Key to Umbria: Foligno

The walk begins in front of the main façade of the Duomo (at the extreme right in this photograph), which is in Largo Giosuè Carducci, the shorter part of the L-shaped Piazza della Repubblica. 

Having looked at the the main façade of the Duomo, take a short detour by walking through the Duomo

Leave the Duomo by the door in the left transept, and look back  to see the the minor façade of the Duomo, which is in the main part of Piazza della Repubblica. 

A line across the minor facade of the Duomo marks the main division of the city into "terzieri" (i.e. thirds).  As you face this facade, this line runs:
  1. along Via XX Settembre on the left (illustrated here) to Porta San Giacomo; and

  2. along Largo Carducci and Corso Cavour on the right to Porta Romana.

Everything in front of you as far as the city walls belongs to the Terziero Superiore.  (See Walk II for Terzieri Mediano and Inferiore, which are behind you). 

Turn left on leaving the Duomo and walk past the Palazzo dei Canonici, towards your starting point.  The remains of a fortified palace that were discovered in the piazza to your right in 1980 probably belonged to the demolished part of this palace.

The inscription near the corner of the Palazzo dei Canonici (above the newspaper stall) commemorates the fact that the young St Francis began his evangelical life here in 1206 when he sold his horse and other goods to raise money for the restoration of San Damiano, Assisi.   The Commune commissioned the inscription in 1906 to mark the 7th centenary of these events.
Return towards the main facade of the Duomo, passing the entrance to the Museo Diocesano.

Turn left into Piazza Michele Faloci Pulignani, which is named for the famous priest and historian who died in 1940.  A short stretch of wall (ca. 1300) on the left (off the right wall of the Duomo) formed part of a hexagonal structure in pink and white stone that might have served as a baptistery.  

Palazzo Vescovile was built on the right in 1565:
  1. It replaced an earlier episcopal palace that stood to the right of the apse of the Duomo (see below). 

  2. It was destroyed in the Second World War and rebuilt in 1955.  

Walk under the arch that abuts Palazzo Vescovile, cross Via Gentile da Foligno and continue along the Vicolo dell’ Oratorio.  The church of Santa Marta, which belonged to the Confraternita del Suffragio, stood just beyond on the right (at number 4) until it was demolished in ca. 1745.  The confraternity then moved to their new Chiesa del Suffragio.


Take a short detour by turning left here, along Via dell’ Oratorio. 

  1. The apse of the Duomo, which was rebuilt in 1457-62, is on the left: you can see the vestiges of its original window. 

  2. Look back to see the remains of a wall of the old Palazzo Vescovile: as noted above, this palace was demolished in ca. 1565 to make way for a new sacristy. 

This spot is also visited in Walk II.

Retrace your steps and turn left to continue along Vicolo dell’ Oratorio.  Walk under the arch ahead, into Piazza Branducci.  The ex-Oratorio del Buon Gesù is at number 15: it was largely destroyed in the Second World War and now houses now the Centro Sportivo Italiano.

Retrace your steps under the arch, turn right along [name??] and right again into Via XX Settembre.  This street, which is named for the day in 1870 that soldiers of the new Kingdom of Italy entered Rome, was laid out in 1880 to a plan by Vincenzo Vitali

Turn left along Via Feliciano Scarpellini, which then swings right over the canal.  This canal runs along what was the line of the Topino until the early 14th century, when it was diverted into its present course (see below).   The remains of the bridge later known as Ponte di Cesare (pons Cesaris) can still be seen, as discussed in Walk II.  

The road continues into Piazza San Giacomo.  Palazzo Andreozzi, which is on the left as you reach the piazza, now houses the Biblioteca Ludovico Jacobilli, one of the oldest public  libraries in Umbria.  It was established in 1664, when Ludovico Jacobilli died and left his book collection to the Seminario Diocesano (founded in 1649). 

The church of San Giacomo is on the opposite side of the piazza.

Turn right on leaving San Giacomo, continuing along Via XX Settembre towards the river.   Three churches once stood on the left:

  1. Santa Maria Casta;

  2. Sant' Antonio Abate; and

  3. Sant' Apollonia and the Ospedale di Santo Spirito (at number 79-85).  This was originally the site of the church and Cassinese monastery of San Silvestro: the dedication was changed in 1311, when the monastery was transformed into a hospital and united with the Ospedale di Santo Spirito, Rome.

Continue to Ponte San Giacomo, which was built shortly after the diversion of the river, bringing San Giacomo inside the city.   The remains of the "new" city walls (1329) can be seen in both directions along the riverbank .  A city gate, Porta San Giacomo provided access to the bridge until its demolition in 1836. 

Detour (30 minutes return) to the aedicule of the Madonna delle Scuffiole,

the church of the Madonna della Fiamenga.

You can add another hour to the total time by continuing along the line of the Via Flaminia to see two Roman mausoleums, returning via the modern church of San Paolo Apostolo


Cross the bridge and then the main road, turn right and immediately left, along Via Goffredo Mameli.  The aedicule of the Madonna delle Scuffiole is on the left, just past number 31.  It contains a fresco known as the Madonna delle Scuffiole, which depicts the Madonna del Latte: "scuffiole"(bonnets) refer to the head gear that was used for new babies, so the usual title of the image can be translated as the ‘Madonna of newborn  babies’.  It is believed to help mothers who cannot produce milk and to cure sick babies: even today, mothers hang their babies' bonnets here in the hope of improving their health.  This was one of the oldest Marian images in Foligno, but it was repainted in ca. 1930.  Mass is said here each 1st June: the photograph above shows the service taking place in 2008.


Turn left along Via Madonna delle Scuffiole, left again along Via Fornaci and immediately right along Via Asiago.  Turn right at the end of the road, along leafy Viale Firenze.  The interesting church of the Madonna della Fiamenga (13th century) stands on a road island ahead.  This was the point at which the eastern branch of the Via Flaminia crossed Roman road from Foligno to Spello, as recorded in the the website of Bill Thayer.  The church contains an important fresco by Pierantonio Mezzastris, which can be seen clearly through its glass door (if, as is usual, it is closed).

If you are ending the detour here, retrace your steps along Viale Firenze 

and continue ahead across Ponte San Giacomo, where the detour ends.

Fast forward to the next yellow box to continue the main part of the walk.


                       Mausoleum opposite Via Santo Pietro          Mausoleum on Via della Chiona

If you are continuing the detour, turn left along Via Fiamenga (SR 316), following the line of the Roman Via Flaminia towards Bevagna.  Continue to the city limit:

  1. the first of these mausoleums is on the right here, with Via Santo Pietro opposite’ and

  2. the second is also on the right, some 500 meters further along the road, at the junction with Via della Chiona.

Retrace your steps along Via Fiamenga to Via Santo Pietro and turn right along it (back towards Foligno).   Turn left at the T-junction (still on Via Santo Pietro) to the crossroads: continue on Via del Roccolo (as Via Santo Pietro continues turns right).

The modern church of San Paolo Apostolo is on the left (on Via Giovanni Paolo II).  It was designed by Massimiliano Fuksas and his wife Doriana to commemorate the rebirth of the region after the earthquake of 1997.  It is built in concrete as a “box within a box”, and its architectural interest lies principally in the way that natural light interacts with the interior.  (It is fair to say that opinion on the building is divided, but it is certainly interesting.)

Continue along Via del Roccoloe (turning right along Via Massimo Arcamone and immediately left to return to to it).  Turn left at the end, along Viale XVI Giugno, with the river on your right, to the junction with Viale Firenze.

Turn right across Ponte San Giacomo, where the detour ends.

Turn right (or left if you are returning across the bridge, after the detour) to follow the city wall on your left along Via Bolletta, past the excellent Hotel le Mura at number 27. 

Take a short detour along Via San Giovanni Battista, the 3rd turning on the right (after number 27a).  The church of San Giovanni Decollato occupied a site on your right, extending along the block from Via Bolletta to Via Mentana, until its demolition in 1869. 

Cross Via Mentana and continue along Via San Giovanni Battista to San Giovanni Battista (at the end, on the left).  Continue into Via dell’ Ospedale to the Ospedale Civile, which was built on the site of the monastery attached to the church in 1859, using a bequest from Gregorio Onori Piermarini.  This imposing building is now in restoration (at April 2011).  (Both the church and the hospital are discussed in the page on San Giovanni Battista (12th century) and the ex-Ospedale Civile (1740-50).

Return to Via Bolletta and turn right, once more along the line of the walls and the river.  At the point ahead where the walls swing away from the river, you can see the hexagonal Torre dei Cinque Cantoni.  

Continue to the Orto Jacobilli on the right, which is open to the public on Wednesday evenings to allow access to the observatory in the Torre dei Cinque Cantoni.  The friars of San Domenico sold this orchard to Francesco Jacobilli in 1545. 

Reconstruction of Ponte della Carbonara  by L.Crema (G. Dominici, referenced below, p. 31)

Arches 3 and 4 no longer survives, but their original existence is suggested by the symmetry

Take a short detour by turning left on leaving the orchard and continue to the junction with Via Gentile da Foligno.  Two (now subterranean) arches Ponte della Carbonara (ca. 1280) was incorporated into the new city walls in 1329.  The possible Roman origins of this bridge are discussed in my page Roman Walk III.

Turn left and left again into the car park of the supermarket.  The walls and ruined tower here were built (like the Torre dei Cinque Contoni above) in 1456 to reinforce the city's defences.

Retrace your steps along Via Bolletta, turn left along Via Mentana and left again along Via Santa Lucia, which leads to the church and nunnery of Santa Lucia on the left.

Continue to the end of Via Santa Lucia to the junction with Via Gentile da Foligno, with the abandoned church of Santa Maria della Consolazione on the left. 

There is an interesting view on the right of the back of the Duomo.

Cross Via Gentile da Foligno into Via dei Molini, which is named for the mills that were fed by the canal of the same name.  The canal and the remains of the mill race of the Molino di Sopra (16th century) can be seen on the left, just before Via del Panificio. 

Continue along Via dei Molini, passing the left side of the ex-church and nunnery of SS Trinità in Annunziata, which has its facade in Via Garibaldi.

The two palaces on the opposite side of Via Garibaldi, which are connected by an overpass, were originally the components of Palazzo Barbetti Clarici:

  1. The palace on the right (at number 140) now houses the Carabinieri.  [Its chapel, which can sometimes be visited, contains frescoes (1924) by Gerardo Dottori].

  2. The palace on the left (at number 142) still belongs to the Clarici family, who operated the adjacent olive oil mill, frantoio Clarici (reached from the gate at number 144).  It is sometimes possible to see the present oil production facility and the original oil mill behind it (illustrated here).

Turn left along Via Garibaldi (with the two palaces above on your right) to the junction with Via Bolletta to the left and Via Oberdan to the right.  This was the site of Porta Badia (Porta Loreto or Porta Ancona), which was demolished in 1930. 

  1. The canalised Menotre river in front of the wall was diverted underground in 1989: you can see part of its channel on your right. 

  1. There is a long stretch of wall to the right side of Via Bolletta that has recently been restored.  (The excellent restaurant ‘Mangiafuoco’ stands on the walls, just to the left of the stretch shown in this photograph).

Retrace your steps along Via Garibaldi.  Take a very short detour by turning left along Via dei Monasteri, which is so-named because it once contained no fewer than five nunneries.  The first of these, the Dominican nunnery of Santa Maria del Popolo (1291), occupied  the long building at number 1-5 on the left.  (You will see the other four later in the walk.)

Return to Via Garibaldi and continue to Piazza Giacomini, on the left.  The space for this piazza was created during the devastating bombardment of 1943, which destroyed the  church of San Leonardo and the Convento di Sant’ Agostino.  Fortunately, the venerated statue of the Madonna del Pianta in San Leonardo survived, and is now in the church of Sant’ Agostino (below).

The campanile of Sant’ Agostino can be seen in Piazza Giacomini.  It stands on what were the foundations of the city wall of ca. 1240, the line of which crossed Via Garibaldi at right angles here.  This might well have been the site of the Porta Antica della Badia (later Porta di Sant’ Agostino), a gate in theses walls.

Walk into Piazza Giacomini to get a better view of the campanile, which stands behind the ex-Biblioteca Jacobilli on the right.  This building housed the Biblioteca Jacobilli until June 2008, when it moved to Piazza San Giacomo (above). 

Continue along Via Garibaldi into Piazza Garibaldi, with the church of Sant' Agostino on the left.

A fine bronze statue (1891) of Giuseppe Garibaldi by Ottaviano Ottaviani at its centre. 

The Collegiata di San Salvatore is opposite Sant’ Agostino, with two buildings behind it:
  1. the ex Canonica di San Salvatore, at number 4a-5; and

  2. Palazzo Varini, at number 3-4.

Leave Piazza Garibaldi along the right wall of Sant’ Agostino, into  Piazza del Seminario and cross it diagonally.  Look back to see the Renaissance portal (ca. 1500) in right transept of the church.  There is another view here of the campanile (marked 1 in the sketch map below), which (as mentioned above) was built on foundations of a tower in the city walls of ca. 1240.

Continue along Via del Seminario (marked Via N. Alunno in the sketch above), which follows the line of the walls of ca. 1240.  The Ospedale di SS Trinità (later the Monastero di Santa Caterina Nuova) is at the end, on the left.   Vestiges of the walls survive inside the nunnery, including the tower marked 2 in the sketch above.

Turn right along Via Nicolò Alunno (which still follows the line of the wall).  The buildings on the left, which include Casa di Nicolò Alunno at number 19, were incorporated into Monastero di Sant’ Anna (below) in ca. 1549.

Continue to Via Umberto I, at the end of the street, and turn left:

  1. The ancient parish church of Santa Maria Maddalena  (marked 3 on the sketch map above) was demolished in the 19th century.

  2. The Porta Antica della Croce, a gate in the walls of ca. 1240 that is marked 4 also no longer survives.

Continue to Porta San Felicianetto at the end of the street.  This gate was was also known as Porta della Croce because the church and Augustinian nunnery of Santa Maria della Croce (1286) stood nearby (at the junction of Via Umberto I and Via Oberdan).  This is the only gate in  the outer circuit of walls that survives, albeit that it is heavily restored and the adjoining walls no longer exist.

Retrace your steps along Via Umberto I to the ex-church of Santa Maria di Betlem on the right, at the junction of Via dei Monasteri (sketched but unnamed on the sketch map above), and take a short detour by turning right along it.  This road, which is runs parallel to and between the walls of ca. 1240 and those of 1328, was so-named because it housed five nunneries:

  1. Sant’ Anna is the only one of the five that is still in existence.  The entrance to the church is at number 44 and the entrance to the nunnery is at number 46.

  2. The other four, which were all on the right, are described in the page “Nunneries in Via dei Monsteri

  3. Santa Maria di Betlem, at number 27-33, which also owned the church of this name in Via Umberti I (mentioned above);

  4. Sant’ Agnese (ca. 1399), the elaborate portal of which survives at number 23;

  5. Sant’ Elisabetta (1230), which included what are now the garages at number 7-11; and

  6. the Dominican nunnery of Santa Maria del Popolo (1291) at number 1-5 on the left, which you saw earlier in the walk.

Return to and continue along Via Umberto I.  Turn left into Via Pignattara, which runs along the line of the inner city wall (ca. 1240).  Continue  past the excellent Editoriale Umbra at number  34 and Palazzo Piermarini at number 30.  


                                                                                    Reconstruction of Torre dei Vitelleschi

                                                                             From Vladimiro Cruciani (referenced below)

Continue to the so-called Torre dei Vitelleschi at the end of the street, which originally formed part of the walls of ca. 1240.  The remains of the Porta San Constantii  (also known as the Porta Vetus Contrastanghe), a gate in the city walls of ca. 1240, are still clearly visible at the base of the tower (to the right in the photograph above).  Continue through the arch to the right of the tower, in to Corso Cavour: the line of the walls continued along Via del Gonfalone, opposite.

Turn left along Corso Cavour.  The imposing loggia ahead on the left is part of the Ospedale Vecchio di San Giovanni Battista.  Take a short detour along Via Piermarini, passing the right side of this building: the Post Office beyond it was built in 1979 after the demolition of part of this complex.    

Return to and continue along Corso Cavour.  Most of the block on the right (numbers 72-98) belonged to the Abbazia di Sassovivo from the 11th century: it housed

  1. a palace that, in the period 1864-8, housed the important publishing company of Pietro Sgariglia (whose arms can be seen at numbers 74 and 94);

  2. an inn; and

  3. the church of San Giorgio.  The rim of the rose window of this church can be seen at number 90-2 (to the left in the photograph above).  

The inscription at number 123-35 records that Giuseppe Garibaldi stayed here in December 1848.

Continue to the site of Porta Romana, which was demolished in 1870.  A remnant of the adjoining wall survives in Via Chiavellati (which is on the right, just before Porta Romana).

Return along Corso Cavour, towards the centre of Foligno, passing Palazzo Gregori (later Teatro Piermarini) at number 31 on the right.  The original building here was destroyed in the Second World War, although its facade was later restored. 

At the end of the street, turn right along Via Garibaldi, passing the Casa di Gentile da Foligno (14th century) on the right (on the corner of Via Petrucci).  This house belonged to Gentile da Foligno,  a doctor who was celebrated for his treatise on the plague.  He nevertheless died in Perugia during the Black Death of 1348. 

Take a short detour by turning right into Via Umberto I to see Palazzo Giusti Orfini, which is immediately on the left.

Walk back along Via Umberto I, with the imposing Chiesa del Suffragio in front of you. 

Turn left here and immediately right into Piazzetta del Suffragio, which is to the side of the church.  This small square used to be called the Piazzetta della Croce, which referred to a Crucifix in a tabernacle that was demolished in 1861. 

Cross the Piazzetta della Croce diagonally to the Oratorio della Nunziatella

Turn left as you leave the oratory, along Via dell’ Annunziata, and then right into the Piazza della Repubblica, where the walk ends.

Return to the home page on Walks in Foligno.


Walk I: Piazza della Repubblica and

Terziero Superiore

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