Two charming hilltop hamlets just outside of Perugia await discovery.
The characteristic hamlet of Solomeo is nestled in the beautiful green hills of Umbria. It’s a peaceful place, surrounded by silence, hospitality and breathtaking scenery.
The village has recently been rediscovered. It regained its ancient splendor and returned to its former glory thanks to its resident – cashmere entrepreneur Brunello Cucinelli – who restored it completely, with love and respect.
The 13th– century hamlet of Solomeo was built on the site of an ancient settlement known as Villa Solomei. In 1391 its inhabitants decided to fortify the village and build a castle.
The beautiful church of St Bartholomew is a real gem, especially on the inside. The first nucleus of this structure dates back to the 13th century. It was later rebuilt in the 18th century.
In the end of July the village travels back in time and frames one of the most distinctive events of this region – Solomeo Rinascimentale, a nine-day medieval street fair with shows, demonstrations, music and dancing. The village streets and piazzas come to life with the never ending past…
Arts and craft exhibitions are hosted in the village streets, lit with hundreds of torches, along with regional specialties tastings in this perfect atmosphere: handmade pasta, high quality local produce, homemade desserts, wine, torcoli with vin santo, and of course, my favourite panzanella (bread salad)..
Falconers, minstrels, artisans, jugglers welcome visitors, connoisseurs of Italian village life and of Brunello’s cashmere!
You can feel Brunello’s patronage in every detail. A curved Ionic portico and colonnade leading to the entrance to the Cucinelli Theatre. It faces the large amphitheater where concerts are held. Internationally renowned artists perform on these stages. Do not miss the Villa Solomei Festival – a unique occasion to enjoy classical music of the highest level.
The centuries-old town of Corciano is just 9km away. It is listed among the Most Beautiful Italian Villages and is a charming evocative place to wander.
Corciano is surrounded by three concentric walls and vast green swaths of land.
Park at the entrance to the hamlet and walk up through the Porta Santa Maria.
As you walk up and down the narrow streets and steps, taking pictures and enjoying beautiful panoramas from the numerous viewpoints, you are taken by timeless medieval atmosphere.
Corciano was a strategic site, overlooking the valley that joined the Trasimeno area and the Tiber River valley, quite a desirable stronghold in the constant warfare of the 14th and 15th centuries.
Legend has it that the castle of Corciano was founded by Coragino, the mythical companion of Ulysses.
The iconic tower Torrione di Porta Santa Maria built in 1482.
Church of Santa Maria Assunta (13th century), where one can admire the Assumption by Perugino (1513) and the Gonfalon by Benedetto Bonfigli (1472).
So if you are exploring the area, looking for a simple, peaceful getaway, consider a visit to these evocative and atmospheric villages. As this is what Umbria really is – authentic, unspoiled and traditional .