PORTA DEL VASCELLARO

In prossimità dell’ex chiesa di San Gregorio, che da il nome all'omonima contrada, vi è la cosiddetta porta del Vascellaro o del Maiotto, sormontata dal triregno papale. L’area, che doveva essere occupata dalle botteghe dei vasai, è attraversata nel sottosuolo da cunicoli oggi visitabili.

Da questo settore della rupe ci si affaccia sulla valle del Rio Paranza e sui colli di San Bernardino e delle Grazie, riconoscibili dalla natura tufacea del primo e calcarea del secondo.

Il colle di San Bernardino, conosciuto nelle fonti medievali come Civita Deserta o Collis Hortanus,  ospita la chiesa semi-rupestre della Santissima Trinità, edificata nel XIV secolo ,forse su una preesistenza voluta dall’abbazia di Farfa e l’ unica necropoli etrusca rinvenuta in questo territorio, che ha restituito la collezione archeologica più prestigiosa conservata presso il museo civico.

 

In the vicinity of the former church of San Gregorio, which gives the same name to the district,  there is the  Vascellaro or Maiotto door,which is surmounted by the triple crown of the Pope. The area, which was to be occupied by the workshops of potters as suggested by the name "Vascellaro", is crossed by underground tunnels, that can be visited today. In particular, at the former church of San Giorgio, you will find the '"Vascellaro’s underground," an underground environment adjacent to the main tunnel used as a millstone for the production of wine.

From this area of he cliff which overlooks the valley of the Rio Paranza and the hills of San Bernardino and the Grazie, recognizable, first by the natural tuff formation and second by limestone formation. The hill of San Bernardino, known from medieval sources such as Civita Deserted or Hortanus Collis, home of the semi-rock church of the Holy Trinity, built in the fourteenth century, perhaps on an Order of the Abbey of Farfa, and  Etruscan necropolis found in this territory, despite being looted over the centuries, has given back  the most prestigious archaeological collection preserved in the local civic museum.

Looking at he hill  of the Grazie, you can see the Nuzzi Palace and the current convent of the Benedictine nuns, built in 1599 next to the existing chapel of Santa Maria delle Grazie, already attested in the twelfth century. In fact, the monastery was initially occupied by the Gerolimini monks and only since the last century, became the home of the Benedictine nuns. 


PORTA DI SAN CESAREO

La porta di Santo Cesareo fu edificata nel 1449 nell’ambito di una riorganizzazione complessiva delle difese della cittadina in virtù della distruzione della Rocca. Il nome deriva probabilmente da una chiesa, dedicata allo stesso santo, già scomparsa nel ‘500, come testimoniato dallo storico ortano Leoncini che ne ritrova menzione esclusivamente in un protocollo notarile precedente.

La porta, costruita da mastro Bartolomeo di Bernardino,  consentiva il collegamento tra il centro urbano e il ponte sul Tevere con i suoi adiacenti borghi di San Giacomo e San Giorgio. Negli ambienti ipogei sottostanti, all’interno dell’attuale taverna della contrada di sant’Angelo, sono visibili resti di un settore della fortificazione voluta dai bizantini durante il conflitto con i Longobardi.

Porta di Santo Cesareo was built in 1449 as part of an overall reorganization of the defenses of the town by virtue of the destruction of the fortress and had been designed according to the scheme of the double door system. This side of the plateau,facing south , was definitely the most difficult to defend , as it open up to the main access road leading into the town. The doors name was probably derived from a church, dedicated to St. Cesareo that perish in the 500’s, as evidenced by the historian Ortano Leoncini , which finds mention only in a notarial protocol.

The door, built by Master Bartolomeo Bernardino and which was subsequently adjoined by a lodge to ensure better coverage of the cliff , allowed the connection between the city center and the bridge over the Tiber with its adjacent villages of San Giacomo and San Giorgio. In the underground rooms below, in the basement of the district of Sant'Angelo , there are remains of a section of the fortification built by the Byzantines during the conflict with the Lombards . 

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LA ROCCA

Poco o nulla sappiamo delle origini della rocca che fu senz’altro ricostruita per volere del cardinale Egidio Albornoz nel 1366 e, stando alla descrizione che ne da lo storico ortano Leoncini, doveva apparire come un baluardo inespugnabile per il nemico. Nel XV secolo la Rocca era nelle mani di Antonio Colonna che impose una tirannia sulla città, portando gli ortani, nel 1431, a demolirla definitivamente durante un moto di rivolta.

L’area della Rocca consente l’affaccio sulla valle del Tevere, dominato dai colli Amerini e il panorama antico era sicuramente caratterizzato dal ponte sul fiume, di cui ora si possono solamente osservare i ruderi, e dalla via Amerina che si doveva biforcare per raggiungere da un  lato Amelia e dall’altro, con un diverticolo, il porto di Seripola e il successivo castello di Castiglioni.

Little or nothing is known of the origins of the fortress that was known to be rebuilt by Cardinal Albornoz in 1366 and, according to the description given by the historian Ortano Leoncini, it was to appear as an impregnable bulwark for the enemy. In the fifteenth century the fortress was in the hands of Antonio Colonna, who imposed a tyranny over the city, bringing the Ortani, in 1431, to demolish it permanently during a movement of revolt.

The area of he fortress offers a view of the Tiber valley, dominated by the hills around Amelia and where the ancient landscape was certainly characterized by a bridge over the river, that collapsed in 1515 and was never rebuil, where now you can only see the ruins,  along  the way to Amerina that you had to get from one side of forking for Amelia and the other with a deviation, towards the port of Seripola, which later became the Castle of Castiglioni.

The abandonment of the fortress intended as a military garrison and center of power led to its construction, between 1598 and 1602, the Alberti Building, which was inspired by using classical architecture, with severe lines and elegant forms. The main floor has an elegant dining cycles of frescoes dating from the XVII - XVIII century, one of which is the fortress in its original form. The basement of the palace, partly used for dyeing wool in the age of the Renaissance, hosts large  pigeon coves, used for raising pigeons for food and where a large quarry had been formed for the extraction of materials for use in construction.