Thursday, March 09, 2006

The real Italy, 12th Century Borgo

The 12th century 'borgo' (hamlet) of Santa Giuliana is one of the best-preserved castles in the Umbrian province of Perugia. In antiquity --- the earliest mention of Santa Giuliana is found in the monastic annals of the Carmodolite Order in the year 1143---the castle was a military outpost for Perugia. By the late 16th cent., the castle no longer had a military function and it became a monastic settlement. More recently, and until the end of the last century, it was occupied by farmers employed by one of the large landholders of this region.
In the early 1970's, a diverse group of artists, after lengthy negotiations with the Church, purchased the hamlet. Over the course of the next 10 years, the stone buildings were painstakingly restored. Although modern amenities (electricity, plumbing, central heating) were added, this was done with the utmost care to respect the original design.
Santa Giuliana is perched near the peak of Monte Corona and there are breathtakingly beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.


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