MONTONE: An authentic small village
This small mediaeval village, from the top of the hill on which it is defensively positioned overlooking the valley below, has remained unchanged for centuries.
Montone is one of the castles in the feudal age defensive system that were built on the hills between two tributaries of the Tiber river, the Carpina and the Lana rivers. The imposing walls surround the ancient Aries with historic houses, beautiful churches, majestic bell towers and convents. The old town centre is crossed by steep narrow streets and here and there by flights of steps with vegetable and flower gardens on either side. In the
In the Early Middle Ages Montone was an important castle whose defensive walls still remain entire. From the 10th century it became property of important families such as the Del Colle marquises and the Bourbon del Monte Santa Maria Tiberina, in the 13th century it fell under the Fortebracci family, into which the famous military leader Andrea known as Braccio (1368-1424). In the early decades of the 15th century the fate of this fortified village was intrinsically linked to the history of Braccio Fortebracci. He was a successful warlord and he tried to establish in central Italy a super-regional lordship independent of the Church. Thanks to his ability, Montone became one of the town symbol of the courtly culture. Also the Church of San Francesco property of the family, was decorated with altars, paintings and furnishings.
After the death of Braccio, in 1424, and the end of his political-military project, it remained under the control of the Fortebracci family until 1477, when the Duke of Urbino Federico da Montefeltro conquered it and restored it to papal control. In 1518 it was granted in feud by Leo X to the Vitelli, lords of Città di Castello, and in 1640 returned definitively to the Church State until the unification of Italy: Montone, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, was subjected to a careful architectural renovation work.
The main square is the Fortebraccio square where the Town Hall is situated, from which it is possible to admire the view of the surrounding green valleys: the Aries fortress, summer residence of Nicola Varano (Braccio’s wife) can be seen in the distance.
Do not miss
- Museum complex of San Francesco
- The relic of the “Holy Thorn” in the Church of Santa Maria della Collegiata
- The Church of San Gregorio, an ancient building just outside the town walls known since the year 1000
- The magnificent dungeon of the fortress of Braccio Fortebracci
- The “Rocca d’Aries” an ancient fortress situated a few kilometres from the centre
- To observe the celestial phenomena from the Astronomical Observatory in the Coloti village
- To live a unique and unrepeatable experience going into the woods in search of truffles
- The Umbria Film Festival held in July
- A pause to taste the filled cake and the typical bean soup