Bettona is a stunning small town in Umbria hidden among the hills, which offers the visitors culture, history, and good food in a very suggestive location. This village, as many others nearby, has Etruscans origins therefore it has a rich and long history. Etruscans built strong fortifications for this important hilltop settlement; from here, in fact, there is a clean sight of the surrounding areas and cities making Bettona a perfect spot to post up and control if some unwanted visitors were approaching. Then, during Mediaval times, these fortifications were strengthened by building tall and surly walls that stand even today. As a matter of fact, Bettona is almost totally surrounded by the walls giving this location its typical old-tale vibes. Locals nowadays exploited this feature of the city and built stunning gardens on the top of the ancient walls; if you have the chance to enter one, just take it!
Once you get here your itinerary is pretty set; the town is small, and it will take you no more than three hours to fully explore it. The centre of the town is for sure your starting point; here you find three churches built up between the XII and XII centuries, all of them have something special and worth looking at inside them: The Saint Rita Gothic Chapel and the confessional in Santa Maria Maggiore or the peculiar bell tower of San Crispolto’s church, for example. The latter was built by the city’s monks to honour the body of the city’s patron who came in Italy from Jerusalem to preach Christianity and was eventually tortured and killed by the Romans.
A little bit more than 4,000 inhabitants including the hamlets, the historical center of Bettona, on almost 400m above sea-level, amazes for the harmony of its constructions. Towers, houses and Palazzi mostly from the 14th-16th century, many churches and former monasteries and an important museum that still treasures works of Perugino and many other, not only Umbrian, artists. This town is ideal if you are looking for a place with not many tourists and where witnessing some authentic Italian life-style. During the day the mood is down-tempo and sleepy at times. Not many stores around but the ones open are filled with quality products (food and textiles, mostly) good enough to find a great souvenir reminding you of this hidden village in the Umbrian countryside.
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