Welcome to Spello which is an ancient town & commune in Italy’s Province of Perugia in Central Umbria.
I came across the name of Spello when I read some blogs & also saw some photos of the pretty flowers-filled little lanes on the Web.
This lane here which has been widely photographed & most visited by tourists would most certainly be synonmous to Spello.
This picturesque hillside town has interlocking stone houses built on the slope of Mount Subasio which is splendidly preserved right down to these patterned cobblestone streets.
A lot of the houses here are built from Subasio marble which takes on a peachy-pink hue around sunrise & sunset.
Spello was originally known as “Hispellum” , a Roman settlement which laid on the Via Flaminia consular road, close to the strategic junction of Perugia.
This Old walled town lies on a regularly Northwest – Southeast sloping ridge that eventually meets the plain.
An amble around Spello is really fun, as there are unexpected tiny nooks & corners where pretty architecture dressed with potted plants & flowers await to be discovered.
My take is that the 9000 over inhabitants here have green fingers & really love to compete in beautifying the streets of Spello.
Such a welcoming little stairway to a home! During the feast of Corpus Domini which falls on the ninth Sunday after Easter, the Infiorate of Spello takes place. The night before, almost a thousand people would work incessantly to create carpets & pictures made of flowers & herbs along the historical centre in preparation to the passage of the Blessed Sacrament carried in procession by the Bishop on Sunday morning. This unique & colourful path of floral creations span over 1.6km of the town’s narrow streets.
The custom of honouring divinity by throwing flowers or creating floral compositions is a dateless event in many parts of the world & in Spello this tradition which evolved from throwing of flowers to placing them in art form on pavement was first documented in the Municipal archives in 1831.
Though it was a little hazy, we could catch a glimpse of the plains of Perugia where the rolling green hills of the Umbrian countryside sprawls. Spello has managed to keep a calm pace of life & preserve her culture & historical heritage for posterity.
From May to August the town of Spello comes to life with floral decorations adorning her alleyways, homes, porticoes, staircases, corners, railings, window sills, terraces & balconies. Visitors can enjoy not only a visual feast but also the scent of the flowers that perfume the air & that sets it apart from other equally interesting Medieval towns.
When you are in Italy & especially in Umbria, do make time to visit Spello. It is a medieval town where you can see the ancient fortress walls & gates & several magnificent churches like Santa Maria Maggiore where the famous frescoes by Pinturicchio decorate the Baglioni Chapel.
As for me, just seeing the prettily dressed up window sills, doorways & narrow cobblestone streets steeped in history made my day! Bello or beautiful Spello is small & tranquil & that really belies her real charm!