By Antonio Malara
The idea to visit Gubbio has born thanks to a popular tv fiction transmitted on tv. The series (which is still running at the 12 series) was named “Don Matteo”, it was filmed in Gubbio and it was about a priest who used to help police to resolve crime cases. In the fiction they showed many times a beautiful square with a red floor, cool ancient buildings all around and a panoramic view over the valley. I was so fascinated by that square and once I found out that was in Gubbio I decided to go and see it in person. It was the winter of 2013 and I went to Umbria with my sister and my cousin also to attend all together a rhythmic gymnastics competitions.
We went to Gubbio the afternoon after we visited the city of Assisi. From this city, It took around one hour by driving to get to Gubbio. As for Assisi, even there we left the car in a parking lot sited in the valley and we started walking up to the old town. The first thing I noticed in Gubbio was the young generation, it was literally full of teenagers hanging out in groups, so the city must be young for some reasons. In a short walk we reached the famous square that I saw many times on tv which was “Piazza Grande”. The square was even more beautiful there in person, it gave a great sense of space which is impossible to feel while looking at it on a fiction. Looking at the panoramic view, you have “Palazo Pretorio” (the city hall building) on the left side and “Palazzo dei Consoli” on the right. In front of the panoramic view there was a great building made in visible bricks which was “Palazzo Ranghiasci-Brancaleoni”. Beyond the the beautiful view of the valley and the square itself, what really took the scene there was “Palazzo dei Consoli”. This structure has been built in a glorious moment of the city just to show the power, it was a gothic style with big staircase in the middle. The building now hosts a museum but I have to say that the facade looks a little bit ruined. The impression I had about it was that some parts of the facade looked unstable and ready to fall down. Btw we had nice time taking pictures with the staircase which formed also an arch, so cool for pics. After some fun there, we took a tiny street to reach the cathedral. We actually ended up in garden which was part of cathedral and it was placed right in the back of it. We saw the “Duomo” only from that perspective but we spent the time to walk all around the garden. After that we decided to back down because we had the last thing to see, it was the “San Giovanni Battista” church even this place was featured on the tv series, it was the church ruled by the leading actor, many times he performed outside that church. The place was interesting, the church wasn’t so huge but the triangular square in front of it was big enough for my purposes. In general, the big dimensions of any square are very important for at least two reasons; to have the best view over the structures and to take nice pictures. Thanks to that, that day I was able to do both, admire the church and take beautiful pics of it without any particular complications. When we finished our time there, we decided to go back, we wanted to have dinner in Spoleto and we still had around one hour of driving ahead of us.
That day has been so intense with lots of driving, lots of walking but it worth. At the end of the day I was happy because I saw a new place inspired by a tv show. The company was also good, a thing which is fundamental if you want to have quality time during explorations. That trip has been the first of two with the same company, still thanks to another rhythm gymnastics competition, we reunited the team in 2015 which brought us to other two of the most important southern Italy places. Of course that trip will be a new post for the future.
Pictures: Antonio Malara
Camera: Nikon D3s