The Internet's most comprehensive Travel website for Italy
Use quote marks to search for exact names eg "Hotel Florence"

A view of Nocera Umbra

A street in Nocera Umbra

Welcome to Nocera Umbra
From Jesse's Journeys in Italy

Population: 5400 (2001)
Official website:
Nocera Umbra
Wikipedia: Nocera Umbra

Maps: MapQuest

The hamlet of Noukria, as it is now called, was first settled by Umbri tribes people in the 6th Century, BC, and possibly much earlier.  By 266 BC it was under the domination of the Romans, and over the succeeding centuries it grew in size and importance because the town occupies a strategically important place on the Roman highway to Ancona, Fano and Rimini, the via Flaminia.  The  town sits on the lower flanks of Mounts Pennini and Burano, where the Topino Valley north of Foligno tightens before opening again just south of Gualdo Tadino.

Nocera Umbra's history after the fall or Rome in the 3rd Century AD is typically Umbrian.  The town was devastated during the Barbarian invasions, particularly by the Ostrogoths under Totila.  By the 6th Century it fell under the domination of the Longobards, who held it within the powerful Duchy of Spoleto.  Later it was controlled intermittently by the City of Perugia, the City of Gubbio and the powerful Trinci family who ruled the area from Foligno.  In between times the city was razed by troops under the command of Frederick II

Like other cities and towns in the area Nocera Umbra got caught up in the seemingly interminable conflicts between pro-imperial Ghibelline and pro-papal Guelph factions, but ultimately it found itself firmly within the Papal States, where it remained until, like most of what is modern day Umbria, it was absorbed by the precursor of the modern state of Italy, the Kingdom of Italy in 1860.

Because of war and a number of earthquakes very little remains of Nocera Umbra's old medieval fortifications except for the 11th century tower, known as the Campanaccio, which one can see as one approaches from any direction because it sits at the highest point of the centro storico - the historical center of the town.  The centro sits behind 11th and 12th century medieval walls, and is accessible through a number of gates, the most important of which is the Porta Vecchia.

Inside the walls, sitting next to the main piazza, the crenellated tower of a now-missing fortress sits next to the Duomo, with its abrupt, flat surface and small portal.  The Duomo, at the end of via San Rinaldo, was  built in the Romanesque style in 1448 AD and significantly remodeled in the 18th Century on Neo Classical lines.

Another church of note is the Basilica of Saint Francis, built in the 14th Century, with additions in the 16th Century, which now houses the Pinacoteca or civic museum.  Art lovers will enjoy the Nativity polyptych by Niccolo Allunno and a few frescoes by Matteo of Gualdo.  There are also displays of artifacts dating back to paleolithic times, Roman times and later periods.

The Museo della CiviltÓ Contadina, located in the Scuola Sperimentale, houses over 2000 artefacts from the rural areas surrounding Nocera Umbra. The Biblioteca Piervissani boasts some 35,000 volumes of cultural and historic value.

Three miles to the south east of Nocera Umbra is a complex of mineralized hot springs, in use for medicinal and recreational purposes since time immemorial and still in use today.

Also nearby are a number of castles, at Postignano, Colle and Salmaregia, that are interesting enough to warrant exploration.  There is a medieval villa at Cese, and a Church in Acciano with lovely frescoes.  If you like to hike, the mountains to the east behind Nocera Umbra, and the Collecroce Plateau, up against the border with the Marche, are hard to beat.

by Vian Andrews December 24, 2005

Umbria Region

43░ 7′ 0′′ N
12░ 47′ 0′′ E

Alt: 520 m


Car:  20 km north of Foligno and 40 km N. of Spoleto.  About 30 km south south east of Perugia.  About 18 km south of Gualdo Tadino.


Coat of arms of Nocera Umbra