Sellano is a small town in the south-east of the Umbria region of Italy.
Sellano and a history of earthquakes
The history of the town and castle have been substantially shaped by the earthquakes that have affected the region across the centuries, but we know that several hundred years ago Sellano had an imposing castle and was completely surrounded by defensive walls, with the walls further developed in 1552 when Sellano rebelled against Spoleto.
Because of the ongoing risk of further earthquakes many of the most important historical artworks have been removed from Sellano and taken to safer places, such as museums or other churches. The risks to works of art in the churches of Sellano are also high because of the poorer quality of the building masonry (again due to earthquakes). However, some works of art by less well known Umbrian painters have been allowed to remain.
Don't be discouraged by these stories of earthquakes though - Sellano is still an interesting town to visit when you are in Umbria and in a very picturesque setting!
Begin your visit to Sellano at the 12th century Church of Santa Maria (rebuilt in the 16th century). The interior has three naves divided by columns with arches and all the chapels have altars dating back to the 16th century in wood or stone.
In addition to the numerous paintings dating back from the 14th century the church also contains the urn of St. Giolo, the patron Saint of Sellano. Among the artifacts of value are an aspersorium of 1584 and a stone baptismal font with copper doors painted in a niche at the top.
The Church of San Francesco (also known as the Church of Our Lady of the Cross) was built in 1538. It is of Greek cross plan that develops on the outside into an octagonal shape, while inside it has three altars of stucco, on which there is a fresco by an unknown Umbrian painter of the late 16th century.
In the center of Sellano it is the Town Hall that stands out, with a façade from the 16th century. Inside there are also traces of 16th century frescoes.
The area around Sellano
The landscape around the village of Sellano is full of interesting artifacts, as at Commoro, where the 14th century church of S. Maria Novella is situated, with a stone portal. The bell tower was rebuilt in the early 17th century, and the interior has a single nave, and two altars with carved wood, and preserves several paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Undoubtedly one of the most memorable characteristics of Sellano is its landscape of green highlands, pastures and healing springs, a landscape that is also rich in tradition such as the activities related to wrought iron handicrafts and local products.
The Valnerina Valley offers nature trails particularly worthy of being visited by nature lovers, who can move through forests of ilex and oak trees, streams full of trout, and an undergrowth rich in precious mushrooms, truffles and chestnuts.
In particular the walk that leads to the waterfalls on the river Rote is recommended as an introduction to the surrounding Umbrian countryside.
Gourmets visiting Sellano, in addition to products such as cheese, cottage cheese, lentils and potatoes, can also enjoy the famous Norcia ham.