the most ancient town in umbria
Palazzo dei Consoli
Many years since we have been in Gubbio and we are looking forward to our return in 2019.
The town is located in the province of Perugia, in the region of Umbria. It is one of the oldest medieval towns in Umbria. The Tables of Gubbio (Tavole Eugubine), are seven bronze tablets discovered in the 20th. On the tablets, written in the Umbrian language, is information on the city.
Rich in history there are monuments and buidings that give an indication of the former power of this town. As you would expect, there are narrow streets to explore. Large historic buildings that pop up in front of you as you walk about the town.
The Piazza Grande holds the Palazzo dei Consoli, one of the most impressive city palaces and is a symbol of the city. The Gothic sytle palazzo dates to the XIV century. It now houses the civic museum that keeps the precious Tables of Gubbio. Also on the square is the Praetorian Palace (Palazzo Pretorio) which now functions as the Town Hall.
In front of the Cathedral stands the Ducal Palace, built in the XV century by Duke Federico di Montefeltro. Inside you can admire the small study (a faithful copy of the original one exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum in New York) and a beautiful courtyard consisting of a series of arches supported by columns and decorated capitals.
Also of note are the Palazzo del Capitano and Palazzo del Bargello.
There are six gates that lead into the city through the old walls. The walls were built at the end of the 13th century and remain intact. Some of the gates still have fragments of painted decorations, the city’s coat of arms and even its old wooden doors.
Outside the walls are more churches to explore and the remains of the Roman Theatre that dates back to the 1 century BC. It was restored in the 19th and 20th C. You can talk about the theatre and it is actively used today with performances held in the summer.
There is a cable care that will take you to the top of Ingino Mountain, about 900 m and from there you can admire the Cathedral of St. Ubaldo which holds the remains of Sain Ubaldo as well as some famous candles.
For our 2019 visit to the area we are staying at an agriturismo just outside of Gubbio. I am looking forward to this as the entire area has a number of parks. The national Park of the Sibillini Mountains, the Park of Colfiorito, Park of Cucco Mount, Park of Subassio Mount and the Tiber River Park.
We did not see the Park of Cucco Mount on our other visits and the description is that of a mountainous area with rock walls, pastures and "very evocative gorges". Nikon D750 there you go! It also has a series of caves that are open for guided tours.
Your don't walk Spello, you climb it!
Other towns in the area to see include Montefalco, Spello, Bevagna, Bettona, Deruta, Trevi, Corciano, Norcia, Spoleto, Assisi. We enjoyed previous trips to Spello, Bevagn, Trevi, Spoleto and Assisi.
The race takes place every year on May 15th. This is the eve of the day of the city’s patron saint, St. Ubaldo. The statues of St. Ubaldo - the patron of bricklayers, St. George - patron saint of haberdashers, St. Anthony the Abbot - patron saint of donkey breeders and peasants. Lots of saints! The candles are placed on 3 tall, heavy wooden ceri or pedestals (meant to represent candles).
In the race, cCeraioli (pedestal bearers) carry the ceri on their shoulders and run down the city streets and then up to the basilica of S. Ubaldo on top of Mount Ingino. The raising (the alzata) of the ceri takes place in Piazza Grande at noon and then the ceri are toured around the piazza 3 times.
They are then displayed in the city streets, they are placed in Via Savelli until it is time for the race. A procession with the statue of St. Ubaldo takes place in the afternoon and travels to the end of Via Dante, where the bishop blesses the ceri. Then the race starts down the city’s main streets. Once the ceri are back in Piazza Grande, they tour around it 3 more times and end up in front of Porta dell’Angelo (gate) where the ascent up Mount Ingino begins. The ceri are stored in the basilica of Sant’Ubaldo, while the statues of the 3 saints are brought back into the city amidst singing and a torchlight procession.