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Thursday April 24, 2014 


FOLIGNO AND BEVAGNA
It's a short distance from Spello to Foligno, a town of more than 50,000 inhabitants. Its historic centre is still partly shut off by the 13th century town walls and there are important remains from Roman and mediaeval times. It was here that the first edition of Dante's Divine Comedy was printed in 1472. While in the centre, visit Piazza della Repubblica and the nearby Piazza del Duomo to see the town's most important complex of historic monuments: the cathedral, Palazzo Trinci, and a fine series of aristocratic palazzi along Via Gramsci. Our route now leaves Foligno and the end of the valley to turn down to Bevagna, the origin of one of Italy's most mysterious wines, Sagrantino. Part of the territory falls under DOC Colli Martani regulations and is therefore given over to vineyards planted to Trebbiano, Sangiovese and Grechetto, while the other part belongs to the DOCG Sagrantino di Montefalco zone. This latter is probably a grape of ancient origins, but the first anyone heard of wine by this name was at an exhibition in Perugia in 1899. Bevagna has ancient Roman origins and has kept its mediaeval appearance splendidly intact. In fact, it is still surrounded entirely by the old walls and has a central piazza to admire with a wonderful pair of 12th-century Romanesque churches and the 13th-century Gothic Palazzo dei Consoli completing the square. Don't miss, in Via Porta Guelfa, a unique remnant from the old Roman baths, a 2nd century AD mosaic of black and white tesserae depicting sea-creatures.


 
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