Castiglione della Valle
The stone-built hamelt of Castiglione della Valle sits on a low hill in the Umbrian countryside. It is part of the municipality of Marsciano, overlooking the valley of the rivers Nestore and Caina. It is at a sort of crossroads, between Perugia and Città della Pieve. Lake Trasimeno is just a short drive away.
Castiglione della Valle started out as a Benedictine monastery that expanded to become a village. The castle and encircling walls were built for defense, along with watch towers. In the 1400s a bridge was built over the Nestore River, bringing more trade and access to the town. With its stone buildings, towers, and medieval form, Castiglione della Valle exudes a sense of tranquility and timelessness. The charming chapel of San Paolo and Sant'Ubaldo is a tiny gem with frescoes by Meo da Siena, while Santa Maria del Fosso is a church just outside the walls with lovely frescoes and art.
The big event of the year is the Palio dei Somari, a country town version of the Siena Palio with jockeys on donkeys racing through the streets to win the painted banner prize that will be the pride of the winning quartiere until the next year. The event includes ten days of music, food, dancing, art and entertainment.
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