Montefranco, which is situated at 414 metres between woods of olive oak and pine-trees, dominates the Nera valley. The town owes its origins to the antique castle of Bufone, existing already in 1228, and of which the Franca and Spoletina portals and the outer walls remain.
This castle, which probably dates back to the end of the first millennium, is situated in a spot which was easy to defend from the saracen hordes which infested the valley around the year 900. In 1228, several men from Arrone left their town in order to escape the dominion of Rinaldo, which, for Frederick II extended all over the Narca valley, and passed under the dominion of Spoleto on the hill of Bufone which had been given to them. For the men of Arrone, this new town was like a free land; therefore, the name " Montefranco".
The new castle was always in possession of the city of Spoleto and when, in 1264, Montefranco was occupied by the germanic and moslem troups of the Ghibellino Percivalle Doria, they were immediately beaten back by troups from Spoleto. Lateron, Montefranco adhered to the confederacy of twelve castles which, under the leadership of the Abbey of St. Peter in the Valley did not renew their subjection to Spoleto.
But in 1372, these rebel castles were again subjected to the Spoleto ruls. Because of the old disputes between the cities of Spoleto and Terni, Montefranco was besieged in 1498, but resisted. In 1522, Montefranco took part in a new ribellion of the castles of the Valnerina valley against Spoleto. The town was detached from Spoleto in 1527, but Urban VIII reunited it in 1627. In 1799 Montefranco was occupied by rebel bands; however, the Spoletian troups were able to recover it. After the Restoration it became a town of the second order, with a governor. In the oldest part of the town on the hill of Bufone (Castrum Bufonis), the church of medieval origin dedicated to St. Maria Assunta, thus named in espect of the Cathedral of Spoleto, is interesting. Because of its advanced state of decay, the church was greatly restored during the first years of this century.