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5/19/2014

Castel Ritaldi, fairy tales and fine wines

The hamlet of Castel Ritaldi
Even if you've spent all your entire life in this region,  there's always something new to discover in Umbria.
Last month, thanks to the invitation by the local association Castel Ritaldi Planet, I had the opportunity to live one day in this nice village, located along the panoramic road that connects Montefalco to Spoleto,


My great day at Castel Ritaldi
Like all the towns and villages in this region, Castel Ritaldi has an ancient history. "Libero Comune", independent town-state in the Middle Ages, in 1499 it was visited by Lucrezia Borgia, the famous daugher, ....yes daughter,  of Roderigo Borgia, Papa Alessandro VI, probably one of the most controversial popes in the history of the Catholic Church, famous for his cruelty and licentiousness.
At that time Lucrezia was the governor of the town of Spoleto, and her visit represented an act of loyalty towards Castel Ritaldi.


The historical connection between Lucrezia Borgia and this village is represented every year in the"Palio del Fantasma", a Medieval event taking place between July and August.


The beautiful Pieve San Gregorio, romanic building with fine bass reliefs dated A.D. 1141



In the 1600 century the village was known to be an important area for olive oil production: today there are still many olive groves and oil mills in the area whose top level EVOOs are celebrated during "Frantoio Tipico", extra virgin olive oil festival in the first week of November.

The stunning wine area facing Montefalco

Castel Ritaldi is also one of the five towns in the doc and docg wine district of Montefalco. Along with the production of the famous full bodied red wines like Montefalco Rosso and Montefalco Sagrantino, this territory is traditionally connected to an ancient white grape variety: Trebbiano Spoletino.
Here, in the country surrounding the village, I had definitely one of my best, unforgettable, exciting experience in my career of sommelier and wine tour guide: admiring an example of vineyard of Trebbiano Spoletino in the ancient way called "Vite Maritata", very old practice of cultivation  - used even by the Romans -  of training vines to grow up along living tree trunks.

A very rare example of "Vite Maritata" vineyard


More information for a visit:
Comune di Castel Ritaldi - Turismo e Cultura
Castel Ritaldi Planet - Tourist Information

Nel 1499 Castel Ritaldi vide la visita di Lucrezia Borgia, all'epoca governatrice di Spoleto che così volle sottolineare la lealtà del castello. Agli inizi del 1600 prese vigore, con la coltivazione dell'olivo, la vita agricola. - See more at: http://www.castelritaldi.eu/CategoriaMedia.aspx?idc=72&explicit=SI#sthash.wDKXgL37.dpuf
Nel 1499 Castel Ritaldi vide la visita di Lucrezia Borgia, all'epoca governatrice di Spoleto che così volle sottolineare la lealtà del castello. Agli inizi del 1600 prese vigore, con la coltivazione dell'olivo, la vita agricola. - See more at: http://www.castelritaldi.eu/CategoriaMedia.aspx?idc=72&explicit=SI#sthash.wDKXgL37.dpuf


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