I'm excited about visiting Spello during my fall trip to Umbria. I've seen such beautiful photos of this small Italian hill town, posted by fellow travelers such as Girasoli, that I'm curious to see Spello for myself. This photo of the town was borrowed from Bill Thayer's wonderful Umbria website (since I only recently bought a digital camera and have very few photos of my own -- as yet!)
When I'm in Spello, I'll be especially interested in the art there, specifically, some works by Pinturicchio. I'll be too late for the special exhibition "Pinturicchio in Umbria" which began in February and follows an itinerary that takes art fans to various churches and museums in Perugia, Spello, Trevi, Spoleto, Orvieto and Città di Castello as part of the exhibition of Pinturicchio's works. So, I'll just have to follow my own art itinerary in September!
An Early Renaissance painter, Pinturicchio -- whose real name was Bernardino di Betto (ca. 1452-1513) -- was born in Perugia and trained there. I'll have a week in Perugia, and hope to see a good deal of his work there, as well as the paintings in Spello. Art historians have noted that today, Pinturicchio is often overshadowed by his famous contemporaries Perugino and Raphael, but in his own time Pinturicchio was immensely successful for his numerous frescoes and occasional easel paintings.
I look forward to seeing these in Spello!
This is Pinturicchio's Annunciation, a fresco painted in 1501 in the Cappella Baglioni, Collegiata di Santa Maria Maggiore, in Spello.I believe the artist included a small self-portrait in the lower right corner.
This is another fresco from the same Spello church, Pinturicchio's Adoration of the Child, also painted in 1501.
I won't be staying overnight in Spello, however. I've been convinced by Girasoli and others on Slow Travel that although it will be a lovely town to visit for a single day, it's a bit too small for a stay much longer than that.
I plan to drive there from Bevagna, another small Umbrian town that will be a brief base during the short period when I'll have a rental car in Umbria (my first Italian car rental!) My master plan is to spend a few days in Assisi ; then pick up a rental car and spend three days based in Bevagna, but using my 3-day rental car to visit Spello and Montefalco. I believe that these latter two Umbrian hill towns are a bit difficult to visit by public transport.
After that, I'll drop off the car in Foligno, take the quick train ride into Perugia and spend a week there. Yay! I spent a full week in Perugia this time last year and didn't even begin to see everything on my list of important sites. However, this year I hope to take a couple of day trips from Perugia, one to Todi (by the private rail system) and another to Arezzo. I know that Arezzo is part of Tuscany, and as a Slow Traveler I don't want to hop across too many regions. But it seems to be little more than a one-hour direct train ride from Perugia, and I really want to see the Piero della Francesca's fresco cycle, The Legend of the True Cross.
I'll end this trip with a few days in Florence (happy sigh!) before flying out again. Hopefully, I will have gorged myself on enough Renaissance art to sustain me through the long, dark winter.