Nocera Umbra is a small town to the east of the Umbria region of central Italy, and east of Perugia.
The town is surrounded by castle walls and dominated by the large tower, called the "Campanaccio", which is all that remains of the original fortress and medieval walls. Of the ancient Cathedral, incorporated in the fortress, all that remains is the 10th century portal.
Enter Nocera Umbra through the Porta Vecchia (Old Gate), which leads to Via Corso Emanuele and continues towards Piazza Caprera to find the Church of St. Francis.
This church is of the Gothic-Romanesque style and dates from the 14th century; it has two portals and a single nave which houses several frescoes by Matteo da Gualdo* (see Nocera Umbra Municipal Art Museum below).
At the top of the hill is the Cathedral, an ancient Romanesque building dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption. The Cathedral was completely rebuilt in the mid-15th century and it suffered many restorations during the 18th century.
Of particular interest in Nocera Umbra cathedral are the tiled floor and the chapel decorated with 17th century paintings by Giulio Cesare Angeli* (1563-1630), in particular the Annunciation.
After passing through Piazza Caprera you reach the Church of Saint John the Baptist, with a Gothic portal, three Baroque altars and a choir of golden wood in the Venetian style.
Continuing along Corso Vittorio Emanuele you next arrive at the Palazzo Camilli, which is now home to the Ancient and Modern Library, the Historical Archives and the "Documentation Center" for the spa traditions of the town.
The Galleries along the Corso of S. Philip also stand out, with their large windows and loopholes. Following these galleries you reach the Church of St. Philip, designed by Luigi Poletti (1792-1869) in Neo-Gothic style, then finally we arrive at the Palombara, a defensive tower of the medieval city.
The Church of Saint Francis now holds the Municipal Art Gallery, with works by Matteo da Gualdo, Alunno and by the school of Cimabue (1240-1302). By Matteo da Gualdo you can see "St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata," "Madonna and Child", and the “Annunciation”.
See in particular the “Incontro di Gioacchino e Anna alla Porta Aurea”, painted between 1492 and 1503 which is rich in symbolism from the Franciscan concept of the 'Madonna without Sin' (Madonna 'sine macula')*.
* The concept of the 'Madonna without sin' was fought for by the Franciscans, according to whom the Virgin Mary was conceived through a kiss between Joachim and Anna. This theme is clear in the painting the figures below the Madonna, who exchange a kiss.
The Museum also has works by Niccolò di Liberatore called L’Alunno (1430-1503), including the altarpiece executed in 1483 for the main altar of the Cathedral of the city. In the 19th century it was preserved in the sacristy of the Cathedral of Nocera Umbra. The saints who stand next to the group of the Virgin Mary and Child are Rinaldo and Felicissimo, the Patron Saints of Nocera Umbra and the work is considered one of the peaks achieved by “L’Alunno”.
In the museum there are also some Roman remains, among which a milestone of the ancient Flaminia Road, a female portrait and some mosaic fragments.
Nocera Umbra is also renowned for the quality of its natural waters, which from the 16th century onwards were used for spa treatments. Even today the local spas are very popular and the whole area has been set up with facilities for guests seeking spa treatments.
In addition to the ancient thermal waters be sure at the same time to enjoy the traditional country recipes, like the “gnocchi” with red potatoes, the “stracciola” and the so-called "Biscio", a quiche made with wild herbs.