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Spoleto

A truly charming Umbrian hill town, Spoleto is best known for the Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of Two Worlds), an annual festival of international music, theater and art held during the last two weeks of June and the first two weeks of July. Begun by Gian Carlo Menotti in 1958, it includes performances of opera, dance, theater, concert and film (tickets are best purchased six months to a year in advance). Spoleto is a beautiful Renaissance town in itself, with arched, narrow, winding streets and Roman architecture that includes a theater, an arch and a remarkable first century AD house that belonged to Emperor Vespasian’s mother. Roman stonework forms part of many buildings. Just on the other side of La Rocca, an old prison and hilltop fortress, is a spectacular gorge – cross the 750-ft-/233-m-long, 14th-century brick footbridge (built over an older Roman aqueduct) for a breathtaking view. 60 mi/95 km northeast of Rome.

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