Ripa.."dolcissimo ai mortali almo soggiorno"
The village of Ripa numbers roughly 1,000 inhabitans and stands at 313 metres above sea level, on top of a hill between the river Tiber and the river Chiascio. The climate is rendered so mild by the proximity of these two rivers that in the 18th century the poet Annibale Mariotti exclaimed “…dolcissimo ai mortali almo soggiorno”, which translates roughly as “...this sweet sojourn for the mortal soul”.
An Inviting Panorama
As well as an enviable climate, the view from “Montarone” is one of Umbria's finest. Looking out towards Assisi, the gaze encompasses the entire plain of Foligno as far as Trevi on the one side and the whole of Perugia and Monte Tezio on the other. This view has earned Ripa the name “little balcony of Umbria”.
Ripa Through History
The land where Ripa stands has been inhabited by man since prehistory, as proven by a number of finds dating back to the Paleolithic Age, 40,000 years before Christ. Pots dating from the 4th century BC have also been unearthed here, from the time when Ripa was part of Arna.
Originally an Umbrian town on the left banks of the Tiber, after a period of Etruscan dominion Arna developed and flourished to the peak of its importance under Rome, first becoming a MUNICIPIUM and then a bishopric. But the city was completely destroyed in the 6th century by the barbarian hordes of Totila, during his siege of Perugia.
A first tentative attempt at once again settling this area came about in the 10th century with the building of the parish church of Santa Maria. In 1266 Perugia erected a powerful fortress near the church, whose walls had an external diameter of over 300 metres. The castle was intended as a double vigilance point over the borders with Assisi to the south and northwards towards the Via Flaminia and the trade routes of the Adriatic coast. In 1416 the Battle of Sant'Egidio was fought here, by which the victorious Forte Braccio da Montone became lord of Perugia.
Events in Ripa
FEAST OF SANT'EMILIANO
The feast of St Emiliano, one of the town's two patron saints, is normally held on the Sunday nearest January 28th.
Holy Mass is celebrated at 11.30am, after which there is a ritual distribution of a white bun known as “cacchiata”. In past centuries, when the local inhabitants made bread mainly from barley flour, this was an eagerly-awaited event.
After the afternoon recital by the CIVTAS ARNAE choir there is bruschetta covered in the year's new oil and the awarding of the “TRE FRANTOI” prize for the best local oil producer.
FEAST OF SANTA MARIA ASSUNTA
On the eve of the feast there is a solemn procession from Pieve to the castle, with the traditional “Rocche” lanterns made from sticks and rice paper.
At 11.30am on the feast day, Holy Mass.
July: TRUFFLE FESTIVAL
The A.P. RIPA organises ten days of merrymaking and tasting dishes made with black summer truffle, that ripens at this time of year.
Information XII circ. “ARNA" tel. 075/602814 fax 075/602816, PRO-LOCO RIPA c/o Circ. “IL MONTARONE” tel. 075/602582, President Claudio Munalli. Tel. 075/602190 .
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