The Castle at Verchiano
Verchiano is a small village in the hills that is part of the administration of Foligno. Its origins stretch as far back as the Umbro-Etruscan period, in the 3rd century BC. It is in fact located along what was once the main road that permitted communication between Spoleto and the Marches, the Via della Spina. Until the last century this road was the most direct means of communication between Rome and Ancona.
In 1263 the castle of Verchiano was acquired by Foligno and governed by the Anastasi family. From 1305 to 1439 it passed into the hands of the Trinci family, the lords of Foligno, who carried out a series of restoration works.
When the Trinci family fell from power in 1439, the castle was demolished along with the other fortifications that belonged to the family. The Guerrieri di Roccafranca family was responsible for restoring Palazzo Barnocchi and Palazzo Corradi in the 17th century.
In the 15th century a hospital was built near where the elementary school stands today. A hospice for lepers had previously existed near San Lazzaro.
The Church of Verchiano
The “Pievania di Verchiano” dates back to 1300, although construction had begun as early as 1100.
The first houses of the village of Verchiano gathered around this church, that was built in two very different moments - the first in Romanesque style and a successive addition much later. A further extension was completed with the elevation of the bell tower. As well as being a place of worship, the church was also used as a meeting place for the local administration. The altars have been re-arranged a number of times through the centuries, totalling a maximum of eight between the 16th and 17th century.
An inventory dated March 14th 1690 provides some information on the families living at Verchiano. This period coincided with the institution of the ius patronati for the altars in the church. This meant that single families paid for the privilege of maintaining an altar in the church and having a certain number of masses said there every year.
The stoup and baptismal font were commissioned from D. Antonio Ricci in 1604.
The Assunta by Andrea Generoli
Behind the main altar is a painting of the Assunta, by the Poggio Mirteto painter Andrea Generoli. The painting was commissioned by Santa Sabini, adn is listed in her will from 1633. This painter also worked in Rome and his 'Sacrifice of Isaac' is currently kepts at the Galleria Nazionale di Arte Antica.
Sanctuary of San Salvatore
Near the village of Verchiano, the church of San Salvatore stands on the hill that bears the same name, at 1150 metres above sea level. It appears the structure was originally Benedictine, since records of it appear from 1333-34.
The Beato Paolo Trinci was buried here in 1390, although his remains were moved to Verchiano a century later.
The village now
The city of Foligno and the Verchiano agricultural committee are currently funding the restoration and stabilisation of the castle structure, in an advanced state of ruin. This restoration is part of a much larger project, promoted by the Foligno administration, to develop the artistic and cultural heritage of the surrounding mountainous area and encourage tourism. The project in fact involves the castle at Roccafranca, Verchiano, the entire Menotre valley, the Parco d'Arte at Cancelli, the castle of Popola and the entire archaeological area of Colfiorito, that begins from the archeaological area of Santa Maria in Campis.
A nearby riding school open all year round is well worth a visit. Riding lessons are held even for beginners, while the more experienced can explore the surrounding countryside on long outings.
A small trattoria with just a few tables is just near the school. The large fireplace creates a decidedly cosy atmosphere, and the cooking is simple and good.
Centro Ippico CO.GI.VE.3p tel. (+39) 0718.104.22.168
Ristorante Stella Paola loc. Verchiano (+39) 0722.214.171.124
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