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Valfabbrica is a small town in north-east Umbria, near Perugia, on the “Franciscan Path of Peace" route that traces the journey of Saint Francis (1182-1226) when he abandoned his father's house in Assisi and took refuge in Gubbio.
Exploring the old town of Valfabbrica, called "Pedicino," you will find the old medieval castle, which still has a tower which was once the ancient gate of the castle. A second tower was added at the end of the 19th century, and also a bell tower.
Inside the castle is the Church of San Sebastiano, rebuilt in the 16th century. This church holds a work of art of particular interest, the "Holy Family" by Benedetto Bandiera*.
Outside the castle is the church of Our Lady of ‘Foce’, built in the mid-17th century. The façade of the church is decorated with a rose window moulded in clay, and inside, above the altar, there is a painting of "Madonna and Child with Angels." Just along the main road is the parish church of “Santa Maria Assunta,” built in 1960 and characterized by polychrome glass windows.
Leaving the church and going to the cemetery in Valfabbrica you arrive at the old Benedictine Abbey of Santa Maria. Inside the abbey is a fresco by Cimabue’s School representing the "Lamentation over the Dead Christ." Near the apse, inside a niche supported by two medieval columns, there is the “Majesty between Saints and Angels”, a work dating back to 14th century.
The small village of Casa Castalda, a small village of Lombard origin, is also part of Valfabbrica. The old town of the village has a typical medieval layout with a series of narrow streets and alleys.
The church of Our Lady of the Assumption in Casa Castalda is very ancient, originally built before the year 1000 and the impressive tower is the highest point of the region. Inside the church there is a fine organ and a triptych by Matteo da Gualdo (1435-1507). You can find other works by Matteo da Gualdo in the Shrine of Our Lady of the “Olmo”, such as a fragmentary fresco depicting St. Anne with the Virgin Child.
Attractions near Valfabbrica
The whole area around Valfabbrica is scattered with small and quaint medieval villages, such as Giomici, with an ancient eleventh century castle; Poggio San Dionisio, on the top of a hill; and Collemincio, dating from the late tenth century.
In this land rich in historical and cultural traditions, there is also plenty to enjoy for lovers of nature, walking in a landscape still untouched and unspoiled in many respects, and offering genuine local products of high quality such as truffles, cheeses, homemade sausages and wines.
You can find more local travel ideas in the Umbria guide.