Amelia, Province of Terni, Umbria
Situated about 100 km north-east of Rome in a beautiful natural landscape between the valley of the Nera river and the Tiberina Valley, the town has a beautiful medieval center, with ancient houses and elegant Renaissance palaces.
- Altitude: about 400 m a.s.l
- Population: about 11,000 inhabitants
- Zip/postal code: 05022
- Dialing Area Code: +39 0744
- Patron Saint: Santa Fermina, celebrated on 24th November
- Frazioni & Localities: Collicello, Foce, Fornole, Macchie, Montecampano, Sambucetole, Porchiano del Monte.
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In the area there was an ancient settlement of the Umbrians, a pre-Roman population, as can be seen by remains of megalithic walls of the 6th century BC, which were further enlarged in Roman times and again in the Middle Ages. An important Roman municipium with the name of Ameria, a favorite summer and spa resorts for the patricians of the capital, Amelia has of that time a huge bronze statue of Germanicus (preserved in the Townhall museum) and 10 underground cisterns that served the spa facilities. In the Middle Ages it was a free Commune.
The economy is mainly based on agriculture, farming and more recently rural tourism; among the local products there are the exquisite figs, used in special traditional recipes, as well as high-quality wine and oil.
What to see
- Renaissance Palazzo Farrattini, designed by architect Antonio from Sangallo the Young.
- The Cathedral of Santa Fermina, situated in the upper part of the medieval center, still has its ancient, tall 11th century bell tower, with its peculiar 12-side form.
- The walls that surround the town, going back to Etruscan times but later enlarged and improved at different times, extend today for over 700 meters with a width at bottom of about 3.5 meters, where 4 gates open: the Porta Romana to the south, Porta Posterola to the north, Porta Leone to the east and Porta della Valle to the west.
- The 13th century church of Saints Filippo and Giacomo, renovated in the 18th century, preserves six sepulchres of the Geraldini family, among them a beautiful mausoleum of Matteo and Elisabetta, the work of Agostino di Duccio, dated 1477.
- The hamlet of Porchiano del Monte, surrounded by medieval walls with guard towers and two beautiful Romanesque churches, San Simeone and San Timoteo.
- July and August: the Palio dei Colombi, a medievl re-enactement where riders on horses representing the five traditional contrade compete in a quintain.