Thought every inch of Umbria is worth visiting, this blog is about one of my favorite villages. Bevagna.
It is, to Dutch standards, a small town in the valley of Umbria, in the province of Perugia. Its original name, Mevania, comes from the Roman period, out of which some remains in the higher part of the town testify. I mention the Teatro Romano, the Edificio delle Terme where you can see a beautiful mosaic from the second century, the Tempio, and, of course the city walls, that are built in the Middle Ages on the remains of the original Roman ones. The many entrance gates in the walls also contain the remains from both periods.
Close to the Porta Molini runs the river Clittuno. In the old times it was not only useful for transport but also made the mill work and allowed the public washhouse, a lovely, rustic spot that is still in use.
Many monuments, in fact, the whole town, testify of the Medieval period. The splendid square with its famous buildings, il Palazzo dei Consoli, la Chiesa di San Silvestro and the Chiesa di San Michele can keep you in silent admiration for a full afternoon. Don´t forget to visit the crypt in the San Silvestro.
All churches in Bevagna have something special, but personally I really like the San Francesco in the higher part of the town, mostly for the outside.
Other beautiful things
I can only consider to roam around the town and enjoy the atmosphere of its picturesque streets and alleys. The pinacoteca contains some interesting pieces of which I like the Madonna by Dono Doni the best.
Another very pleasant visit I made was la Casa Medievale. It is a reconstructed Medieval house that is said to have belonged to a rather wealthy merchant. It´s is a guided visit and I can assure you that after a few minutes, you wish you were born in those times.
Mercato delle Gaite
Speaking of the Middle Ages, I cannot leave this blog without mentioning the annual festival, Il Mercato delle Gaite. The whole town turns back to the period of 1250 – 1350 and it´s a spectacle you should not miss..For those who want to learn every detail:
My first time in Bevagna dates from 1992. It wasn´t crowded by tourists at that time and I hardly knew anything about it. Unfortunatly I arrived at lunchtime, with two small children (6 and 4) that were bored, complaining about the heat and yelling about mutant hero turtles in a silent, more or less deserted piazza. I could only think of shutting them up by stuffing them with pasta, so I asked the only other living person I saw about where to find a restaurant. This lady, looking like a battleship, looked at me disapprovingly and then said `Good afternoon` in Dutch....
She happened to live in Bevagna and told me all about the town. Since then, I return at least once a year.