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Gubbio – medieval Umbria in miniature

  • Gubbio – medieval Umbria in miniature

    From Perugia, the road winds northwards to Gubbio, one of the most intact medieval towns in Italy. It’s under an hour’s drive to the so-called `city of silence,’ named for its desolate position in the Umbrian backwoods. Today, Gubbio is easily accessible yet still retains its air of inviolability. The setting is dramatic and often windswept, with the town clinging to the side of Monte Ingino, and its ancient palazzi stacked on steep terraces.

    For a lofty view, take the funicular railway to the top of Monte Ingino from the station in via San Geraloma. At the top, St Ubaldo, the city’s protective saint, is worshipped in Basilica di Sant’Ubaldo, with his mummified body set above the altar. The basilica also displays the three huge candles which sturdy citizens carry in a frenzied race up the hill every May 15, in celebration of the saint.

    Back in town, enjoy a restorative coffee in the magnificent Piazza Grande before admiring the medieval mansions and churches. The cathedral boasts Gothic rib-vaulting and medieval stained glass. Nearby awaits the Palazzo Ducale, begun in 1476 by Federico da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino. Gubbio’s skyline is dominated by the bell-tower of the well-restored 14th-century Palazzo dei Consoli. Inside this civic museum is a Great Hall and a bizarre collection of medieval paraphernalia, including examples of medieval plumbing. Umbrians mostly come to see the Tavole Eugubine, seven bronze tablets which include ancient inscriptions written in the long-dead Umbrian language.

    Address: Tourism in Gubbio: via della Repubblica 15, 06024 Gubbio
    Web: www.umbriatourism.it

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