(left) Walls; (right) Porta Cannara
Bevagna is located a few miles to the east of Spello and Foligno. It is still entirely surrounded by its medieval walls and has retained with just one exception its old gates (you may wish to see Porta dei Molini).
Bevagna was a rich, albeit small, Roman town: it even had a small amphitheatre. Agrippina Minor, wife of Emperor Claudius and mother of Emperor Nero, had a countryside residence near Bevagna and she was not the only member of the Roman upper class who fell in love with this corner of Umbria.
Palazzo dei Consoli and S. Francesco
Three large churches and the Town Hall are positioned in the main square of Bevagna in a way which is very unusual; their fašades are neither aligned to nor opposite those of the other buildings. The lack of symmetry adds to the beauty of the piazza, rather than diminishing it.
(left) S. Silvestro; (centre) S. Michele Arcangelo and (right) its portal
The churches of Bevagna were decorated with white and pink stones, a feature which can be seen also in Foligno and Spello. They were built between 1195 and the end of the following century; S. Michele Arcangelo has been freed from later additions.
S. Michele Arcangelo: details of the portal
The portal of S. Michele Arcangelo shows a very interesting mixture of Roman and medieval arts. Fragments of the entablature of a Roman temple were reworked to obtain medieval motifs and reliefs. The panels of the door were decorated with Roman bucrani, a frieze which one does not expect to find in a church (bucrani: what's that? have a look at a glossary of art terms).
(left) S. Francesco; (centre) S. Margherita; (right) S. Filippo
The treasures of Bevagna are not confined to the buildings in the main square: there are other medieval, Renaissance and even Baroque churches which add to the interest of the excursion.