Castle of the Knights of Malta, Magione
The Sovereign Military Order of Malta, owner of the Castle of the Knights of Malta in Magione, was founded about nine centuries ago in Jerusalem with the aim of protecting the Holy Land. Originally called the "Order of St. John of Jerusalem", it is one of the most ancient institutions of western and Christian civilisation. The castle dates back to 1150-1170 and was meant as a shelter for pilgrims going to Rome or to Jerusalem, also being conveniently located close to the Via Francigena which was used for travelling to Santiago de Compostela. The present structure is the result of several changes during the centuries. The courtyard where the concerts are held dates from 1471. In the oldest part of the castle, there is a Romanesque-styled church with a rounded vault honouring St. John the Baptist. Inside are two precious frescoes of the school of Pinturicchio, dating from the early sixteenth century. In 1502, the castle was the seat of a conspiracy organized by some Italian noblemen against Cesare Borgia, known as the “dieta alla Magione nel Perugino” and which Machiavelli refers to in The Prince. Today, with its headquarters in Rome, the Order carries out its activities in 110 countries and succeeds in engaging volunteers all over the world for humanitarian assistance and social activities. The Order has diplomatic relations with 92 countries as well as with European organisations and a seat at the United Nations. It is neutral, impartial and non-political, which is why it can successfully act as a mediator. The farm of the Castle of the Knights of Malta produces 100,000 bottles of wine each year, with production rising steadily. It also produces extra virgin olive oil. Placed in the restored ancient rooms of the castle, the cellar is a beautiful example of tradition and innovation.
Piazza, Town of San Savino, Magione
From San Savino there is a wonderful view of the south end of Lake Trasimeno and the Isola Polvese. The first documents in which the town is mentioned date from 1006. Only the tower remains from the former castle. The piazza is in front of it, surrounded by the homes of the local residents.
Aula Magna, Facoltà di Agraria, Perugia
The Benedictine Abbey of San Pietro in Perugia is one of the oldest and most prestigious monastic foundations in central Italy. Founded in 966 by the Abbot Pietro, it played a strategic role in the politics of the papacy from the Middle Ages until the nineteenth century. Since 1890 the property has been owned by the Fondazione per l’istruzione agraria in Perugia. Among the antique cloisters is the Aula Magna of the Faculty who now use the space of the old refectory of the Benedictine monks.
Basilica di San Pietro, Perugia
A Benedictine abbey, the Church of San Pietro was founded in the 10th century. The main court is dominated by the polygonal clock-tower, allegedly built on the site of an Etruscan tomb that was used for its construction in the 13th century. After a partial collapse, the upper section was rebuilt in 1463. Rich in art, there are frescoes dating from the 14th century as well as paintings by Perugino. The interior is a mixture of ancient columns and has a Palaeochristian basilical structure. The Gothic wooden choir is considered to be one of the finest in Italy and was completed between 1525 and 1591.
Oratorio di San Francesco dei Nobili, Perugia
Sala dei Notari, Perugia
The Sala dei Notari was built from 1293 to 1297 and is where the nobility met. The arches supporting the vaults are Romanesque, covered with frescoes depicting biblical scenes and Aesop's fables. To reach the hall, walk up the steps from the Piazza IV Novembre. Today the hall is used for public meetings as well as classical music concerts.
Sala Podiani, Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria, Perugia
The Sala Podiani is in the Palazzo dei Priori, above the Sala dei Notari, in the centre of Perugia, and it was originally used by the Capitano del Popolo. There are fragments of frescoes on the walls, and we can recognise a few family crests of the 14th century. The imposing wooden ceiling was rebuilt in 1893. The name Podiani comes from the bibliophile Prospero Podiani, who donated to the municipality of Perugia part of his library in 1582; the books were stored in this beautiful room until 1968. The Sala Podiani is now an integral part of the Museum of the National Gallery of Umbria, and is used for temporary exhibitions, concerts, conferences and other cultural activities.
Teatro degli Illuminati, Città di Castello, Perugia
The Teatro degli Illuminati in Città di Castello, commissioned by the local society of the “Accademici Illuminati”, was built by architect Antonio Gabrielli. It opened to the public in the year 1666. The theatre has been active for a long time, with several renovations during the years, until it was decided to rebuild it completely in 1783. In 1939 it was sold to the municipality of Città di Castello. The latest restorations took place in 1979 and in 1984. After these final works, the Teatro degli Illuminati became what we see today. Stalls and gallery can seat up to four hundred people. The theatre is used as one of the venues for the famous Festival delle Nazioni, as well as hosting many other cultural events.