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Vallo di Nera

Beautiful castle overlooking the Valnerina, between its narrow streets is still surrounded by the magic of the Middle Ages.

The urban layout is compact, with the typical structure of the castle hill: the original nucleus built around the square of San Giovanni Battista, the highest point of the hill, lie flat and steep climbs ring roads. The first fortified settlement were later joined the fifteenth-century village of Santa Maria, which forms the second city wall, built to include the monastic settlements, and the later sixteenth of Casali village, built in the period of maximum population growth, along the roads of access to the Castle.

Based on the archaeological evidence the hill was already inhabited in the eighth century. Before Christ ..
The ancient name of the village in the Roman period was Castrum Valli, ie fortified place.
In 1177 the fortress on the hill Flezano became feud of the German Duke of Spoleto Conrad of Hursligen In 1216 the old and primitive castle was destroyed by the city of Spoleto.
On September 8, 1217 the mayor of Spoleto, James Capocci grants Vallo men the right to erect a castle under his lordship, in exchange for protection and defense. Vallo thus enters the orbit of Spoleto and undertakes to pay tribute and to make war or peace according to his directives.
In 1223 Omodeo, chaplain and vicar of the Pope for the mountain, it shall again, for a short time, the domain of the church.
Federico II and the Cardinal Legate Capocci, in 1247, confirmed the possession of the castle to the city of Spoleto.
In 1522, with Petrone da Vallo, heads the revolt of the castles of the Valnerina against Spoleto. Petrone kills the papal governor came to quell the revolt. The reaction of the ducal city was immediate and the Vallo castle in no time "is taken, did all full of ruins and blood and stripped of all things" (Sansi History of Spoleto) Petrone and burned alive. In 1527 it is plundered by Lanzichenecchi, returning from the sack of Rome, that will leave even the plague.
The castle rises in a short time, as evidenced by the many lintels sixteenth century and the fresco by Jacopo Siculo, 1536 at St. John's Church, where Wall is depicted with the tower-houses and the walls intact.

The reference to the Nera River was added after the unification of Italy. The current coat of arms was adopted following the union nineteenth century with Meggiano castles and Paterno, represents, in fact, three castles.

Despite the ravages of time and the many earthquakes Vallo is still one of the finest examples of medieval fortified building, preserves, in fact, large sections of the original city wall, the main tower and other towers, the two gates of the castle access, the noble palaces and magnificent churches, decorated with spectacular frescoes.

St. John the Baptist, of Romanesque origin, enlarged and partly rebuilt around 1575, as witnessed dahlia date engraved on the left corner of the facade, overlooking the castle from the highest point of the hill. The facade and the bell tower, the portal and the rose window were the original ones. Inside, in the apse, it is painted the Dormition Verginis, splendid work of 1536 by Jacopo Siculo, on the arch facing the same master has painted a delicate Annunciation and the protectors from the plague, St. Sebastian and St. Rocco, life size.

The Franciscan church of Santa Maria was started in 1273, it has a beautiful Gothic portal and a turreted bell. The interior is a fabulous art gallery. Among the many fine frescoes, stands the Procession of the Whites, painted by Cola di Pietro in 1401, the fresco is one of the most important evidence of the penitentiary Bianchi movement that swept Italy in 1399.
The bells of Santa Maria, located in the mighty square tower, still playing with his feet.
The third intra moenia church is dedicated to St. Catherine, built in 1354, now restored and used as an auditorium. In the village of Casali, topped by an arch, it stands the church dedicated to Saint Rocco and just outside the town, along the old road to Sant'Anatolia, Our Lady of the Image, frescoed by the painter Jacopo Spoleto Zabolino of Vinciolo.


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Additional Photos by Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 16510 W: 130 N: 34118] (190215)
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