Key to Umbria: Amelia

Walk around Amelia

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Amelia:  Home    History    Art    Saints    Walk    Monuments    Museums

The walk begins at Porta Romana, with interesting remains of the ancient city walls to the sides of it.  

Walk through Porta Romana, which stands on the site of the Roman gate that formed the main entrance to the city from Via Amerina.   The original road was probably built in ca. 240 BC, and was extensively renovated in the 1st century BC (perhaps in ca. 42 BC when Colonia Iulia Fida Tuder (Todi) was established further along it).   After it passed through Porta Romana, this road became the cardo maximus of the Roman city.  A long stretch of it was excavated in 1966 under what is now Via della Repubblica.

There is a fine view ahead of the Duomo and Torre Civica (see below) at the highest point in the city.  The ex-church of San Giovanni Decollato (previously Santa Maria dei Laici) and adjacent ex-hospice is on the left.  This complex houses the Centro Culturale Santa Firmina.

Turn right into Piazza Vera, which is named for the philosopher Augusto Vera (died 1885), who came from Amelia.  The church of San Francesco is on the right.  The cloister of the adjacent ex-convent now leads to the ex-Collegio Boccarini, part of which houses the Museo Archeologico and the Pinacoteca.

The war memorial (1923) is at the centre of the piazza.  Palazzo Colonna, at the far side of the piazza houses the Pro Loco offices. 

Walk around Palazzo Colonna into Via Pomponia.  Palazzo Venturelli is at number 30 on the right.  Walk behind this palace, along Via Civitavecchia:  the doors on the left open into its cellars, which preserve the remains of the mosaic floors of a Roman domus here.

Continue to the junction with Via Leone IV.  Take a short detour by turning right to Porta Leone

You can take a further detour by walking round the outside of the walls in the clockwise direction to the point just before the second rectangular tower, where a city gate that was named Porta del Sole was discovered in 1944.  A 30 meter section of the wall just beyond it collapsed in 2006 and is still in restoration (as at May 2011).

Retrace your steps along Via Leone IV and continue to the junction with Via Pomponia.  Turn left here and then immediately right along Via Angelo Ciatti to Via della Repubblica:
  1. Palazzo Alessandro Geraldini and Palazzo Angelo Geraldini are to the left, on the far side of Via della Repubblica; and

  2. Via Antonio di Sangallo runs along the right of the first of these palaces, through the arch illustrated here, to Via Farrattini.


This block bounded by Via della Repubblica, Via Antonio di Sangallo and Via Farrattini was the site of a large Roman cistern (1st century BC).  Walk  along Via Antonio di Sangallo and turn left along Via Farrattini to see part of its remains.  Water from this cistern fed the Roman baths, the remains of which survive in the cellars of Palazzo Farrattini opposite.

Turn right along Via Farrattini to rejoin Via della Repubblica:


Interesting Roman remains are to be seen on the right:

  1. a Roman inscription is embedded in the house at number 185; and

  2. a Roman column is embedded in the wall beyond it, at number 191-3.


The road ends at a double arch known as the Arco di Piazza (13th or 14th century):

  1. A fragment of a Roman frieze has been incorporated above the arch entrance. 

  2. The structure seems to be built of Roman blocks, with older blocks incorporated on the left.

This arch, which possibly formed the entrance to the ancient acropolis, later marked the end of the medieval Borgo.

Continue into Piazza Marconi, which was the site of the main square of the medieval city.   The current patterned paving was laid out in the 18th century.  The Loggia dei Banditori (13th or 14th century) to the left is so-called because it was used in medieval times for proclamations by the town crier (banditore).   According to local historians, the Roman column to the right was erected here in 1479 to honour Stefano Colonna.  [Stefano Colonna subjected Penna in Teverina to Amelia in 1492, although he sold it to the Orsini in 1505.]  The clock in the tower above dates to ca. 1700.

This photograph from the Loggia dei Banditori shows Palazzo Petrignani on the right, with Palazzo Nacci beyond it. 

The facade of the old Post and Telegraph Office (19th century) opposite these palaces has memorials to King Victor Emanuel II and Giuseppe Garibaldi.


Leave Piazza Marconi along Via Garibaldi and turn left along Via Piacenti, past Palazzo Piacenti on the left (just before number 10).  An inscription (1700) above the portal in the courtyard records that Antonio Piacenti, the Protomedico General under Pope Innocent XII, restored the palace, which stood on the site of the confiscated property of the Roscia family.  (Two Roman inscriptions that relate to the Gens Roscia are now in the Museo Archeologico).

Take a short detour at the point where the road swings to the right by continuing to Porta della Valle.  This gate in the medieval walls offers lovely views over the surrounding country.


Retrace your steps and turn left along Via della Valle, which runs between the medieval and ancient walls.  As it swings to the left, the oldest surviving stretch of the ancient walls can be seen on the right, with the church of Sant' Angelo ahead. 

Continue along Via del Teatro, passing the Teatro Sociale on the left.  Continue as the street turns sharply right outside the theatre and then sharply left, past Palazzo Moriconi at number 6 on the right: the inscription over the portal records the name of Ascanio Moriconi and the date 1480.

Continue to the end of the street, to rejoin Via Garibaldi.  Palazzo Cansacchi is in Piazza Cansacchi, immediately on the right.  (Note, there is another Palazzo Cansacchi in Via dell’ Ospedale - see below). 

Turn left along Via Garibaldi, passing the church of Santa Maria di Porta (Madonnina) on the left.  Via Garibaldi now swings to the right, with Palazzo Cansacchi ahead, at number 14 Via dell’ Ospedale.  Follow Via Garibaldi into Piazza Matteotti, the site of the Roman forum, which was built above a series of Roman cisterns.  The entrance to the cisterns is on the right. 

Palazzo Comunale is on the left, with the Ospedale Santa Maria dei Laici behind it (in Via dell’ Ospedale).  This hospital stands on the site of the Monastero di Santo Stefano.  

Via Garibaldi continues through Piazza Matteotti.  Continue to the junction with Via Cavour on the left and Via Boccarini on the right: Palazzo Boccarini is at number 2.

Continue along what has become Via Posterola, past the church and nunnery of San Magno on the left.  Continue to the double gate known as  Porta Posterola.  The path to the left, just before you reach the gate, leads to the octagonal church of San Girolamo.

Return to Porta Posterola. 

[Detour to the viewpoint over Rio Grande and the dam (13th century) known as “la para”.]

[Detour (3 km return) to San Giacomo: Walk through Porta Posterola and turn left.  Follow the road round to the left and then turn right along the SS 205.  When this road swings left, turn right along Strada di Macchie.  Follow it as it swings sharply left and take the next right along Strada dei Cappuccini.   The convent is about 1 km ahead.  Return to Porta Posterola.]

This photograph is taken from a low position between the two arches of Porta Posterola, in order to catch the campanile of Sant’ Agostino.  To see the church, retrace you steps along Via Posterola and turn left into Via Cavour. 

Continue along Via Cavour past the church and convent of Santa Monica.   Continue along Via Cavour, which now follows the medieval walls, with lovely views below.  The road then swings away from the walls, and the church of Santa Lucia is further along, on the left.


Via del Crocifisso on the right, opposite Santa Lucia, probably follows the outline of the Roman theatre: excavations here in 1839 uncovered material that supports this hypothesis, some of which is exhibited in the Museo Archeologico and in the atrium of Palazzo Comunale

Take a short detour up Via del Crocifisso, to the Oratorio del Crocifisso (1664) on the right: this was rebuilt on the site of the church of San Nicolò, which was recorded in 1267.   This oratory, which was in restoration in May 2011, is the home of the Corale Amerina.

Return to Via Cavour and turn left (back) along it.  Turn left up the stepped Via San Sebastiano.


This leads to the highest point of the city, the site of the Duomo and the Torre Civica

  1. Palazzo Vescovile is in Via Duomo, opposite the Duomo and Torre Civica. 

  2. The palace (1713) behind and to the left of the tower (illustrated above, to the left) was built to house the Seminary. 

Take a short detour by walking past the right side of the Duomo, and continue a little way along Via Alessandro Geraldini [Palace of Pace Busitani ?] to see the ex-church and nunnery of Santa Caterina.

Continue down along Via Duomo, passing Palazzo Battista Geraldini at number 19 and then the back of Palazzo Petrignani (see above) on the left.  Turn left at the end of the street, into Piazza Garibaldi and retrace your steps along Via della Repubblica to Porta Romana. 

Outside Porta Romana

The flat area outside the walls here, which extends along Via delle Rimembranze and Via 1 Maggio, was probably the site of a military parade ground in Roman times, and possibly also of a Roman amphitheatre.   This was the find spot, in 1963, of the famous bronze statue (ca, 40 AD) of Germanicus, which is now in the Museo Archeologico.  The museum also contains grave goods from an ancient necropolis that was discovered when the Consorzio Agrario here was demolished in 2001.

From here, it is possible to visit two interesting churches outside the walled city: cross the busy main road and bear right along Via delle Cinque Fonti to the Abbazia di San Secondo on the left.  Continue past the school on the right, to the road junction: the church of Santa Maria delle Cinque Fonti (of the five springs) ahead is named for a drinking trough built over a Roman structure, traces of which can be seen in a house along the street to the left (illustrated here).  The area between San Secondo and Santa Maria delle Cinque Fonti seems to have been the site of a Roman necropolis: finds from the area are exhibited in the Museo Archeologico.

Retrace your steps to Porta Romana, where the walk ends.

Detour to SS Annunziata

It is possible to take a bus from the bus station outside Porta Romana to the Convento della Santissima Annunziata, which is just outside Montenero, some 4 km south of Amelia. 

The route takes you along the line of Via Amerina.  The remains of a Roman mausoleum known as il Trullo can be seen on the left as you reach the city limit of Amelia.   This was one of a number of such monuments that were erected along the road in the 1st century BC, and is said to have housed the body of a lady called Gentiliana Roscia.  Only its inner core survives, so it is not possible to reconstruct its original appearance.  It was restored as far as possible in 2009.

When the driver drops you at SS Annunziata, walk down the cypress-lined Strada della SS Annunziata to the right of the bus stop.  The bus back also leaves from here, and your outbound ticket is valid for 70 minutes.  Alternatively it is a nice walk back to Amelia. 

Return to the home page on Amelia.