SPOLETO: A BIT OF HISTORY
The ancient town of Spoleto is situated at the bottom of Monteluco, site of ancient hermitages. Spoleto was a prosperous Roman town and the signs of this past are still evident in the Drusus and Germanicus’ Arc (23 A.D.), the Roman Theatre (first century A.D.) and the Roman House. From the fourth century Spoleto became an episcopal venue developing a solid ecclesiastical organization. Then the town had a crucial political role and, shortly after the arrival of the Lombards in Italy, Faroaldo formed the Lombard Duchy of Spoleto. The Duchy of central Italy, whose capital was Spoleto, remained largely independent until 729 A.D., when it was submitted to the Lombard king.
Cardinal Albornoz chose Spoleto in 1362 as a strategic focus for the reconquest of the Papal State and ordered to Gattapone the construction of the castle, which became the venue of the Duchy’s Chancellors from the late fourteenth century.
During the Napoleonic Empire, between 1808 and 1815, Spoleto passed through the last prestigious period becoming the capital of the Trasimeno’s department, from Rieti to Perugia.
After the 2nd World War, because of a lignite mines’ crisis and an agricultural production’s crisis, big part of the population migrated to other European countries. During those years of painful crisis, the foundations for the future were laid through the creation of some events, to which the prestige and the development of the town is still strongly linked: in 1947 was founded the Experimental Opera Theatre, in 1952 was inaugurated the Italian Center of Studies on the Middle Ages and in 1958 took place the first edition of the Festival of Two Worlds. Thanks to these events the town has gained a significant international role in the artistic and cultural fields and related activities have taken a key role in the local economy.