“Of all the small Umbrian towns, Foligno is the liveliest, most commercial and modern. In fact, it is only a large, very prosperous Umbrian village. There are factories and commercial warehouses, but somehow here you don’t remember the trumpets or the storefronts, but all about the Romanesque campaniles and ancient churches and chapels. The face of the city is not distorted; it has quiet, sun-drenched squares, the crooked portals of thirteenth-century churches, the cramped walls of medieval palaces. It has many works by ancient artists who diligently glorified the local ‘tyrants’ of Trinci.”
– Pavel Muratov. “Images of Italy.”
When thinking of the cities of Umbria, most tourists think of medieval settlements surrounded by walls, completely “saturated” with an atmosphere of seclusion. Well, this is not at all characteristic of the Umbrian town of Foligno. Unlike other towns in this region of central Italy, Foligno is more welcoming and friendly in every aspect.
Not that it lacks high fortress walls: before 1600 Foligno, like all Umbrian settlements, had clearly defined geographical limits of the city; rather, it is the location of the city: Foligno was located near important trade routes and the river Topino, perhaps because it did not close itself, but was and is a lively, friendly city that attracts travelers.
The scenery of the province of Foligno. Photo flickr.com
Foligno ( Foligno ) is a unique city that boasts the ancient title of center of the world: it was thought to be at the very center of the Italian peninsula, which in turn was at the center of the Mediterranean, which in ancient times was equivalent to the center of the world (Foligno is actually not exactly in the middle of Umbria, but, like a beating heart, located slightly left of the center of the region).
The name Foligno comes from the name of the goddess Fulgura (in Umbrian dialect) or Fulginea (in Latin), which is the name Fulginea used in Roman times. Later, after the barbarian invasions, Fulginea was destroyed and its inhabitants moved to an area called Castrum Sancti Feliciani (because of the cathedral built on the tomb of the martyr San Feliciano). This is how the new settlement, called Foligno, came into being. The history of Foligno is linked to trade and printing: in 1472 the first book in Italian, Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy, was printed here.
Over the years and centuries Foligno has been known as a major printing center and the home of many literary academies. Today Foligno is a city of extraordinary beauty: its churches and ancient gates, its shady alleys and the precious frescoes preserved inside the old buildings are good reasons to visit this city.
The roofs of Foligno. Photo flickr.com
There are an incredible number of cultural and historical sites: Porta Todi and Piazza San Domenico, the magnificent Church of Santa Maria Infraportas and the Cathedral of Saint Dominic; Porta Romana with the marble statue of Nicholas Loberatore and the Church of San Francesco, Porta Ancona and the Cathedral of Saint Augustine; this list could go on and on.
Note that churches and cathedrals are just one of the interesting aspects of this city: Foligno boasts numerous palaces and buildings that bear witness to different architectural styles and historical periods. Palazzo Trinci, the old hospital, the Piermarini theater, Palazzo Cantagalli, Palazzo Orfini, where Dante’s Divine Comedy was first printed, etc.
If you have time, we also recommend a trip to the nearby town of Cancelli, where, according to tradition, the Apostles Peter and Paul stopped on their way to the Abbey of Sassovivo. Here is the most beautiful Romanesque monastery with 128 columns.
How to get to Foligno
Foligno is 35 km from Umbria Sant’Edigio International Airport, which is connected to Milan-Malpensa Airport by daily flights.
Alternatively, you can land at Florence’s Amerigo Vespucci Airport or at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport to change to a flight to Umbria Airport.
From the airport you can get to Foligno by shuttle (transfer to a bus in Perugia) or by cab.
You can see the bus schedule here.
Foligno. Photo flickr.com
From the airports to the center of any Italian city is most conveniently reached by booking a cab transfer with a Russian-speaking driver. You can do this on the Kiwitaxi website by clicking on the banner you see below:
“Highway of the Sun” (Autostrada del Sole) A1
Exit at Valdichiana
Exit to Foligno
“Highway of the Sun” (Autostrada del Sole) A1
Then follow freeway Orte – Spoleto – Foligno
Exit to Foligno
Autostrada Adriatica A14
Exit Civitanova Marche
Continue on S.S.77 as far as Foligno
Ancona – Foligno: 1h. 54 min. – 130 km.
Florence – Foligno: 2h.05min – 187 km
Rome – Foligno: 2h 10min – 170 km
Naples – Foligno: 3h 42min – 358 km
Milan – Foligno: 4h 55min – 488 km
• From the North of Italy
Line Florence-Rome – Foligno station
Line Rome-Orte-Florence – Foligno station
Ticket prices and schedule:
Ferrovia Centrale Umbra – www.fcu.it
Foligno Cathedral. Photo by flickr.com
Where to stay in Foligno
Hotel Le Mura – Via Bolletta (Ang. Via Mentana), 06034 Foligno, Italy
Hotel Le Mura is located in the center of Foligno, a 10-minute walk from the city train station and 200 meters from the Astronomical Observatory. Hotel Le Mura’s restaurant is mentioned in various guides and is famous for its soups and grilled meats. The hotel bar serves drinks and snacks.
The 24-hour staff is available and bicycles can be rented free of charge. Le Mura Hotel is only 15 km from Assisi and 30 km from Perugia.
Delfina Palace Hotel – Via Della Fornacetta, 06034 Foligno, Italy
This new 4-star hotel is built in the style of a typical 19th-century Umbrian residence and is immersed in the greenery of its own park with a swimming pool and olive trees.
The hotel is located in Foligno, near the exit 75 of Foligno Nord, which allows to reach the most important towns in Umbria such as Assisi, Perugia, Spello, Orvieto and Montefalco.
Holiday Inn Express Foligno – Via Massimo Arcamone 16, 06034 Foligno, Italy
The Holiday Inn Express is located just a 10-minute drive from the historic center of Foligno and 50 meters from the Nuovo Ospedale Hospital. Free parking is available at the hotel. Breakfast includes several types of bread, assorted meats, homemade pastries and fresh seasonal fruit. There is also a 24-hour lounge bar at the Holiday Inn Express Foligno.
There is a public swimming pool 500 metres away. The Italian army recruitment office is a 20-minute walk away. Assisi is a 15-minute drive away.
Relais Metelli – Via Fabio Filzi N.2, 06034 Foligno, Italy
Relais Metelli is a small hotel in an old building, a 5-minute walk from the historic center of Foligno, 200 metres from the train station. This elegant hotel features antique furniture and a lush garden with palm trees. Wi-Fi and ample parking are available free of charge.
A buffet breakfast with snacks and sweets is available each morning at Metelli. There is also a bar with a cocktail menu and wine list.
Buses to Perugia and Siena stop 200 metres away. Assisi and Spoleto can be reached in 25 minutes by car.
A brief history of Foligno
The origins of Foligno go back to pre-Roman Umbria: the Umbrian tribes founded the settlement “Umbri Fulginates”.
Later it was invaded by the Romans, who founded in the X century B.C. the town of Fulginia, which had access to the ancient tract Via Flaminia, at the mouth of the river Topino.
After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the city was conquered by the Goths (A.D. 493-550), then by the Lombards and the Franks.
During the Middle Ages, Foligno opposed Perugia in the struggle for supremacy in Umbria. During this time (14th-15th centuries) the city was formally considered a property of the Papal protectorate, but in fact the Trinca dynasty had power in the city. In the 15th century Foligno developed its own school of painting, the most prominent representative of which is considered Niccolò Alunno.
During World War II, Foligno was badly damaged by bombing. Of the monuments of history, only the badly damaged Duomo, the ancient Church of Santa Maria Infraportas and Palazzo Trinci survived.
What to see in Foligno
Here are the main attractions in Foligno :
The Cathedral of San Feliciano (Duomo di Foligno)
The Cathedral of San Feliciano is the main temple of Foligno and the bishop’s pulpit. This building was built in the Neoclassical Baroque style, and inside the cathedral there are a number of important works by Corraducci and Mannini. After finishing admiring the decorations on the facade of the cathedral, representing the signs of the zodiac, the clock, the four evangelists and the two griffins symbolizing Foligno’s victory over Perugia, go inside to enjoy the sacristy of the church and a pair of busts of the Roscioli couple by Antonio Canova.
Foligno Cathedral. Photo by flickr.com
Palazzo Trinci is one of the most important mansions in all of Italy: it is a late Gothic building commissioned by Ugolino Trinci, papal vicar in the second half of the 14th century. The frescoes that decorate the walls of the building, the chapel with murals by Ottaviano Nelli and the art gallery, the Pinacoteca, located in Palazzo Trinci, which contains works of art dating back to the 14th century. On the first floor of the Palazzo is the Archaeological Museum of Foligno, which contains bronze objects, ceramics, tombstones and other artifacts found around the city.
Palazzo Trinci. Photo flickr.com
Church of San Giacomo
The Church of San Giacomo, which is located in the square of the same name, is one of Foligno’s most important and favorite sacral structures for tourists. Its Gothic façade is characterized by alternating red and white stripes. It is one of the oldest churches in the city built at the beginning of the 13th century.
Church of San Giacomo. Photo by flickr.com
Oratorio della Nunziatella
The Oratorio Nunziatella is a Renaissance-style building located in close proximity to the eighteenth-century Church of Suffraggio. The oratory is dedicated to the Virgin of the Annunciation (Vergine Annunziata), patron saint of Foligno. Inside the oratory you can admire Perugino Pietro Vannucci’s magnificent fresco, The Baptism of Jesus.
Oratorio della Nunziatella. Photo flickr.com
Temple of Santa Maria Infraportas
Built on the site where the Chapel of the Assumption, St. Peter and St. Paul once stood, the Church of Santa Maria Infraportas is a Romanesque church, the oldest among the sacred buildings of Foligno and the most important representative of this architectural style. The name of the church comes from the fact that in the past the church was outside the city walls – it was called “foris portam” or Infraportas. The interior of the church is decorated with frescoes by Mezzastris and Gisberto.
Santa Maria Infraportas. Photo flickr.com
Madonna del Pianto (“Weeping Madonna”)
The symbol of Foligno is the “Weeping Madonna”, a wooden statue that is kept in the sanctuary, in the church of Sant’Agostino, and is highly revered by the people of the town. In fact, it is just a copy of the original statue from 1647, restored after the original shrine was destroyed by bombing during World War II.
Church of Sant’Agostino after the Nazi bombings (only the wall with the Madonna of Lamentation remains). Photo gazzetadifoligno.it
The Convent Church of San Salvatore (Collegiata di San Salvatore)
Among the religious buildings of Foligno, the Monastery Church of San Salvatore, an ancient Benedictine monastery built between the tenth and twelfth century, with amazing facade architecture, is also worth noting.
Other interesting buildings in Foligno
In Foligno you will find many buildings of important historical, artistic and architectural importance. In addition to the already mentioned Palazzo Trinci and its art gallery, we recommend viewing the town hall, built in the thirteenth century in neo-classical style; the Palazzo Podesta with its splendid facade adorned with statues of goddesses; the Palazzo Deli with its recognizable Renaissance facade and Palazzo Candiotti, a typical example of Rococo architecture.
Palazzo Commune. Photo flickr.com
What to try in Foligno
Foligno is a sweet tooth’s paradise. There are many delicious sweets, the most famous of which is the “rocciata”, strudel with apples, nuts and chocolate, flavored with alkermes. A festival dedicated entirely to this pie is not accidentally held in the borgo in the municipality of Foligno, San Giovanni Profiamma.
Rocciata di Foligno. Photo dolciricette.blogspot.it
The next sweet treat worth mentioning (and trying) is Fregnaccia, a kind of sweet pancake. If you come to Foligno for Easter, be sure to try the “Easter pizza”, la pizza di Pasqua; it’s a panettone-like pie eaten in the evening after Easter dinner.
Sometimes Foligno offers a salty version of this pizza, topped with typical Umbrian sausages.
And lastly, let’s mention the struffoli, or balls of dough breaded in honey, chestnut and almond shavings.
As for the basic gastronomy of Foligno, it is based on a set of typical Umbrian recipes. Among the appetizers, the leading ones are the typical bruschetta, served with beans and cauliflower, or focaccia with rosemary.
For the first course, you often find bucatini with Sagrantino wine, homemade pasta (ciriole) with truffles, and puree soups like snail or lentil. For the main course you can choose between boar chops, pork steak with roast potatoes, lamb with black truffles, roast hare, pigeon with mushrooms or fojata, a very typical dish that is a spicy version of rocciata.
Good food should be accompanied by good wine: choose Sagrantino Montefalco or Faggio di Cave.
Foligno is a city that very much honors its own past. It regularly hosts some historic traditional events that are closely linked to important historical moments in the life of the city. Here are the ones you just can’t miss:
Giostra della Quintana Tournament.
Every year Foligno hosts a very interesting event that is known all over the world and which attracts thousands of lovers of history and traditional folk culture from all over the world. It is the tournament of Giostra della Quintana, or jousting, which takes place every second and third Sunday in September.
Jostra della Quintana. Photo flickr.com
The tournament reconstructs a historical episode that actually took place in the seventeenth century, that is, the time when some noble knights, during the carnival of 1623, decided to fight to settle a dispute: which is more appropriate, to show their own loyalty to the reigning prince or his lady? Today the tournament is attended by “knights” from the ten districts that make up the city (Ammaniti, Badia, Cassero, Contrastanga, Croce Bianca, Giotti, La Mora, Morluppo, Puigilli and Spada).
Jostra della Quintana. Photo flickr.com
Along with horse racing, the town hosts a number of other events, such as a parade in period costumes and baroque banquets, with music and dancing of the time. Along with the tournament, Foligno organizes the Signs of the Baroque Festival, an important event for lovers of music and the Baroque style.
Jostra della Quintana. Photo flickr.com
Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
Among the religious festivals of Foligno, the most important is the one that honors the Madonna of Lamentation, patroness of the city, along with San Feliciano, bishop and martyr. The holiday, which is celebrated in January, began to be celebrated as early as 1703, after Foligno and all of Central Italy were hit by powerful earthquakes. The people who survived the earthquake decided to bring the wooden statue of the Madonna of Wail to the sanctuary of the Church of Sant’Agostino, organizing a procession in gratitude for the rescue, and since then the procession has been repeated every January as a sign of devotion to the saint.
The kite festival, officially called One Sky One World, has been held in Foligno since 1989, near the airport. International and national teams participate in the festival.
Folligno (Italy) – the most detailed information about the city with photos. The main attractions of Foligno with descriptions, videos and map.
Foligno town (Italy).
Foligno is an ancient city in Central Umbria in Italy. Founded by the Romans, Foligno once rivaled Perugia and has many interesting monuments and works of art.
Things to do (Italy):
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Geography and climate
Foligno is located in Central Italy southeast of Perugia. The city is built on a hilly plain at the confluence of the rivers Topino and Menotre. The climate is temperate, characterized by not too cold winters and warm summers.
- Population – 55.3 thousand people
- Area – 264,67 km 2
- Language – Italian
- Currency – Euro
- Visa – Schengen
- Time – UTC +1
Foligno is an important railway center and one of the most industrialized cities in Umbria. Unfortunately, it was severely bombed during World War II, which destroyed some of the buildings. Therefore, some areas have a relatively modern appearance.
Foligno was supposedly founded by the Umbrians as early as the 10th century BC. In the 3rd century B.C. there was already a Roman city here, which was important during the period of the Roman Empire. In 476 Foligno was conquered by the barbarians, and in the second half of the 5th century by the Goths.
In the early Middle Ages the Lombards annexed the city to the Duchy of Spoleto. From 1198 until the middle of the 13th century Foligno was subject to the popes. From 1255 until 1439 the city was part of the Holy Roman Empire. After Foligno was part of the possessions of the Guelphs of Trinci. From 1460 until the unification of Italy, the city was part of the papal state.
How to get there
Foligno is on the important railway line connecting Rome and Ascona. It is also easily accessible from Florence (trains from the north of Italy go through Perugia).
Palazzo Trinci is a medieval Romanesque-Gothic palace built by the Guelph family of the same name, the rulers of Foligno from 1305 to 1439. The current façade is the result of a reconstruction carried out in the 19th century. Today it houses the archaeological museum.
Nearby is another notable palace, Palazzo Lesi – Marchetti. Its interior was beautifully painted by Leopardi in the Baroque and Neoclassical style. This palazzo was the residence of the papal governor.
The cathedral is the most important architectural monument in Foligno. It was built in the 12th century on the site of an earlier basilica and is dedicated to the patron saint of the city, the martyr Felician. The cathedral is a striking example of Romanesque architecture (despite several reconstructions between the 15th and 18th centuries). The Gothic building to the left of the main facade is the baptistery.
The monastery of Sassovivo was founded in the 11th century by Benedictine monks and was one of the most influential abbeys in Italy, whose possessions stretched from Perugia to Rome. The monastery began to decline in the 15th century. During the Napoleonic wars it was partially closed and in 1860 it was virtually abolished.
The most notable part of the abbey is the inner courtyard with 58 arcades supported by a double row of 128 small spiral columns with capitals decorated with lilies and mosaic tassels.
In the main square of Foligno you can also see the medieval town hall, which was built in the 13th century. Today it has a neoclassical facade added in the early 19th century.
Santa Maria Infraportas
Santa Maria Infraportas is one of the oldest churches of Foligno, founded in the 11th century. It is located in Piazza San Domenico. The outside of the church has an imposing bell tower and inside there are three naves preserving rare frescoes in the Byzantine style.
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