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yuliangpang Foligno - A travel report by yuliang
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Foligno,  Italy - flag Italy -  Umbria
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yuliangpang's travel reports

Foligno-my 9th Report on Via Flaminia

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Page: 1 2
Foligno, 40KM south-east of Perugia, 167KM north of Rome, 132KM South-west of Ancona, used to be an important station in the ancient Roman road, Via Flaminia. Today it has kept this status, serving the transportation hub in central italy.

Frescoes in Palazzo Trinci
Frescoes in Palazzo Trinci
The Rough Tour Guide to Italy says "Foligno is a lull, because it's a large modern town and fat in every sense of the word. Most of its star-turns were bombed out of existence in the Second World War, and the place is now a mediocre provincial backwater sprawled over an unattractive plain." But I can not fullly concur with the judgements from Rough Tour Guide, I believe this conclusion is partial and incomplete, Foligno has something quite interesting.

The most interesting thing that I found is its ancient history and its great persuasiveness for proving the legitimacy of correlation between road and developement as I mentioned in my general report on Via Flaminia.

Foligno is very ancient and its fist settlement can be dated back to 7th-5th century B.C (wikipedia says 8th century B.C). It was probably founded by the Umbrian tribe, Plestini. In 295 BC Romans came and finally conquered it after an historically important battle called Battle of Sentinum, and consequently was renamed Fulginiae. It is necessay to say a few more words about how important of this Battle. It was in this battle that the Romans suceeded to dismantle the coalitions of several tribes and unify the central Italy. After the Roman conquer, "Foligno acquired importance first as a municipium, later as the seat of a prefecture and finally as a Statio principalis of road traffic along the ancient Via Flaminia" (I quote from Wikipedia). It was Via Flaminia that changed the fate of Foligno and broght prosperity to it. Today Foligno remains the status of the main transportation center in central italy, serving a major station on the line connecting Tyrrhenian Sea and Adriatic Sea from Rome to Ancona, and is the junction for Perugia.

As above mentioned, Foligno has been badly hit first in the Second World War and then in a terrible earthquake in 1997. And today it is still to emerge from the scaffolding. Nevertheless, there is much to see here.


Favourite spots:
the main square and the cathedral in a heavy fog
the main square and the cathedral in a heavy fog
When I got at Foligno, it was still pretty early. It was around 8 in the morning and I still had to wait for an hour before the tourist office was open, where I should take the map of the town as well as the necessary information. So I decided to hang around to get a general idea about the town. The whole town was enfolded in a heavy fog, but I checked the weather prediciton before I came, I knew it would be a sunny day.

Foligno is quite big, but the historic centre which resolves around Piazza della Repubblica is compact, all the main sights are in the vicinity. The most visited sight must be cathedral of San Feliciano (duomo) which is located at the main square Piazza della Reppublica. The cathedral is very special, it is L-shaped and has two facades and a Gothic chapel serving the baptistery of the cathedral. The interior of the cathedral was also impressive, has some nice frescoes, but i like the herbal flavor, very fragrant.


What's really great:
frescoes in Trinci Palace
frescoes in Trinci Palace
I decided to go to the tourist office and take the map and information book first, so I could follow the map. The tourist office is in Porta Romana, the doorway to the main street of the town, Corso Cavour. I got two maps and also strong recommendation that I shall not miss Palazzo Trici where the museum is housed. When I got out the tourist office, the fog was not yet gone, so I decided to go to the museum first.

The museum (Trinci Palace) is at the corner of Piazza della Repubblica, its collection includes archaeological findings and frescoes. It was a little bit expensive, 6 Euro, but it proved to be the best museum that I have ever seen along Via Flaminia. Actually I had very little knowledge about arts, but I knew they were definitely masterpieces by instinct. Just looking at the first picture in my report, you will have to agree with on that. Wikipedia says that the frescoes are from the early 15th century, some contributed to Gentile da Fabriano.


from the Museum
from the Museum
I did not realize I had hung around in the museum 3 hours until I saw the sunshine outside the windows of the museum. But from the second floor of the museum, you will be better positioned to see the cathedral, the town hall and the main square. When the heavy fog was gone, the cathedral and the square were just simply beautiful. It was a pity that the Town Hall was under renovation, and I could not see what it looks like at all.

There are several other churches in Foligno deserving a visit. Chiesa San Giacomo behind the cathedral has a very simple facade, it seems to me that the architecture just put the bricks together, no decoration at all. Just a few steps away, you will reach a river called Topino, from where the church looks more beautiful.

Chiesa San Domenico is changed into an auditorium now, nothing special from the apperance, just as simple as the Chiesa San Giacomo. But the interior is very interesting, you will find a perfect theater with great frescoes on the walls.

Topino River and Church San Giacomo
Topino River and Church San Giacomo
Out of the station, you will find a white board, showing the directions of the hotels. It seems to me that you will be spoiled by so many choices, villa dei Platani (4 star), Valentini inn (2 star), Summit (3 star), Bolognese ( 1 star), La Torretta ( 1 Star), Nunziatella (2 star), Le Mura ( 3 star), Italia (3 star), Holiday Inn (2 star), Casa Mancia ( 3 star). I also found the number and address of some hotels on the map of the town, just would like to put here, they might be helpful for you. Hotel Italia, Piazza Matteotti, 12, tel: 0742 350 412. Hotel Bolognese, Via Istituto Denti 12, 0742- 352 350. Villa dei Platani, Viale Mezzetti, 29, Tel: 0742 355 839. I also found that those who had stayed in Foligno recommended hotel Italia and le Mura.

Baptism of Jesus
Baptism of Jesus
I still have something to say about the sights. There are another two or three churches quite interesting, church of San Francesco, Church of Santa Maria Infra Portas ( the oldest church in Foligno), Church of San Agostino, Churhc of San Salvatore, Church of the Suffragio. Besides Church of the Suffragio, there is a Oratory of Nunziatella, containing two altars with paintings. The most famous one is "baptism of Jesus" by Perugino. It was free and english phamphlet was provided.

cathedral of San Feliciano
cathedral of San Feliciano
The main square Piazza della Repubblica is a nice place to meet people or just order a cup of caffe or Cappucino at Central Bar or Antico Caffe della Piazza and sit down somewhere and watch people and the world around. At Central Bar, television is provided, and many local people stay there chatting or watching the football match, it is the right place to feel how Italians love football.

On the main street Corso Cavour, I also found another nice bar, Caffe della piaggeta. It has a big courtyard, you may also find some interesting chinese calligraphy there.

Statue in Viale Roma
Statue in Viale Roma
Central Bar at the main Square Piazza della Repubblica also provides a set menu, but it seems to me that it is a little bit expensive, I order one Cappucino and one Corneto, normally the prices in Rome is 1.6 Euro, but there i was charged around 1.9 Euro. I did not get a chance to try it out.

The most popular restaurant in the city is Il Bacco Felice in Via Garibaldi. Broseccheria ( also in Via Garibaldi) and Marechiaro (in Via Piermarini) can also be good choices.

Other recommendations:
View from the Museum
View from the Museum
You may use Foligno as the good base to kick off your trip around those nearby towns, Montefalco, Bevagna, Trevi, Spello, because some small nice towns either do not have train service, you have to take bus from Foligno to get there, or are not worthy of a whole day to stay.

I am going to establish an album for this report, welcome to read this report together with my album.

Published on Thursday December 25th, 2008

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Thu, Jan 08 2009 - 09:50 AM rating by davidx

You make me rather sorry that I took too much notice of the guidebooks and avoided Foligno.

Wed, Dec 31 2008 - 08:54 AM rating by jorgesanchez

Pretty pictures and text.

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