Are you in Umbria and wondering where to start your tour? I’m here to help you! Follow me and I’ll take you to discover what to see and do in Bevagna… You’ll be thrilled!
Bevagna is a charming village in the Umbrian Valley. It is located in the province of Perugia, a few kilometres from Foligno and is listed among the most beautiful villages in Italy.
Its origins are ancient: Mevania, the ancient name for Bevagna, was an important Etruscan and then Roman commercial settlement, favoured by the presence of the Via Flaminia (which passed through the town) and numerous rivers. In fact, the waters of several rivers such as the Clitunno and the Teverone flow into Bevagna.
Today, Bevagna looks like a medieval town with imposing walls, narrow streets and alleys, noble palaces, shops, churches and wonderful monuments. Throughout the town you can breathe in the air of this distant era: you will see pointed arches, small windows, cornices, terracotta friezes and many other elements that will take you back to the past.
The wonderful town of Bevagna is ideal for a relaxing day trip or even a whole weekend or for a holiday discovering Umbria! It is strategically located halfway between Spoleto and Perugia and very close to other enchanting villages, such as Montefalco, Spello, Rasiglia, Foligno, Assisi and many others that I will tell you about in a moment.
Bevagna is a destination that can be visited all year round, but I particularly recommend visiting it in spring/summer or even in autumn, when you will have the opportunity to participate in the grape harvest… An experience not to be missed!
I don’t know if you are aware of this, but Bevagna is one of the municipalities that is part of the Sagrantino di Montefalco wine production area. That’s why it is the perfect place for food and wine lovers… But not only! This town is also perfect for art, history and culture lovers!
So, no more talking, let’s start our tour, I will explain to you what to see in Bevagna, first analysing the main attractions of this charming village for those who have little time and then we will visit the surroundings… These are also worth a visit, I assure you!
What to see in Bevagna?
So, let’s go and discover the wonderful town. I will create an itinerary that will help you not to miss the main attractions! The minimum time for visiting the village is about two and a half hours, but if you want to take your time, enjoying every corner, I would recommend devoting at least a day to it!
Let’s get started and see what to see in Bevagna!
1. Piazza Silvestri
The fulcrum of the monumental city is undoubtedly this picturesque square, accessed from the city’s central axis, Corso Matteotti. Bevagna’s most significant monuments and a beautiful fountain are concentrated here.
In Piazza Silvestri, you can admire the Palazzo dei Consoli, which has housed the Francesco Torti Theatre since 1886, and no less than three churches: San Silvestro, dating back to 1195, San Michele from 1070, and San Domenico e Giacomo, built in 1291, with frescoes by Giotto inside. All these churches are remarkable examples of Romanesque architecture in the region.
2. The Churches of Bevagna
In addition to the already mentioned churches, in this marvellous hamlet we find the Church of San Francesco, built at the end of the 13th century on the ancient oratory dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. It stands on the highest place in town, which is why it offers breathtaking views!
Then we also find the Church of Santa Maria della Consolazione, built in the 18th century. It houses a marvellous statue of the Risen Christ from the end of the 16th century, while on the high altar we find the Holy Family painted by Etienne Parrocel in 1738.
3. Lepri Palace
This was the town hall of the city until 1997, designed by architect Andrea Vici at the end of the 18th century. Today it houses the Archives, the Municipal Library, the Art Gallery with wonderful art collections by various authors, the Archaeological Museum and a beautiful Council Chamber. A rich collection of archaeological finds, including friezes, capitals, inscriptions and the remains of a colossal Roman statue, is also on display here.
4. The Walls
Bevagna is surrounded by Roman and medieval walls, built between the 13th and 14th centuries, which are still perfectly preserved. Also intact to this day are the towers, built as defence measures against possible foreign incursions. The city is entered through four gates, which still represent the four “Gaite”, or quarters of the city: Gaita San Giorgio, Gaita San Giovanni, Gaita Santa Maria and Gaita San Pietro.
5. The “Accolta”
As I told you before, Bevagna is surrounded by rivers: the Clitunno, just before flowing into the Teverone, forms the “Accolta”, an ancient public washhouse. Today it is a waterfall much admired by tourists.
6. The Roman Baths
In the Umbrian valley, between the municipalities of Assisi, Spello, Cannara and Bevagna, the tradition of thermal baths was very popular and in this area, thanks to recent excavations, numerous testimonies of the existence of thermal buildings have been found. For example, near the forum today it is possible to admire the mosaics of the Roman baths and the calidarium and tepidarium pools. Other mosaics have been found within the city walls that lead back to thermal practices.
7. The Roman Temple
Bevagna’s Roman past can be observed throughout the town. In particular, this well-preserved temple is a striking example of the Roman era’s architecture. Over time, it was transformed into the Church of the Madonna della Neve, which is no longer consecrated.
8. The Roman Theatre
We are now in front of a 10,000-seat amphitheatre, similar in size to the Colosseum! To this day, walking around the streets, this amphitheatre is invisible… Over time, it has been pulled down, closed in, lofted. Houses and merchants’ shops were built here, and today you only notice it because of the semicircular shape of the streets and houses that follow this trend.
Visiting Bevagna and its surroundings
Now that the town tour is over, I hope I have answered your question: what to see in Bevagna? And it is time to visit its surroundings! In case you have more than one day to visit the area, these are the places you absolutely cannot miss.
Let’s go! 👇
This is an art city rich in history and monuments, a cultural and productive centre of the region and a popular tourist destination! It presents itself as a fortified city with a medieval appearance due to its Etruscan origins. It has been home to artists such as Perugino, Pinturicchio, Galeazzo Alessi and many others. Moreover, the city was the destination, especially during the Italian Renaissance, for the artistic training of important figures such as Raphael Sanzio, Pietro Aretino, Piero della Francesca and Luca Signorelli.
Today Perugia is one of Italy’s most renowned universities, featuring the University of Perugia, one of the oldest in Italy and the world. It is also home to the Pietro Vannucci Academy of Fine Arts and the Music Conservatory. Perugia is a wonderful city that attracts students from all over the world!
It is known for being the city where St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of Italy, and St Clare lived and died. In addition to the religious places where Giotto and Simone Martini left their masterpieces, there is a beautiful Rocca, a rich Pinacoteca Civica, the extraordinary Tempio della Minerva and the scenic Piazza del Comune… In short, if you are in and around Bevagna, Assisi is a very beautiful town to visit!
In addition, Umbria is known for its gastronomy and Assisi will absolutely not disappoint you. Here, the main dishes are based on the black and white truffles of the area, on the excellent extra virgin olive oil: the PDO “Umbria” has got five geographical mentions, including “Colli Assisi Spoleto”.
Among other things, the Calendimaggio is held here on the first weekend in May, a re-enactment of medieval life in a challenge between the two town factions of Parte de Sopra and Parte de Sotto, with processions, theatrical performances, music, singing, dancing and flag-waving.
Spello and Collepino
Spello in the province of Perugia is part of the circuit of the most beautiful towns in Italy. It is known for the Spello Flower Festival, held every year. This is a traditional event where carpets made of flowers or parts of them representing liturgical figures and ornamental motifs are prepared.
Speaking instead of Collepino, this is a hamlet in the municipality of Spello. Its charm is linked to its typical medieval constitution, with small stone-built houses converging towards the castle at the top.
The city is located in the centre of the Umbrian Valley, crossed by the Topino river. If you are visiting this place, one of the first things to see is Palazzo Trinci, home of the Trinci family, who ruled the city from 1305 to 1439. Also, don’t miss the cathedral dedicated to Foligno’s patron saint, San Feliciano: it was built over a pre-existing religious building, where the saint was buried around the 12th century.
Speaking of Foligno sweets, the Rocciata or “Fregnaccia” deserves attention… Another typical sweet is the fried pancake, made with bread dough seasoned with lots of sugar.
This is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy and is the region’s main reference point for wine production. Here, in fact, Sagrantino di Montefalco and Montefalco Rosso are produced… It is no coincidence that it is the City of Wine! Perfect for food and wine lovers, especially because here we find the Sagrantino Wine Trail, a food and wine route that winds its way through five villages, in order to promote the famous wine!
Rasiglia is known as the “Little Venice of Umbria” and is one of the most visited villages in Italy in recent years. It is located in the province of Perugia and is a pleasant place hidden amidst a succession of dense woods and rolling hills… Visiting Rasiglia means setting foot inside a real fairy tale! The naturalistic aspects such as stones, bricks, streams and waterfalls make it absolutely irresistible: it is also known as the “Borgo dei Ruscelli”.
The beautiful Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul and the remains of Rasiglia Castle are worth a visit… Not to be missed!
Campello sul Clitunno
This municipality is one of the best known places for high-quality extra virgin olive oil production in Umbria, thanks to its particular microclimate and soil characteristics that lend themselves perfectly to the cultivation of olive trees.
Here we find the springs of the Clitunno river and, not far away, the Tempietto del Clitunno, probably the most interesting late antique monument in Umbria.
The castles of Campello Alto and Pissignano Alto are of architectural, historical and artistic significance.
Trevi is a very ancient city of uncertain etymology: it was already mentioned in Pliny as “Trebiae”, but its name may refer to the goddess Diana, called Trivia. It is built in concentric circles, so much so that it resembles a snail. Today it preserves its ancient heart made of stone, tiles and wood.
The centre is Piazza Mazzini, closed at an angle by the 13th-century Town Hall with the Civic Tower. Then we find Palazzo Valenti, the former convent of San Francesco, now converted into a museum complex. Inside is the picture gallery, the Civic Museum, the Museum of the Olive Tree Civilisation and the Art Collection.
In the province of Perugia, it is known for the production of artistic ceramics. In fact, the Deruta area is marked by clay deposits, which allowed its inhabitants to procure the raw material with which to develop the wonderful art of pottery. Here we find the Museum of Ceramics… Absolutely a must-see!
The town is located on a hill about 15 kilometres from Perugia and is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Its name originates as a variant of ‘”Diruta”, i.e. “ruined”, in reference to the Perugians’ flight from their city, burnt by Octavian in 40 B.C. during the civil war that saw him oppose Lucius Antonius. The inhabitants of the destroyed city, “diruta”, settled on the hill of today’s Deruta, which took the name “old Perugia”.
Mount Subasio Park
For nature lovers, this is the ideal place to spend wonderful days. It is a protected natural area in the Umbria region, established in 1995, and includes no less than four municipalities in the province of Perugia.
Here you can indulge in fun activities such as quad bike excursions, or hiking, walking and even paragliding for the more intrepid!
Now that we have talked about what to see in and around Bevagna, I will give you some advice and practical information on the rest!
What to do in Bevagna
Apart from the cultural trips to the amazing towns or villages I have told you about, there are plenty of activities to do in Bevagna! You can visit local wineries and taste fine Umbrian wines such as Sagrantino di Montefalco and many others, take part in Umbrian cooking classes or go truffle hunting. If you are looking for something more energetic, you can do activities such as hiking, e-bike rides or horseback riding through the woods, hot air balloon rides or play golf. In fact, there is the Assisi golf club in the province of Perugia!
Local food & wine
Bevagna is appreciated for its truffle dishes and Umbrian specialities, genuine cold-pressed olive oil and for its white and red DOC wines.
In addition, there are many characteristic desserts, prepared on the occasion of recurring festivities such as: frappe at Carnival, sweet and savoury pizzas at Easter, maccheroni and Rocciate for the Saints, Panicocoli and pastarelle.
Talking about wines, however, some of the best include important wines such as Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG, Torgiano Rosso Riserva DOCG, Orvieto Classico DOC, Grechetto DOC and many others.
The most important events:
- Arte in Tavola (Art on the Table): in April, this market exhibition of local products and dishes is held, with tastings, exhibitions by local artists and concerts.
- Mercato delle Gaite: this is a historical commemoration event that falls every year during the ten days straddling the last two Sundays in June. The main objective of this event is to recreate, as faithfully as possible, glimpses of daily life between 1250 and 1350. The four Gaite participate in four competitions (crafts competition, gastronomic competition, market competition, archery competition) to decide who will win the trophy… I recommend you attend, it is a unique experience!
My tour at this point ends here, I hope I have helped you understand what to see and do in Bevagna and I recommend you don’t miss the surroundings!