About Greppolischieto

View of Greppo

GREPPOLISCHIETO is midway between Rome and Florence. It is also 30km from PERUGIA, 50km from ORVIETO, and 15km from LAKE TRASIMENO.

"GREPPO" is a "Borgo" (medieval stronghold), dating back to approximately 1000AD, perched on the top of a knoll at 650m above sea level. From this vantage point the view of the surrounding countryside is breathtaking. In winter, the snow-capped Appenines all around can be seen as far as 100km away.

On a clear day from nearby Montarale (853m), it is said that it is possible to see the 'CUPOLA di S. PIETRO" in Rome. The whole year round, the air is fresh and crisp - high above any pollution.

Umbria, the Heart of ITALY, is the most interesting TOURIST AREA from which you have easy access to Florence or to Rome all in a relaxing day. Umbria was in the center of the ancient ETRUSCAN civilisation, 2,500 - 3,000 years ago, and is rich in history. Umbria and neighbouring Toscana have Italy's greatest artistic and historical heritage, particularly from the Medieval and Renaissance periods.

Surrounding views from Greppo

From Perugia to Assisi, Gubbio to Todi and Spoleto, Orvieto and so the list goes on ... are all a must on your itinerary. All are within one to two hour's easy drive through the rolling hills "della VERDE UMBRIA".

Greppolischieto in Umbria is a "Borgo" (medieval stronghold),  dating back to the 13th century,  perched on the top of a knoll  650m above sea level. From this vantage point the view of the surrounding countryside is breathtaking. In winter, the snow-capped Appenines all around can be seen 100km away.

Major towns of Etruscan and Medieval origin in the proximity are: Perugia, Assisi, Spoleto and Urbino.

Click HERE for a list of Festivals and Events in Umbria.

The History of Greppolischieto

"Greppo" is an ancient and small fortification located on the southern boundary of Piegaro. At 657 metres altitude, set amongst oak and chestnut trees, it is in almost eternal discourse with time.

Restructured in recent years by Anna Fendi, well-known fashion designer, it is subdivided into twenty or so "case". There are only 3 families living there on a permanent basis.

The impression one gains is almost surreal, of a world set apart, almost beyond time as you observe it from a distance. Then the focus widens as you come closer and walk within its walls, admire its short streets and miniscule piazza, with its ancient well, where silence reigns.

Its origin is not well-known, although its first settlement could date back to the destruction of the nearby Citta' di Fallera, an ancient city said to have been linked to the Etruscans (700-1000 B.C.), if not even prior to that, to prehistoric times. Between the XI and XII centuries, Greppolischieto was bitterly contended between the towns of Orvieto and Marsciano, to end up under the hegemony of Perugi

Entrance and Cobblestone lane

In the 1282 census, Greppo was classified as a "villa". Its demographic consistency registering 24 fireplaces. It is further mentioned in a diploma belonging to Ludovico il Bavaro, when the boundaries of the lands of the Counts of Marsciano were firmly established.

In that same epoch, the construction of the fortification walls began. It was authorised by the magistrates in Perugia so as to reinforce boundaries, and establish their limits. The height of the walls was roughly 15 metres. It is at that time that Greppolischieto's denomination from "villa" changes to "castello", and it is mentioned as such in all public documents from 1380 onwards

In 1392, during the most critical period of the struggle between the Beccherini Family (nobility) and the Raspanti (commoners), which ended in the defeat of the former and the rise to power of Biordo Michelotti, Greppolischieto was besieged by outsiders. The town of Perugia though, soon reconquered it.

From documents dating back to 1398, the Council of Perugia paid 30 florins to repair the walls of the Castle which had been partially damaged by the infighting. In 1410, to face ever increasing costs brought about by local squabbles, the Municipality of Perugia issued a new tax for the maintenance of Castles in the area. The number of people taxed at Greppolischieto and neighbouring Gaiche amounted to 442.

In 1440, a great famine devastated Perugia and the surrounding towns. As a result, the Council of Priors (Consiglio dei Priori), donated grain to Greppolischieto, and since the famine was in no way improving in 1446, the inhabitants of Greppolischieto were exonerated from paying their due in taxes. To encourage people from the area not to move in search of fortune and a better future, in 1470 an extension of the tax free period was granted.

In 1475, it was established that the walls of the castle were to be reinforced, and a grant of 15 florins was given to Greppolischieto and its inhabitants. Notwithstanding the generous grants, the population of Greppolischieto continued to diminish. In 1656, it had in fact dropped to 87, and in 1960, three centuries later, it was uninhabited.

Looking up at Greppo from driveway

In 1817, following the restructuring of the Papal State, Greppolischieto ceased being an autonomous community and was annexed to the town of Piegaro. The ancient walls and main entrance were testimony of its past and so too its church called San Lorenzo, which dates back to the 14th Century, and which at the time was outside the castle walls. In 1571, the church within called S.Maria Maddalena was enlarged and restructured, and its name was changed to San Lorenzo by the apostolic delegate Della Rovere. In 1572, this little parish fell under the administrative jurisdiction of the Abbey at Pietrafitta.

The church is rectangular in shape, it has a single nave, and a small side chapel with the Baptismal Font. The altar is dedicated to San Lorenzo. The splendid fresco on the right hand wall, represents the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus, with Saint Sebastian and Saint Anthony on either side. It is believed to be the school of Il Perugino.

Today, Greppolischieto, with its ancient walls and ramparts, still dominates the surrounding valleys, and the view extends all around from Lake Trasimeno in the West, to the next castle, Montegiove, in the East.

.. Take a look at the Apartments available at Greppo