One of the attributes of the many medieval hamlets of Umbria and Tuscany that I especially love are the old traditions that have been passionately maintained over the centuries. On a visit to Monteleone d’Orvieto, nestled on a hilltop in the heartland of the Umbrian countryside, I was extremely impressed by historically clad villagers who welcomed us at the main gate. They embody a fierce pride in their heritage, one that you cannot help but deeply respect.
Located only 34 minutes from Orvieto, Monteleone d’Orvieto is one of the tidiest little villages I have yet had the pleasure of walking. Founded in 1052 by the commune of Orvieto as a castle to guard the northern boundaries, there is still evidence of the ancient fortified walls and gateways that surrounded the village.
We walked many a winding street just like this one. Evidence of the local village pride was everywhere as all was freshly swept and clean. Late afternoon is the time to stroll about and visit with the villagers. Although this man spoke no English, he was easy to communicate with using some of my very limited Italian and of course hand gestures. Potted plants around wooden doorways with neatly maintained thresholds are common in Monteleone d’Orvieto.
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