Spoleto and Don Matteo

7 Oct

On Tuesday, we headed to the walled medieval hill town of Spoleto in southern Umbria. We had decided to visit because of its ancient history and also because an Italian show we watch, Don Matteo, is being filmed there. The episodes, in Italian with English subtitles, help us learn Italian and are even more fun to watch when we are familiar with the shooting locations. The first eight seasons were shot in Gubbio, which we visited last year.

Spoleto’s first Roman settlements date to around 240 BC, and most of the historical sites are in the upper part of the town. Fortunately, the weather cooperated and we were able to walk miles through the town and enjoy some pretty spectacular views.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

The upper part of the town is called the Centro Storico, or Old Town. Here you find the Piazza del Duomo, a sprawling piazza at the base of a beautiful stairway.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

The original Duomo was built in the 12th century with a Romanesque facade, however, it was remodeled during the Renaissance and now has beautiful pink stone and colorful  mosaics.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

The inside is equally impressive.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Sitting majestically above the town is the medieval Rocca Albornoziana fortress, built in the 14th century on the foundation of the Roman acropolis. Once a seat for local governors, in 1800 it was turned into a jail and used as such until the 20th century.  Today it houses a museum and also hosts summer performances.

800px-Rocca_Albornoz_and_Ponte_delle_Torri,_Spoleto

From this vantage point, there is an incredible view of the 750 foot Bridge of Towers, or Ponte delle Torri, a 13th century aqueduct that crosses a deep gorge,

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

as well as this panoramic view of the valley below.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

There are elevators and escalators that reach the various levels of town. Although we enjoyed the walk up, we were also happy to have SIX long escalators return us to the lower part of town.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Before dinner, we walked another area of the town and saw the ancient Teatro Romano.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

As we strolled, the setting sun was splashing the sky with its color palette.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

The scene so perfect, we felt as if we were on a movie set.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

It was definitely time for appertivo…

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

with the most spectacular view…(photo is untouched)!

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Even the doves were happy.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

And now for our surprise encounter. I mentioned that Don Matteo is being filmed in Spoleto, and we found this billboard.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

While walking up the stairs to the Duomo, we both sighted a familiar person dressed in his usual black attire and baseball cap. It was, to our amazement,  Terrence Hill, or as we know him, Don Matteo. Really! A pretty incredible coincidence since he was one of the reasons we had come to Spoleto.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Thanks, Don Matteo, for spending a few minutes with us and making our visit to Spoleto one we will always remember! Spoleto – a check off our bucket list with an unexpected and very happy memory!

Ciao,

Judy

 

17 Responses to “Spoleto and Don Matteo”

  1. Peter October 7, 2015 at 4:15 PM #

    You should buy a lottery ticket!! Great photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Deb Feo October 7, 2015 at 4:16 PM #

    Wow – what luck running into Terence Hill – he looks great at 76 years old!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Connelly, Vincent J. October 7, 2015 at 4:30 PM #

    Excellent travelogue!

    Sent from my iPhone

    Like

  4. jane gately October 7, 2015 at 8:35 PM #

    what an amazing place, those are stunning pictures!

    Like

  5. Ishita October 7, 2015 at 11:05 PM #

    Wow! lucky you 🙂

    Like

  6. Glenys October 7, 2015 at 11:42 PM #

    Sensational photos Judy. Looks like a beautiful area. Fancy bumping into the lead actor!

    Like

    • blogginginitaly October 8, 2015 at 2:33 AM #

      Can you believe it! And the colors in the photos are actual! Such fun.

      Like

  7. Sherry Blanchard October 8, 2015 at 11:02 AM #

    Enjoyed this! Is one able to watch Don Matteo in the states?

    Like

    • blogginginitaly October 8, 2015 at 4:02 PM #

      In Chicago, it is via MHz Network. Google this network and see if it is available for your city. Shows are simple but fun for us to watch and listen.

      Like

  8. jean October 8, 2015 at 11:04 PM #

    That blue sky is amazing. Save me some 🙂
    BTW is there a weekly Farmer’s Market in Cortona at this time of the year?

    Like

    • blogginginitaly October 9, 2015 at 2:55 AM #

      The larger market is in Camucia every Thursday and Cortona has a smaller one every Saturday, both fun to wander through.

      Like

  9. Jim Simpson October 12, 2015 at 12:35 PM #

    Wonderful story telling and great pics. Want to go there. Best to you both.

    Like

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