▌ Discover Corciano
Not far from Lake Trasimeno, and just a few kilometers from Perugia, you come across an authentic gem that is worth visiting if you’re looking for itineraries that best showcase the history of our fantastic region. Away from the city’s smog and the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, you’ll find Corciano, one of the villages rightfully included in the prestigious list of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
The town is perched on a small hill (408 meters above sea level) and offers a fantastic view, as well as providing a refreshing escape on the scorching summer days. Nature itself delights us with the lush greenery that overwhelmingly dominates the surrounding hills and valleys.
According to an ancient legend, Corciano owes its name and origins to Coragino, the mythical companion of Ulysses.
Corciano: History and Curiosities
The wood from the many trees represents a great wealth for the local economy, which knows how to manage and shape this precious raw material to create tools and toys. Meanwhile, the limestone of the area was a fundamental element in the construction of the Church of Sant’Agostino, commissioned by Pope John XXII in 1334.
And it’s precisely its ancient history that makes this village unique, as we mentioned earlier. It is a unique heritage in representing the many phases of our region’s history. The earliest human settlements found in Corciano date back to the Neolithic period. With the discovery of two cinerary urns (housed in the Antiquarium of the Town Hall), we can estimate human presence during a period ranging from the ninth to the eighth century BC.
Between the third and first centuries BC, numerous small inhabited settlements appeared, which exploited the agricultural resources of the area and began a craft tradition that has continued to the present day.
The area’s significant development can also be attributed to the growing demand for travertine, which was needed for the construction of the nearby urban city of Perugia.
In 1242 Corciano was a free city, although very closely related to the nearby and dominant city of Perugia. The renaissance period was very flourishing for this town, which allowed it to adorn itself with characteristic buildings and prestigious works of art.
Upon entering Corciano from Porta S. Francesco, you gain access to the Corso Cardinale Rotelli, the main street of the historic centre. Immediately to your right is located the Palazzo municipale (16th Century), originally the residence of the two dukes of Corgna, which preserves prestigious decorations and designs. Of particular importance are those of the Ceiling of the Council room (end of 16th Century), produced by the Zuccari. Continuing on one reaches the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo (15th Century), ancient residence of the representative from the dominating city of Perugia, with on its side the Palazzo dei Priori and of the Mercanzia.
Continuing one arrives at ‘piazza Coragino’, where one finds a lovely round well from the 16th Century. To the right appears the Santa Maria Assunta, a church from the 13th century. Inside are preserved two picturesque works of art of high value: the Gonfalone by Benedetto Bonfigli, (1472), and the Assunta by the Perugino (1513
). Farther along one comes to the small church of San Cristoforo, from the first half of 1500, which hosts a collection of sacred art. Of particular interest is the Museo della Corsa Contadina which reproduces, with authentic household and work objects, the typical corcianese dwelling of the preindustrial period. Also noteworthy is the ancient ‘Spedale’ of the town, which preserves an affresco from 1494 attributed to Andrea D’Assisi, known as the ‘Ingegno’. A touch farther along one finds the Torrione di Porta Santa Maria, the Corciano emblem, built in 1482, followed by a beautiful promenade built on top of the ancient walls, from which one can admire two Romanesque sculptures of lions. The San Francesco Church, gothic, contains several works of art, including a crucifix from the fifth Century, a Bandiera canvas, a statue of San Bernardino dell’Orsini, and a table of the Caporali, in addition to affrescos from the umbro-senese discipline from the 14th and 15th Centuries. Among the most important manifestations taking place in the city we should absolutely mention the Festival of Corciano.