“The Rocche tell”. They tell,as protagonists, the venerable story of FERENTILLO. And what's more, they are also the distinctive feature of this village in the Valnerina Ternana. The history of Ferentillo for a long period is intertwined with that of the Abbey of San Pietro in Valle, founded in the eighth century. Shortly after its foundation, fortresses and castles-sentinels arose to guard this important Benedictine monastery, perched on the slopes of the surrounding hills. The fortresses of MATTERELLA and PRECETTO were also part of these bulwarks, the two medieval areas,separated by the Nera river, which form the town of Ferentillo. Founded in the eighth century by Lombard settlers,it was initially a fief of the abbey and then under the Municipality of Spoleto;with the lordship of the Cybo, Ferentillo had its own statutes (1573) which sanctioned its independence. The Cybo family had a noble palace built, probably designed by Antonio da Sangallo,which was the residence of the family and the seat of the government. The building,owned by the Silvani-Loreni family since the 18th century,in addition to a notable fresco cycle that decorates the state hall, has a large botanical garden created by Maestro Silvano Silvani.
In the church of Santa Maria - in the area of Matterella - dating back to the 13th century and then transformed in the 15th century, you can admire 16th-17th century paintings of significant artistic value. In this part of the town there is also the 14th century church of San Giovanni Battista which has the remains of frescoes. On the hill overlooking Matterella,is the mighty fortress; originally from the eighth century, it was rebuilt as a castle between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. The other fortress, of which some parts remain, including the crenellated walls, rises above the village of Precetto. This too was built in the eighth century and rebuilt between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries, when it became a castle. In the upper part of Precetto, stands the church of Santo Stefano. Above the lower part of the building,from the 13th-13th century,another church was built by the Cybo family.
Inside there are valuable paintings,including a "Nativity" believed to be the work of the Perugino school. After the construction of the upper church,the medieval one was used as a sepulchral crypt, in which a natural mummification occurred over time due to particular chemical-environmental phenomena. The mummies found are visible in the unique Museum at the crypt. Of interest for the works found there is also the 18th century church of the Madonna del Gonfalone.
But the reasons for visiting Ferentillo are many. Like the many events that take place throughout the year. From the artistic Nativity scene, set up in the church of Santa Maria,to the traditional songs of the Pasquarelle during the Christmas celebrations,to the fun “gara de lu ciuccittu” held on Easter days. The history of Ferentillo - starting with the Umbrian civilization - is told and revived annually with the event "Le Rocche tell" during which the inhabitants themselves interpret and represent living pictures that animate the entire town.
Ferentillo is much loved by outdoor sports enthusiasts, attracting especially those who practice sport climbing on the local rocky walls - a paradise for climbers, in the midst of spectacular nature.
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