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Valfabbrica - Centro Storico


Autumn festivals in the
 Comune of Valfabbrica


Francescan Monastery near Valfabbrica

Welcome to Valfabbrica
From Jesse's Journeys in Italy

Population:  3,483 (2001)
Official website:
Valfabbrica
Wikipedia: n/a

Maps: MapQuest

Valfabbrica is a quiet and charming village with ancient origins located on the east bank of the fast flowing Chiasco River a few kilometers north of Assisi.  Other major Umbrian towns are close by:  Perugia is 30 km to the south west, Gubbio 33 km to the north and Gualdo Tadino 24 km to the north east.

These days its location enables modern visitors to reach it as they explore the particularly beautiful northern stretches of Umbria.  But in medieval times Valfabbrica's location put it in the middle of the persistent  violence that characterized relations among and between these larger cities.

Unwalled until the late 13th century, Valfabbrica was put to the sword and torch in 1202 AD.   Remnants of the walls built later in the century  remain, most noticeably a crenellated clock tower on the edge of the centro storico - the historical center.  Another tower in somewhat worse condition stands across the old center.

The founding of the village dates back to about 820 AD, an outgrowth of the Santo Nary Benedictine Monastery which became a very powerful force on a local basis, competing with local overlords for dominance.  The Benedictines, who  remained independent until the end of the 12th century, contributed to the economy of the area by draining the swamplands of the Chiascio River, especially around a nearby hamlet, Torchiagina, and converting them to fertile farm lands.

Dominion over Valfabricca changed several times through the 14th and 15th centuries, ultimately falling into Papal hands.  Like virtually all other parts of Umbria, by the time of Italian unification in 1861, it was firmly within the Papal States.

You can enjoy a great day or two taking the drive from Assisi or Perugia to Valfabricca and then north to Gubbio.  Stopping in Valfabricca you can enjoy a pleasant stroll through the old center, stopping for a coffee and cornetto perhaps at a local pasticerria.  There are a few small interesting churches in town, but even more interesting religious buildings and monuments in the outlying areas of the comune including the Madonna del Chiascio and the Abbey of the Assumption both at the hamlet of Pieve di Santa Maria Assunta.  Inside the Abbey there is a good frescoe of the Deposition of Christ, possibly painted by Cimabue.

Driving north on the very windy and up and down road that makes its way along the river, you will pass the hamlet of Badia val di Rasina.  Look for the Borgo Hotel Le Torre del Verde. We recommend you stay a day or two, but if you can't do that, plan to have lunch or dinner.

From the hotel you can proceed east to Gualdo Tadino, or north to Gubbio.  Gualdo is on the main highway between Rome and Ancona which will give you faster highway connections for the trip back to your starting point - if you want them.  We prefer staying on the secondary roads absorbing the beauties and mysteries of this most subtle and affecting part of Umbria.

By Vian Andrews July 30th, 2006

Umbria Region

 

Distances

Car:  Assisi 15 km; Gualdo Tadino -24 km; Perugia 26 km; Spoleto - 70 km;  Gubbio - 33 km;  Florence - 173 km; Rome - 185 km

Directory

 


Valfabbrica coat of arms

The Autumn
Festivals in the Commune of Valfabbrica


Torre del Guelf, Valfabbrica