The village of Portaria
When in August 1499 Lucrezia Borgia,accompanied by her court,arrived at the Castle of Portaria waiting for her to pay her homage,there were four commissioners and two hundred Spoleto infantrymen. The noblewoman stopped there before resuming the journey, along the Via Flaminia,to Spoleto of which she had been nominated governor by her father, Pope Alexander VI.
From 1495 it was again under the protection of Spoleto,whose dominion over Portaria alternated from the thirteenth century to that of the Apostolic Chamber. The town has been inhabited since Roman times, as evidenced by some archaeological finds that have been found there,including cippus and inscriptions. The recycled materials,especially architectural fragments, inserted in some buildings are also from that same period. However,it is not unlikely that some of them come from the nearby archaeological area of Carsulae.
In the Middle Ages, especially during the twelfth century,Portaria acquired the layout it still retains, with the mighty fortifications that made it a bulwark of the Terre Arnolfe. Nowadays Portaria is a characteristic medieval village located in the Acquasparta area,which from its 470 meters offers a beautiful panoramic view over the valley of the Naia stream. The double walls, with the two access gates to the town - Porta Romana and Porta Spoletina -and the quadrangular tower of the thirteenth century are the features that recall the ancient Arnolfo Castle although a suggestive medieval atmosphere permeates the entire town with its pretty alleys,stone houses, stairways and arches. Another important period for this village was the second half of the 16th century, when it was part of the possessions of the Cesi family, to whom some works are due. The largest is the well built by the Duke of Acquasparta on the current Piazza Giuseppe Verdi. Used until the 1950s,the well drew from a large cistern located under it.
Near the Porta Spoletina there is the church, originally from the 11th century, dedicated to Saints Philip and James. Remodeled in the first half of the 19th century, it houses 17th century paintings and a valuable Fedeli organ dating back to the end of the XVIII century.
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