Territory - Cantine Briziarelli

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THE BEGINNINGS


At the crossroads between north and south, between the Adriatic and the Tyrrhenian Sea, Umbria has witnessed more than three millennia of uninterrupted history on its territory. The prehistoric discoveries, mostly preserved in the Archaeological Museum of Perugia, reveal the presence of life dating back to the Palaeolithic and Neolithic periods. From the fluvial terraces of the Chiascio and the Tiber River and from the area of Norcia to the area on the banks of the Trasimeno come calcite quartz and arrowheads. At the Upper Paleolithic time there is the refined full statuette known as Venus del Trasimeno, and the tomb of Poggio Aquilino in Marsciano, near Perugia, harkens to the time of the Upper Neolithic. In the necropolis of Monteleone di Spoleto, traces have been discovered of incinerating burials dating from the transition period between the Bronze and Iron ages. At the beginning of the first millennium BC the Italian peninsula was transformed by the arrival of various populations who overlapped and sometimes replaced the people previously there. Amongst these populations, around the first millennium BC, there was a wave of people who settled in the territory of the upper and middle Tiber Valley all the way to the Adriatic Sea. These people were the Umbrians named by the ancient authors as “gens antiquissima italiae” because they are recognized as one of the oldest groups of people who populated the peninsula.

THE PEOPLE OF UMBRIA

The region known as Umbria took its name from the people who tamed the land. Recent studies have actually identified this population as those who were only known simply by a title given by ancient authors. According to sources, from circa700 BC, the Umbrians developed an economy linked essentially to agriculture and breeding of animals. In the area of Terni, there is documentation indicating that the Umbrians focused their labors on extracting and processing metal thus reflecting the ancient vocation of the city. In circa 500 BC, the city dwelling was not part of Umbrian lifestyle, in fact the occupation of the land consisted of small fortified villages in the hills and not in large cities as was the manner in nearby Etruria. Areas of greatest concentration were above all the great sanctuaries, linked to the deities of the agricultural-pastoral world. It was there, in fact, various communities were gathered to celebrate holidays and to enact political decisions.

Dating from circa 450 BC, the Umbrians were becoming more influenced by the Greek and Etruscan world. This significant influence had as its first consequence the birth of a city on the Greek-Etruscan model; the first settlements arose in Otricoli, Amelia, Terni, Narni, Todi, Spoleto, Nocera, Foligno, Assisi, Bettona, Gualdo Tadino, Gubbio, Citta di Castello: it is conjectured that their scope of dominion extended from the Adriatic sea to the high and middle valley on the right of the Tiber River and perhaps extended to the Tyrrhenian Sea. However, in time, the territory controlled by the Umbrians was reduced due to the pressure of neighboring populations, for instance, the Sabines to the south, the Piceni to the east, the Etruscans and the Senoni Gauls settling north of the Tiber River in the area known as Ager Gallicus, thus forcing the Umbrians to restrict their own land domination.

MONTEFALCO

Montefalco, surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, is located on top of a hill overlooking the plains of the rivers Topino and Clitunno. Since1568, because of this favorable panoramic position, Montefalco has been bestowed the nickname of "Ringhiera dell'Umbria". From this point, on a clear day, one can admire, from various vantage points, a 360° panorama which spans the entire valley between Perugia and Spoleto from the slopes of the Lower Apennines to the ones of Monti Martani.i.

BEVAGNA

Bevagna is a medieval town surrounded by ancient walls that form the entire perimeter. Bevagna is ranked among the most beautiful villages of Italy. It is a town of 5,042 inhabitants located in the province of Perugia. Once known for the fine paintings that were produced there so much so that the style known as "bevagna".
Definitely worth a visit for the many priceless treasures it preserves: beginnning with the Church and the Convent of San Francesco built at the end of the 13th century whose façade possesses an elegant portal and inside, along the nave, one can admire paintings and the remains of 16th century frescoes. Inside, protected by a grating, the stone is visible which according to tradition, San Francesco's feet rested during the "preaching to birds" in the locality of Pian D'Arca.

In Piazza Silvestri, with its irregular shape, is the life line of the town. There are the Palazzo dei Consoli, whose interior houses the Teatro Torti, bejeweled with decorations that can accommodate 140 places and three Churches: the Church of San Michele, the Church of S. Domenico, and the Church of San Silvestro Giacomo, all rich in valuable wooden sculptures and frescoes of the Umbrian school. Walking along Via Santa Margherita, you reach the Church and Monastery of Santa Margherita, renovated in the seventeenth century where you can admire a fresco of 1592 by Ascensidonio Spacca and two banisters by Andrea Camassei arranged on the exquisite “Scala Santa”, so called, because following it, we obtained the same indulgences of the homonymous Holy Staircase of Rome, built by Providoni.

Bevagna preserves some important artifacts dating back to Roman times: a temple and a thermal construction dating back to the 2nd century AD. The thermal bath preserves in its interior a beautiful mosaic with large black and white interlocking trellis depicting mythological and marine subjects, and the remains of the Roman Theater which is currently used as a laboratory for the processing of ceramics. In the last ten days of June, this village hosts one of the most beautiful historical events in Umbria "the Mercato delle Gaite" where, costumed individuals re-enact the work of ancient crafts along walkways and typical scenes. One can have a tasting of ancient medieval flavors as well as enjoy typical handicraft productions.