Vallo di Nera
is a magnificent village, completely intact and handed over to the Valnerina
just as it used to be in the Middle Ages.
Its walls are still intact as well as all the other defence structures which
were typical for ancient fortified castles.
The village rises on a gentle hill at
about 400 metres altitude, resting on two slopes along an opening of the valley
of the river Nera
The origins of the settlement of the first inhabitants of the valley, the Naharci
, are very ancient, so they settled
in the territory and populated it until the coming of the Romans in the 4th
The whole zone turned out to be an election place for monks, hermits and
recluses who distributed along the valleys of the Nera, building hermitages,
abbeys and draining the marshy zones. The church Chiesa di San Giovanni
one of the most ancient ones in the Valnerina, is a precious evidence for this.
Exactly on the 8th
September 1217 Vallo
the authorization to build a castle which should
fall under Spoleto's jurisdiction and in its political and economical sphere.
In the following centuries the castle took in a remarkable quantity of
inhabitants, becoming the most populated of the Valnerina and expanding its own
inhabited centre even outside the circle of the walls.
During the first decades of the 16th
century the political situation
changed and in the Valnerina came into being an alliance, guided by Petrone
and Picozzo Brancaleone,
which joined all
communes opponent to the dukedom of Spoleto
. During the
discussion Petrone killed a papal representative who had arrived to put the
revolt to an end, but the reaction was terrible. The condottiere was burned
alive in 1527, the castle of Vallo di Nera was destructed and plundered.
Today Vallo di Nera is one of the most beautiful images kept by the Valnerina,
as gives evidence its inclusion in the club of the ''Borghi più belli
'' (Most beautiful villages of Italy).
The inhabited centre is extremely
well-preserved and immersed in an unpolluted environment and a really lovely
landscape. Its monuments are surrounded by forests and protected by valleys
which appear in a never-ending succession.
The houses are of stone, one set against the other, designing an intricate
texture of alleys, towers and narrow streets, bows and narrow passages, all of
which give the tourist a very charming image of its medieval past.
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