle 6, named in 2015 to Luca Ronconi, testify to the city of Spoleto's vocation for the performing arts, to which the redevelopment of places to long unused and transformed into theatrical spaces such as the Teatro ex Chiesa di San Nicolò, the Auditorium ex Chiesa dei Santi Stefano e Tommaso, better known as the Auditorium della Stella, and the former church of San Simone contributes.
Spoleto's historic center is among the largest in Italy. The monuments testify to the grandeur of the Umbrian town's millennial history: the Torre Rocca Albornoziana towers over the city, dominating the Spoleto valley from above. At its side, stands the Ponte delle Torri, a 13th-century aqueduct that with its 230 meters in length connects Colle Sant'Elia to Monteluco. From the Roman era are theArch of Drusus and Germanicus, a majestic entrance to the ancient Roman forum (now Piazza del Mercato), the Roman Temple, among the main monuments facing the forum - it was found to early 1900s by Spoleto archaeologist Giuseppe Sordini, the same man who, in 1885 brought to light the remains of the Casa Romana (Roman House), which probably belonged to Vespasiana Polla, mother of Vespasian, a native of Norcia - the Ponte Sanguinario (Bloody Bridge), so named because it was the scene of the bloody events perpetrated against the Christian martyrs, including St. Ponziano, patron saint of the city. Also worth a visit are the 13th-century Torre dell'Olio, an outpost from where boiling oil was thrown on invading enemies, the characteristic Mascherone fountain and the Fountain in the atmospheric Piazza del Mercato (Market Square).
A center inhabited since prehistoric times, Spoleto offers visitors numerous opportunities to rediscover its history and artistic heritage. The , located at the Church of Sant'Agata, documents the origins of the city, preserving artifacts dating from the Bronze Age to Roman times. The Rocca Albornoziana, an imposing fortress that stands on the colle Sant'Elia, houses the Museo Nazionale del Ducato; among the precious works it preserves, those from the early medieval period testify to the political and cultural relevance of Spoleto, capital of one of the most important Lombard duchies in the Italian peninsula. Among the seven monuments forming part of the serial site "Lombards in Italy," a UNESCO heritage site since 2011, from do not miss the Tempietto sul Clitunno, located to about 15 km from Spoleto, and the Basilica of San Salvatore. The aristocratic Palazzo Collicola is home to the Galleria d'Arte Moderna Giovanni Carandente, the largest and most varied museum of modern and contemporary art in Umbria, which houses the works of important Italian and international artists including Alexander Calder, David Smith, Sol Lewitt, Beverly Pepper, Richard Serra, Isamu Noguchi, Anthony Caro or Alberto Burri. Don't miss a visit to Casa Menotti, home of the documentation center of the Festival dei Due Mondi, and also theMuseo del Tessuto, the Diocesan Museum with the adjoining Basilica of St. Euphemia, the Museum of the former Spoleto-Norcia Railroad, and the Mining Museum of Morgnano, rich in historical and artistic-cultural evidence.
The Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta stands out against the surrounding landscape and preserves outstanding works of art: from frescoes by Pinturicchio and Filippo Lippi to the Santissima Icona, opera Byzantine donated to the city by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. In addition to the Cathedral, and the jewel of the Basilica of St. Euphemia, the Former Church of Santa Maria della Manna d’Oro, the Church of San Filippo Neri, the Church of Sant’Ansano and Cripta di Sant’Isacco, the Church of SS. Domenico e Francesco, the Church of San Gregorio Maggiore, the Church of Madonna di Loreto, and the Church and Monastery of San Ponziano are from to visit.
to Classic and contemporary Spoleto mingle in an extraordinary blend of old and new thanks to the presence of important works of art, the legacy of artists who, over the years, have chosen Spoleto to exhibit their work. The exhibition Sculture nella città. Spoleto 1962, conceived and curated from Giovanni Carandente for the Festival of the Two Worlds, brought some of the best-known sculptors of the 20th century to the Umbrian town, with a total of more than 100 sculptures placed in all corners of Spoleto, seven of which can still be seen today to evidence of unique experience in the history of 20th century art: Alexander Calder's Theodelapius, Lynn Chadwick's Stranger III, Pietro Consagra's Colloquio spoletino, Nino Franchina's Spoleto 1962, Leoncillo Leonardi's The Pathetic Affinities, Beverly Pepper's The Gift of Icarus, and Arnaldo Pomodoro's The Traveler's Column. Finally, at the gates of Spoleto stands the Spoletosphere, a geodesic dome by American architect Buckminster Fuller, donated to the city in 1967 on the occasion of the 10th Festival dei Due Mondi.
Spoleto offers the visitor numerous tourist routes under the banner of nature and sport: the typical ups and downs of the historic center of Spoleto is congenial to urban trekking routes, while the surroundings, from Monteluco to the bicycle and pedestrian path of theex ferrovia Spoleto-Norcia, allow one to undertake naturalistic itineraries among centuries-old forests and unspoiled landscapes, admiring breathtaking views.
from Spoleto, finally, passes the Via Francigena, a historical and cultural route that, following in his footsteps, retraces the life of St. Francis (la vita di San Francesco). It was precisely to Spoleto that the saint had his conversion and it is to Spoleto that is preserved, inside the cathedral, one of only two autograph letters that have come down to to us.