Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Spello rhymes with bello (pass the corny), but seriously though, this is one for the favourites list. A truly stunning Medieval hilltop town whose richly layered clot of faded red shingles, brown towers and pointy Cathedral roofs are best appreciated when arriving by car from a distance.
Spello is not to be missed for its Gothic charm. The Neverending uphill Main Street had me stopping at every quaint artisan shop, each of which boasted its own stock of unique handcrafts, wooden kitchen fixtures, ceramics typical of the region, adorable aprons and eclectic clothing and dozens of tantalizing gastronomy shops selling jarred truffle paste, local extra virgin olive oil that tastes like pure gold and tthe local wines and digestifs. The many taverns, osterias, trattorias, ristoranti and aperitivo bars beckon you into each of them. Unfortunately we didn’t dine in Spello so I can’t attest to these eateries. I did buy a magnet though… I swear I’m turning into my mother.
Nevertheless we had a lovely stroll and a breathtaking view from the top of the town. The churches are really something else, especially Santa Maria Maggiore. There is a famous chapel – the Baglioni Chapel – which was paintedin he 16th century by the in-demand Pinturicchio, who did this just after painting the Borgia Apartment in the Vatican, only HBO can hypothesize what went on in those rooms circa 1500…
Spello is exactly what italophiles expect to see in Italy and are often let down by in other major tourist areas. Having said this, a few hours there is more than enough time for this Medieval hill town to a “spello” on you – HA! Couldn’t resist 🙂