Sunday, 21 December 2008

Spoleto - the perfect hill town?

Up for a walk across the hills with the boyz at first light. Not a cloud in the sky and bright sunshine - a perfect day. After breakfast we opted for the 30 minute drive south into Spoleto for coffee and a cornetto. There are a number of unspoilt hill towns that run in an arc south of Perugia - Assisi,Trevi, Spello and finally at the end of the valley, Spoleto. The town ticks all the usual boxes - it is historic, enjoys a scenic position, has interesting museums and good restaurants but in addition it seems to be blessed with a town council that is bringing its infrastructure into the 21st century without ruining its charm. I can't think of any other town in Europe which has so efficiently invested in modern underground car parks linked effortlessly to the centre by a series of travelators. Park the car,stroll onto the walkway and hey presto you're in the centre of town face to face with the Roman amphitheatre, a host of small excellent restaurants, the cathedral, shops and cafes, all within three minutes.The municipality has also embarked on a major programme of restoration in the city centre bringing life, trade and jobs to the town. If we didn't live in the country Spoleto would be given serious consideration as a place to live. The reason it doesn't figure on more itineraries and is devoid of tourists at this time of the year is transport. Although only 80 miles away the journey from Rome by train takes forever. Better to face Ryanair and fly to Perugia which is 45 minutes by road.

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