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Amelia - urban trekking
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Amelia: urban trekking

(Polygonal Walls - Porta Romana - Via della Repubblica – Strada Romana – Church of St. Francesco – Museo e Pinacoteca Comunale – Marconi Square – Via Garibaldi - Matteotti Square - Cisterne Romane – Duomo e Torre Civica )

Entering the city through the central Porta Romana, dating back to the sixteenth century and continuing along Via della Repubblica you can see large sections of the pavement from the Roman period. Immediately on the right, turn to Via Farrattini, where you can admire the beautiful Palazzo Farrattini, a miniature copy of the Palazzo Farnese in Rome. Commissioned by Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane during the second half of the sixteenth century. Elegant in its simplicity, typical of the Renaissance period. Palazzo Farrattini is considered one of Sangallo's most esteemed early works . Today it is considered a historical residence. Returning to Via della Repubblica, on the left is the Church ell'Ospedaletto, currently the Cultural Center of Santa Firmina. The small church, with an adjoining oratory, was part of a hospital for the poor. Inside one can admire a fresco of the Sienese school, "Mary with Child and Angels."

Further on, turning to the right, to Piazza Augusto Vera you’ll find yourself infront of the beautiful facade of the church of St. Francis dating back to 1287, that in the 16th century was passed to the convent of the Friars minor. The façade of the church with the double wheel rose windows dates back to 1401.

The interior was redesigned in the Baroque style. It preserves, in the chapel on the right, the precious tombs of Matteo and Elisabetta Geraldini sculpted by Agostino di Duccio.

Next to the Church is the Boccarini cloister providing access to the Archaeological Museum and the Pinacoteca of Amelia. Currently in the Boccarini Ex-College, the museum preserves the archaeological material found in the area: a large archeological collection, inscriptions, sculptures, architectural elements, sarcophagi etc.
The path in the museum is developed through thematic itineraries that provide a thorough reconstruction of the various aspects of the ancient city. The main attraction of the museum is undoubtedly the bronze statue of Germanicus, more than two meters high, this precious work of art dating to the first century was found in 1963 in Amelia and returned to the museum after a long period of restoration.

The statue, of the highest quality presents the young Roman general Nero Claudius Drusus known as Germanicus , as a victorious general; of particular merit with a decorated armor.
The art gallery has a collection of works by local artists dating between sixteenth and eighteenth centuries Among the precious paintings in this section is the painting of "Sant'Antonio Abate" by Piermatteo of Amelia, among the greatest artist of the Umbrian Renaissance .

Recently added at the Archaeological Museum is a section that displays some of the exhibits of the rich Hellenistic necropolis discovered at the former Consortium of via delle Rimembranze in Amelia .

Nearby is the Palazzo Venturelli, restored in 1500's. Inside, in the halls, are beautiful frescoes and paintings.
In the underground rooms , you can see the well preserved Roman mosaics made ​​up of black and white tiles that form geometric designs and stylized floral motifs, that might have belonged to a "domus" during the first half of the second century.
Continuing uphill along Via della Repubblica, you reach Croce di Borgo, where the 4 main roads of the historical center meet.

Going up, you come across Piazza Catena that has its bricks paved in a herringbone pattern, with a porch in travertine stone dating to the 1700's. The Arch of the square that leads to Piazza Marconi is a cubic gate , which in the old days, marked off the highest part of the city, the arce , surrounded by the city walls. A staircase leads to the Lodge of the Crier, medieval grandstand, where the herald announced the edicts. On the square, divided by the Via del Duomo, are Palazzo Petrignani and Palazzo Nacci.

Palazzo Petrignani (XVI century) is a magnificent example of an aristocratic building built in the 1500's in the Renaissance style. It was built at the expense of the Bishop Fantino Petrignani. Inside are halls decorated with frescoes by famous artists that include Livio Agresti, Giustino Episcopo as well as the Zuccari brothers and their pupils.
The Hall of the Zodiac stands out betweenall the rest because of the twelve moons painted at the base of the vault representing the months of the year with their zodiac signs.

Palazzo Nacci is a fifteenth-century building built by the reparceling of earlier medieval buildings. In Via Pellegrino Carleni you can find the entrance of the building that has a particularly impressive arched gate.
Continuing towards Via Garibaldi, on the left, turn to Via del Teatro where you'll find the Teatro Sociale, (1792), which was a model of the famous theater "La Fenice" in Venice. The theater of Amelia, with three rows and the gallery, is one of the few remaining examples of eighteenth-century theaters built entirely of wood, from the structures to the stage mechanisms still fully functional. It has two curtains, including one depicting the famous siege of Frederick Barbarossa in Amelia, the work ofDomenico Bruschi (1880)
Continuing further you arrive at the former Chiesa di Sant'Angelo, now fully renovated. After a few steps you arrive at Porta della Valle that offers a magnificent view of the panorama. Coming back you reach Piazza Matteotti where there is the Town Hall and in front, below the square, are the Roman cisterns, a rare example of hydraulic engineering built around the second half of the second century.
The tanks are ten large underground rooms used for the collection of water for the water supply of the city and can be visited with a guide.

The impressive Roman cisterns of Amelia were built when the town became a Roman municipality, and therefore characterized by all the typical urban elements of "Romanization" road networks, a main square, public and private buildings as well as a water supply system.
The tour continues, reaching the religious heart of Amelia at the Piazza del Duomo; the town's Cathedral and the Torre Civica, the Bishop's residence and the former seminary. The Town Hall Tower; the symbol of the city is more than 30 meters high and was built by the people of Amelia when it became a free common around 1050. It has twelve sides symbolizing the 12 months and the 12 apostles.

The Cathedral, that stands on the base of a Romanesque church, was rebuilt between 1640 and 1680, after a fire had almost entirely destroyed it . The interior plan is in the form of a Latin cross, in the oratory there are two paintings attributed to Pomarancio depicting the martyrdom of Santa Fermina and Sant'Olimpiade. In the second chapel on the right are two flags snatched from the Turks at the Battle of Lepanto; inside the octagonal chapel, is an altarpiece depicting the Madonna and Child with San Bartolomeo by Taddeo Zuccari (XVI century).
Inside the Cathedral one may visit the remarkable nativity scene, a permanent artistic work by the renowned crib expert Carlo Chiappafreddo (1914/1967).

You then reach the Romanesque-Gothic church of St. Augustine (XIII century) The facade is quite interesting and the paintings inside date back to the 1600's last but not least is the precious Moretti organ dating to 1841 along with the wooden chancel.
Going down Via Posterola, on the left you'll find the Monastery of St. Magno of the Benedictine nuns. The small church preserves the perfectly restored invaluable double keyboard organ of St. Magno, that is one of its kind and dates to 1680.

The town of Amelia has seven historic organs some of which work perfectly. Going down to Porta Posterola; ancient customs station you can enjoy a beautiful view over the valley of the Rio Grande, with the 13th century dam known as "La Para" .
You go out from the gate and continuing along the scenic Via Luciano Lama you reach Porta Leo VI. It seems that this entrance to the city was built by Pope Leo IV who had provided for the restoration of the walls during the 9th century. The road beginning after the gate carries his name too. It is on this road that since the ancient times were lined the workshops of artisans: blacksmiths, carpenters, bakers, taverns etc.

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