Corciano: A Delightful Village
A few miles west of Perugia, Umbria lies Corciano, a charming and unaltered medieval village. Recently inducted into I Borghi Piu D’Italia (Italy’s most beautiful towns), Corciano possesses intact medieval architecture, baroque stairways, palaces, towers, gardens, churches, and bell towers.
HISTORY AND CURIOSITY
The original “a poogio” style castrum, built in the medieval period, follows a concentric road network which is protected by city walls which date back to the XIII and XIV centuries.
Corciano was built by Coragino; the mythical companion to the hero Ulysses. The coat of arms of the municipality (a shield divided into two red and silver halves) was donated to Corciano by Orlando, the defender of France, after Cornaletto of Corciano won a duel. This, of course, is according to local legend.
Corciano flourished during the Renaissance. The Town adorned itself with glorious buildings and remarkable artworks; most notably is a decoration made by the Zuccari inside the Palazzo Municipale, originally the residence of the Dukes Della Corona, and two paintings inside the church of Santa Maria Assunta: the Gonfolone by Benedetto Bonfigli (1472) and L’Assunta by Perugino (1513).
TO VISIT : THE MUSEUMS
There are four museums located in Corciano:
1) Museo della Casa Contadina (Farmhouse Museum) – situated in the historic center, the Farmhouse Museum consists of a typical pre-industrial Corcianese house. A testimony of a culture connected to both a rural economy and the outside world, this style structure was predominant in Corciano until a few decades ago. Born in the 1970’s, the museum collection combines artworks and work objects of that period.
2) Museo della Pievania – located inside the San Cristoforo church, this museum was opened in 1974. It was planned by priest Don Franco Pulcinelli. The Pievania has an interesting collection of exhibits from the most significant moments of Corciano’s history and of the community’s religious devotion. It contains sacred images (frescoes, sacred icons, crosses, paintings, gonfalons) and sacred furnishings (chalices, pyxis, lamps, ect…)
3) The Typical Products Promotion Centre – located inside the Sant’Antonio Abate complex, the centre is an addition to the Farmhouse Museum and dedicated to food and diet. In this museum, special attention is reserved to the traditions connected with typical foods such as bread, wine, and olive oil.
4) The Antiquarium – inaugurated in 2009, the Antiquarium contains archaeological discoveries found in the most interesting Umbrian areas. A visit to the Antiquarium starts with the Paleontological Section. Here, you can view important findings from the Jurassic Era (190 million years ago) and the Pleistocene Era (1 million years ago). The next section is dedicated to the Classical age, in particular, findings from the archaic tomb of Castle San Mariano including carts, symbols of power and riches. Reconstructions of these artifacts can be found inside.
THE NATURAL HERITAGE
Monte Malbe, Colle della Trinità
Corciano’s heritage is of the utmost importance to all of Umbria. The 25 square kilometre area known as Monte Malbe and Colle della Trinita is one of the greenest regions of Italy. The crown of Monte Malbe (652mt high) is filled with several tree species such as the holm-oak, the sessile, the turkey oak, the strawberry tree and the juniper. Several animals like boars, hares, foxes, porcupines, weasels, hedgehogs, squirrels, and birds of prey also populate this land.
Travellers will find several parks and manicured landscapes on Monte Malbe. One such park is Parco della Trinita. It is a peaceful park surrounded by woods at the mount’s summit. Another is the ancient hermitage of Saint Salvatore in Sasso, also known as Romitorio. Nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts can walk several trails and witness spectacular views of Mount Subasio and Lake Trasimeno.
The Town Council of Corciano organizes events ever year. Some of the most popular are:
La Primavera dell’Artigianato – April to May
The best Umbrian artisans assemble at the Springtime Handcraft Fair to show their abilities, techniques, and creativity by displaying their work in “botteghe” (workshops) set up along the town’s alleys.
Pane in Piazze – June
A three day event to celebrate bread, rediscover the wonders of this staple food item. Vendors from all over Italy converge in Corciano for this festival. Visitors can enjoy bread making demos and, of course, all of the bread one can fit into their stomach.
Corciano Festival – August
An annual medieval festival is held in August in Corciano. One can experience medieval theater, music, and food. Other festivals held in Corciano in August are la Serenata dei Menestrelli (August 13), la Processione del Lume (August 14), il Corteo Storico del gonfalone (August 15).
Dolce Borgo – October
In conjunction with Perugia’s Eurochocolate Festival, Corciano holds Dolce Borgo, a two day event completely devoted to the rich creamy delight.
Presepe – December
At this annual Christmas festival, nativity scenes and other biblical displays are erected throughout the town.
Le Vie Dei Sapori – December
A ‘Taste of Corciano’ if you will. Visitors can walk down “Spice Street,” Salt Street,” and “Wine Street,” and taste what delicacies Corciano has to offer.