Montefalco (litterally, mountain + oak = falco) has this name (which replaced the old Coccorone or Concurione) because of Federico II that lived in the country around 1249-50, and that was renowed for his passion for this bird used to live in MOntefalco. Today no more hawkish, but probably the old charm of this place has remained intact over the centuries. The hill of Montefalco is the highest (473 m asl) of a range of hills on the edge of the Umbrian valley between Assisi and Spoleto, and is percurred by the Clitunno and the Topino river.
The city took its rational structure in Roman times, was home to many aristocratic villas such as the patrician Marco Curio from which, according to tradition, derives its ancient name of the place.
It was between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries Montefalco which had its period of greatest glory: artistic, economic and spiritual activities for the intense activity of the Benedictine,the Augustinian and Franciscans order that here had an important settlement.
In the sixteenth century, two plagues: the rubber by “Baglioni of Perugia” and a devastating fever led to the decline of the town that is now, thanks to its intact structure and an intelligent appreciation of traditional crafts, agriculture and food, one of the most interesting stage for all the more discerning visitor.
the heart of Montefalco, collected in fourteenth-century walls, is the Piazza del Comune, unusually circular, broad and sober, with the Palazzo Comunale, built around 1270, to which were after added the arcade (XV century) and the tower (XIX century) .
The visit to Montefalco can not be separated from the Civic Museum, housed in the church of San Francesco (1335 circa); central apse are the twelve panels depicting the life of St. Francis of Assisi, painted by Benozzo Gozzoli (1420-1497) the Florentine painter who, having worked extensively with the Beato Angelico, started his own artistic path right in Montefalco. Also the fresco in the Chapel of St. Jerome is form Benozzo Gozzoli, while the Annunciation and the Nativity ( in front) are from “il Perugino”. also recommended a visit to the Lapidary Museum and Municipal Art Gallery, where there are the remarkable works of Francis Melanzio from Montefalco, painter from the Foligno painting school and scolar of the most renowed Niccolò L’Alunno.
From the Camiano gate (XIII century) you can enjoy the view over the valley of Spoleto, while near the door of Federico II or of St. Bartholomeo is located the homonymous chapel decorated with branches and bunches of grapes. Can’t be missed: the Gothic church of St. Augustine, which preserves the fresco “the Coronation of the Virgin Mary” attributed to Ambrogio Lorenzetti, the convents of Santa Illuminata and St. Leonard, with works by Francesco Melanzio, the Sanctuary of Santa Chiara (built in the Baroque era on the ruins of the Chapel of the Holy Cross, where Saint Clare of Montefalco died) hosting fourteenth-century frescoes of the Umbrian school. Finally, a one kilometer walk through the countryside leads to the monastery of San Fortunato which houses many archaeological finds from the Roman era.