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Visit Gualdo Tadino
The ancient settlement of Gualdo Tadino was established on Sant'Angelo Hill and followed the layout of the land, developed with overlapping terracings, and this layout still gives the city its typical medieval appearance.
Although it is not the most interesting town in the region the small historic centre merits a visit when you are exploring the natural environment of the nearby Regional Park of Monte Cucco. Gualdo Tadino is also reputed for its mineral waters which are well-known for their therapeutic properties.
Explore Gualdo Tadino: tourism and travel guide
Your first stop on your visit to Gualdo Tadino is in the main square of the city. The Cathedral of Saint Benedict is here, with a romanesque-gothic façade and a romanesque bell tower.
The cathedral was built in the 13th century with the help of specialized Lombard workers and has a façade that includes three decorated portals and a rose window. You can enter the cathedral through the imprssive carved doorway, although renovations have removed almost all trace of the 13th century interior.
Also of interest is the Church of San Francesco, built in the gothic style by the Franciscans from 1293 and consecrated in 1315. The church interior has remarkable decorated stone, ancient majolica and 14th-15th century frescoes, some of which were works by Matteo da Gualdo, a painter born in the city.
On this main square in Gualdo Tadino you can also see the Town Hall and the Palazzo del Podesta, dating from the 13th century and of which only the tower remains.
Rocca Flea: the fortress of Gualdo Tadino
The city of Gualdo Tadino is most noteworthy for the so-called “Rocca Flea". This is the ruins of an ancient fortress where you can still see the original polygonal center and a more recent part, connected by walkways and walls with parapet walks.
Damaged over the centuries, the fortress was restored by Frederick II (1194-1250). The castle keep dates from the time of the domination of the town by Perugia.
The fortress was once the residence of the Pope’s Legates and decorated with numerous frescoes, but only a faint trace of these remains today.
Gualdo Tadino museum and art gallery: important works
The most interesting part of the fortress is the Museum and Art Gallery, which holds various works of artistic interest such as a Roman sarcophagus from the late second century AD, depicting the portrait of the deceased supported by two winged Victories and supported by the giant named Atlante.
Among the paintings in the museum we must mention a triptych depicting "St. Anne and the Virgin and Child with Saints Joachim and Joseph", by Antonio da Fabriano* painted in the second half of the 15th century. There are also interesting works by Niccolò di Liberatore (the Alunno, 1430-1502), such as a polyptych from the second half of the 15th century, the "Madonna Enthroned with Saints", signed and dated April 28, 1462, and the "Madonna Praying," about 1486.
Also here is a work showing the "Miracle of Saint Diego," dating back to the 17th century by Avanzino Nucci* (1552-1629), presumably a painter born in Citta di Castello, who worked mainly in Rome, but often in Gualdo Tadino.
The works of the family of Matteo da Gualdo* are well represented. By Matteo da Gualdo himself there is "Our Lady of the Assumption" (1486), a small painting made for special liturgical functions and often carried in procession, and the "Madonna Enthroned with Saints", dating from 1462. Gerolamo (died 1515), the son of Matteo, is attributed the "Madonna with Child", while Bernardo (grandson of Matteo, died 1532) is attributed the "Lady Praying with groups in the Brotherhood".
A section of the museum is also devoted to ceramics, to which Gualdo Tadino boasts a long tradition, in particular relating to a technique of applying gold to majolica developed by Lorenzo Pignani da Gualdo*.
Other attractions near Gualdo Tadino
There is an ancient tradition of ceramic production in Gualdo Tadino, as demonstrated by various finds from archaeological excavations, some of which date back to Etruscan times. Ceramics is still the primary industry in the town.
Excavations on the hill called “I Mori” have uncovered traces that span the centuries between the end of the 6th century BC to the 2nd century BC, such as the rich necropolis of St. Facondino, whose tombs cover the period from the 7th century BC to the late Imperial Age. (The rich set of tombs, including pottery, bronze tools, and red-figured Attic vases are on display in the National Museum of Villa Giulia in Rome.) See also history of Gualdo Tadino.
The nearby Regional Park of Monte Cucco has some attractive scenery to explore and is a very popular destination with hikers and mountain bike enthusiasts.
* For artists notes see medieval & renaissance artists of Italy.
Where is Gualdo Tadino?
You can find more local travel ideas in the Umbria guide.