Just under 50km from Perugia, Montone sits perched on two hilltops in the upper Tiber valley. With its antique gates and powerful medieval walls this place was built to be defended.
The impressive view of the nearby Mount Catria and Mount Nerone is not there by chance as the town rose in the IX century following Charlemagne's victory of the Longobards.
It was a classic 'castrum' with a castle and lower settlement. Modern visitors will be amazed at how it is all perfectly preserved.
Do look out for the Montone football club's small stadium with surely one of the finest grandstand views in central Italy.
Local history is linked essentially to the Fontebracci family and, in particular, Andrea Fontebracci, known as 'Braccio'. He must have been as hard as nails and was a head mercenary.
The charm of Montone today is that it is incredibly tranquil and green. The nearby River Tiber is lined with black alder, practically non existent further downstream and the mixed oak woods are famous for truffles. Try a picnic along the Carpina stream.
The local gastronomy is base on the maximum use of what is to hand, so 'panzanella', roasted meats, homemade pastas such as ravioli and tagliatelle. Do ask for the typical 'torta bianca' made from flour, water and salt and baked over the coals then eaten with salami, sausage or cooked greens.
Every year Montone celebrates a 'medieval week' in the 7 days before the 15th August and on the Sunday following Ferragosto is the 'Historical Play of the Donation of the Sacred Thorn. 120 characters in costume reenact the return of Carlo Fontebraccio to Montone in 1473 with a thorn from the crown of Christ.