Amelia, a journey through centuries of history
Formerly named “Ameria” from its founder Ameroe, it was a border town, first Umbrian and then Roman. The Latin writer Catone, who lived at the end of the 2nd century B.C., attributed a very early foundation date of 1134 B.C. to the town. Amelia preserves many testimonies of the past: the monumental boundary wall, the churches, numerous Renaissance palaces, mosaics and bathhouse remains. The pre-Roman citadel occupied the summit of the rocky spur perched sheer above the Rio Grande river. The people of Ameria were distinguished both in terms of language and culture from the nearby Etruscans settled west of the Tiber, with whom they traded frequently. In the Roman age it was a flourishing town in ancient Umbria along the Via Amerina so much to be included among the most important cities, with the possibility to mint its own coin and to become a municipium in 90 B.C., after the alliance with Rome. The town was famous in particular for its agricultural produce: this explains the presence in the district of numerous country villas (farms). There was also a flourishing brick and tile industry, assisted by the abundance of rich veins of clay. During the 6th century A.D. Amelia was devastated by the Barbarian invasions and was almost destroyed by the Goths. In the Middle Ages it established itself as a free Commune: documents dating back to the half of the 14th century give notice of the presence of a chief magistrate in Amelia who was sent from Rome. This event is celebrated every year by the historic “Palio dei Colombi” (Palio of the Pigeons). In 1307 the town was subjected to the Papal State of which it was part until Italy’s unification.
Do not miss
- The Civic Museum
- Walking around the ancient walls of the town
- The Cathedral of San Fermina with the nearby twelve-sided bell tower
- “Palazzo Farrattini”
- The eighteenth theatre made entirely on wood with fully functioning stage mechanisms
- The ex-Oratory and the Church of the Crucifixion with the painting of the Charity of Saint Omobono
- Lovely views over the surrounding country offered by the Cathedral, Via Cavour or Porta della Valle
- The remains of a Roman mausoleum known as “il Trullo” can be seen on the left as you reach the city limit of Amelia
- The church and Franciscan convent of SS Annunziata
- Naturalistic path along the Rio Grande river
- The tasting of two typical products: the “piccionaccio”, a typical meat dish, and the dried figs with chocolate and dried fruit.