To quote my favourite guidebook in the universe, Lonely Planet, “Just when you think Umbrian towns can’t get any prettier, along comes Spello“. And they were right.
This gorgeous little hilltop medieval town has cute lane ways filled with potted flowers, cobbled streets, ancient brick and stone houses, archways and endless vistas of rolling hills.
The most impressive church we saw was St Andrea, dating back to the 12th Century it is just gorgeous inside with frescoes, great artwork and ornate statues.
In Spello there were many artists showing off their works in small galleries through out the little town. Also in abundance were shops selling colourful traditional Italian ceramics and much to my delight, delis. Mmm, how I love a good deli.
Exciting too, we saw a saint’s relic! Yep, those creepy Catholics strike again. On display in a little ornante glass case was a bone from San Felice. Yes, a bone. I’m not sure what sort of bone, maybe an arm? Either way, it was creepy! Praying to a bone must give certain Catholics a sense that someone is there? Or that their prayers will be answered because the bone of San Felice is listening? I’m not exactly sure, even though I’m a Catholic myself.
In Australia, we have never had saints relics in our modern churches and it’s something that I find hard to understand. Nonetheless, I get excited every time I come across a relic because it is just sooo creepy!
After a very pleasant albeit uphill walk through the town centre to other side and back again, we ordered a panini and sat in the main square for a quick lunch.
The 1.5 hour drive to Spello, following the GPS was mostly without incident if you don’t count Walter saying to Zorba the driver every 10 minutes, “It’s 90 here,” or, “There’s a speed camera coming up, I saw a sign.”
We did actually get pulled over by the carabiniere – the Italian police. They asked for Zorba’s licence and once sighted said thank you and Arrivederci and waved us on. It was probably too much paperwork to book an international driver. More to the point, there was nothing Zorba was doing wrong to get booked in the first place!
On the way back, we made it home in an hour. Not once did we get lost. Not once did we forget where we parked our car. The only thing that did happen was that a huge truck nearly crashed into us when coming around a corner. I crapped myself – as did Mum and Dad, but Zorba kept his cool and drove on. He drove well and did a good job. A good move my him too to take the current speed off the GPS and also remove the voice prompts that say, “You are over the speed limit” when going 1km over.
Spello is very cute and it is easy to whittle way a couple of hours there, more if you have time for a leisurely lunch in one of the many trattorias or entotecas. Highly recommend.
Spello is close to Assisi and Perugia in Umbria.
It took us about 1.5 hours to drive from our Umbrian palace, Laguscello (near Castel Giorgio and Orvieto).
There was plenty of parking just outside the city walls the day we visited.
We have driven past Spello and it looks gorgeous. I need to go there. The Carabinieri don’t usually fine you for traffic infringements, that is the job of the Polizia Stradale. The Carabinieri are just checking you car ownership papers and to make sure you have the correct insurance etc. They don’t bother much with foreigners.
I recently visited Umbria and I missed visiting Spello. Nevertheless I hope I go there again soon 🙂 Great post and pictures. I blog on Italy too – http://www.ishitasood.blogspot.in
Thanks Ishita. Umbria has so many great places to visit. Italy is one place I will never stop travelling to. Are you living there?
Sadly No 🙂 But I have traveled only twice and feel there is some past connection. I LOVE ITALY <3 I would love to return to Umbria.