Exploring Umbria by car - Gubbio

Gubbio Travel Blog

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Michiyo suggested that for today's drive we go to Gubbio, even though it was a little out of the way of the other towns we wanted to visit.

After a short and pleasant drive we arrive and easily find the municipal parking at the base of the hill, near an old market building.  We didn't have a local map and my 2007 Eyewitness Travel guide book to Italy doesn't have room for maps of all the smaller towns.   By reading about the major sites in the guidebooks and following the street signs were were able to get around. 

We saw many examples of the Porte della Morte or Doors of Death.  These doors were supposed to have been used to remove coffins from houses and after wards the doors were sealed up and never used again.
A Door of Death
  The guidebook suggests the doors might have been sealed up to help make the homes more defensible, against robbers or invaders is not clear. 

We managed to stumble upon the Palazzo del Bargello - it is located on a small plaza and I expecting a main square so I had to double check the names in the guide book to make sure we were at the right place.  The building here used to be the headquarters of the chief of police.   Outside is the Fontana dei Matti or Fountain of the Mad.  Legend is that anyone who walks around it three times will go insane.   Of course as soon as I read this and tell the boys Ray has to run around the fountain three times.    Inside the Palazzo del Bargello there is now a crossbow museum and also some displays of medieval clothing.  It cost a couple of Euros and not really an exciting museum but it was interesting and gives one a chance to see the inside of a small "palace".
Ray going around the Fontana dei Matti
  The museum also will award a certificate to those that go around the fountain three times.  The certificate says that by doing so one is an honorary citizen of Gubbio and it also mentions the legend of going mad.   Ray goes back out and does another three laps and splashes some water on himself to get the certificate.  Michael is more like me and doesn't take any chances....

Next stop was the Palazzo del Consoli - there was no mistaking the importance of the square where this building was located.  The Palazzo was massive and now contains a museum (we didn't visit and missed the  Eugubine Tablets.  They are bronze slabs with old Etruscan writing on them).  The views from here were spectacular.

We had a long day ahead so walked down the hill looking at all the alley ways and shops and then started our drive to Spello.

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A Door of Death
A Door of Death
Ray going around the Fontana dei M…
Ray going around the Fontana dei …
photo by: coles