Bettona: Historic Umbria
Bettona is located in the Umbria region of Italy in the province of Perugia. The town is located close to Assisi and Torgiano. The history of Bettona goes back to the Etruscans. It is believed that the town was first set up when the Etruscans arrived in the region.
The people of Bettona had been referred in Pliny and in various other ancient inscriptions as Etruscans. The town is quite small; it is spread over an area of 35 sq km and has a population of close to 3900. Due to its location, which is close to Assisi Bettona does get its share of tourists every year.
Getting to Bettona
Bettona is located quite close to the towns of Assisi and Torgiano. Visitors the easiest way to reach Bettona is by bus. The state buses in the region connect the town to several cities in the region. Buses depart every few hours for Bettona from Assisi, Torgiano and from other smaller towns in the region. Visitors can also travel by train to Assisi first and then reach Bettona by bus or by car. Those who have their own cars can also drive down to the town.
Moving Around the Town
There are several parking lots located in Bettona so it is quite easy to find a good parking spot for cars and just walk around within the town. The historic center of the town can be explored on foot since it is the best way. There are many narrow streets and alleys in Bettona where iit is difficult to navigate cars, so the best way is to just walk around to explore the sight seeing attractions. Those who have their own cars can also explore the nearby towns and the outskirs of Bettona.
Attractions in Bettona
The Pinacoteca Comunale
The Pinacoteca Communale is located inside the Palazzetto del Podesta. The Palazzetto had been originally built in 1371 and has a beautiful architecture. Inside are various beautiful art works. The main reason for tourists to visit the Pincacoteca Comunale is often for admiring the various paintings that are placed inside made by several well known artists in the region. There is a beautiful Madonna of Mercy made by Pietro Perugino and several other works done by artists like Della Robbia, Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, Dono Doni and Lacopo Siculo.
Santa Maria Maggiore Church
There are several different churches in Bettona, but the one which is the most important is the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. The church is located in the historical center of the town. the architecture of the church is gothic. The chapel which is located inside the church and is dedicated to Saint Rita is the only remaining part of the original Roman church. The main altar of the church is quite beautiful and is in the shape of a domed temple. There are beautiful frescoes inside, the apse had been done in 1939 by the painter Gerardo Dottori.
Church of San Crispolto
The church of San Crispolto is also an important church in Bettona. The church had been originally built in the 8th century to preserve by body of the patron saint of the town and was made by the monks. The current day façade of the church had been designed by Antonio Stefanucci. San Crispolto is the patron saint of Bettona and it is believed that he had been once the bishop of the town.
Oratorio of Saint Andrea
The Oratorio of Saint Andrea is also worth a visit, mainly because of its beautiful interiors. The façade of the building is quite plain and simple, but the interiors have been richly decorated. Inside the building are various paintings that have been attributed to the school of Giotto and were done in 1394. The series of paintings depict the Passion of the Christ. Other than the paintings there is not much to admire in the Oratorio of Saint Andrea.
Stay and Accommodation
Although Bettona is not an important tourist location in the region, several people do visit the town each year since it is located so close to Assisi. For this reason there are plenty of good hotels in the town. Most hotels would be found close to the center of the town and there are few on the outskirts of Bettona. There are also a few good bed & breakfasts in Bettona. Some of the best hotels in Bettona are La Piana del Sole, Il Poggio degli Ulivi, B&B La Piazzetta, Natura Amica, Borgo Piaceri, La Corte dei Papi, La Macina di Bettona and Releais La Corte di Bettona.
Eating in Bettona
Visitors in Bettona has plenty of options to choose from when it comes to eating out. There are quite a lot of good restaurants, trattorias and pizzerias in the town that serve simple but wholesome traditional dishes as well as Italian dishes from the other regions. In most places, food is very typical and is preferred by the locals. Food is made from the locally grown produce, sea food and local cheeses. There are also a few good café, bars and taverns in Bettona where visitors can get good wines, local appetizers and light lunch dishes. Some of the best known restaurants in Bettona are II Poggia degli Olivi, Taverna del Giullare, Osteria dell Oca, II Passaggio, Cinque Cerri, Oio Osteria and La Frattoria. There are only a handful of restaurants in Bettona that would serve international cuisine, most only serve traditional food.
Shopping in Bettona
There are not many places in Bettona where visitors can shop. The old quarter of the town does have a few shops where the locals do all their daily shopping. There are plenty of shops that sell locally grown produce, fresh fruits, vegetables, bakery items and a few handicrafts. Visitors can also purchase good quality wines from most wine shops in Bettona. There are many food stores in the town where visitors would be able to find good quality extra virgin olive oil and cheese.