Ranged on broad terraces above the Valle di Spoleto, medieval and pink-stoned SPELLO is the best place for a taste of small-town Umbria if you haven’t time or means to explore farther, being easy to reach by road and rail from Assisi or Spoleto.

Emperor Augustus gave land in the adjacent valley to faithful legionnaires who had reached the end of their careers, turning the town (Hispellum) into a sort of Roman retirement home in the process, an ambience it still rather retains. The walls and three gateways are the most obvious Roman remnants. Don’t bother walking out to the paltry and overgrown remains of the old amphitheatre hidden away beyond the main highway to Assisi: you can see all you need to from the top of the town.

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