Spoleto, or in latin spoletium, is the city closest to our retreat facility. Situated at the head of a large broad valley, surrounded by mountains, it was actually an important site for the ancient Umbri who built walls around their settlement in the 5th century bc, some of which are visible today.
Near spoleto, on the mountain just above, is the sacred forest of Monteluco. this has been a site of honor and ritual for many thousands of years. It was already well know at the time of the Romans, and continued through the christain area.
There was a small benedictine chapel on the site when Saint Francis came there to live and study, drinking the spirit of nature which became his muse. There are many famous historical aspects to the history of Spoleto, not the least of which involve a battle with Hannible in 217bc where the inhabitants thwarted his attack founded as a roman colony along the eastern via Flaminia in 241bc, Cicero mentioned it was still a roman colony in 95bc, spoleto thrived along the famous via Flaminia, an ancient roman road across italy, and its’ place as the seat of power of the Spoleto valley continues through to today.
Spoleto is also famous for the “Festival of two worlds” arts gathering every summer. performance, dance, and exhibitions are everywhere, filling the streets with life and creative spirit.
As an excursion this is a half day commitment. We would depart the resort in the morning, visit the sacred wood, then have a leisurely walk through the ancient city. Time for a wonderful vegetarian lunch at the local natural foods restaurant and store, and maybe some time after lunch for walking before returning for an afternoon practice.