Spoleto and its territory are characterized by rich and important archaeological remains, as well as architectural, urban, historical/artistic, landscape and environmental ones. If the town has given back few evidences of the Longobard presence so far, on the other hand the surroundings have proven to be richer in settlements, especially churches and monasteries, both new constructions and previously existing ones, strengthened under the duchy.
San Sabino rose in a funerary area and had a privileged relation with the Longobards, as shown in a passage of Historia Langobardorum by Paul the Deacon, in which Ariulfo reaches the sanctuary to give thanks to the martyr Sabino for a favour received during the war.
The oratory of San Brizio rose seven kilometres away from Spoleto, with rural functions. The church of Sant’Angelo on Colle Ciciano, along the Via Nursina, rose probably in Longobard times, and was related to the cult of waters; the church of Sant’Angelo in Nece a.k.a. Sant’Angeletto and the settlements of Beroide and Pié Beroide, manifestly Longobard toponyms, rose along the Via Flaminia.
The presence of hermitical and monastic settlements in the territory of Spoleto, on the Monteluco, in Longobard times (the so-called Tebaide Umbra) is also extremely qualifying. They certainly had a role by the utmost importance in the Longobard integration process. As for the foundation of monasteries in Longobard times instead, since the end of the 7th century we can already infer that the Dukes of Spoleto and the Court of Pavia supported the building of coenobia.
Besides, the widespread presence of buildings for the cult of the Angel, all on high positions, may provide for interesting information about the presence of defensive structures in Longobard times.
Among the sites that are worth a deep archaeological investigation, there are San Brizio with its coenobium and castle, San Pietro di Longotorto, San Giovanni della Perchia di Baiano, the coenobium of Micheco, the church of Sant’Angelo in Nece, but also the more famous Sant’Angelo and San Ponziano on Colle Ciciano, San Sabino, Ss.Apostoli.
Just outside the buffer zone following churches have to be noticed. The Church of San Gregorio Maggiore,
which dates back to the 12th century, but it has older origins. It was first built in honour of the Spoletino martyr by the same name, on a Christian cemeterial area, and was built by the pious widow Abbondanza, who, according to the tradition had picked up his body. Though the church has been often rehandled along the 16th and 18th centuries, it still shows an aspect which is similar to other churches in town (Sant’Eufemia, San Giuliano on Monteluco) and of the area (San Brizio, San Felice di Giano), an evidence of the penetration of Romanesque, Longobard architectural motifs. The inside is widely frescoed and has a crypt which is similar to that in San Ponziano (in a small space by the entrance there are human remains that were first kept in the ancient cemetery).
San Paolo inter vineas, a typical Spoletine Romanesque church (10thcentury). Its main feature is the rosewindow of the façade.
San Pietro extra Moenia, founded in 419 to house Peter’s relics over an ancient necropolis. It was rebuilt starting in the 12th century (though the work dragged on until the 15th century), when a remarkable Romanesque façade was added: this has three doors with rosewindows, with a splendid relief decoration by local artists; with San Rufino in Assisi, it is the finest extant specimen of Umbrian Romanesque.
The territory of the Municipality of Spoleto is characterized by a flat central area, encompassed by the marly, arenaceous Monti Martani on the West and by a calcareous massif on the East, called Montagna Spoletina, that is part of the Central Apennines. The morphological diversity and the green of the territory determine an important landscape, considering that the woods The churchrepresent 49% of the area and the secondary prairies are 7%, versus 40% of cultivated or cultivable surfaces and 3,4% of urban area. Six Areas in Umbria by the High Environmental Interest (Orsomando and others, 1998) four Zones of High Floristic-Vegetational Diversity, one Area of Peculiar Faunistic Interest (PUT), Six Sites of EU Interest (SIC) and a Special Protection Area (ZPS) are all present in the territory of Spoleto (the “lex luci Spoletina” prohibited the cutting of trees in the Sacred Grove of Monteluco from the 3rd century BC, see above).Monteluco is certainly one of the environmental sites that connote the territory of Spoleto, being one of its exceptionalities, presenting very high level peculiarities in terms of biotic and landscape components, that have qualified it as Nature 2000 Site (pSIC) IT5210064. Monteluco forms a “system” with downtown Spoleto, of which it represents a prosecution. The area was subject of important studies and interventions aiming at the “environmental rehabilitation”, among which “LUCUS – Places of the Spirit”, “Recovery and Refunctionalization of Giro dei Condotti and of the Footpaths on Monteluco, with techniques of Environmental Engineering”.