Friday, 13 March 2009

Montefalco - the charming museum staff

View across the valley and not a soul to be seen on the main street
Montefalco's main square

The museum next to the church of St.Francesco with the welcoming staff

Yesterday afternoon we went with our house guests to Bevagna and Montefalco. Bevagna was looking like the austere architectural gem that it is and we spent too much time in the two Romanesque churches in the main square hunting for recycled Roman fragments that had been incorporated into the buildings during the twelfth century. By the time we got to Montefalco it was quarter to six and we were resigned to missing the amazing frescoes in the deconsecrated church of San Francesco. To our surprise and delight the museum staff on learning that one of our guests was a Professor from Texas ushered us through the museum and into the adjoining church even though it was only fifteen minutes before closing time. They could not have been more welcoming or charming - how wonderful to find people who take such an interest in their work. At this time of year Umbria has the sunshine but is entirely devoid of tourists - what luxury - we were able to stand alone in the church face to face with the amazing Renaissance series of paintings depicting the life of St.Francis. Close up these works by Gozzoli look as fresh and detailed as if newly painted. Montefalco gets a poor write up in the guide books but it is well worth spending a night in the town if you are ever here - it has some truly excellent restaurants on the main street and a wealth of medieval civil and religious architecture.

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