San Gemini, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, has preserved a charming medieval atmosphere. The original core appears to have been Casventum, a Roman settlement; in fact, the main street of the oldest part of the village partially traces the route of the Via Flaminia. Also in the same area are the springs of Sangemini, whose waters fed the baths of this flourishing Roman city.
Today, the waters of the Sangemini Sources flow within a Park not far from the town, among centuries-old trees.
Of the several Gates into the village, the main one is the 18th-century Roman Gate. Worth visiting, the cathedral consecrated to the patron saint who also gave the town its name and whose relics are kept under the high altar. Knights’ tournaments were held in honor of the saint since the 14th century.
Even today, keeping that tradition alive, the “Joust of Arms” is held annually during the patron saint’s festivities, in which knights from the two rival districts: the Piazza and the Rocca compete in a tournament.
The central St. Francis Square connects the newer and medieval parts of the town. The same square is overlooked by the 14th-century Church of St. Francis, whose interior features 15th-16th-century frescoes.
Instead, Porta Burgi gives access to the medieval part, traversed by narrow, winding streets. In Piazza di Palazzo Vecchio is the 12th-13th century Praetorian Palace: inside are 14th-15th century frescoes, including the “Agresti Works” cycle.
Near St. John’s Gate stands the early 12th-century Church of St. John the Baptist.
Also worth visiting is the majestic Palazzo Canova (now Medici), which was the summer residence of sculptor Antonio Canova, whose works remain in San Gemini.
Outside the city center is the 12th-century Abbey of St. Nicholas, where St. Gemini also lived.
San Gemini is home to the “Geolab” (Museum Laboratory of Earth Sciences), an interactive space to virtually travel through the evolution of our planet, with a section entirely dedicated to the geological history of Umbria.