Located in north-western Umbria near the border with Tuscany, the small medieval village of Monte Santa Maria Tiberina sits on a hilltop overlooking the panoramic valley below that is crossed by the Aggia River.
The village preserves its medieval layout providing an unforgettable view of the entire valley.
The village has a rich history but is almost uninhabited making it a fascinating place to visit.
Its ancient origins are testified to by the nearby copper deposits in Trestina and Fabbrecce that were found in the 1900s. Being located on the right bank of the Tiber, it was certainly an Etruscan village (Città di Castello, being on the left bank of the Tiber, shows no evidence of Etruscan settlements).
Since the 11th century, it has been the seat of the Marquis of Bourbon del Monte, who were descendants of the Marquis of Colle who came to Italy with the Franks. They conquered a great part of Upper Tiber Valley building fortresses and castles in various strategic positions. Two of the most important monuments to visit are the 16th-century castle and the Church of St. Mary with the sepulchre of the Bourbon del Monte family in its crypt (see FOCUS)
This beautiful rural church, built around 1000 CE, stands within the village walls and also contains a marvellous stone baptismal font.
Churches of Monte Santa Maria Tiberina
Drive south on the Tiberina State Road until you get to Trestina and continue on the right along the Nestore River until you reach this monumental 11th-century Benedictine Abbey dedicated to St. Mary and St. Giles. It contains an interesting ancient crypt (now under restoration) where ruins from the late roman era have been found.
Drive south on the Tiberina State Road towards Trestina until you get to the hamlet of Fabbrecce and find the Basilica of Canoscio and the mid 12th-century rural Church of Saints Cosmas and Damian standing on a hill.
It is one of the most evocative religious and historical sites and the perfect place for a picnic. The “Treasure of Canoscio”, one of Italy’s oldest collections of Paleochristian art, was found here and is now in the Cathedral Museum in Città di Castello.
Continue on the Tiberina State Road until you get to Morra. This village is home to the magnificent Oratory of St. Crescentino. It was built in the early 1500s above an older church, whose remains have recently been uncovered by an expert restorer and can be seen inside. The oratory walls are covered with frescos by Luca Signorelli and his followers from the first decade of the 16th century. The entire fresco cycle was restored by the famous contemporary artist Alberto Burri in the 1980s.
Events Of Monte Santa Maria Tiberina
SUMMER IN MONTE SANTA MARIA TIBERINA
Throughout the summer
A summer-long event commemorating the historical March of Monte Santa Maria Tiberina. The village is filled with stands offering gastronomic specialities.
ROAST SUCKLING PIG FESTIVAL
Last weekend of July
This food festival takes place in the last week of July and celebrates the famous oven-roasted suckling pig and the tasty pork and bean dish that are both traditional Valtiberina specialities.
CAKE FESTIVAL - GIOIELLO
Last weekend of June
Gioiello is a small hamlet located five kilometres from Monte Santa Maria Tiberina. The festival is actually a competition for the best tasting and the most beautiful looking cake. Obviously, once the winner has been chosen, everybody gets to taste all the cakes.
ROASTED SHEEP FESTIVAL - GIOIELLO
Last weekend of July
This festival takes place in Gioiello on the last weekend of July. It is an opportunity to try the famous local brochette of lamb.