Founded by the Umbrians, Foligno later became a Roman municipium and a vital stop along the Via Flaminia. Rebuilt several times following barbarian invasions, it became a free commune from the 11th century and then a lordship under the Trinci family around 1310. This was a period of prosperity, and its territory and dominion were extended to many towns across Umbria. In the 15th century, it joined the Papal States until the unification of Italy.
The historic centre of Foligno retains the layout of a typical medieval town. The main square is overlooked by prominent public buildings: the Palazzo Comunale, with its neoclassical façade; the Cathedral of San Feliciano, with its extravagantly sculpted door; Palazzo Trinci (1389-1407), now a museum, with frescoes by Gentile da Fabriano; and the 13th-century Palazzo del Podestà and Palazzo Orfini, where the first edition of the Divine Comedy was printed in 1472. Don’t miss the nearby Oratory of the Nunziatella, with frescoes by Perugino, the Romanesque church of Santa Maria Infraportas, the Church of San Francesco and the Church of San Salvatore, with its 14th-century façade. The numerous aristocratic residences around the city provide the backdrop for the famous Giostra della Quintana, one of the oldest jousting tournaments in Italy, which in June and September sees knights compete in a unique “ring race”.
Foligno is surrounded the stunning Umbrian hills, with fields, woods, parish churches and farmhouses. Don’t miss the early-Christian church of Santa Maria in Campis and the 11th-century Abbey of Sassovivo, with a beautiful Romanesque cloister.