Cerreto di Spoleto

Cerreto is located on the hill of St. Sebastian, 558 m above the sea-level, at the point where the Valnerina becomes a narrow pass among high mountains. From here it overlooks two valleys, the Vigi and the Nera, with their chasms and evergreen trees. The long fight between Spoleto and Norcia split the inhabitants of Cerreto into two factions, supporting one or the other municipality, and it was only in 1446 that Spoleto triumphed. After this victory, the town wall was restored, Rocchetta was subtracted to Norcia and the local administration was reorganized. In the second half of the XVI century, Cerreto was again under the jurisdiction of the Church, until 1569, when it was definitely annexed to the municipality of Norcia. As late as the XIX century, under the French domination, Cerreto was restored to the municipality of Spoleto. It became autonomous under the Kingdom of Italy.


Palce to see

Borgo is located at the point where the Vigi and Nera rivers meet. It was once known as Borgo di San Basso, the saint being a bishop and a martyr. The first settlement dates back to the pre-Roman and Roman era, then in the Middle Ages it became a fortified borough with 4 towers, 5 gates and 2 bridges linking the town to Cerreto. Borgo’s houses were mainly built along the road leading to the castle of Cerreto. This fortified outpost rivalled with the other fortified outpost of Ponte and protected the two rivers. Borgo was crossed by the Roman road which went from Porta Sant’Antonio to Porta Bufone running along the Nera river, came close to the “scoppio” or “scoglio” (reef) chiselled by the Romans in Triponzo, then followed the river flow down to the Roman bridge and finally proceeded to Norcia. In Borgo there used to be numerous medieval so called house-towers, as well as XIV and XV century palaces and Renaissance buildings of the Nobili and Pontano families.

The name of this town means “bridge” and it is linked to an old Roman bridge. It belongs to the municipality of Cerreto, and it stands 540 m above the sea-level, on a conic rock on top of the Nera river, just in front of Cerreto. It was a longobard territory (“gastaldato”) set by king Lotarius II in 757 A.D. to limit the tyranny of Alboino duke of Spoleto. The territory included the Nera and Corno Valleys, over which the king had both military and economic jurisdiction.


The origin of this name is linked to the word “ciliare”, a verb of a Roman dialect coming from the Latin word “exilium”=to separate/divide. The landscape is characterised by sessile oaks; forest trees and Mediterranean vegetation cover both sides of the mountain.


At the foot of mount Pagliaro, Nortosce dominates the Corno Valley. It looks like a medieval borough developed around the XIV century church of St. Michael, mentioned by various documents, under the jurisdiction of Pieve di Ponte. The buildings which were not destroyed by the recent earthquake have been restored.

The word is a diminutive of “rocca” (fortress) and it refers to a fortress that was once on top of the mountain. It was a castle on a hill, built on the way to Cascia, from where it dominated the Tissino valley. Documents prove that 125 families lived there. Their members were soldiers, but the wars they had to fight far from home, as well as family conflicts and earthquakes cut their number to 36.


Triponzo (422 m above the sea-level) is located along the Valnerina highway (statale 209) to Visso, nestled in the rocky hill, at the point where the Corno and Nera rivers meet. The name comes from the three bridges (“tre ponti”) that crossed the rivers at their meeting point.


On the left of the road that goes to Visso, less than 1 km far from Triponzo, there is an ancient arcade built in 1887 at the foot of mount Fergino, on the right bank of the Nera river. The water of the springs reaches 24°C and has a pressure of 8 l/sec. The well-known spa since Roman times, after extensive renovations were reopened by September 2016.


The narrow valley extends from the Marche region to Borgo Cerreto. It is mainly forested with oak trees (“cerro”), with areas of black and white hornbeams and sessile oaks; in the remotest areas there are forest trees. The fario trout lives in the Vigi river, where several reproduction areas have been set. Moreover in Borgo Cerreto, on the Nera river, the provincial administration of Perugia set up a special area for the restocking of fario trouts.


The natural path of Monte Maggiore is of exceptional beauty. A road suitable for vehicles links Ponte del Piano to Macchia, a rural settlement at the foot of the mountain that can be reached by car from Meggiano. At both sides of the mountain there are trekking and horse paths. The flora, characterised by oak trees, sessile oak in particular, and hornbeams, is important not only for the beauty of the landscape but also for local water resources. The valleys are covered by forest trees, and the top of the mountain by crocuses.



Cooking traditions are still alive in Cerreto and the Cerretans take pride in them. The worldwide famous black truffles of Norcia cannot be ignored, since they are a fundamental ingredient in a whole series of recipes, from pasta (spaghetti, tagliatelle, risotti) to main courses based on meat, like lamb or sheep, but also on trouts, one of the most important local resources. The “Norcineria” (preparation of pork meat) is considered an art and it is still widespread. Salumi are prepared according to traditional methods passed on through generations, and it would be a pity not to taste the sheep’s milk cheese. There are also several types of legumes, which are a vital part of the healthy Mediterranean diet: lentils for instance are not only of good omen on New Year’s Eve (they are said to bring luck and money to those who eat them), but according to dieticians they are useful throughout the year as a healthy food. So go for a superb soup of lentils, spelt, chickpeas, beans and mushrooms (the champignons are grown here…)


Canto della Pasquetta

On the 5th of January people go from house to house expressing their best wishes and they do the same during the Carnival period, when money is collected to enable the organisation of public balls.

Venuta bonfires
On December 9 big bonfires are lit in memory of the day when the Santa Casa (Holy House) was moved from Palestine to Loreto, in Italy.

La trebbiatura (mowing)
Air organised in July by the Pro Loco (tourist office) of Cerreto di Spoleto.

Live crib
Organised in December, during Christmas holidays, by the Pro Loco of Cerreto di Spoleto.