European City Guide – Medieval Travel in Spello

SpelloSurely we are familiar with the country Italy. The high-end fashion brands such as Gucci and Prada make a name for themselves throughout the world now. Since soccer is one of the world’s favorite sports, many are familiar with names like Totti and Del Pierro. We are familiar with pasta, pizza and gelato. We may not have heard of the Chianti regions, but we are certain to know that Italy is one the world’s best wine producers. From the movie the Gladiator, many are exposed to the Colosseum in Rome. Italy also produced one of the best classical music artists in the world such as the singer Luciano Pavarotti, and composers Antonio Vivaldi, Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini to name a few. In art, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Raffaello Sanzio are not strangers to our ears.

Presently, and possibly for quite sometime now, the three main destinations in Italy are Rome, Florence and Venice. People come flocking to Rome because of the rich historic remains from one of the world’s most impressive empires: the Roman empire. Others go to Florence in the association with the birth of renaissance and high art, and Venice as the unique floating city that is eternalized in Shakespeare’s play the Merchant of Venice. However, Italy offers a lot more than that.

Let me introduce to you an untouched medieval city Spello. It is located in the province of Perugia. Nearby, the cities Assisi and Perugia are more famous. Usually, it takes less than 40 minutes from Perugia to Spello by train. From other popular destinations, it takes about 3 hours from Florence, 2 hours from Rome and less than 10 minutes from Assisi. From the train station, it would take you about 5 – 10 minutes walk, depending on how fast you walk.

If you are planning to visit Assisi, I beseech you, take some time off and visit Spello. If you’re really tight on time, I would say prepare about just 2 hours to experience Spello. Spello is very pretty and ancient. Be sure to check out the Porta di Venere, which is a gate from the 1st century. There are definitely pointers that you can get from the Tourist Information Office, but I didn’t use them when I was exploring Spello. I had a bit of time, and I just wanted to get lost exploring the city.

I was immersed in the beautiful houses, the romantic fortifications and the heart-melting sceneries that I didn’t care where I was. There was even an unexpected Michelin-starred restaurant La Bastiglia! There were very few tourists here and I received surprised stares from the locals. I loved the fact that it wasn’t very touristy, but the more I walked through Spello, the more I wondered why this city hadn’t attracted more attention than this. True, there was no particularly significant art gallery or museum to visit in Spello, but just the couple of churches, water fountains and the medieval atmosphere were reason enough.