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Spoleto

Presided over by a formidable medieval fortress and backed by the broad-shouldered Apennines, their summits iced with snow in winter, hillside Spoleto is visually stunning. Ancient arches and a virtually intact amphitheatre tell of its past as a strategic Roman colony, while a series of Romanesque churches testifies to a golden age in the early Middle Ages. In 570 the Lombards made it capital of their duchy and over the next three centuries it flourished, becoming for a brief period one of the most important towns in Italy.

Today, Spoleto is best known for its mammoth summer festival, a 17-day bonanza of opera, dance, music and art.

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