I managed to leave by 7:45 AM with intentions of beating the heat. But the distance was so short, only 12 km (7.5 mi), that I arrived in the hill-top community of Spoleto before noon. Luck was with me; my hotel is at the bottom of the hill and it was ready within 15 minutes after arrival. And, big celebrations in nearly every square—a three-day “Spoleto in Bloom” festival.
Since I’ll have to climb the hill tomorrow anyhow, I mapped out all the sights to see except for the ones on the top. I started with the Spoleto Cathedral, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, just a few hundred yards from my hotel. The Cathedral is Romanesque dating to the second half of 12th Century. Lots of activity in the square in front where an urban race was about to take place.
Next was Ponte Sanguinario (“bloody bridge”), a Roman bridge 1st century BCE. The name is traditionally attributed to the persecutions of Christians in the nearby amphiteatre. Then I walked up to the Roman Theater, now a museum of archeology where the stage was. The museum was great in putting the various tribes into perspective.
And lastly I visited a Roman House with well preserved mosaic floors. The thinking is that because of an inscription by Polla to Emperor Caligula that the house was that of Vespasia Polla, the mother of Emperor Vespasian (1st cent AD).