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Town museum and Pinacoteca - Bettona

Bettona, a hamlet  with Etruscan origins and a typically medieval layout, is today one of the “Borghi più belli d’Italia” (most wonderful italian villages), in Umbria. It is located not far from Perugia and its charme comes, not just from the cultural urges it is dotted with, but also for the environmental richness it is surrounded by. In fact, a luxuriant and splendid vegetation covered by olive groves, vineyards and woods frames the village.

Palazzo del Podestà

Palazzo del Podestà is situated in Bettona’s main square, next to Palazzo Biancalana and not far from the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. It is a sober fourteenth-century building, home to the ancient governors and the Podestà.Its construction dates back to the rebuilding of Bettona by Egidio Albornoz in 1367, after the Perugians had razed it to the ground: in 1379, in fact, the decided was made to build a new home for the priors.

The palazzo is important from an historical and artistic point of view, as evidenced by two frescoes: the Maestà e santi, dating back to 1380 and located inside the hall, and the Santi Pietro e Paolo con angeli reggistemma, which is located outside and was painted over half a century later. Over the years, the building took on a different appearance and at the beginning of the 20th century it had 17th-century windows and was a two-storey building, which had been built on the right. It had at least continued to be used for public functions such as hearings with the Conciliator, tax collecting and as a municipal treasury, but the real revival came when it was chosen as the seat of the Bettona’s art gallery.

Museum of the town of Bettona and the Pinacoteca

Situated in Piazza Cavour, the Museum of Bettona is housed in the Palazzo del Podestà and in the Palazzo Biancalana, a noble residence built in the Neoclassical style. The museum collection includes two sections:  the archeological section and the painting gallery.

The archeological section of the Museum opens the exhibition itinerary giving evidence of the origins of the territory. Among the most important works there is the magnificent Aphrodite marble head of the mid-imperial age. Numerous Etruscan finds are preserved: burial markers, ceramics and rare examples of boundary stone (tular).

Gold and other finds discovered in the tomb of Colle which was unearthed in 1913 are displayed in the Umbria National Archeological Museum in Perugia.  The paving works of Piazza Cavour have unearthed an ancient monumental well dating from the late fifteenth century; it is a circular structure of blocks of square sandstone; the outer diameter to the square level is of 6.40 m. Also interesting are the remains of underground walls and a stretch of roadway from medieval times.

The itinerary continues with the Pinacoteca, an artwork collection started in 1904. It occupies the  Palazzo Biancalana noble floor and the hall of the 13th century Palazzo del Podestà. The Picture Gallery houses about sixty artworks, mostly paintings, ranging from the 13th century to the 19th century. Worthy of note are the Sant'Antonio da Padova and the Madonna della Misericordia by Pietro Vannucci known as Perugino, two precious 14th-century illuminated choirs , the Archangel San Michele by Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, the Adoration of the shepherds by Dono Doni, the Madonna In glory and saints by Jacopo Siculo, a tabernacle with Christ and the Evangelists attributed to Domínikos Theotokópoulos better known as El Greco, Saints Peter and Paul by Giuseppe Ribera called Spagnoletto. The collection is completed with heterogeneous artifacts of considerable interest, including scagliola and ceramic materials and interesting examples of sculptural production, such as the polychrome wooden crucifix attributed to Agostino di Duccio and the Saint Anthony in glazed terracotta from the Della Robbia school.

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