Umbria Blog | visit museum Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria in Perugia

Perugia is a lovely city with many cosy squares and tiny alleyways. It is the chocolate-capital of Umbria. In the historical centre you can’t miss the antique churches, parks and medieval buildings with nice boutiques, good coffee bars and many shops.

Perugia houses the most important art history museum of Umbria: La Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria. This museum has magnificent works, including important paintings ranging from the 13th to the 19th century. A visit to this museum is a must for Renaissance art lovers.

The museum is in the medieval building “Palazzo dei Priori” on the main street Corso Vannucci 19 in Perugia. The entrance is on Corso Vannucci through a thirteenth-century portal, decorated with the symbols of the town of Perugia, the statues of the griffin and the lion.

The Palazzo dei Priori is built between 1293-1443 in Gothic style. This building houses the City Hall, the Sala dei Notari and the museum itself is on the upper floors. To get there one can take the stairs, but there also is an elevator.

The entrance is 8,00 Euro, but every first Sunday of the month, the museum is open with free admission for al visitors. One can get the entrance tickets on the ground floor. All national museums in Italy have free entrance on the first Sunday of the month, it can be quite busy that day.

The museum in Perugia includes various masterpieces from the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Much space is given to Umbrian painters: Il Perugino, Pintoricchio and Caporali. The works range from painting on wood, canvas and murals, to sculptures in wood and stone to goldsmith’s art and fabrics. The itinerary starts with the collections of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

A wonderful masterpiece created by Bartolomeo Caporali “Madonno col Bambino e Angeli entro una ghirlanda” which means “the Virgin with child and Angels in a Garland”. This painting is completed between 1470-1479.

Painting (1467 – 1469) “Polittico di Sant’Angelo” from the early Renaissance artist Piero della Francesca. Piero della Francesca is born in the decade between 1410 – 1420 in Borgo San Sepolcro. He has spent a lot of his time in Arezzo and in San Sepolcro Tuscany.

If you want to see some other masterpieces of Piero della Francesca, in the museum Uffizi in Florence one can admire the famous portrait panels of Battista Sforza and Federico da Montefeltro.

The itinerary in the museum continues with paintings and sculptures from the 17th, 18th and 19th century in Umbria. It is a wonderful museum “La Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria” and worth a visit when you’re in Perugia. During the year there also are special exhibitions, keep an eye on the museum’s website to know more about these.

After a visit to the museum we have a nice tip for an authentic espresso: the “Sandri” bar. Sandri is in the city centre and has a long history dating back to 1860. It originally was a Swiss family. Their chocolate and coffee are of high quality. Sandri is just on the opposite side of the museum in the Corso Vannucci 32. Don’t forget to look above your head in the bar. The paintings on the ceiling are amazing!

Umbria Blog | Visit Civic Museum in Montefalco

Montefalco “Mount of the Falcon” is a town of churches and convents. This hamlet is situated 11 km north west from Foligno and is perched on a hill top, boasting magnificent views over the green hills. Montefalco is also known as the balcony of Umbria. Outside the Gate of St. Augustine there’s ample parking. Enter the gate and proceed up the Corso G. Mameli with its small shops and restaurants to the Piazza del Comune.

The area around Montefalco is famous for its Sagrantino wine. This wine is made of 100% Sagrantino grapes which have been cultivated for centuries on the hills of Umbria. Following the wine route “Strada del Sagrantino” one can stop by some local wineries to  taste and buy the local wines.

Besides the famous Sagrantino wine the medieval walled town offers a mix of picturesque streets and historic churches and museums. A must see in Montefalco is the museum in the Chiesa di San Francesco, the church of Saint Francis. You can reach this museum by walking down from the main piazza to the Via Ringhiera Umbra. This museum is divided into three sections: the church, the gallery and the crypt.

The church houses important works of the Renaissance painter of Florence Benozzo Gozzoli, il Perugino, Melanzio and some other painters. The famous painter Gozzoli, painted in the apse of the church brightly coloured frescoes all on the life of San Francesco. These frescoes in the chapel are of great importance and are comparable with the cycle by Giotto in the church of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Pietro Vannucci, also known as Il Perugino, made two master pieces in the church: the “Nativity scene” and the “Annunciation with the Eternal in glory between angels”. Tiberio d’Assisi instead painted the frescoes “Madonna and Child with saints”  and “The descriptive Madonna del Soccorso”. All are interesting works by artists known all over the world.

Video Civic Museum Montefalco.

In the basement of the church is  a medieval wine cellar where monks brought their locally grapes, pressed them in wine presses and prepared wine for local consumption.

The gallery contains important works and wooden sculptures of the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries.

The entrance for this museum is 7,00 Euro. Children from 6 to 14 years pay 2,00 Euro each and children under 6 years are free. With your entrance ticket you can visit other musea in Umbria for free. This offer is valid for two weeks after the date of your visit to the Civic Museum in Montefalco. For more information visit this website: Umbria Terre Musei.

From Montefalco you can head up to the medieval walled town of Bevagna. The distance is about 8 km, a 10 minutes drive.

Ristorante della Mura is situated on the Piazza Garibaldi 14a in the centre of Bevagna. In this restaurant they serve traditional local Umbrian dishes. Really recommended!

Umbria Blog | A day trip to Siena

There are a lot of wonderful places to visit when you’re on a holiday in Umbria. If you’re staying in Perugia or around the Trasimeno Lake even a visit to Siena in Tuscany is quite easy to organise.

Siena is one of the most wonderful villages in Tuscany with many good restaurants in its historical centre. Planning a visit to Siena can also include a visit to the Abbey of San Galgano. If you haven’t yet seen Siena though, this may be too much in one day. In that case you’d better spent your time visiting the many sites in this medieval city.

Siena

Siena
On a cold winter day we went to Siena for a lunch in Osteria Boccon del Prete together with Saskia Balmaekers from the famous Dutch blog CiaoTutti.nl. A very cosy restaurant where you can eat real Tuscan food. On the day-menu were “paccheri with truffle and funghi” and the traditional antipasti. The wines they serve are of high quality. I personally prefer drinking a glass of Chianti Classico with my pasta, but don’t underestimate the white Vernaccia. Osteria Boccon del Prete is close to the Duomo in the Via S. Pietro.

Boccon del Prete

Boccon del Prete

Boccon del Prete

The Abbey of San Galgano
In Chiusdino, about 35 km from Siena are the remains of the the Abbey of San Galgano. The Abbey has a church and a monastery originally built by the Cistercian monks. This Abbey is in Gothic style and is famous because of the legend of Galgano.

The Abbey of San Galgano

The Abbey was built by Cistercian monks between 1218 and 1288. For many years they led a prosperous life here. Later mercenaries attacked the abbey and its grounds, the plague also hit in this part of Europe and in the 15th Century there were only still 8 monks left who moved to Siena. There were no monks any more in the Abbey. In 1786, lightning struck the bell tower which collapse on to the roof of the Abbey and the church was deconsecrated in 1789.

The Abbey was completely abandoned ever since.

The Abbey of San Galgano

The Abbey of San Galgano

The hermitage of Montesiepi
On a small hill close to the Abbey, a 10 minutes walk, is the Chapel of Montesiepi. This Chapel has been built on the spot where Saint Galgano had retired to live as a hermit. Now the Chapel has a round base and the walls are later frescoed by a Sienese painter. The interior of the Chapel is quite basic but interesting.

In the hermitage is the sword of Saint Galgano embedded in stone. After a horrible life as a soldier Saint Galgano wanted to dedicate his life to peace and to God. He believed in a new life living in faith. He died in 1181 and with this the legend of Saint Galgano was born. Saint Galgano is a catholic Saint. His sword is still in the stone in the centre of the Chapel.

The sword of San Galgano

Saint Galgano is one of the most visited monuments in the Tuscan countryside. The historical Abbey has become a romantic ruin with only the remains of the church. During Summer concerts and events are held in the Abbey.

When you are in the area during your holiday in Italy, a visit to San Galgano is worthwhile. There is also a playground for children. Dogs may not enter the monastery and the church.

Address:

Abbazia di San Galgano
Località San Galgano
53012 Chiusdino Siena
Tel:   +39 (0) 577756738
website