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When I first stepped foot in San Gemini, I admit I was not quite aware of my surroundings and as such had not taken the whole experience in. See it was midnight and I had finally made my way to the town square after a 42 hour flight from Townsville, Australia, with 4 stopovers, and all while travelling on a horrible airline. After finding my group I was led thorough the little alleyways of this enchanting little village to my single bedroom at the bottom of someones house. I remember talking about how long my travel time was, getting my first taste of prosciutto from a snack I was given, and falling asleep pretty quick.

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I woke up to this…

UM, WHAT!

The idea of spending 4 weeks in this beautiful village was overwhelming. Four years later, my time in San Gemini still feels as surreal as it was back then.

Location

San Gemini is a picturesque, hillside comune in Umbria about an hour from Rome. It can be a convenient and refreshing stopover for your journey as it is located between Rome and Florence. Rich cultural heritage and other historical cities can be easily accessed from San Gemini via the local bus and train.

Getting There

By Car:
www.autostrade.it
From Florence: drive southwards along A1 motorway and take the Valdichiana exit. Head towards Perugia and follow directions for Terni. Take the San Gemini Nord exit.
From Rome: take A1 motorway to Florence and take the Orte exit. Head towards Terni and take the E45 exit before Terni. This leads you towards Perugia where you take the San Gemini Sud exit.

By Train:
www.trenitalia.comTake the Line F.S. ROME – ANCONA and get off at Terni station.
Take the Line F.S. ROME – FLORENCE and get off at Orte station. Take the connecting train to Terni from here.

History

Continuous settlement of San Gemini from the time of Ancient Rome to the present day makes this city as rich in art and history as much as the next. San Gemini was first settled as an agricultural suburb of Carsulae in the 1st C CE along the ancient Roman road, the Via Flaminia, which goes through the town centre. This first settlement was called Casventum, from which a small city developed during the Middle Ages as Carsulae was abandoned. During this time the name changed from Casventum to San Gemini. It is thought that the name change reflects the arrival of the locally celebrated Saint Gemine, a monk from Syria. His burial urn and original plaque stone are conserved in the sacristy while his remains were reburied under the high altar of the 12 C. duomo, the Church of Saint Gemine.

Note: More than one theory exists as to why the name was changed from Casventum to San Gemini.

Nowadays San Gemini is known for the healing mineral water which is bottled with the brand name SANGEMINI.

 What to see…

Abbey of San Nicolò

Carsulae

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Church of San Francesco

Church of San Francesco

Church of San Giovanni Battista

Church of San Giovanni Battista

Church of St Gemine

Church of St Gemine

Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio

What to do…

Hike Monte Torre Maggiore

Atop the nearby mountain, Monte Torre Maggiore, are the ruins of an old temple. Other than the historic values of this hike, there are also some of the best views of Umbria from the summit which are hard to put in to one picture.

Trail

Summit

Summit of Monte Torre Maggiore

Mercatino dell´Antiquariato, Modernariato, Collezionismo e Artigianato (Markets)

This is an antiquity market held on the third Sunday of every month in the Piazza San Francesco.

Mixing with the locals at the markets

Infiorata di San Gemini (Festival of Flowers)

The Infiorata or Festival of Flowers is a historical religious celebration which takes place between May and June, along with the Corpus Domini. The medieval city is adorned with works of art, made with flowers and sand. Each work of art is unique and a competition is held for the best. Once the winner is announced everyone runs through the village stomping all over the murals.

Infiorata

Flower Mural

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Where to eat…

Restaurant

There are a range of different restaurants spread throughout San Gemini, as well as nearby Terni. In addition to the restaurants spread throughout San Gemini comune there are also two coffee/gelato shops, a pizzeria, bakery, butcher, supermarkets and a fruit and vegetable store.

Where to stay…

Albergo Duomo San Gemini
Prices from $62AUD
A variety of rooms are available to suit your budget and style. A restaurant and meeting room are available for use at Albergo Duomo.

 Sunset

Sources: Albergo Duomo San Gemini, San Gemini Preservation Studies, Summer in Italy – San Gemini, Umbria Online – San Gemini, Umbrian Adventure

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