/ / Norcia: photo description (Norcia)

Norcia: photo description (Norcia)

Norcia is a tiny picturesque town in the province of Perugia in Southeast Umbria. It is situated on a broad plain at the foot of the mountains of Monti Sibillini, part of the Apennines. This area is famous for its atmosphere and beautiful scenery, making it the base for lovers of mountaineering and Hiking of different levels of complexity. Here is highly developed hunting tourism - the most popular object of hunting wild boar. Meat of these boars make excellent sausages and ham.

Traces of the first human settlements on the territory of modern Norcia date back to the Neolithic era. And the history of the city dates back to the 5th century BC, when here was founded a settlement of Sabines. Its residents supported the Romans in 205 BC during the Second Punic war, when the city received the Latin name Nurse. From those times till our days survived only a few Roman ruins, Dating to the 1st century BC, Especially in the Church of San Lorenzo, the oldest in the city.

In Norcia in 480 was born St. Benedict, the founder of the monastic order of Benedictine, and his twin sister Holy Scholastica. In the following centuries the city was conquered by the Lombards and became part of the Duchy of Spoleto. In the 9th century it suffered severely from the raids of the Saracens, which was the beginning of a period of deep decline. Only in the 12th century Norcia became an independent commune within the Papal possessions, which contributed to the growing political and economic prestige of the city. However, the proximity of the powerful Spoleto and the 1324 earthquake of the year put an end to the ambitions of Norcia.

Today the historic centre of Norcia is located mostly on flat land, which is rather unusual for towns of Umbria. It lies entirely within the ancient city walls, which survived during the earthquake of the 14th century and the subsequent disasters. After the earthquake of 1859 in Norcia were forbidden to build buildings higher than three storeys, and has imposed certain rules prescribing the use of earthquake resistant materials and special construction techniques.

Norcia's main Basilica dedicated to St. Benedict, standing next to a Benedictine monastery. The present Church was built in the 13th century on the ruins of an ancient Roman building, which, according to some historians, it was the Basilica or the house where the Saint was born. The facade of the Church built in the Gothic style and stands out of the Central round window of rosette and the bas-relief depicting the four evangelists. Inside you can see a fresco of the "Resurrection of Lazarus", written in 1560, Michelangelo Carducci, and over the altar is the image of St. Benedict and the king Totila brush Filippo Napoletano.

Another remarkable Church Norcia - Santa Maria Argentea - is the Cathedral of the city, which houses some works by Flemish masters, a richly decorated altar and the painting "Madonna and saints", Pomarancio.

The Gothic Church of Sant'agostino a 14th century is interesting for its frescoes depicting saints Roch and Sebastian. And the Church of San Francesco stands out by the portal, surmounted by a Gothic window of rosette with decorations of white and pink stone.

Another attraction in Norcia is a fortress, the Castellina, was built in 1555-1563 years by the architect Giacomo da Vignola Barozzi as the residence of the papal legate. Today it hosts a small Museum with Roman and medieval artifacts, and documents.

In the vicinity of the city worth seeing is the parish Church of San Salvatore with two portals, made at different times, the ruins of the sanctuary of the Madonna della Neve, which was destroyed during the earthquake of 1979, and the monastery of Santa Maria di Montesanto 14th-century cloister, the Church with the hosts of the 17th century and a wooden statue of the Madonna and child.