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Hermitage of Fonte Avellana

Founded by the Free Comune of Gubbio in the 12th century, Serra Sant’Abbondio was strategically located to defend and control the shortest but most difficult and isolated route between Umbria and the Adriatic coast. The area had been inhabited since the Iron Age, with a settlement known as a “Serra”, or “closed place”, which had a church dedicated to Saint Abbondius. Hence, the name given to the town: “Serra Sant’Abbondio”

In 1384, Serra Sant’Abbondio became part of the Duchy of Urbino. Then in 1481, Federico da Montefeltro commissioned the Sienese architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini to erect a fortress to defend the valley. Nothing remains of the fortress, which was destroyed by order of Guidobaldo, Federico’s son and successor, to prevent its seizure by Cesare Borgia. The town retains the typical layout of ancient medieval villages. Two of the original four entry gates are still in place: Porta Santa with a tower, and the 13th-century Porta di Macione. Things to see: Fonte Avellana Hermitage, San Biagio crypt, Chiesetta della Canale, Medieval walls in the old town, Porta Santa, Porta di Macione.

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