Snapshots of Gubbio, Umbria: A glimpse of daily life in the oldest town in Umbria.
1. Fontana dei Matti
Named the “Fountain of the Crazies,” it is a part of the “license of a nut.” Tradition says that whoever takes three laps around the fountain is baptized by the water that sprays from the fountain, thus gaining the license and becoming a true Gubbio citizen. (According to wikipedia, it is very difficult to go around three times without getting wet from the fountains sprays, I saw it, but didn’t try.)
2. St. Ubaldo Basilica
Take the funicular from the Porta Romana to the beautiful Basilica to see the planks for the famous Ceri race as well as some of the best views of the town.
3. Palazzo dei Consoli
The Consular Palace is a huge Gothic building made of white limestone. Built in the 14th century, it proved just how powerful Gubbio was at the time, and is still a sight to see. Towering over the central square, Piazza della Signoria, it is now used as an art gallery and civic museum. Inside are the Eugubine tablets, seven 2,000-year-old bronze plaques written in ancient Umbrian.
*Others not shown:
4. Palazzo Pretorio
Located across from Palazzo dei Consoli, Palazzo Pretorio has actually never officially been completed. Started in 1349 work continued until the 17th century, though it was never declared finished. Today it’s the offices of the Gubbio Municipality.
5. Roman Theater
Below town, nestled in the grass of a nearby park is the Roman Theater, or what remains. Dating from the 1st century AD, the theater is still used for open-air performances during the summer.
6. Chiesa di San Francesco
The enormous 13th century church greeted us as we entered Gubbio. Seemingly lost, the churches walls continue on forever, only broken by a small window near the roof. It should have been the welcoming church of St. Francis of Assisi after he was expelled from Assisi.