Italy in miniature


Palazzo dei Priori - Perugia

One of the most magnificent palaces in Italy. Built in various stages between 1293 and 1443, its forms recall the typical austere Gothic architecture. The palace is made of squared stones and features two beautiful rows of three-light windows as well as a crenellated cornice.

The oldest section is the one overlooking the Piazza. The fan-shaped stairs lead to the main portal, surmounted by the bronze statues of the Guelf lion and the griffin of Perugia (1281): their bodies display chains and bars taken from the doors of Siena in 1358. The longest side of the building, overlooking the Corso and dating from 1429-43, boasts a superb portal, richly adorned, displaying statues of the three patron saints in the overhead lunettes.

The ground floor of the Palazzo hosts the Collegio della Mercanzia salon, while on the third floor you will find Umbria's National Gallery.

Piazza della Signoria - Gubbio

The city of Gubbio lies at the foot of Mount Ignino. Its medieval city layout has been kept intact, rich in perfectly preserved historic buildings. The Palazzo dei Consoli (Consul Palace), an elegant building designed and built by Angelo da Orvieto between 1332 and 1337, dominates the city. In one corner rises the slender crenellated tower. The Palazzo dei Consoli lies on the Piazza della Signoria and today houses a museum and art gallery.

Basilica of S. Maria degli Angeli - Assisi

Out on the plains surrounding the historic centre of Assisi rises one of the largest sanctuaries in Italy: Santa Maria degli Angeli (Saint mary of the Angels). Following the wishes of Pope Pious V, the church was built in 1569 upon the site of a fourteenth century gothic church which had housed the chapel of Porziuncola and the infirmary room where Saint Francis died on October 3, 1226. In the chapel, a statue of the saint by Andrea della Robbia is found on the altar.

Passing through the sacristy one comes out into the rose garden: it was upon these thorny roses that Saint Francis threw himself to overcome temptation, but the roses, miraculously, all dropped their thorns so as not to wound him. The earthquake of 1832 caused the collapse of the building right up to the cross, but it was re-built immediately in 1836.

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