Allerona: Within the walls of an Umbrian hilltown

    Elizabeth heath
    24 Oct 2017
    Clock 30min      Length1mi
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    Welcome to Allerona

    Welcome to Allerona
    Allerona: Within the walls of an Umbrian hilltown

    You're standing in the Piazza del Comune, or town square. The large 3-storey building should be on your left, and the road on your right. In front of you is the clock tower.

    My name is Liz, and I live in Allerona. I moved here in 2009 to be with my husband Paolo. He was born here and has lived in Allerona his entire life. We live just outside of town, and Paolo spent his youth exploring all the nooks and crannies of his village. No one in his family remembers a time when they didn't live in Allerona or the surrounding countryside.

    Allerona was founded sometime around the 10th or 11th century. It's presumed that people moved up to the top of this hill from a Roman town that was located about 1 kilometer south of here. By the way, south is behind you.

    People no longer had an organized system of defense after the definitive fall of the Roman Empire. The period known as the incastellation began in Italy and elsewhere, when people moved to more easily defended hilltops. It was then that walled, hill towns like Allerona sprang up in the countryside. Much of the population still lived in simple homesteads outside the walls. But in times of siege, they could bring their families and livestock inside the castle walls to wait out the attack. The castle here was constructed in 1275 by the wealthy Monaldeschi family, a name that figures prominently in Italian history.

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    Now have a look at the clock tower.

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    The entrance below the clock tower is called the Porta del Sole. Its one of the original entrances into the town. The doorway through the castle wall is original, but the clock tower and crenelation were added in the mid 20th century.

    It's bad luck to pass through the gate if the clock is tolling. I was unaware of this when I first moved here. A friend once grabbed me by the shoulder to pull me back before I could make the mistake!

    [1.5 SECOND PAUSE]

    Before we get going, let me briefly explain how VoiceMap works.

    It uses your location to play audio automatically, at the right time and place. This means that you can put your phone away now. Don't worry if I'm silent for a while, when I'm not giving directions or telling stories. There's a map on your screen if you ever feel lost, and if you do get way off track without noticing, VoiceMap will let you know.

    [1.5 SECOND PAUSE]

    So, lets get going.

    Head through the entrance under the clock tower. Just don't walk under it if the clock is tolling!

    I'll meet you by the entrance.