The Territory of Montefalco
Historical information about Montefalco
The Azienda Agricola of the Valentini Bocale family was established in Fratta Alzatura in Montefalco, near Madonna della Stella.
This area is known for its sanctuary and for the high quality of agricultural products. Just six kilometers from the center of Montefalco (PG), located on a hill overlooking the valley of Spoleto, about 473 meters high, it offers a beautiful view of what has been rightly called the "Balcony of Umbria".
Montefalco, a treasure chest of the Florentine painter Benozzo Gozzoli (preserved in the church - Museum of San Francisco), is identified with the ancient Mons Faliscus, destroyed during the civil wars of the First century b.c. and named in The Middle as “ Coccorone”. The area was destroyed by the militia under the emperor Frederick II, who arrived around 1249. It later became a growing municipality and took the current name, Montefalco; inspired by the Emperor who practiced falconry. In 1329 Pope John XXII began the construction of a fortress that the Trinci family of Foligno knocked down in the Fifteenth Century, following their temporary dominion of Montefalco. It returned under the Church domain and became and independent town in 1848 by Pius IX.
What to see in Montefalco:
- the Municipality building, dating back to 1270, later altered with a portico of the XV century; part of the city walls;
- Sant’Agostino Church (C13th -14th), Santa Chiara Church, where the Patron Saint of the city, Santa Chiara of Montefalco, is worshipped, Santa Illuminata which houses frescos of the C14th-15th, and Santa Lucia, the oldest;
- the most important historical, cultural and artistic monument in Montefalco is the San Francesco Church (C14th), transformed into a museum which houses the works of Perugino (about 1503) and of other Umbrian painters and is decorated with frescos by Benozzo Gozzoli depicting the life of San Francesco, in the apse, and the stories of the life of the Saint in the San Girolamo Chapel (the series of paintings finished in 1452). It is also interesting for the recent discovery and subsequent recovery of the ancient wine cellars situated underground;
- there are also frescos by Gozzoli in San Fortunato Church of 1446, near Montefalco, altered in the C18th.
Montefalco is included in the wine tourist district of the “Strada del Sagrantino” (Sagrantino Wine Road, which also comprises the municipalities of Bevagna, Castel Ritaldi, Giano dell’Umbria and Gualdo Cattaneo which correspond entirely, as is the case of Montefalco, or in part to the area of production of the denomination of the Montefalco Wines.
They are small centres, characterised by a historical centre, which often preserves its typical original structure of a medieval village, with ancient buildings and churches and surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, wineries and olive mills, which all ensure typical quality local agricultural products and by receptive facilities comprising small structures with little impact on the environment, often obtained by restoring ancient buildings, and by farms. Still on the theme of local gastronomy, noteworthy is the local production of honey, saffron, cold meats and the breeding of the “chianina” breed of cow.