Collepino di Spello: The Hidden Jewel on Mount Subasio


Collepino di Spello is an enchanting village, considered an authentic hidden jewel, rising on the sunny slope of Mount Subasio at an altitude of 600 metres, overlooking the valley of the Chiona torrent. Its origins presumably date back to the 13th century, when it was founded by shepherds and woodcutters, originally connected to the Abbey of San Silvestro.

Origins and history

The history of Collepino has been marked by various ruling families such as the Acuti and Urbani. Important personalities such as Ser Nicolò, appointed Count Palatine and knight in 1210 by Otto IV, and Ser Bertolaccio di Ser Giacomo, known as a proud swordsman and enemy of Spello and Spoleto, influenced the destiny of the village.

Collepino's connection with the Abbey of San Silvestro is significant. Founded by St Benedict in 523 and transformed into a Camaldolese monastery by St Romuald in 1025, the abbey suffered destruction in 1535 for having hosted the Baglioni family, opponents of the papacy.

Treasures of an enchanting village

Once in Collepino, one finds oneself in a hermitage suspended in time. The village has only a few dozen inhabitants, with few businesses. The cobbled streets are surrounded by houses built with the characteristic local pink stone, adorned with flowered balconies and coats of arms of the families that once resided there. Although only a few remains of the ancient early medieval castle remain, such as seven towers and an entrance portal with an ogival arch, the view from the fortress is exceptional, overlooking the Spoletana Valley, the same valley that enchanted St Francis of Assisi.

Just 2 km from the centre of Collepino is the Abbey of San Silvestro, with solemn celebrations in honour of the patron saint on 31 December, including rituals linked to the distribution of blessed bread, considered protective according to Christian tradition.

On the way to the hermitage, one comes across the San Silvestro Fountain, considered miraculous for women nursing their children. There is also a curious legend about a man in disbelief about the properties of the spring, who drank from it and developed breasts similar to those of breast-feeding women. The Abbey of San Silvestro, a ruined jewel surrounded by olive trees and holm oaks, has a presbytery, bell tower and crypt, as well as a more recent construction, the Hermitage of the Transfiguration, built in 1969 by the Little Sisters of Mary.

Various excursion routes depart from Collepino to explore villages, castles and ancient works such as the Roman aqueduct. One example is a visit to the aqueduct used by Spello until 1800, via a short panoramic road through lush vegetation.