The village of Porchiano del Monte, located 9 km away from Amelia, is located on a hill with wide, gentle slopes, at an altitude of 463 metres, overlooking the valley below crossed by the Tiber river. Over the centuries, Porchiano has played a significant role in the disputes between the cities of Amelia, Todi and Alviano. In 1317, the village came under the dominion of Amelia, causing tensions with the castle of Lugnano and the Municipality of Orvieto, both opposed to Amelia’s expansionist plans. The history of Porchiano is closely linked to that of Bartolomeo d’Alviano, famous captain of mercenary companies, in the service of the papal militias, commander of the army of the Republic of Venice, duke of Pordenone and lord of Alviano and Attigliano.
In 1495, Bartolomeo conquered Porchiano and fortified the walls to defend the borders of his fiefdom. At that time, Bartolomeo was also a military architect and rebuilt the Castle of Alviano. However, in 1496, Porchiano was destroyed and the surrounding territory devastated by Bartolomeo’s troops after returning under the dominion of Amelia. In 1498, Ferrante Farnese, Bartolomeo’s ally in the fight against Amelia, attacked the Chiaravalle in Acquasparta and militarily occupied Porchiano before reaching Bartolomeo in Bibbiena.
Subsequently, Porchiano obtained the status of Free Municipality until its suppression in 1830, when it definitively passed under the administration of Amelia.
The town offers fascinating views, such as the access door to the castle, which offers a panoramic view, and the church of Santa Cristina, located just outside the city walls, with a 16th century fresco depicting the Madonna and Child in glory between Santa Christina, Saint Bernardino of Siena and Saint Thomas Aquinas.
In Porchiano, it is possible to make various excursions, including the magnificent “Parco Mattia” with holm oak forests and areas equipped for picnics and sports fields. Furthermore, about 1 kilometer from the town, along a dirt road which can also be traveled by car, there is the medieval church of the Santissima Trinità, with votive frescoes dating back to the 11th and 15th centuries. Finally, the Palliccio path, reachable via the provincial road that connects Porchiano del Monte to Attigliano, is a naturalistic area included in the list of “Italy to save” sites by the WWF.
The parish church of St. Simeon, located in the center of the town, was the first bishop of Jerusalem after the apostle St. James the Less. The building, of Romanesque origin, is divided into three naves and features votive frescoes on the walls and columns. Of particular importance are the early medieval capitals and a fresco attributed to Piermatteo d’Amelia on the counter-façade, which represents the Virgin and Child in glory between angels, Saint Stephen and Saint Christina.
The Madonna and Child of Porchiano is one of the best-known models by Piermatteo, a painter renowned for his sweetness and refinement. This painting is considered one of the first important commissions entrusted to Piermatteo after his apprenticeship in Florence at the workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio.