A Great day re-visiting some of the pretty hill-top villages near Perugia.
The day began at Solomeo, a hamlet built late 12th Century and restored by Brunello Cucinelli a cashmere tycoon who incidently was a native of our village, Castel Rigone. His wife was from Solomeo and Cucinelli took on the massive job of restoring this hamlet, buying most of the old village buildings and refurbishing them either for business use or as private dwellings. In addition many new premises were built. There is now a working theatre, the Teatro Cucinelli and the old Castello has become the factory. A shop and an outlet store are also present .
Solomeo is 'different' in that it has a kind of polished feel. Almost modern due to the extensive renovations. Archways are perfectly curved and smooth. Buildings shine.
From Solomeo I drove to an even smaller hamlet called Chiugiana near to Corciano.
The afternoon was spent in THE prettiest of hill top villages, Corciano.
According to an ancient legend, Corciano owes its name and its origins to Coragino, the mythical friend of Ulysses. Its has Etruscan-Roman origins and was a flourishing town during the Renaissance evidence of which can be seen in its characteristic buildings and beautiful works of art.
Today the town was magnificent dressed in flags and flowers ready for its festival week.
Today I just like wandering and soaking up the beauty and atmosphere but there are many noteworthy buildings for those more interested in the historical aspect of the town:
- Palazzo municipale (16th Century), originally the residence of the two dukes of Corgna, which preserves prestigious decorations and designs.
- The church of Santa Maria Assunta, 13th century. Inside are preserved two important pieces of art, the Gonfalone by Benedetto Bonfigli, (1472), and the Assunta by the Perugino
- The church of San Cristoforo, 1500, which hosts a collection of sacred art.
- The church of San Francesco. Gothic. It contains several works of art, including a crucifix from the fifth Century, a Bandiera canvas and a statue of San Bernardino dell'Orsini..
It's unbelievable that planning allowed the commercial 'tin shed' type development of Ellera to be built in the valley below Corciano thus ruining what must have been one of the most spectacular views in the area. Fortunately from Corciano there are 360deg panoramas so all is not lost.
From the town there are lovely walks out into the hills affording beautiful views across the valley and also interesting views of Corciano itself.