With its ruined castle and small piazza high above the Vale of Spoleto, the warm-pink glow of Spello is visible for miles. The town makes an essential half-day for art-lovers (just 14km/9 miles south of Assisi), with the best Pinturicchio you can see for free, and one of Umbria's most charming festivals; each Corpus Christi (60 days after Easter), the streets are carpeted in murals made with fresh petals for the Infiorate (www.infioratespello.it), literally "flower decorations." The tourist office (tel. 0742-301-009; www.comune.spello.pg.it) is at Piazza Matteotti 3. It's open daily 9:30am to 12:30pm and 3:30 to 5:30pm all year.

The major highlight here is the church of Santa Maria Maggiore (daily 8:30am-noon and 3-7pm; free admission), in Piazza Matteotti. To the left and right of the altar a Madonna and Child and a Pietà by Perugino neatly book-end the life of Christ. The spectacular Cappella Baglioni, frescoed like Siena's Piccolomini Library, is by Pinturicchio. Spello’s powerful Baglioni family decided to use this side chapel in the Santa Maria Maggiore church to generate some good press, and maybe some goodwill with the Almighty. After the Red Wedding in June 1500—when one branch of the family turned against the other in a murderous bloodbath—survivor Troilio Bagnoli commissioned Pinturrichio to paint scenes from the boyhood of Christ. The color-filled frescoes are enchanting, filled with rich architectural detail and Umbrian landscapes, with some sly cynical commentaries on medieval life (notice the church treasurer with the bursting money bags witnessing the Annunciation), Pinturrichio himself appears in a portrait in the Annunciation scene, and Troilo Baglioni, looking unscathed, shows up in the Disputation in the Temple. The vaulted ceiling depicts four sibyls (pre-Christian prophetesses). The three main panels read left to right: an Annunciation, followed by a Nativity and Christ's Dispute with the Doctors.

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Also worth a look is the Mosaci Villa Romana (Tues-Sun 10:30am-12:30pm and 3-5pm; 3€), a group of delicate 4th-century Roman mosaics protected beneath a futuristic dome on the outskirts of the old town (at Via Porta Consolare).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.