Spoleto was situated on the eastern branch of the Via Flaminia, which forked into two roads at Narni and rejoined at Forum Flaminii, near Foligno. An ancient road also ran hence to Nursia. The Ponte Sanguinario of the 1st century BCE still exists. The Forum lies under today's marketplace.
Located at the head of a large, broad valley, surrounded by mountains, Spoleto has long occupied a strategic geographical position. It appears to have been an important town to the original Umbri tribes, who built walls around their settlement in the 5th century BC, some of which are visible today.
The first historical mention of Spoletium is the notice of the foundation of a colony there in 241 BC; and it was still, according to Cicero colonia latina in primis firma et illustris: a Latin colony in 95 BC. After the Battle of Lake Trasimene (217 BC) Spoletium was attacked by Hannibal, who was repulsed by the inhabitants During the Second Punic War the city was a useful ally to Rome. It suffered greatly during the civil wars of Gaius Marius and Sulla. The latter, after his victory over Crassus, confiscated the territory of Spoletium (82 BC). From this time forth it was a municipium.
Under the empire it seems to have flourished once again, but is not often mentioned in history. Martial speaks of its wine. Aemilianus, who had been proclaimed emperor by his soldiers in Moesia, was slain by them here on his way from Rome (253), after a reign of three or four months. Rescripts of Constantine (326) and Julian (362) are dated from Spoleto. The foundation of the episcopal see dates from the 4th century: early martyrs of Spoleto are legends, but a letter to the bishop Caecilianus, from Pope Liberius in 354 constitutes its first historical mention. Owing to its elevated position Spoleto was an important stronghold during the Vandal and Gothic wars; its walls were dismantled by Totila.
Under the Lombards, Spoleto became the capital of an independent duchy, the Duchy of Spoleto (from 570), and its dukes ruled a considerable part of central Italy. In 774 it became part of Holy Roman Empire. Together with other fiefs, it was bequeathed to Pope Gregory VII by the powerful countess Matilda of Tuscany, but for some time struggled to maintain its independence. In 1155 it was destroyed by Frederick Barbarossa. In 1213 it was definitively occupied by Pope Gregory IX. During the absence of the papal court in Avignon, it was prey to the struggles between Guelphs and Ghibellines, until in 1354 Cardinal Albornoz brought it once more under the authority of the Papal States.
After Napoleon's conquest of Italy, in 1809 Spoleto became capital of the short-lived French department of Trasimène, returning to the Papal States after Napoleon's defeat, within five years. In 1860, after a gallant defence, Spoleto was taken by the troops fighting for the unification of Italy. Giovanni Pontano, founder of the Accademia Pontaniana of Naples, was born here. Another child of Spoleto was Francis Possenti who was educated in the Jesuit school and whose father was the Papal assesor, Francis later entered the Passionists and became Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows.
Critiques | Translate
krzychu30 (15344) 2012-10-08 2:22
beautiful,mediaval town.The scene is well framed.I like especially the lighting here,a little bit dark,which create so unique atmosphere here.Excellent capture of Spoleto my friend!
SnapRJW (29422) 2012-10-08 3:19
Hello Silvio - The colour palette may be subdued but I really like the atmosphere of the shot which, to me, has the feel of intrigue about it. Quiet, slightly uneasy and almost no sign of human presence and yet there is a compulsion to walk under the arch and see what lays beyond. Beautiful light and excellent detail. TFA and warm regards Rosemary
snunney (79973) 2012-10-08 4:02
A fine capture of this peaceful and ancient street. I like the point of view looking through the archway to the façades beyond. Also, the light and shadow contrast that contribute much to the atmosphere of the shot. An image that invites you to step and explore this beautiful town further. Thanks for sharing.
dkmurphys (47052) 2012-10-08 4:16
Fine capture of the lonely street. I like the shapes and textures of the old walls. Well taken, enjoy a good week.
Sergiom (55477) 2012-10-08 5:10
J'aime beaucoup ce cadrage vertical qui donne une très belle ampleur à ce passage très sombre de Spoleto.Une belle impression d'écrasement et de solitude.
delpeoples (52737) 2012-10-08 6:05
Sei gia tornato alla tua Spoleto dalla Serenissima? Questi vicoli sono come la tua grande quercia, la tua firma. Molto suggestivo il gioco di luci ed ombra. Ottima anche il taglio verticale e l' architetture vecchie. Mi piace anche che i colori sono quasi monocromi.
Un abbraccio e bella giornata
kathryn_weir (2056) 2012-10-08 9:24
A lovely shot of this ancient architecture with very well chosen point of view. I like the details captured along the opposite wall and you have managed the lighting beautifully. I do like the feeling of quiet abandon and desolation that comes from the deserted street scene you have given us. Thanks for sharing
rychem (20127) 2012-10-08 10:46
Another beautiful photo of an interesting corner of the city, with this mysterious dark atmosphere it can be a backstage for a criminal story :))
GREGG (7888) 2012-10-08 12:01
Silvio - I love the winding, narrow streets of the small Italian towns,cool climate
have a nice evening,
grigand (19425) 2012-10-08 13:36
bella atmosfera dai colori tenui, quasi da sembrare un bw
ourania (27344) 2012-10-08 14:35
mi piace tanto la composizione che ci porta dentro il quadro ed il vicolo antico, accanto alle tessiture, l' architettura e le tonalita' molto particolari ed affascinanti. La prospettiva e la profondita' funzionano molto effettivamente. Le finestre, le porte, la continuazione attraverso l' arco, la mancanza di persone e l' atmosfera sono intrigatissime. Grande e' anche la contribuzione dell' illuminazione atmosferica. Complimenti e grazie!
Tanti saluti e buon martedi,
lousat (72937) 2012-10-08 15:10
Ciao Silvio,c'e' una strana luce magnifica che crea un'atmosfera di abbandono e rassegnazione,silenzio e tristezza,la foto e' strepitosa,elegante e ben composta e gestita.Buon Martedi' e complimenti,Luciano
tyro (18958) 2012-10-08 16:12
Ciao caro Silvio,
Another of your fine pictures from your hometown!
I just love the understated colours in this picture: the foreground is almost monochrome with some wonderful lighting which brings out the textures of the old stonework perfectly - and then, through the archway, we see a glimpse of more details and some colours in the relative shade.
Perfect lines of composition, perfect lighting and exposure and excellent sharpness.
mvdisco (17670) 2012-10-08 16:51
Beautiful perpective and tone of colors,
A sharp and clear presentation and composition,
good notes of the place and lovely narrow street,
Nicou (117398) 2012-10-09 0:55
superbe ocmpo et iamge quel captage de cette rue fantastique iamge ave cle bel arche et la facade et ce volet quel gestion des tons, sueprbe.
Bravo et amitié
jhm (135908) 2012-10-09 3:44
Thank you very much for your interesting notes.
Back to the time with these narrow street, old buildings and the lantern as detail.
Excellent depth and perspective picture.
Sharpness and clarity are of high quality.
Very well done, TFS.
Have a nice Tuesday,
Oceania (4604) 2012-10-09 6:55
I like the vertical format in this picture, so that it can be maximized in height. Thanks for showing us this charming small town in Italy.
siamesa (27719) 2012-10-09 7:49
Bom dia Silvio
These old tows have a special beauty. I really would like to visit them someday. Very interesting photo.
Cricri (101941) 2012-10-10 5:33
Ciao ami Silvio
Un cadrage impeccable tout comme la gestion de la lumière, même dans les zones d'ombre, excellente présentation
gervaso (9365) 2012-10-10 6:44
Very good perspective, and the architectural details shown are beautiful! Wonderful composition! Very good job!
dale54 (6419) 2012-10-10 11:46
hello silvio,like this shot from italy,quiet empty street,great POV,wonderfull scene! tfs, dr