Things you might like to do in Spello
For a small village Spello is packed with options. Many are free. Depending on the class interests we will direct you to additional activities. Please send us any suggestions to add to these pages!
There are about 20 restaurants in Spello. Choosing a favourite is impossible and so I will just mention some of my great memories.
Ristorante Il Pinturicchio – great tender Angus beef steak, zuchini soufle, chocolate desert. Nice staff. $$$
La Cantina – oozing a fine Italian warm atmosphere. Rounded out classic menu. Professional staff. $$$
Enoteca di Properzio – simple menu of traditional food all good quality to accompany the dugustation of wines. Also suitable for aperitivi or any other time. You can have a little or a lot. Read more under the Wine Enoteca tab. $$
Oleoteca – a specialist menu featuring olive oils from around the world. Innovative quality menu. One long table constitutes the whole restaurant. Very bespoke in that you can tell them your preferences ahead of time, especially with a group. Fresh, clever and quality, is what really stands out on this menu. $$
Il Postiglione – vaulted pink ceilings with special lights and artwork. Good menu but a little inconsistent with meat dishes. Great deserts. $$$
Il Vecchio Opificio – Outisde of Centro on the way to the supermarket. Homely but nice, friendly staff with a food that is consistent and with solid performances. Memorable was the guanciale with balsamic. $$
Osteria de Dadà – family trattoria near the central piazza. This is a huge favourite for us. Low cost and rustic food. It is a tiny place and fills quickly so book your table. Summer it can be too hot. Winter is sublimly warm. Big serves and so be careful to over order. Great and huge antipasti. Take an appetite! $
Sapori Umbri – right in the central piazza. The best pizza in town. Very friendly staff and quick and good meals at all times. $
Drinking Wine – cosi eclectic atmosphere. Obviously a good wine list and varied menu.$$$
CAFES AND BARS
Tullia – very very local, great drinks, pastries and gelato. Gianni will make your favourite beverage. He makes us a large “super hot” Cafe Latte which is hard to get anywhere.
Bar Bonci – the view to die for in a great garden. Take a book and wile away the hours.
Gusto’ Bistro’ Spello – this is the best spot for a coffee, drink or quick lunch, with simple salads. Low cost meals.
There is so much history in Spello that there are books and websites just dedicated to this. But in summary – the Romans created this town as Hispellum 2000 years ago, prior to this it was inhabited by the Umbri tribes. Hispellum was later shortended to Spello. After the fall of the Roman empire it was devastated by the barbarians before being re-built in the current form (about 12th century). There are many remains of the original Hispellum to be found. The Villa dei Mosaici contains the mosaics of one or the huge original homes (domus). See more below about this.
The pale pink tone of the historical town is due to so many building made from the local Subasio stone. The light dances on the buildings creating a magic feeling. Spello is listed in the top towns of Italy due to it’s cultural and art history.
You will find relics in the entrance to the Comune building and museum.
The churches hold many of the important artworks and especially of Pintoricchio (ca. 1454–1513):
– Santa Maria Maggiore has paintings by Pintoricchio in the Baglioni chapel
– Sant’ Andrea has one painting by Pintoricchio.
A wonderful gallery in Piazza della Republica, and which is free entry, is the Gallery of Norberto. He is the most copied artist in Umbria. His style is very distinctive.
A more recent and much celebrated artist is Elvio Marchionni, his gallery is in a decommisisoned church in the main street. You can see his unique and very beautiful artworks across the road in his gallery/shop.
VILLA die MOSAICI
Recently completed this venue is a must see. For a small fee you can experience the mosaics with a super high tech audio/visual interpretive feature.
Your first walk might be to explore the streets and lanes of Spello. Don’t bother with a map the first time, as you will have more fun and the edges of the town become apparent. The town is one big hill and you will soon go up to the look out at Belvedere. The shape of Spello is like the imprint of a foot and Belvedere is tip of the toes. The central piazza (Piazza della Republica) is at the arch of the foot and the lower piazza (Piazza John Fitzgerald Kennedy) is at the heel. After this you can try to locate the iconic places like the Torri di Properzio or the town gates.
Walking the olive groves along the remains of the Roman aquaduct, which originally provided the water to Spello, is just delightful. You walk towards Collepino (from the top gate of town) and then you will see the signs showing where to access the walk. Half way along there is a special seat to rest and take in the views.
At Collepino there is a cafe and at night a very good restaurant in summer. Ristorante Taverna S.Silvestro and you will need to book before. Being a higher altitude, it is several degrees cooler.
Further on from Collepino there is another village. San Giovanni di Collepino is tiny but very pretty. Find it on the map and either drive from Spello to Collepino and walk to San Giovanni di Collepino or walk from Spello to San Giovanni di Collepino which would be a very big hike and only for the super fit.
The walk from Spello to Assisi is well known via the hills. But also for those seeking a special place you can get yourself to the hermitage (eremo delle carceri) of San Francesco and soak in the beauty and deep silence among the greenery and forest.
Degustation Wine and Food
The number 1 venue (according to Lonely Planet) in Italy, is Enotecca di Properzio. The family of Roberto Angelini have the most amazing wines and splendid hospitality. You are assured of a memorable experience. If you take the degustation menu, Roberto will choose the wines for you to try. Allow plenty of time to savour this event. Make sure you don’t need to drive after and are not too far from a place to flop down, from the surfeit of wine and enjoyment. If you have not already tried truffles, then this is an excellent place for your first experience. Truffles are often on the menu.
Location of Enotecca di Properzio – it is in the main street just downhill from the Church of Sant Andrea. You can’t miss it. Booking is advisable but often just on the same day is sufficient. One of the staff always speaks English but try out any words you can in Italian! Most of us improve after a few wines… which proves how important relaxation is to speaking another language.