To see: town & cities
A case of history and ancient traditions: Gubbio and its "madmen"
The coat of arms of the Region of Umbria represents the most emblematic symbol of the territory, the one that testifies the link with ancient traditions: the 3 Ceri.
To admire the Ceri you have to reach the Basilica of Sant'Ubaldo perched on the top of Mount Ingino, on foot or more comfortably by cable car.
To understand what the Ceri represent you have to discover the ancient city at the foot of Mount Ingino: Gubbio.
Gubbio is a city full of ancient traditions, which has indissolubly linked its name to an event, perhaps among the most ancient in Italy, handed down for centuries: the Race of Ceri.
The Corsa dei Ceri commemorates every year, since the 12th century and incredibly without any interruption, the death of the Patron Saint Ubaldo Baldassini, who died on 15th May 1160. At the beginning a procession with large wax lights crossed the streets of the city. Around the 16th century the real wax candles were replaced with wooden reproductions about 5 metres high and the simple procession became something different in time!
Three antagonist guilds, which have been handed down for generations the pride of belonging, compete in a race that to the eyes of strangers may seem decidedly crazy.
The "ceraioli" of each guild support the candle and the statue above: Sant'Ubaldo for the bricklayers, San Giorgio for the merchants and Sant'Antonio for the farmers.
At the "VIA!" the candles begin the race of over 4 kilometres through the narrow streets of the city, praised by the crowd that shouts "via ch'eccoli"!
So they reach the Basilica at the top of the mountain where they return to rest another year.
The Cero di Sant'Ubaldo is always in the lead.
So where is the victory?
Candles must never bend or fall: this is the true skill of ceraioli.
Does this seem crazy to you?But Gubbio and his inhabitants are a bit crazy, or rather "crazy"!
The free and joking spirit of the inhabitants is testified by the honorary title "Madman of Gubbio".
To obtain the real "Madman's License" it is necessary to make three laps around the Fountain of Madmen in the company of a witness from Gubbio, just as candles do on May 15th!
Gubbio is also a city of sublime beauty.
Ancient feud of the Montefeltro and Della Rovere families, it fully preserves its medieval structure whose heart beats in the Piazza Grande.
A true city lounge, Piazza Grande is home to one of the most beautiful historical buildings in Italy, the Palazzo dei Consoli with its crenellated profile and the Palazzo del Podestà.
The hanging belvedere offers an extraordinary view over the whole valley and the surrounding hills: stopping here to enjoy a stuffed crescia is the best way to enjoy the view.
Gubbio is really ancient history so much so that the Roman theatre seems to be modern history in comparison!
From the historical centre of Gubbio begins the Gorge of Bottaccione, an incision in the ground excavated in the last three million years.
On the walls you can admire rocks stratified in various periods: from the Jurassic to the Cretaceous.
In the 80s an enormous amount of iridium, a metal very present in meteorites and rare on earth, was found in this area.
The geologists' conclusion?
That the impact of the meteorite that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs occurred right here!
Traveller...looking for Neverland!