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curated by Fabio Mariotti







The Public Administration

At the beginning of the century we do not know the administrators of Fratta. The last meeting of the municipal council took place on December 3, 1799 and the next only on April 16, 1800. There was the indictment of the municipal councilors Giuseppe Savelli and Giambattista Burelli, accused of Jacobinism, but later reinstated in their office.

On December 9, 1800, four new priors were elected for the first semester of 1801. In Fratta the population was divided into three different groups. About ten families belonged to the former; they are always the same surnames, the richest owners of houses and farms. A1 second belonged to the artists (craftsmen) and traders. The third, called the "destitute" or the "miserable", belonged to the others, the poor, non-taxable who had no possibility of participation.

The elect found themselves having to face serious economic problems. Some foodstuffs and especially wheat were missing. At the beginning of January the municipal oven was in deficit and the municipality, left without money, asked the owners for the grain, each of whom would have had to pay a proportionate share to the extension of the land.

Other problems caused the supply of wine to the community of Fratta. This was a genus of primary importance, second only to wheat. Income for the municipality derived from the tax on the cereals that had to be ground and on the distribution of salt. Other incomes were those of the slaughterhouse (which taxed the slaughter and sale of meat), the grocery store (which included fish and salami), the oil shop, the collection of wood from the bridge, the collection of the market stall (there was one person who collected the pen that the animals left in the markets and paid a tax to the municipality), of fishing on the Tiber, of the large steelyard (on weights and measures for large quantities), of the apparatus (in the sense of setting the table), of the hosts and innkeepers (it struck the hosts' ability to serve lunch to customers).











In 1803 there was a decrease in revenues which fell to 290 scudi despite the introduction of a new tax, "of the four feet", on each quadrupedal animal that entered the village at the rate of 5 baiocchi for large animals and 1 baiocchi for small.

The annual expenses of the municipality were those for the secretariat: wood for the stoves, two flasks of ink, sealing wax torches to put the seal of the municipality on the letters, bunches of quills and Palomba brand writing paper (it had in the visible watermark against the light a small palomba - trademark), headed paper that was printed in Città di Castello since there was not yet a typography in Umbertide. Some salaries paid by the municipality. The postmaster, post office manager (and letter dealer), one shield a month. The lords of magistrate received ten scudi per semester as an honorary salary. The secretary, Giovambattista Burelli, ten scudi per four months, while the (police) commissioner dr. Paolucci receives three scudi per quarter. The chamberlain (cashier) receives 18 Scudi a year paid in quarters. The agent of Rome (that is, one who resides in Rome carries out the affairs of the community in that city) receives seven or eight scudi a year depending on the amount of work. Then there are two country guards, Giambattista Fuochi and Silvestro Catalani: they take four scudi a month. Another concern for the municipality was that of unemployment. A timid attempt to tackle the problem was made when the casengoli (non-owners) made a request to obtain the post of bailiff. It took two a month, in turn.

In 1825, the income was 2,200 scudi and the expenditure of 2,250. In 1826 the municipal secretary Giovambattista Burelli, feeling old and tired, asked to be "jubilated", that is, to retire after 43 years of continuous work. He says he would also accept a reduced pension as long as his son Ruggero is appointed in his place. The passage from father to son took place on April 9, 1928. When the caretaker of the town hall, Gaetano Martinelli, asked to retire. the municipal administration does not agree on the fact that he also works as a carpenter and the pension is not granted to him even if "for 40 years he has had the honor of serving this municipality" and because "although ahead of the age keeps you in good health ".












In December 1843 all the municipal employees were reconfirmed for another two years: the secretary Ruggero Burelli, the doctor Dr. Paolo Bertanzi, the surgeon dr. Michele Belforti, the moderator of the clock Gaetano Gigli, the postman Nicola Castori, the defender of the poor Costantino Magi Spinetti, a family member Pietro Caracchini, the other family Costantino Beatini, the letter distributor Costantino Magi Spinetti, the meat maker Gioacchino Pucci , the caretaker of the town hall Marino Romitelli, the gravedigger for men Pietro Paolo Vico, the gravedigger for women Camilla Bartolini, the urban police clerk Domenico Porrini. There was indecision whether to reconfirm Camilla Bartolini, the gravedigger of women, because the parish priest Cecchetti had indicated that she only went to rich people and when it came to poor people for whom she was rewarded by the municipality "she refuses to do her duty".

September 12, 1860, the day of the transit of the Piedmontese troops. the Frattigiani formed a provisional committee of four citizens: Costantino Magi Spinetti, Raffaele Santini, Giuseppe Agostini (acting prior) and Luigi Igi. On 14 September the Royal Commissioner arrived in Fratta and appointed the definitive municipal commission with the task of preparing the election of the council.

The plebiscite for or against Vittorio Emanuele II took place on 4 and 5 November. Fratta and his supporters went to the polls with 2,946 registered on the lists; the voters were 2,568, with 2,565 yes and 1 no. On 11 November the new and first municipal council of the time was elected. In the following meeting on November 22, four councilors and two alternates were appointed, who formed the council: Luigi Santini, Mauro Mavarelli, Quintilio Magnanini and Count Gianantonio Ranieri. Alternates, Giovambattista Ticchioni and Paolo Paolucci, landowners from Fratta. Mayor was Dr. Mauro Mavarelli, directly appointed by the king of Italy. The municipal council of Fratta was made up of twenty councilors who had been elected taking into account the "census". Fratta in 1860 had ten thousand inhabitants and only 71 of these were called to the polls.









From the year 1869 the city council increased from twenty to thirty members.

In this year the electors were 181 at the administrative offices, against 71 in 1860. Around 1870 the financial situation was quite difficult. A tax on carriages was instituted (there were many around) which was joined by a tax on waiters and maids. In 1891, May 1st was mentioned for the first time as a workers' day. It is discussed in the council meeting of 30 April as, on this day, the honorable Grilli wants to remember 30 April 1849 and the defense of Rome against the French. At the end of his speech he sends "an affectionate greeting to those who tomorrow will affirm the rights of the workers, a prelude to the political renewal of the world".



Public Safety

At the beginning of the century we find ourselves under the government of the Imperial Regency of Perugia and the Austrian army, since the second half of 1799, had brought the papal state back to power, after the parenthesis of the Roman republic. The Restoration had found a people whom the principles of the French Revolution had awakened and now, more attentive, made itself heard. Bad times then for the standard bearer, Lorenzo Vibi. At carnival the people feel the need to have dance parties, but the gonfalonier sees this as a danger and forbids them. On 27 February 1800 he wrote to Perugia communicating that at the foot of the cross placed where the "infamous" tree of liberty was, they found a tricolor flag.

In early July, the pope returns to Rome and appoints Msgr. Rivarola who had a very heavy hand towards Fratta in regulating public life.

On November 25, a papal edict approved the expulsion of all merchants, artisans and anyone who had not been domiciled in the territory since before 1797, excluding the ecclesiastics of the convents and parishes, the doctors and public employees. In December there is the problem of the bandit Luigi Rossi, from Sorbello, who had formed a group of brigands and often worked also in Fratta, with robberies and stabbings.

At the end of February the commissioner, given the times, asked Perugia to be able to set up a city troop. Rivarola accepts willingly, given the crime around. Small gangs that weren't afraid of "crassing" (ie armed robbery) even in broad daylight.

Other interventions in the field of public safety occurred on the occasion of serious scandals that arose in Fratta because prohibited games were organized in a café during the day and at night "to the grave detriment of families and good social order". Rivarola also establishes that the Jews in Fratta, sellers of majolica, cease this trade: "Make them precept to leave immediately".

On January 4, 1804, Rivarola again abolished the sale of wine in the theater, where entry is also forbidden for those carrying weapons or sticks. Despite this, on 1 March, during a show Giovambattista Franchi seriously stabbed a certain Antimi: the surgeon reported "the wounds being life-threatening". In 1809 an order arrives from Perugia which bans masks and on the occasion of the carnival also races, parties and any other show.

On 7 August a great party was organized in Fratta on the occasion of the raising of the new French coat of arms. The military band of Perugia was called, the heads of the families were invited to illuminate the houses; the same was done for the town hall and the fortress with torches and lanterns.

The papal police were quite organized: they had paid informants and people like Friar Pietro Scagnetti who did their unsolicited work. From his letters emerge the names of the Fratigans who leaned towards the republic: Luigi Santini, Domenico Pecchioli, Francesco Paolucci, Innocenzo Lazzarini and Agostino Cambiotti. A difficult life begins for these patriots of Fratta, watched and hunted down.

In 1817 the papal carabinieri were stationed in Fratta, carrying out public security activities: the brigade is made up of a brigadier and seven carabinieri, who work on horseback. The barracks do not yet exist and they are housed in the house of a private individual, Domenico Porrini, to whom the municipality pays the rent. In addition to the carabinieri there is a "provincial troop" department. Two financial police, on the other hand, go around the municipality to prevent and stop smuggling but do not act in a completely irreproachable way if in the council meeting of 2 August 1817 it is spoken of negatively and with regret because during the markets they look for tips from the various landowners, they go to the houses of the peasants where they have lunch served without paying. On February 14, 1831 the papal government of Perugia falls. The insurrectionary movement ends on March 25th, the papal edict relating to the delivery of edged and firearms comes out on the 31st. On November 24, 1848 Pius IX fled from Rome and took refuge in Gaeta. On 9 February the Roman republic was proclaimed. There were also great celebrations in Fratta, with the raising of the tree of freedom.

In this short period it is a flourishing of "Popular Cìrcoli", associations aimed at completing the new dimension of life long sought and for which many people had carried out their noblest activity.

Head of Magistrate of Fratta in that republican period of 1849 was Luigi Santini, landowner, who then held the same office also in the years from 1854 to 1856, after the restoration. There was the ability of the Fratta magistrates of the time to ride any mount: we always find the same surnames in power, look a bit, and they were always landowners.

After the siege of Rome by the French troops, on July 31, 1849 the power of the pope returned.

There were a thousand problems after 1860, which the civic administration had to provide. The main one was public order, both internal and linked to organized crime in the province.

In Fratta the body of the national guard made up of about one hundred soldiers had been reconstituted, suppressed in 1874. The first commander of this renewed national guard was Raffaele Santini.

The protection of public morality was also part of public order. On October 17, 1861, the mayor wrote to the public security delegate about the "debauchery to which young women abandon themselves, especially of low conditions, many of whom are already relieved, and many others pregnant. It is not to reiterate their impudence; not having redness of wandering through the public squares and streets at midday, although they have reached the ninth month of pregnancy ... ". The mayor blames the parents, perhaps not considering that the "low condition" of the young girls, that is the miserable life they were forced to lead, was the main cause of their degradation.

During the war 1860/1861 there were 24 young people from Fratta who went to fight volunteers among the Garibaldini. In 1866 there was a large group (54) that gathered around the Italian flag, especially in the body of the Garibaldini. On May 22, 1866 there was the departure. The women of the town wanted to give them a very fine, tricolor, silk flag (which the local society of veterans preserves) already used in 1849 in the Republican period, to which on the white side they added the words "Umbertidesi women to their volunteers. 1866" .

Among the criminal episodes of 1882 stand out rural thefts, injuries, trading of false coins, insult to public officials, arrests of prostitutes, physical violence and rape. So our district prison had many inmates: in the fourth quarter of 1882 there were 36, for a stay of 344 people. In 1894, the police officer warned the mayor that there were Spanish scammers around. They extort money from people on market days by telling a story of a hidden treasure: it is located in a place known to people who are in Spain but you need money to get it. "Give the Mayor order to the municipal guards to monitor foreigners, especially on market and fair days". At that time there was only one guard in the town, Tommaso Tognaccini, and the head guard, Adamo Simonucci.












Viability and communications

Looking at the topographical map of the castle of Fratta, drawn by Don Bartolomeo Borghi in 1805, it is easy to see two appendages: one, the Borgo di Sopra along the directrix of the road to Montone, towards the north; the other towards the south, Borgo di Sotto, on the old road to Perugia. With the opening, in 1807, of the new bridge over the Reggia stream, which opened the access to the old castle from the east side towards the Collegiata, a certain development began along the road that led to the territory of Civitella Ranieri and which will later be called via delle Case Nuove (via Bremizia, then via Roma). However, it will be an area of civilian dwellings that will never, over the course of the century, shift the economic importance of the original north-south axis. On the west side, however, the route of the road to Città di Castello stretched, which was of some importance in inter-municipal trade. But it was a source of constant concern because, especially in the stretch below Montalto, it passed very close to the Tiber: in January 1802 a big flood "tore up the provincial road from Montalto", as the gonfalonier said when writing to Perugia for help. In Niccone, the road to Città di Castello underwent a branch towards the marquisate of Sorbello, in Tuscany, and assumed a certain importance also from the economic side, if only for the trade of chestnuts. Immediately after the bridge over the Tiber, instead, the road that led to the Badia di Camaldoli (Montecorona) opened. From here began the mule track towards Perugia which, climbing up to the houses of Ferranti, turned south-east, skirting the north base of Montacuto to descend towards the Nese.

In 1814, the first year of the restoration, the municipal administration, although "provisional", took care to rearrange the streets and draw up rules for their maintenance.

A first decision was taken in the council meeting of November 30, 1814: the prohibition to let pigs stop in herds on the embankments and gravel roads of the recently arranged roads and especially on the pavement adjacent to the Mavarelli house which was adjacent to the church of S. Erasmo (now Gnoni ), on the road from today's Piazza Marconi to the Collegiata. In 1819 there was discussion on emergency repairs to be made to some municipal roads: - for Montone, identical to today's route except for the first three hundred meters.

- delle Case Nuove, which leads to Gubbio. From the beginning, it followed the still existing route. From today's pine forest, through the valley, it went up directly to the castle of Civitella.

- that of "Molinello, which leads to Città di Castello by the shortest route".













The roads of great communication outside Fratta had a dirt base and in the winter they deteriorated a lot: hence the constant thought for the municipality of having to grab the upper layer. Simple stones from the Tiber were used which some workers broke, one by one. with the hammer, sitting astride the mound that was forming. The first news concerning the maintenance of these streets dates back to 1832, when the city council, on February 1st, decided to "cross the market road from the Porta to the Fonte dei Cavalli" (today's stretch from Piazza Marconi to the beginning of Piazza Caduti of Labor); ... to cross the road of the Case Nuove (via Roma) at the bottom starting from the Collegiate church, ... the Molinello road .... And then the market road, starting from the door to the cross of the Observant Fathers. From this point up to the Rio ditch (on the border with Montone), starting from stretch to stretch where there is more need. In 1860 the road situation in our municipality was not the best. The construction of the roads was vitiated by the economy, the gravel was only done near the town, there were no bridges. The English tourist Adolfo Trollope describes an extremely uncomfortable situation. He tells us that he was not concerned only with the road, but also with those "filthy papal border offices", with insolent and servile commanders who first made the smargiassi, then let themselves be bribed. Trollope, going to Gubbio, tells what he saw from the window of the diligence. When he arrived at Fratta he asked about the state of the road to Gubbio and at the café in the square they replied that at a certain point, swampy, it would be necessary to "trapelo", the "stroppa 'of another beast.








To improve the viability of the southern area of the country and the service of his farm in Montecorona, the Marquis Filippo Marignoli applied in 1878 to be able to build a wooden bridge over the Tiber river. On 27 October the prefect sent the authorization decree. But the bridge at that time and in that place was no longer built. The project was resumed in the 1920s and was then built in 1927 opposite the abbey of Montecorona.

In 1899 the road to Badia was built, the first part of the connection between Umbertide and Ponte Nese, based on the current route.

Also in 1899 the construction of the public gardens behind the Collegiate was completed, with the installation of seats which cost 126 lire in total.

In 1890 the piazza del foro boario was arranged to make it more functional for the Wednesday beast market. In 1861 the telegraph service was opened.

In 1886 the Central Apennine Railway was inaugurated.








- Renato Codovini - "History of Umbertide - Vol. VII - Sec. XIX". Unpublished typescript.

- Calendar of Umbertide 2000 - Ed. Municipality of Umbertide - 2000.

Texts by Adriano Bottaccioli, Walter Rondoni, Amedeo Massetti and Fabio Mariotti.





1905. The horse-drawn coach Città di Castello - Perugia (Photo Luigi Codovini)
From the book "Umbertide in images - from '500 to the present day", edited by B. Porrozzi
Foto 23.tif
Pàrise, one of the last "ciaccabreccie"
Azienda MonteCorona.jpg
Old image of the Montecorona farm (Photo by the Pacifici family)
Foto 1.jpg
1890. The staff of the depot put on the Couillet locomotive
(Tacchini Photo Library - Città di Castello)
Cover of the Umbertide 2000 Calendar
Mauro Mavarelli
Amministrazione, sicurezza e viabilità

Tronchi appoggiati ad un pilone del ponte dopo le piene. Nell''800         
esisteva ancora la tassa per la raccolta delle legne del ponte.
I fratelli Martinelli "Fabbricatori d'organi alla Fratta di Perugia"
Il gioco del pallone e la grande festa per i 200 anni dell'assedio di Fratta
L'istruzione, le associazioni e il tempo libero





From the statistics of 1870 it can be seen that Umbrian agriculture was, around those years, completely primitive. The activity of the peasants was the same as three centuries earlier, scarcely productive. The ratio of sown grain to harvested grain was 1 to 3 and the farming was mainly sheep.

Among the few documents of the period, two inventories of the largest company of the time, that of the Camaldolese friars of Montecorona. They are from 1805 and 1832. The reading makes it clear that something important happened in the first half of the century. In 1805 we find the existence of 197 cattle, which implies a certain cereal production. In 1832, on the other hand, cattle were reduced to a dozen, indicating a cereal production reduced to almost zero; instead we find the existence of hundreds and hundreds of sheep and pigs, witnesses of a total change in agricultural management. If we consider that most of the arable land was, in the early years of the century, in the hands of ecclesiastical bodies and that in 1810 the French abolished all religious communities and confiscated their assets, it remains to think that the disruption suffered by that large company, which can be extended to other similar ones, at least as a consequence of the suppression. It also tells us that the long period of the papal restoration was unable to remedy that state of affairs. leaving the peasants to fend for themselves.











With the beginning of the century, according to our municipal archive, we begin to cultivate tobacco. The first news dates back to May 10, 1802. It is a provision of the apostolic delegate of Perugia: he announces that the grower of this plant must let people know "in which land he wants to work it" and pay a tax called the "tobacco leaf" . We find another hint in the year 1814: a letter that the Maire di Fratta, Domenico Reggiani, writes to the provisional pontifical administration of Perugia to ask for authorization to grow tobacco even if it has a smaller area than the forty ares requested, otherwise " tobacco plants cannot be cultivated there in any way ". The request lets us understand that, most likely, in previous years, this cultivation had not started.









Another new crop, perhaps started at the time, is that of the "ford" (herbaceous plant, about one meter high, with yellow flowers, from whose leaves a blue substance used in the art of dyeing is obtained) and Perugia recommends to begin by writing to the Maire on April 25, 1812 and giving him accurate instructions on the matter. The lands, worked by a family, are divided into farms consisting of three or four "rubbia" up to fifteen and sixteen. Each farm has a couple or two of working "cattle", one or two cows, about twenty sheep and twenty or thirty goats on the mountain and also a portion of four, six, eight "rubbia" of bitter scrub or cerquata to feed the pigs. Some of these are also kept in the farms on the floor, raising them with the acorns of the oaks scattered on the working grounds. The value of each farm is between five hundred and three thousand scudi. The fruitiness is deduced from the income from wheat, wine, oil, cattle, hemp. The remainder, that is, maize and legumes, is neglected because it serves the expenses of administration, reclamation and maintenance of the plantations and houses of the farm, rented, lease or colony.

The land is worked with the plow and the pole. In the plain, the pole is used more than the plow. The spade is also used, but only for hemp fields and to "clean up" the ditches. On the mountains, the hoe is used when the ground is too steep and is not accessible to oxen with the plow. Renters have the freedom to stay wherever they want. The settlers cannot leave the farm without a cancellation made at least ten months before. For wheat seeds, the land is worked three or four times; at the end of winter corn and legumes are planted in the fallow fields.










In September, two more interventions are made, then the wheat is sown by covering it with earth with hoes or rakes. Fertilizers are the excrements of livestock mixed with straw and soaked mulches, previously used as bedding for animals. The best excrements are those of sheep, oxen and beasts of burden.

From the 1818 census:

- cow or pony cattle ......... heads 1,820

- pigs, sheep and goats ...... ... ......... heads 22,160

- cadastral value of the territory ......... 600,000 scudi

The totals include the Preggio rates. Another very detailed statistic is found in the year 1826. It provides the quantities produced, consumed, prices, exports and, above all, gives a list of the most common kinds: wheat, maize, spelled, broad beans, beans , chickpeas and cicerchie, lentils, barley, fodder and oats, rice, lupins, potatoes, chestnuts, oil, hay, wool, linen, hemp, silk in cocoons, wine, raw honey, different fruit. Animals: oxen, cows, calves, mules and donkeys, black animals (pigs), sheep and lambs, goats and castrates.

At the beginning of June 1837 there was a danger that there was no grain and the gonfalonier asked the "best landowners in the country" for their contribution. The richest owners were Giambattista Gnoni, Domenico Mavarelli, Giovanni Vibi. Giuseppe Rampagni, Giuseppe Ferranti, Giovanni Giovannoni. Francesco Crosti, Luigi Santini, Francesco Santini, Lorenzo Casilli, Domenico Giulianelli, Andrea Ticchioni, Agostino Bettoni, Sebastiano Bebi, Dionisio Squartini.

The grape production (160 vines are planted every 100 meters) also had its weak point in the early harvest, against which so much was done in the century. Since 1860, however, grapes have enjoyed greater protection, thanks to the use of an anti-fungal powder to be given to the vines. The advertising of the time advertised it at a miracle level, it was sold by a company in Milan, it costs twenty lire per quintal, like a quintal of soft wheat. At the end of the Sixties, mulberry trees continued to be planted for the leaves, requested by the producers of silkworms.


The industry

At the beginning of the century, the activity aimed at the transformation of goods, which goes by the name of industry, has an artisan consistency. The work is carried out by hinging on the family unit, helped by a maximum of two or three servants or workers. We have documents of some factories only after 1820, concerning exclusively the milling art.

The craftsmanship existing in Fratta in this period were also those of the potters, the kilnsmen, the blacksmiths. There were three different kinds: the blacksmith who had the shop and carried out large hardware works; the magnano, who has a workshop but carries out small jobs such as keys, locks, gàngheni - then called scàncani - catorci, skewers; the marshal wanders around the countryside with his tools, performs blacksmith work, like the magnan, and puts irons on the hooves of the beasts. Kilns and potters had their workshops in Borgo di Sopra; the blacksmiths in the Borgo di Sotto (piazza San Francesco). Of the nine existing mills in the municipality, only two were in the town: one almost close to the castle walls, in the Molinaccio area, along the banks of the Tiber; another about one kilometer away, in the locality of "il Molinello". They were both owned by Agostino Cambiotti.

Another production of medium importance was that of the two or three brick kilns. In Santa Maria there was one until a few years ago and it carried out a fair amount of work. The kilns manufacture classic items such as bricks, roof tiles, bent tiles and tiles. Lime worked and, above all, many kinds of those "framed" bricks with which they used to make the finishing lines of the more modest houses.

A various pottery factory was managed by Serafino Martinelli, who we find since 1802, but his is the oldest family of potters in Fratta, dating back to the 15th century.

In the iron working sector the activity of the Gigli family continues, while we find for the first time the name of the Mazzanti that will continue until the 1930s.

The first statistic on the industries of Fratta, commissioned by the government authority of Perugia, dates back to 1827.


Manufacture of woolen drapes

There is no regular manufacture of woolen drapes in this Commune; twill and mezzolane are worked only by various weavers; some of which are for their own use and some they sell to farmers, at fairs and markets.


Factory of earthen vases by Girolamo Chimenti

Three men and two boys work there. Each man takes 14 and a half baiocchi a day. Baiocchi boys 4 a day. They are paid per day and sometimes even per week. Quarry earth, river earth and burnt lead are used.


Factory of earthen vases by Serafino Martinelli

It employs 6 men who take fifteen baiocchi a day. It employs 3 guys who take baiocchi 4.


Luigi Cerulli's bone comb factory

They employ two men, one takes 30 baiocchi a day; the other baiocchi 10. They employ a boy who is given a shield a year. Production: combs to "clean" the head, 6.650 pieces; women's fashion combs, 70 pieces; hairdressing combs, 300 pieces. Total 7,050 combs. They are sold in nearby towns and "exported" to Romagna.


Luigi Santini silk factory

It takes two men who take 15 baiocchi a day; then there are 12 women paid the teachers baiocchi 22 a day and the other baiocchi 15 a day. They work 4,000 pounds of cocoons a year, all bought in the town of Fratta.

They produce silk of excellent quality, which goes by the name of Fossombrone silk.


Antonio Igi silk factory

Only one man and eight women work there. It buys 2,000 pounds of cocoons and produces organzine silk for 166 pounds a year, for an amount of 415 scudi a year.


Hat factory by Mattia Codovini

It employs three men who take one baiocchi 25 the day, another two baiocchi 18 the day; the two women baiocchi 12 a day and two boys who take mediocre food shopping. We use local sheep's wool 1,500 pounds and n. 100 hare skins every year. 1,800 "ordinary" hats and 24 "fine" hats are produced. They "sell" in Perugia, Assisi and Città della Pieve.


Starting from the 1940s there is news of the small family-run factory of the Martinelli brothers, which produced church organs, built in 1845. It was owned by Antonio and Francesco.

In 1848 the papal government introduced the work book for young people, concerning all workers over fifteen years of age.

Many families of Fratta, especially the Casenghi, were involved in the production of silk. The breeding of cocoons lasted until the 1930s, when artificial fibers did not make it uneconomical.

In 1861 we find a list of the artisans as shown in the work books (established a few years earlier): potters 12, workers - potter boys 3, shoemakers 2, blacksmiths 7, carpenters 3, tailors 3, apprentices and young shop workers 8.

The most important and consistent artisan category is always that of potters and kilnsmen.

Statistics from 1871 tell us that in that year the workers in industry were ten per cent of the population throughout the province.

In the Eighties (1800) we find a printing plant in Umbertide, owned by Agostini and Tommasi.


A second statistic dates back to 1880:

- Molino in Umbertide owned by Luigi Santini. It has three millstones, it is moved by water, it grinds grain, corn, olives eight months a year.

- Molino known as "il Molinello" owned by Ciucci, in bankruptcy. It is one kilometer from Umbertide, it has three millstones, it is moved by water, it grinds grain eight months a year. corn and olives.

- Molino known as "Vitelli" owned by the Marquis Rondinelli. four kilometers away from Umbertide. It has three millstones, it is moved by water, it mills seven months a year for lack of water.

- Molino known as "di Casa Nuova" alla Badia, owned by Marignoli. It has five millstones and grinds cereals all year round. Molino inside the Badia owned by Marignoli. It has a single millstone and it grinds seven months a year due to lack of water.

- Molino known as "dell'Assino" owned by Anacleto Natali. It is two kilometers from the town. It has three millstones and grinds all year round.

- Molino di Pierantonio owned by Florenzi (the marquis, husband of Marianna Florenzi, from Ascagnano). It has two millstones. It grinds seven months a year.

- Molino owned by Florenzi (other). It has two millstones. Seven months a year.

- Molino di Paolo Sarti in Montecastelli. It is four kilometers from the town. It has two millstones, it grinds seven months a year, only cereals.

- Molino della Serra. Property of the Ecclesiastical Fund. It is five kilometers from the town. It has three millstones. Grinds cereals all year round.

All these mills grind 33,400 hectoliters of wheat flour, maize and a few cereals.



The Commerce

The main meeting point, on market and fair days, was the "cattle field" where the trading of working animals, cattle and others took place. The weekly Wednesday markets have started as early as the mid-16th century. The fairs, in Fratta, took place on 1 June, the eve of the feast of St. Erasmus, and on 6 and 7 September, the eve of the 8th anniversary, the feast of the Madonna. Fairs were held in Sorbello on June 20; in Reschio on 22 July (it was important for small animals); in Montalto on 11 July (renowned for its cattle). A place of trade was a place called since the fourteenth century, "the meadow of the municipality", the clearing at the end of the bridge over the Tiber (today the petrol station area) that reached the beginning of the road to Badia.























This cattle market will still remain there until around 1818-1820, when, having enlarged the square, it moved under the Rocca, where it remained until about 1940. The change was made necessary to ensure the smoothness of traffic towards Tuscany and Città di Castello, which is in increasing development. The inland localities where the weekly market took place, for all other kinds, were the streets of the town and the square in front of the church of S. Erasmo called, since the 14th century, "il Mercatale".

Other goods were sold in piazza S. Francesco, in the central square (piazza Matteotti) known as "the grain" and in some other street. However, they were places that were changed from time to time, depending on the contingent interests of the municipality and the demands of the population.

In addition to cereals, it was possible to find products from the fields now no longer cultivated, such as flax and hemp which were used for linen; the canapone, used for large looms and ropes; ropes of all kinds, produced in the country; large quantities of earthenware pots and jugs (at that time there were no industries producing metal pans).

At the beginning of the 1800s, the sale of edible oil varied in prices: eight baiocchi a pound for the poor and ten baiocchi for "the comfortable inhabitants". We do not know how this diversification was established, but it is certain that some control was implemented. It was established that there had to be two "oil shops", that this was "always clear, purged and that it did not smell", sold for two quattrini more than in Perugia. The outlets had to stay open for up to an hour at night. The trade in chestnuts was free since 1802, as well as in the grocery and slaughterhouses, but the provisions could vary from year to year.

The sale of bread (the so-called "wheat spiano") was subject to a patent, that is, it was a sale controlled by the municipality, in its own oven, and concerned both the "pan venale", common, and the "white" one for a calming purpose , because it didn't cost too much, since it was the most popular kind. A certain regulation also concerned sheep meat, to be sold at the "slaughterhouse of low meat". Three pounds of baiocchi were sold, only from June to December, thus respecting the breeding period of the animal. The trade in rags and that fueled by the production of silkworms was widespread. These ate the leaf of the moors (mulberries) and therefore the relative traffic was developed in Fratta. Even the municipality, which owned several mulberry trees located under the castle walls, sold the leaves as a whole, with a public auction.

The reception of foreigners was ensured by some inns which also had some rooms for the night. In 1810 one was held by Antonio Beacci, another by Carlo Tancredi. The best, however, seems to have been that of Pietro Romitelli who (when at the beginning of the century there was that great passage of soldiers) was able to give even fifteen people to sleep for whom even the restaurant service was open.

From 1806 we find news of the postillion service, that is the bus service, for Perugia, which had to cross the Tiber at Ponte Pattoli. The postillion, also known as "the post office", was called Bernardino Lisi, made the trip twice a week with passengers, packages and correspondence. We find it in this work of his in 1809 and it is paid by the municipality with eight scudi a year, paid in quarters. In the pacts he is obliged to bring free the box with the money that the municipality paid to Perugia, as well as the letters and parcels of the community.

In 1818, regulation of wholesale and retail trade was introduced.

From 1824 the transport of goods was regulated with an accompanying document called the "circulation bill", issued by the customs of the city of departure and proving the payment of the duty.

In 1834 we find the first news relating to the "dealer" of salts and tobaccos, then included among the "gifts" as a solid state monopoly. In Fratta the "drug dealer" was Giuseppe Perugini and his office depended on the administration of salts and tobaccos in Ancona. In this year another request is made for the opening of a second shop: from Ancona they ask for information from the prior of Fratta, Giovanbattista Gnoni, but he, who knows Perugini well, does not give the consent, because, he says in the answer, "you can not do a similar wrong to the drug dealer Mr. Perugini".


During the weekly markets, street vendors put their stalls in the small central square and in the adjacent streets without respecting any order. This was the cause of continuous brawls over the precedence relative to the best position, for which, in the meeting of 21 August 1848, the municipal administration decided to remedy, establishing the places in the various squares of the country and making groupings according to the commodity nature of the products. in  sale. Piazza S. Francesco for wheat, maize and legumes; piazza della Rocca for fresh and dried chestnuts and terracotta pots from abroad; shoes and hats in the most spacious points of the districts of Castel Nuovo (from Piaggiola to Piazza Marconi) and of Boccaiolo; vegetables, fruit, hemp, rope and ballottari stalls (roasted chestnuts sellers) in the clock square along the block, leaving the provincial road line free; the fresh and dry grass for the cattle in the square in front of the Giovannoni house (it was placed at the end of the descent that leads to Piazza S. Francesco; there is still a small part of it, but before the electric line railway it was larger) without stand in the way. Sea and lake fish in the old public slaughterhouse (at the beginning of the bridge over the Tiber and the bridge over the Reggia, to go to S. Francesco). The chickens and the eggs, as well as the haberdashery stalls in the usual places without innovation (internal road of the country).

The ice, always sold during the century, was used in public places, but also in hospitals. Since there are still no refrigerators for its production (in Umbertide the first machine of this type arrives at the beginning of the 1900s), in winter they pressed the snow that fell into holes in the ground usually in the mountains. The ice was then brought to the village by carts, packed in small irregular blocks. In 1878 a vendor from Città di Castello offered to sell ice to Umbertide. There was no railroad yet, so he would have to travel all night to get there on time. He asked the municipality for a fee, but this was denied him.


- Renato Codovini - "History of Umbertide - Vol. VII - Sec. XIX". Unpublished typescript.

- Calendar of Umbertide 2000 - Ed. Municipality of Umbertide - 2000.

Texts by Adriano Bottaccioli, Walter Rondoni, Amedeo Massetti and Fabio Mariotti.

Foto 5.jpg
Foto 8.jpg
Oxen on a farm (Photo Giulioni Alfiero)
Heading 6
At work on tobacco (Photo Beppe Cecchetti)
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Agricultural workers with a spade (Photo Archive of the Municipality of Umbertide) 
1894. Brand of the furnace located in the Santa Maria area
(From the book "Umbertide in the images. From '500 to the present day -
edited by Bruno Porrozzi).
Aerial photo of the area where the Lido Tevere park is today.  Until 1820 the cattle market was held in this area before it was moved under the Rocca
1872. Genesio Perugini. Project of the new covered cereal market in Piazza San Francesco
(From the book "Umbertide in the images - from the 16th century to the present day" - edited by Bruno Porrozzi) 
Le attività economiche e produttive



The population

At the beginning of the century Fratta was a small town which, between the central nucleus and the lower and upper villages, had about nine hundred inhabitants, divided into the parishes of S. Erasmo and S. Croce united (i.e. the two external villages) and that of S. Giovanni Battista, who was the Curator of the castle within the circle of the walls. At the turn of the century almost all people have a surname; probably only two or three out of a hundred did not and were called, as was the custom, with a nickname that usually referred to the patronymic, the place of origin, physical defects, qualities.

Among the surnames that turn the seventeenth century and enter the 1800s we find Anticoli, Agostini, Bruni, Burelli, Bertanzi, Brischi, Ciceroni, Caneschi, Caracchini, Ciangottini, Cambiotti, Dell'Uomo, Franzi, Fornaci, Gigli, Igi, Manzini, Majoli , Mazzaforti, Martinelli, Mancini, Moriconi, Magnanini, Mavarelli, Mulinari, Magi Spinetti, Natali, Paolucci, Passalboni, Pucci, Perugini, Pasquali, Reggiani, Santini, Savelli, Scarpini, Scagnetti, Vespucci, Wagner.

In the following decades it will go from nine hundred inhabitants to 1,100 / 1,200: these increases do not depend on a constant progression, but on random movements or on erroneous assessments linked to taxation or expense allocations. These are cases in which it sometimes happened that certain families of the center were not considered in the count, while families from the countryside could be included.

In 1811 we find nine hundred inhabitants; in 1812 the Maire Magnanini says "about 1,000 inhabitants" and after a few days corrects to 790. In 1814 993 are registered, divided into 196 nuclei, with an average of five people per family. In 1833 we have a first "state of souls", a statistical survey wanted by the bishop, made by the parish priests house by house and therefore quite reliable. From this we learn that the inhabitants of the town are 825 gathered in 205 families, with an average of 4 people per family. Of these, 140 belong to the parish of S. Erasmo and S. Croce united and 65 families to that of S. Giovanni Battista. Another statistic relates to the confirmations that took place every three or four years, usually in the Collegiate Church. In the year 1848 the bishop of Gubbio, Msgr. Giuseppe dei conti Pecci, is to confirm 105 boys, 53 boys and 52 girls. Ten years later, in 1858, there will be 60 males and 62 females, the largest number of confirmations found in the middle of the century. As for the population, we must distinguish between the actual municipality and the augmented one of the appodiati. Finding the number of inhabitants is a bit complex. In fact, in the first years of the century we do not have Civitella Ranieri which belonged to Gubbio; then there is an exchange of villas (hamlets) with Città di Castello. In 1812, in the first months, we did not have Preggio, the subject of an exchange with Perugia, so these data refer to areas of our municipality that were different at various times and therefore impossible to compare. The data, however, tell us that in 1810 the municipality had 8,720 inhabitants; in 1812 there were 7,277 inhabitants in February, 8,630 in May and 7,480 in July. In 1818, 4,000 inhabitants were reported for the municipality and 9,000 for the Appodiati Preggio and Poggio Manente, thus bringing the total to 6,000 units. In the year 1833 we also have seventy farm units, in the two floors, above and below, while in the "state of souls" of 1860 we find that the farm units have risen to 95.

Thus we arrive at the year 1860, when the period of the restoration ends and Fratta falls under the Piedmontese jurisdiction. It now has 1,300 inhabitants. Then there are the universities appodiate (hamlets), Preggio, Civitella Ranieri and Poggio Manente (the latter also included the villa of Pierantonio), where another 2,900 people lived, divided into 15 parishes. The total area of the municipality is 19,070 hectares, with a density of about one person for every two hectares. Of this population, the largest (eighty percent) is in the countryside, while twenty percent live in urban centers. This contrasts with the regional average which shows that the centralized population is 51 per cent, the scattered one (farmers) 49 per cent.

From subsequent censuses, a slight increase in the population is noted. From 9,400 inhabitants in 1860 to 10,170 in 1861, gradually increasing until reaching 10,838 units in 1865 (with 1,615 families), 10,983 in 1871 and 11,537 in 1896. The average population per family is, around 1870, of 6.70. The numerical difference between the sexes is opposite to today: in 1861 there were 537 more males than females and the difference gradually diminishing until 1865, when men were 402 more than women.

For the province, the 1871 census marks an increase in the population in urban centers and therefore, in parallel, a depopulation of the countryside, while in our municipality the growth in the first ten years (1861-1871) is proportionate, maintaining the ratio of one to four between town and countryside. As a consequence, the land / inhabitants ratio has now dropped, for Umbertide, to 1.73 hectares per inhabitant. It corresponds to an average of 57 inhabitants per square kilometer, slightly higher than the corresponding density of the region, which is 55 inhabitants, but lower than the density of the kingdom, 84 inhabitants per square kilometer. Further figures tell us that, in 1878, the inhabitants of the village alone were 2,396; in 1880, 2,500; in 1898 the whole municipality had 13,683 inhabitants.

Since the peasants followed the tendency to leave the countryside, the country perhaps had little to offer due to a rather poor economy. Hence agriculture as the main activity, crafts and the tertiary sector of the country as secondary occupations.


At the beginning of the 1800s, Dr. Domenico Reggiani but, at the end of June, gives up because the municipality pays him with the "assigned" (it was a paper money issued by the French government since 1790, a kind of treasury bill, with a face value of one thousand francs, at the rate of five percent), while he would like to be paid in "singer" money. For this reason, on 1 July, a public announcement was issued by the municipality to fill the vacant position. The four competitors (doctors Rossi, Carleschi, Santicchi and Bacocchi) had the same number of votes from the city council, 14 in favor and six against, so a ballot had to be held which saw Dr. Rossi. However, he did not accept and everything remained on the shoulders of Dr. Giuseppe Magnanini, physician conducted in the countryside around the town, the Piano "di Sopra" and the "di Sotto". We find it up to 1808, reconfirmed several times, for periods of two or three years.

Meanwhile, in 1801 there was talk of "bovine epizootic disease", an infectious disease that came from the Marche. In 1804 smallpox, an epidemic pathology that found a human tissue not equipped to withstand its violent attacks and an unprepared science, caused many victims, especially among the poorest.

It is a continuous succession of diseases, "the hydrophobia of dogs" until 1808, the "schiavina dei lanuti" until 1811, a chasing and overlapping of the same that gave no breath and kept the population in agitation.

In 1811 there was in Fratta, wanted by the French administration of Perugia, a free service for women in childbirth called the "Maternal Society".

In 1812 anti-smallpox vaccinations had already begun, but their introduction was hardly accepted by the population, who, mostly destitute, wanted only the "doctor of the poor" at home, whose visits were free. But he too had difficulty in imposing the new techniques. In 1815 the doctor of Fratta was still dr. Giuseppe Magnanini, helped by Dr. Sensi, but the first to get on the alert is the veterinarian Pietro Crosti, sent to make inspections in the countryside for a new suspicion of an epidemic of black animals, that is, pigs. The following year (1816) also Magnanini and Sensi are called to perform extraordinary work as there is an awakening of common diseases such as "gastric and nervous fevers, petechial typhus and others". The municipality decides to make a poster to the public advising them to wash well and keep their hands clean.

At the beginning of the spring of 1817, typhus raged throughout the province, especially in Perugia. In July there is still typhus in Fratta and only in September there will be a decrease in cases. Linked to the disease there is always another "evil" called hunger: in a year it reaps six people and probably, given the misinformation, they are not the only ones.

Another headache is caused by "dog rage". There are many strays and the municipality notifies all barbers and shoemakers to keep a wooden bowl full of clean water outside their shop, to be changed every day, to quench these beasts (perhaps they thought it was linked to the lack of water. to drink).


In 1820 Fratta's surgeon was Dr. Giuseppe Giannini, from Città di Castello. However, both he and the other doctors in Fratta were not satisfied either with the salary or with too much work; they preferred to visit the more wealthy patients and neglected the less well-off categories.

In 1823 the surgeon who was conducted wrote to the municipality that he wanted to leave because he found "a more profitable business". To make him stay the Fratta magistrates increase his salary from eighty to one hundred scudi a year. The doctor conducted will increase from 120 to 150 scudi per year.

In 1831 cholera arrived. In 1835, from Tuscany and the state of Urbino, it raged again, broke the sanitary cordon and reached Fratta where it raged until 1836. A new health commission was set up, chaired by Domenico Mavarelli, who went around the houses to check the existence of a "comfortable place" (ie the latrine) and if they had "the rinser". From a report by the town's doctors, dated 1849, it is known that the most common diseases were rheumatic and gastric; also diphtheria, diarrhea, inflammation. Cases of scarlet fever in children. Other people who worked in the health field were the pharmacists who made up the medicines sold. In 1860 the only pharmacy belonged to Domenico Mavarelli, landowner and owner of the palace formerly of the Marquis of Sorbello (town hall). The pharmacy was located in the square, in a room on the ground floor and was furnished in a very modest way. Dr. Pietro Chiocci. It will then be sold to the Congregation of Charity in the early 1900s (it will become the hospital's pharmacy). In our municipality there was also the "infamous" pharmacy of Montecorona, an old herbalist's shop wanted and managed by the Camaldolese friars. Its foundation dates back to several centuries earlier, but in the 19th century it also specialized in modern pharmacology. She was not conducted in a productive economy, as she sold at very low prices and gave free medicines to the poor. In 1872 it still existed, it was owned by the Marquis Marignoli, pharmacist Dr. Alessandro Burelli. Who obtained, on August 14, 1876, the authorization to open a fourth pharmacy in Umbertide (the third was in Preggio, opened in 1870) and that of Montecorona was left without a manager.

In 1889 the figure of the health officer was established to better control the various hygiene and health activities. The first was Dr. Augusto Agostini.

Infant mortality was very high. In 1870 357 children a year were born in our municipality, forty-two per cent died with peaks in July and August.

But the most serious and ever present disease was pellagra, which affected farmers and was caused by the lack of vitamins in the corn they ate. In 1880 there were 576 patients with various pathologies in our country. Of these, 124 were the pellagrosi (42 men and 82 women), with an incidence therefore of twenty-one percent. The municipality of Umbertide spent sixty lire a year in the hospital for the treatment of the disease. Other hygiene rules were needed after 1860 to eliminate the ancient custom of throwing dirty water and more out of the windows. The habit turns out to be hard to die and for many years there are fines, even to the many people found "to get rid of their needs in the lawn behind the Collegiate", which seemed to be their favorite place. On May 20, 1872, the new urban police and public hygiene regulations were issued. The rules on public slaughter date back to 14 December 1877; to May 1899 those on the mortuary service. The art. 61 of the seventh chapter explains to us that the "vespillone" receives the wages from the non-poor families of the deceased and has these obligations: to wash and dress and arrange the corpses in the houses; transport the corpses from the morgue to the burial site with the help of the burrower.

In the first decades of the 19th century there was still the custom of transporting corpses from the house to the church where they were buried on a "bier", something between the bed and the stretcher, made of wood, fringed in black, brought to shoulders. The dead man was wrapped in a sheet and the funeral blanket spread over it all: in short, an "open air" funeral.

Smallpox vaccinations  
















From 1861 onwards, vaccinations against smallpox were done every year and were mandatory both in Umbertide and in the appodiated territories (1). However, it was only a formal obligation that families did not respect due to a leathery mistrust of everything that science suggested which, in the fight against the prejudices of ignorance, ended up having the worst. Furthermore, the vaccine (the "pus") sent from Perugia was scarce and in those few cases in which the doctors were able to be persuasive, its lack did not allow to cover the needs. At that time it was not the children who were taken to the doctor, but it was the doctor who went from house to house to carry out the task of vaccinations. This system offered more guarantees from the point of view of a possible persuasion of families, but created a considerable waste of time and energy, given the conditions of the means of transport of the time.

The biggest battle against smallpox, after the search for the vaccine, was therefore that against prejudice, at least in our countryside. In this regard, a short letter that the Banchetti doctor, Francesco Pieroni, wrote to the doctor Casali in the early months of 1863 is eloquent: “… the number of vaccinated people is zero. No matter how much care I have made to bring their children to me to be vaccinated, no one has responded to my care. They are waiting for smallpox to come, rather than being vaccinated ”.












Not everywhere the same things happened. In Preggio in 1864, the doctor Tommaso Paci reported having vaccinated only sixteen subjects and no more for lack of the “Pus Vaccino”. In the center of Umbertide, the following year, there were only twenty-five vaccinations and it is difficult to establish whether such a small number depended on people's distrust or the insufficiency of the vaccine.

In 1874 there was a major resurgence of smallpox which affected 54 people in Umbertide alone and 13 of them died. In the following year the epidemic became even more raging and in the first half of the year the sick were 40 with 5 deaths. The strangest thing is that in the same period the provincial health authorities announced the definitive disappearance of the disease which instead continued to claim victims even in the second half of the year.
















Smallpox continued to scare the population and since 1876 vaccinations were done twice a year, in spring and autumn. Not only that, but through official notices which consisted in the announcement made by the parish priests in their churches, people were made to flock to special rooms, saving the doctors the trouble of going house to house. In Umbertide an environment on the ground floor of the former Convent of San Francesco was used, while in the appodiated territories (1) makeshift haunts were used, such as at the Mita where people gathered at the tavern.



(1) Fraction of the municipal territory (belonging to a village) governed by a local prior, or by a mayor, who enjoyed some small autonomies.



"Umbertide in the XIX century" by Renato Codovini and Roberto Sciurpa - Municipality of Umbertide - December 2001



The postal service and transport

In the early years of the century Fratta had neither a post office nor an autonomous mail service for Perugia. In 1814, after the restoration, we know that he used the postman of Città di Castello because the latter, to go to Perugia, was necessarily passing through and therefore collected both the post and any other packages and parcels that Fratta sent to that city. In the council meeting of 22 December 1814, the 1st pontifical provisional administration of the community of Fratta, considering that the time of the passage of the postman of Città di Castello was not convenient for the population, it determined that from 1 January 1815 the eighteen annual scudi paid for the service sent to the postman elected by the community of Montone on a monthly basis. Which would have passed at a more suitable time, bringing the "bolzetta" of letters to Perugia. Nicola Castori was appointed. Now Fratta had a post office: the director (and also the only employee) was Vincenzo Scarpini. The latter, called "letter distributor" or "letter dealer", was the owner and manager of a spice shop located in via Diritta (via Cibo).























In the back of the shop he kept correspondence from and to. In 1816 Scarpini was confirmed in his post as a distributor of letters for another two years, with a salary of twelve scudi a year paid every month. In 1820 the post office in Fratta was considered second class and the municipality asked the government of Rome to pass first, citing various reasons. That Fratta was the capital of the government with 10,500 inhabitants; it includes several appodiati castles (hamlets); the capital alone has 6,500 inhabitants (considering the peasants of the Piano di Sopra and Piano di Sotto); trade flourishes there, there are livestock fairs throughout the year, weekly markets; it has shops of various kinds, factories and two silk spinning mills; it has a school of public education with five teachers. However, the request was answered in the negative on 23 August 1820. In this year we know that the post office is always in the back of Scarpini's shop, but the appodiate also come to post and collect the correspondence. The community of Pietralunga does the same. The letters were put in a special hole, outside the door of the shop, and went to fall into a closed box. They were then sorted in the back, which had a wooden gate on the door leading to the shop so that "no disturbances or irregularities can happen". The postman, or “procaccia” was always Nicola Castori (from Montone) and he went to Perugia twice a week. Since there were no stamps yet, the person who received the letters paid for the service. In 1822 the postman Castori was confirmed for another two years, but on the occasion the governor judged it improper that Fratta "has his postman separated from that of the Municipality of Montone and not a single individual serving both municipalities". letter distributor, Vincenzo Scarpini, finds himself in economic difficulties and therefore the municipality, which had never paid him anything for the rent of the room where he kept his correspondence, decides to give him a shield a year for the future rent and also 22 scudi of arrears. In 1824 the postman Castori asked for an increase because "he was obliged to go to Perugia twice a week, but from 1 April to this part, awaiting the new organization of the post, he was forced to stay a day off more in Perugia; by producing this retention a greater expense to the same, he begs for a suitable increase ... "Thus an increase of six scudi a year was approved.

In December 1824 the distributor of letters Vincenzo Scarpini died and in the meeting of 4 January 1825 Procolo Reggiani was called to replace him, while the postman Castori was reconfirmed. But Reggiani after a few days refused this appointment and on 25 February Costantino Magi Spinetti was elected distributor of letters. The latter promises "to exercise with all the fidelity and accuracy that is required and in particular to be responsible not so much for the amount of letters and envelopes that are sent from the Directorate of Perugia, as for any sum that is entrusted to him to be franked; to the observance of all the laws and instructions that have been issued ...... And for the sake of the above, Mr. Francesco, son of the deceased Mr. Bonaventura Magi Spinetti, his parent, has access as his guarantor ... " . From Costantino Magi Spinetti is a letter from 1829 in which he asks for a salary increase. The news comes from the report of the council meeting of February 22, 1829, which speaks of a certain difficulty in the mail service as "with the increase in the population of the country, with the growth of the territory ... the tasks and hardships ..  He therefore asks that the annual salary he receives should also increase in proportion, bringing it from scudi 12 to 18 per year ... ".

Towards 1850 the passenger and freight service in the papal state was contracted out by Mr. Liborio Marignoli, "enterprising" of long-range races departing from Rome. The lines he managed were the Rome-Naples, Rome-Florence and Rome-Ferrara (via Terni, Spoleto, Foligno, Ancona, Rimini, Bologna). As for the small routes, however, each city or large town had its own diligence services which, with subsequent changes, could convey passengers and goods to the large communication lines managed by Marignoli. Which ceased its activity in 1865, when we find him marquis in the Montecorona estate he bought with the savings of that activity. The stagecoaches were known about the departure, not the arrival, since this was entrusted to providence.


- Renato Codovini - "History of Umbertide - Vol. VII - Sec. XIX". Unpublished typescript.

- Calendar of Umbertide 2000 - Ed. Municipality of Umbertide - 2000.

Texts by Adriano Bottaccioli, Walter Rondoni, Amedeo Massetti and Fabio Mariotti.

mappa umbertide - 1883.JPG
Drawing by G. Rossi. Fratta in the mid 19th century
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One of the first images of the Umbertide hospital. Construction work began in 1858
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Via Diritta (Food) at the end of the 19th century
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Horse-drawn coach (Photo Beppe Cecchetti)
Popolazione, sanità e servizio postale




Public education

At the beginning of the century they existed in Fratta la

- School of reading, writing, numerical and grammar principles;

- Lower class, unique (not better specified);

- School of lower grammar and scientific concepts

- School of higher grammar or humanity, eloquence and rhetoric;

- School of philosophy and morals, school of theology.

The boys who attended them in the early Sixties were very few (35/40) and the females were completely excluded. The "School of reading, writing, numerics and principles of grammar" most likely corresponded to elementary school. Two teachers, one lay and one ecclesiastical. The total number of students, in the early years of the century, was 18, 20 boys. It was accessed at the age of six. One of the two masters, in 1802, is Don Giovanni De Michelis. The school took place in a single room (it was a multi-class) of the town hall in Borgo di Castelnuovo (now via Cavour). The meager salary of the master was, in 1809, at the beginning of the French domination, of one hundred francs a year. From 1810 it was raised to twenty-five francs a month.

Another similar school was in Preggio, in 1808: the teacher received eighty francs a year, but he was also given three rubbie of wheat, 14 barrels of wine and 60 pounds of oil. The "School of Lower Grammar and Scientific Notions" also had arithmetic and, in the second class, rhetoric as a subject of instruction. Two clergymen taught there. In 1814 Bonaventura Spinetti, Massimiliano Paolucci, Domenico Martinelli, Pietro Spinetti, Ferdinando Martinelli attended the first class. The "school of higher grammar or humanity, rhetoric and eloquence" also had geometry, history and geography as subjects of instruction. It is known from December 4, 1800, when Don Pietro Testi was confirmed as a teacher. The "School of Philosophy and Morals and School of Theology" was called "superior" and was attended by barely two or three pupils. While the elementary and grammar schools were located in a room in the town hall, there was no classroom available for this school and the teachers were forced to take lessons in their own homes.

In 1812 the French administration introduced the Colleges of Public Education in all the municipalities. But the premises for the headquarters were not found in Fratta.

Every morning the pupils had to gather for mass. On Saturday afternoon, in the lower schools there was "The exercise of the doctrine" after which everyone gathered in the church to recite the litanies of Mary Most Holy. Four times a year "it will be the care of the masters that their pupils make confession and communion". The exams were public, but they were not used - as is the case today - to verify the student's preparation. Some children were questioned in only one subject and others, always of the same class, in another. A common element of this diversification: all passed the test in the best way and were also rewarded.

In 1826 the school of philosophy and morals was inactive due to the lack of students. The boys take a stand because the friar who teaches you philosophy still has the habit of dictating his writings and these boys consider it an ancient and "Asian style" system. The protest of Fratisan students is a real strike, at a time when the meaning of the word was not yet known. In fact there is a motive and it involves everyone, there is the publicity of the motive as it makes everyone know that one does not go to school for that reason and there is (not negligible for the time) the acceptance of a possible severe reproach of the ecclesiastical authority who presided over the teaching. On June 15, 1830, a school for poor girls was established. Teachers are the sisters Sestilia and Marina Savelli. In December 1860 the elementary school was established in Montecastelli (seven, eight pupils); in 1861 he resumed teaching in Preggio which had had elementary school since the early years of the century (16 pupils). In 1868 this fraction will also have an elementary school for girls. In 1862 Pierantonio elementary schools opened, attended annually by 15 boys.

After the unification of Italy, the elementary schools were in the town hall; the gymnasium was best placed in another room owned by the municipality and benefited from only one room. Then there were the private primary schools, nine in 1870, held by teachers even without a diploma but quite well prepared, who did school at their home.

In 1865 the primary school was attended by about seventy children, but it was still a low number (the parents preferred to send their children to work). It was therefore thought to establish an evening school, which was part of the various efforts made by the government to combat illiteracy, but did not have the expected results. There had been 85 registrations, just 35 frequencies. The number of elementary school children grew as the years passed. In 1880 there were 100 boys and 110 girls, while the night school was reduced to 25 units and the following year it was suppressed.

The country schools, all mixed, were in Banchetti. Gulets, Montacuto, Montecastelli, Montecorona, Niccone. Spedalicchio, Pierantonio and Preggio. In addition to elementary school there was also a gymnasium in Fratta, whose origins date back to the end of the 1700s. It was divided into three classes; ecclesiastics appointed by the bishop taught there but after 1860 it had alternate life as a result of the new type of education pursued by the government. In 1880 an agricultural school was established, divided into two years of teaching. It lasted until 1885.

So in 1880 we have, apart from the secondary school, a complementary school that has only 15 students in total and an agricultural school that no longer had any. They tried to unify them without success due to the disagreements in the city council.

In November 1884 a commission was appointed to study the situation of public education in Umbertide, formed by Antonio Gnoni, mayor of Città di Castello, ing. Cesare Mavarelli, Eng. Giuseppe Natali and Giunio Guardabassi. The commission made a report in the spring of 1885, delivered to the mayor. Subsidies to deserving children , the restoration of the gymnasium ("it does not bear real and practical fruit"), the complementary to elementary school ("the years ... that are spent in this school are perfectly lost") were excluded. The praise of the technical schools was then made and their establishment recommended starting with the first two years.

The municipal council, in the session of 7 August 1885. approved the opening of the technical school "Giuseppe Mazzini` which, however, was abolished in 1892 by decree, without motivation, of the government commissioner who in that year was acting as mayor. In 1893 a school of "Arts and Crafts" was inaugurated, specializing in the trades of cabinetmaker, carpenter, stonemason, bricklayer, blacksmith, potter, suppressed in 1897 and replaced with the "Francesco Mavarelli Complementary School" (later Startup).



Associations and institutions


It is the oldest of the charitable institutions, dating back to the 18th century. At the beginning of the 19th century it carried out its function as "Monte Frumentario" and is owned by the Confraternity of San Bernardino. At the beginning of the century it is located in the central square of the town, called "piazza del fiore" because its purpose is to store the grain of the brotherhood and that purchased in times of cash availability, and then resell it in times of greatest scarcity. In 1820, the "Monte Frumentario" changed headquarters and moved to three rooms in the town hall in via di Castel Nuovo (now via Grilli). 1824 is an important year for this institution which partially changed its nature, transforming the grains of capital into cash. It became "Monte dei Pegni" (or Monte di Pietà) or "Monte Pecuniario" to give money to applicants on a "pledge" of greater value, with the obligation to return it or re-affirm it within the year, paying the interest of five per one hundred. In 1865 the Monte di Pietà is still operating, it has its own cash fund, available on loan, of L. 4,315.88 and a total capital of approximately L. 6,000. In this year five hundred citizens of Umbertide benefited from the Monte di Pietà.


The Congregation of Charity

In 1838 the charitable congregation was established in Fratta, wanted by the bishop of Gubbio, to raise funds to build the new hospital and to help the poorest in cases of absolute need. In 1861 it was absorbed into the new "Congregation of Charity".

From 1883 she received an annual subsidy from the municipality of Umbertide of four hundred lire, which made it easier for her to carry out charitable works such as intervening in the costs of burying the poor in the country and, in the coldest winters, distributing them food. From 1896 the municipality gave it the property of the former convent of S. Maria.






The Mutual Aid Society

It was established in early December 1860. It aimed to defend the interests of the workers of the country, that is, the artisans and workers, and to buy low-cost foodstuffs. But the action of the association was also aimed at the problems of the less well-off classes, such as, for example, bearing the costs of the sick poor. The municipality, in 1863, decided to give her an annual grant of 25 lire for ten years. Mutuo Soccorso was also inserted in the life of the town with dance parties, musical performances and promoting the feast of 8 September to which it gave its contribution to a large extent. It was his initiative for a race of bicycles (those with the large front wheel and small rear wheel) and bicycles organized in 1889 to celebrate the 29th anniversary of the foundation.

In 1896 he managed to create a consumer cooperative with a resale to the public of foodstuffs, including a butcher's shop.




















The Savings Bank

In 1862 another private association was created, with certainly productivist but also indirectly social intentions, the Cassa dei Risparmi, which brought benefits for the local crafts and trade that were in those years looking for their own active position in the new economic context. . The promoting committee included Dr. Giuseppe Bertanzi, Dr. Mauro Mavarelli, Dr. Paolo Bertanzi and dr. Annibale Burelli. On 1 June 1862 there was a meeting of the shareholders for the inauguration of the Bank, invited by the promoter Dr. Giuseppe Savelli. There were 89 shareholders, each of whom had bought a share; the municipality had five. The presidents were Dr. Paolo Bertanzi and dr. Mauro Mavarelli; cashier, Santini; secretary, Burelli.

In July 1885 it ceased its activity. He took it back as a Banca Popolare Cooperativa. In the summer of 1892 the activity ceased. We find it alive as a Banca di Umbertide, with a share capital of L. 60,000 and it still existed in 1905.


The Society of Masons

It was known in 1888 when, on June 16, he asked the mayor to rent a property in the former convent of S. Maria, specifying that it was the "fund where the municipality keeps dogs caught". It was therefore a real work cooperative among the bricklayers of the town, who came together to be able more easily to undertake work of great commitment that otherwise they would not have been able to carry out if isolated. It was probably the first cooperative of its kind in Umbertide. It broke up in 1898.


The Society of Veterans from the Homeland Battles

Traces of it are traced back to April 1883. It was administered by a board of directors and aimed to "tighten the harmony between the veterans and to unite and consolidate their forces for the benefit of the homeland so that it may be free, independent and united". In January 1884 he took the initiative to place a plaque to honor the memory of Giuseppe Garibaldi. He opens a subscription among the citizens and asks the municipality for financial help. However. due to internal disagreements, the Company decides to proceed with its own means and the plaque will be affixed in the atrium of the town hall on 1 June 1884.


The Mazzini Club

In the second half of the last century there was a great flourishing of political ideas which then resulted in the constitution of the various parties. After 1860 we find a "Circolo Mazzini" born for cultural purposes, but certainly with obvious political implications. In July 1877 he asked the Municipality for the council chamber for a meeting of the members, but the answer was negative. In 1899 the municipal guards office warned the mayor with a letter dated May 1st that "this night, by an unknown hand, the following sentences were written on the walls of this municipal building and in various points of Via Cibo," Viva il 1 ° May, down with the exploiters, down with the Public Security Delegate, long live the Workers ". The writings had been done with black perfume and water. Which was immediately washed by the municipal toilet brushes ».


The Rowing Club

Practice rowing on the Tiber. The means, however, was not the canoe but a simple, large boat with several oars, single or double. We have news of this in 1890, the year in which he asked the mayor for more space to be able to carry out the activity since the assigned stretch of about one hundred meters upstream of the bridge was decidedly insufficient. The Company therefore asks to be able to use the section from "Salce" to "Corbatto". The municipality refuses the concession because that piece was intended for "wetting women", so it could not be used by rowers "for reasons of decency".

In 1893, the Company asked the mayor for the council chamber for a meeting, having to receive Tuoro's colleagues and compete together. The activity of this association lasted until about 1915 and probably ceased with the war.



Shooting clubs had a great development in the last century. The date of its constitution is not known, but it was probably following the great activity carried out by the sister company in Perugia. The need to shoot at the target forced the municipality to build a small polygon equipped with everything needed. It was located along the current Via Roma, halfway to the Pineta Ranieri, in the place and in the direction of today's Via Pachino. The Umbertide section also took part in regional competitions, usually in Perugia where in 1899 (September) the fifth national competition took place, in which, however, the Umbertide company did not participate as it had recently been dissolved.



Music, theater and free time

At the beginning of the 19th century the brotherhoods and the various congregations had a church as the seat of their activity. A chaplain, paid by them, celebrated the religious offices and taught music to some boys. Simple melodies accompanied the Frattigiani in the early years of the century. The strong personality of the great singer from Fratta, Domenico Bruni, changed a little the limited musical expressions of our people. In his country he performed applauded performances, he often found himself singing in church on major religious holidays, teaching music and singing to young people.

At the beginning of the century the theater was on the first floor of the old town hall in piazza della Rocca. It was managed by an "Accademia dei Signori Riuniti", of which the municipality was a partner, which exhibited companies from outside. On the bill works of little artistic value, but understandable to an audience like that of Fratta. In addition to comedies, there were usually "farces", represented by young students from the village; the performances of jugglers from neighboring states; the game of bingo, practiced almost everywhere. Often some representations were denied by the ecclesiastical authority of Perugia. Others, for greater safety, were attended by four surveillance "militiamen". In 1802 there was a company of amateurs in Fratta, of which Giovan Battista Spinetti and Alessio Magnanini were animators.

Various festivals took place in the village, linked to the Napoleonic celebrations at the beginning of the century. On October 4, 1809, the victory of Moscow was celebrated. Four days annually in which, during religious services, "sung in music" were performed, with the participation of orchestra professors from nearby cities. Then there was the procession, with the distribution of bread to the poor, lighting the town hall and the town houses with candles. In the evening, then, always fireworks, also called "rays", and some performances in the theater attended by the Maire (mayor). A peculiarity of these festivals was the giving to the poor "poultry as a cuccagna", a term that we meet for the first time in 1809 and makes us think of the game that has come down to us as a "greasy tree".

In 1811, for the birth of Napoleon's son, a "carousel" was made using "two geese" and sand: probably the game of the "three jugs" which saw hanging three jars with water, sand and other things, which did not exclude. geese. A big party also took place on the occasion of the pope's return to Rome (May 29, 1814).

Other sources of entertainment were the numerous village festivals and for the boys the game of ball, made of rubber and inflated with air. The first news dates back to 1819 and concerns the problems, the damages, the noises caused by the lack of a place to host it. The municipality will choose piazza San Francesco.

Another pastime is that of the "tumbling", in need of a special road. The prior, in 1831, indicated for this game, "as for that of cheese", the road "called S. Maria", from the point called "le Fornaci" to the "Rio river". The great centenary party, held in 1844, coinciding with the 8th of September, is noteworthy. We wanted to recall the days in which the war "of the Grand Duke" made itself felt, also fought in our country in the autumn of 1644 between the army of Urban VIII (in the reign of which Fratta was included) and the coalition of the Grand Duke of Tuscany. Most of the expenses were borne by the brotherhoods and from 1 January deputies were formed with the task of raising funds. Invitations were printed to the owners to illuminate their houses with torches and on 6 September there was the raising of the flying balloon and a horse race in the straight section of the road to Città di Castello, immediately after the Tiber bridge. Wooden fences had to be built on the sides of the road to contain the crowds. On the other days there were fireworks bought in Città di Castello; they were a thousand "mortars", fired by the only expert Frattigiano, Pietro Barafano. The town was illuminated by Antonio Carotini, the street lights and the wind torches at the gates were left on for the whole night. There were many religious services and, for the first time, a service of the musical band. Musicians also came from S. Angelo in Vado, Città di Castello, Gubbio, Perugia and Foligno (they went to get them and brought them back in the carriage). Such manifestations were never repeated. The marching band was an entirely citizen ensemble. In 1849, a specification regulated the teacher's tasks, including the school of music for children "in order to take the youth out of idleness, the primary cause of every vice and to soften their soul". In 1852 the band was a non-religious but eminently civilized musical group.

In 1871 a violin school was established, presided over and taught by the Umbertidese Francesco Agnolucci. He received a salary of ninety lire a month from the municipality.

There were many feasts, linked to the calendar of religious celebrations. In February, S. Brigida, Candelora, Carnival; in May, S. Croce, Rogazioni (three days), S. Bernardino; in June, Trinity, Pentecost, S. Erasmus (two days); in July, S. Bonaventura; in August, Assumption; in September, Madonna (three days), S. Croce di Settembre, S. Tommaso da Villanova; in November, presentation of Mary; in December, Madonna and Christmas. The cost weighed on the brotherhoods that supplied the necessary starting from the wheat for the sweets which, a few days earlier, was brought to the mill. Once the flour was obtained, it was immediately thought of its transformation into loaves, to be distributed at the party, but they also made sweets, simple and appreciated: "ciaramicole", "tarantelle" of small format because each one had to be given one. They also made "pancasciati" (perhaps caciati bread?) And cheese cakes using quintals of flour and hundreds of eggs. The authorities (prior, public security delegate, etc.) enjoyed special treatment and had a separate table where they enjoyed sweets, but also chocolates and flasks of wine.

In the evening there was always the shooting of the "mortars" and lighting of pinwheels.

The main feast was that of 8 September, considered to thank the Madonna for the narrow escape from the war of 1644, when the sudden flood of the Tiber managed to stop the Tuscan army.

There are many festivals in the countryside. Most went there on foot, some in two-wheeled carriages, others in large four-wheeled buggies pulled by a single horse, called "gardener". They had a tarp to protect from the sun and fringed arched sides. There was also a game of "hard-boiled eggs" or pigeon shooting or the "goose carousel".

In the second half of the century the lyric spread. In 1871 the most demanding opera ever staged in Umbertide was staged: Verdi's "La Traviata".

In 1878 a great singing personality emerges in Umbertide, the baritone Giulio Santini. In 1872 we have the first news about his artistic career: on 10 January he was hired in Fermo as the "first absolute baritone" and he was supposed to sing in all the carnival shows. In 1874 we find him in Borgo Sansepolcro: Francesco Panari and his companions, contractor of that theater, had signed the contract with the company. On December 3 he was called by the Teatro Nuovo in Florence, where he sang important musical works also in the Bellincioni hall. Leaving Florence, Santini went to Siena as the first baritone. In February 1879 he sang "Luisa Miller" by Giuseppe Verdi in Città di Castello, receiving a parchment of gratitude.


- Renato Codovini - "History of Umbertide - Vol. VII - Sec. XIX". Unpublished typescript.

- Calendar of Umbertide 2000 - Ed. Municipality of Umbertide - 2000.

Texts by Adriano Bottaccioli, Walter Rondoni, Amedeo Massetti and Fabio Mariotti.

The "Regina Elena" kindergarten will be built in this space in 1905 and the elementary schools in 1914
(Historical photographic archive of the Municipality of Umbertide)
The cover and the first page of the Statute of 1893
Certificate of admission and diploma issued by
Mutual Aid Society "G. Garibaldi"
Image taken from the "Umbertide 2000 Calendar"
Il ruzzolone 2.jpg
Tumbling competition at the Abbey of Montecorona (Pacifici family photo)
Image taken from the "Umbertide 2000 Calendar"


The ball game
























The first news about this game dates back to 1819, but in the following years it was often talked about due to the inconveniences it caused.

The game of ball required an available field to be played and at that time the only spaces available were the streets and squares of the town. It is easy to imagine the protests that were unleashed. The speech was also valid for the game of the ball which differed from the ball only for the weight, volume and age of those who played it, but practiced on the narrow streets of the town was equally a cause of noise and annoyance.





















When the Municipality realized that this game had become a recurring entertainment, it established that it should be practiced only in Piazza San Francesco, being the only one to offer a more adequate space. The current Piazza Matteotti in front of the Town Hall, in that period had a different structure and was much smaller, therefore completely unsuitable for playing football. The noise that ensued and the possible damage to the windows were more limited in the square of San Francesco, both for its urban conformation and for the fact that private homes and commercial activities were less numerous. To get an idea of what could have happened, we report a letter dated July 15, 1819 sent by the Gonfaloniere acting to the Commissioner of Public Safety:


“I am in duty bound to make the V S. understand a fact with which I find my convenience and the representation of public authority infringed. Yesterday, towards the setting of the sun, I was watching the football match under the house of Mr. Santini in the company of various honest people. At this juncture I found myself present when Mr. Giuseppe Santini returned a ball that had entered his house, and I later heard the complaints made by the aforementioned Mr. Santini because such a ball was not wanted to be received, on the pretext of having been punched by him. . Knowing that the Gonfaloniere in charge of the police is absent, and in this case the police being entrusted to me also by virtue of the dispatch of the Apostolic Delegation dated 5 February 1819 n. 543, I took it upon myself to verify the fact, so that some inconvenience did not arise and taking the refused ball in hand, I carefully observed it if it had been in any way spoiled. To better examine it and get to know it, I took it to myself to the inflator and had it filled with air according to the art, I found that the balloon was intact and that it did not vent in any part. In the act that I was doing this operation in the hallway of Signor Cristiani's house, the cleaner Nicolò Fanfani entered and scolded the inflator Francesco Mazzanti for having received the ball. I then let him know that the balloon had been taken by me and I had ordered that it inflated to verify the truth of what he wanted to put on Mr. Santini and from the tone with which I spoke, I made it known that I was operating invested with that authority constituted by the law and by the Apostolic Delegation. Fanfani rashly answered me in these precise terms: "Who are you? You give me a mustache of C." I then, not wanting to alter with such a vile Person, considered myself the ball to present it to you, reserving the right to notify, as I do here, the recklessness of the aforementioned Fanfani, requesting that the bold Fanfani come to honor the authority I represented at the time. subjected to that punishment you deserve. I hope that this request of mine will be taken into consideration by VS Ill. But also in order not to oblige me to make equal representation to the police direction .. .... "


Similar problems continued to happen even afterwards, as the numerous documents consulted tell us. A similar situation occurred, for example, in 1828 when the boys, to go and get the ball on the roof, went through the attics and damaged the building where the Monte di Pietà was located which was located in via di Castel Nuovo where 'were the schools and the Town Hall.

As the years went by, in fact, the number of young players increased and the game of the ball also spread. The square of San Francesco was no longer sufficient for these needs and the boys had taken the will to play in via Dritta (1) or in via di Castel Nuovo. The Municipality no longer knew how to do it and on 11 April 1839 he wrote to the Apostolic Delegation asking him "to suggest how to provide for it, not without letting them know that the square of S. Francesco, intended for the game of football, could not at the same time serve also for that of the ball ".




The solutions did not arrive and the situation worsened so much that the young football amateurs turned directly to the Governor on May 8, 1843 asking for "permission to play either in via Dritta or in via di Castel Nuovo" (1) , that is in those two streets where they played illegally every day. The Prior brought the problem to the City Council meeting on May 27 to resolve the issue and it was decided that there was no longer any reason to ban ball games in via di Castel Nuovo as the Municipality had moved for a year. in the new location (the current one) and the disturbance was irrelevant. In front of Castel Nuovo you could only play "gymnastic ball game" and not football, whose field was that of Piazza San Francesco.

There was no lack of will to respond to the needs of young people. It was only very difficult to give it, as the provisions issued by the Apostolic Delegation on 9 July 1826 strictly forbade the game of ball in the provincial roads "and in other frequented places from which damage or disturbance to the inhabitants derives" and, therefore, to Fratta only Piazza San Francesco could serve as an approved field for such a sport.

The provision of the Apostolic Delegation, issued at the provincial level, makes us understand that the game was spreading everywhere but the idea of equipping a special space in the vicinity of inhabited centers, specifically intended for this type of game, was still far from everyone's mind. .



1. The via Dritta is today's via Cibo or “Corso”; the via di Castel Nuovo is today's via Grilli, from Piaggiola to piazza Marconi.



The great celebration for the second centenary of the War of the Grand Duke of Tuscany


Among the great festivals that were celebrated in the century there was also that of 1844, the anniversary of the second centenary of the "War of the Grand Duke", which also saw the village of Fratta heavily involved and which ended in the autumn of 1644 (1) . The celebrations took place from the 5th to the 8th of September in parallel with the traditional celebrations of Fratta, which that year ended up taking on a grandiose aspect. The local Confraternities, since the beginning of the year, had been busy to raise funds from the families of the town. Printed tickets were sent to the owners of the houses to illuminate their houses for the whole period of the festival and on 6 September a flying balloon was raised to the applause and admiration of the people.























In the straight of the tifernate road, from the end of the bridge and towards the current sports field along the Tiber embankment, there was the race of the "loose horses". A large crowd was expected, as indeed it did, and a fence was built on either side of the road to contain people. Every evening, as night appeared, there was no lack of fireworks bought in Città di Castello. There were more than a thousand "mortars" and they were shot by the only expert Frattigiano, Pietro Barafano. The lights of the lanterns remained on for all three nights and the Town Hall and the town gates were illuminated with "wind torches".

There was no shortage of theatrical performances and the Fratta Musical Band made its appearance, one of the first performances of which we have documented historical news.

The religious ceremonies, very solemn, with players brought in from S. Angelo in Vado, Città di Castello, Perugia, Foligno and Gubbio, completed the setting of this majestic spectacle that was never repeated in such a grandiose form at Fratta.



1. The war had broken out in 1641 for the possession of the Duchy of Castro, a town in Lazio on the border with Tuscany, located in the valley of the Olpeta stream, seat of a duchy that became a fief of the Farnese since 1538. Thanks to the concessions of the Pope Paolo III Farnese, Castro became the most important fief of the Papal State. When Urban VIII, of the Barberini family, ascended the papal throne in 1623, the clash between the rival families of the Farnese and Barberini families ended in a real war, with the Pope occupying the duchy of Castro militarily. Odoardo Farnese, the ousted duke, found his allies in the Republic of Venice, in the Duchy of Modena, in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and in the political support of France, managing to win the "first war of Castro" which ended with the Peace of Ferrara in 1644 which sanctioned the restitution of the fief to the Farnese. It was this phase of the war that also involved the town of Fratta. Odoardo's successor, Ranuccio II, definitively lost power in 1649 following the "second Castro war" which broke out due to the killing of the Novara Barnabite Cristoforo Giorda, bishop of the city, of which Jacopo Gaufrido, prime minister of the city, was accused duke. Ranuccio II was quickly defeated and Castro was razed to the ground by order of Pope Innocent X. Its ruins are still visible today.

(The complete account of this important page of history on - section "History" - page "La Fratta del Seicento").

The old photos are from the historical photographic archive of the Municipality of Umbertide.


"Umbertide in the XIX century" by Renato Codovini and Roberto Sciurpa - Municipality of Umbertide, 2001



Mauro Ferrante


From “Umbertide nel Secolo XIX” by Renato Codovini and Roberto Sciurpa - Attachment n.8


Between the first and second half of the nineteenth century the ancient Fratta of Perugia originated and developed in Umbertide, the organ factory of the brothers Francesco and Antonio Martinelli whose works, appreciable for the quality of the materials and for the valuable invoice, represent an important testimony of that particular historical period of Italian organ-building, an expression of the synthesis between neoclassicism and romantic renewal (1).
















Born in Fratta, in the parish of San Giovanni Battista, by Gaetano carpenter and Chiara Massi respectively on 16 September 1806 and 15 May 1811, first Francesco then his younger brother learned the art in the workshop of the well-known Perugian organ builder Angelo Morettini (2), located in via del Circo 44, in the Porta Eburnea area, in Perugia. In fact, at that address Francesco appears to be resident in 1828 and it is he himself who in 1831 carried out some carpentry work on the organ erected by his master, in the month of May of that year, right in Umbertide in the church of the Confraternity of Santa Croce (3). In the project for the organ of the cathedral of Città di Castello (Pg) of 20 December 1837, Antonio will define himself literally as "organ builder of Fratta, a pupil of the famous Morettini of Perugia".

The exact time in which the Martinellis opened the Fratta shop is not known but, considering that Francesco was godfather of Vittoria, second daughter of Morettini born in December 1832, and that the first work of the Umbertide factory dates back to 1834, the separation from the master must have occurred around 1833 and, certainly, not without provoking the resentment of these who, in a letter of 1852 addressed to the municipality of Passignano sul Trasimeno, defined Francesco "a spoiler of Fratta, a carpenter in my shop" (4).

Francesco, who remained celibate, continued to be part of Antonio's family unit, married to the Perugian Margherita Reggiani with whom he had an only son, Massimo, born on 12 March 1846, who, after the initial apprenticeship at the paternal shop, did not continue the organ building activity which ended with the death of the two founders on a date not yet known.

Of their production, estimated perhaps altogether at around forty works spread mainly in Umbria and Marche, but also in Lazio and Tuscany, over thirty instruments are currently documented, most of which have survived, about twenty retain good original conditions and some have enjoyed historical restoration in recent years.

After the op. I of 1834, destined for the church of Santa Croce dei Cavalieri in Santo Sepolcro in Perugia and today preserved in the parish church of San Feliciano di Magione (Pg), the oldest surviving attestations of the Martinelli's activity are found in the Marche region: in the church of San Sebastiano in San Sebastiano di Mondolfo (Ps) in fact exists, in excellent conservation conditions, the op. N of 1836 while the following year is the op. VII intended for the church of the Adoration of Jesi (An) and, without the date but probably dating back to that same year, is the instrument of the church of San Filippo in Sant'Angelo in Vado (Ps) which on the strip above the keyboard has a plate with the inscription “FF. MARTINELLI / ALLA / FRATTA DI PERUGIA / OPERA VIII ".

The period of construction of the non-surviving instruments intended for unidentified churches of Castelfidardo (An), Gubbio (Pg) and Pietralunga (Pg) (5) should date back to the years 1837 and 1838, while op. XII of 1839, originally erected in the church of the Poor Clares monastery of Monte San Vito (An), it has been preserved since 1885 in the church of San Benedetto Abbot of Morro d'Alba (An).

At the church of San Francesco in Narni (Tr) there is instead, much remodeled, an instrument of 1841 built for the cathedral of San Giovenale in the same city (6). The following year the Martinellis built the - new organ - which they then carried out maintenance from 1845 to 1863 - for another important Umbrian cathedral in Città di Castello (Pg), where they also restored the small positive of the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament. (7).

Back in the Marches, in the same 1842 they erected the organ for the church of San Francesco in Mondavio (Ps), between 1842 and 1843 the one in the crypt of the church of Ss. Biagio and Romualdo in Fabriano (An) (8) and in 1844 the instrument for the cathedral of Pergola (Ps) which, on the foot of the main barrel of the façade, has the inscription engraved: “FF MARTINELLI / ALLA.FRATTA.DLPERUGIA./ OPERA XX / 1844” (9).

The organ for the Lazio cathedral of Poggio Mirteto (Ri) dates back to 1847 and the following year was the one for the church of San Michele Arcangelo in Città di Castello. In those same years the Martinellis built a large two-keyboard instrument, commissioned by the Torlonia princes, for the church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli in Rome; the same Roman nobles had it restored between 1858 and 1867 by the organ builder Enrico Priori who also added a third keyboard with the accordion register and, after a further intervention by the Paoli organ builders of Campi Bisenzio (Fi), the organ it was sold to the parish of nearby Nemi (RM) (10).





After having worked again in the Marche, where in the parish church of Sant'Egidio in Castignano (Ap) there is an instrument (perhaps coming from another building) which has a printed plate, applied to the bottom of the secret of the master wind chest, with the inscription : "FF. MARTINELLI / ORGAN MANUFACTURERS / ALLA FRATTA DI PERUGIA / 1849 ”(11), the organ builders of Umbertide completed in 1851 a second large organ, with two keyboards for the cathedral of San Rufino in Assisi (Pg) (12).

Probably the instruments that can be observed today in the church of San Nicolò in Belfiore in Foligno (Pg) and, perhaps coming from the church of S. Damiano in Assisi, the one that since 1861 is located in the parish of Casalalta di Collazzone (Pg ), while the instrument preserved in the church of San Bartolomeo in Montefalco (Pg) dates back to 1854.

The organ of the parish church of San Giovanni Battista in Sassocorvaro (Ps) dates back to 1856, where in the secretary of the master wind chest there is a printed and pen plate with the inscription: “FF. MARTINELLI / 1856 Fratta "; that of San Michele Arcangelo in Bolognola (Mc) dates back to 1858 and on the central barrel of the façade bears the inscription stamped: “BY CURATION OF D. FRANCESCO MAURIZI / I / FF. MARTINELLI / FECERO / 1858 "; between 1859 and 1860 the organ of the church of the Madonna dell'Oliveto in Passignano sul Trasimeno (Pg) was probably completed.

In the request for authorization for expatriation sent on May 4, 1862 to the municipal authority (13), Antonio, after having mentioned an instrument placed the previous year in an unidentified location in Tuscany, declares that he has to go to Lazio to erect the organ of the cathedral of Sutri (Vt) and refers to the commission to build for the next 1863 the one for the collegiate church of Montone (Pg). A last dated work, dating back to 1866, is preserved in the Collegiate Church of Mercatello sul Metauro (Ps) and two other instruments, without the date and the work number, are still found in the Marche region: in the church of San Michele Arcangelo in Sorbolongo di Sant'Ippolito (Ps) and in the church of Santa Maria in Via a Camerino (MC) (14); according to the technical characteristics, the organ kept in the church of San Giovanni Battista in Roncitelli di Senigallia (An) is also attributed to the Martinelli brothers.

In the province of Perugia there are further undated Martinellian works in the parish church of Preggio, coming from San Giovanni in Pantano and recently restored, in the church of San Giovanni Battista di Umbertide, of which only a few remains survive, in the church of Santo Spirito in Città di Castle and, of dubious attribution, in the cathedral of Città della Pieve.

The last documented attestation of the Martinellis' organ-building activity concerns only Antonio who, in a letter dated 11 November 1883, proposes the purchase of an instrument of his own manufacture to the Compagnia del Ss. Crocifisso at the church of San Rocco in Sansepolcro ( Ar) at a price of 1,100 lire, a sum which was nevertheless considered too high for the Company's finances and therefore the deal was not followed up (15). Finally, in the church of S. Angelo Minore of the Confraternity of the Artieri in Cagli (Ps) there is an instrument by an unknown artist but purchased in Umbertide at the Martinelli workshop.

In their works the Umbertidese organ builders basically re-propose

unchanged, some technical and stylistic elements of the Morettinian organ whose

aesthetics assimilate radically. The affinity, if not the identity, of some

construction details is normally evident: from the single arrangement

span with cusp with wings of the façade canes, with upper lip

as a shield, to the manufacture of the keyboard, delimited by curvilinear modillions

veneered in walnut and, in some cases, decorated with brass bas-reliefs;

by the careful carpentry of the master wind-chest, always of the shooting type,

to the invoice of the tie rods of the registers, to the turned wooden knob from

characteristic elongated shape or, more rarely, interlocking throttle.

The Martinellis generally manufacture small and medium-sized instruments

on the basis of a Principal of 8 'and with a single keyboard (with the exception of the

large double instruments from Rome and Assisi, the latter also equipped with a

Principal of 16 'starting however from C,) of 50 keys covered in bone, or in

boxwood, and ebony with smooth front and extension from C, to F, with first

short octave and division between bass and sopranos "Spanish style" (ie from C, and C # 3,

as in the first instruments of Morettini). The organs of Mercatello sul Metauro e

some cathedrals of Assisi and Pergola have keyboards with the first octave

extraordinarily chromatic, respectively of 58 (from C to A5) and 54 keys

(from Do, to Fa,). The pedal board, of the lectern type with walnut frets, has

the 12-note extension (from C, to Eb ,, with first short octave) than in

larger instruments, is expanded to 17 (from C, to G # 2 with

short octave) and is usually equipped with a double bass register with reeds

of 16 'in fir wood painted red, sometimes with the Octava dei Bassi

of 8 'doubling.

The stuffing normally extends to the Vigesimanona, while in the instruments

smaller is limited to the second vigesimas and rarely, if not in the organs of

large proportions such as those of Narni, Città di Castello and Pergola, reaches

the Trigesimasesta, or includes the Twelfth practiced by their master

from Perugia.

The Morettinian apprenticeship of the Umbertide organ builders is also evident

from the composition of the concert registers: among the reeds they prefer those a

short tuba like the Lira, also called Angelic Voice, of 16 'sopranos - with tubas

conical in tin alloy, slightly tapered and with the edges closed at the top,

placed on the façade or at the bottom of the wind chest - completed in the bass by the Bassoon, or Cello, 8 'with pyramidal tubes of wood or lead alloy with flattened corners at the top which, when placed on the façade, have a red varnish glaze red lead (16). In the great Assisi instrument there is a 16 'English Horn (17) (in the sopranos, with tubas in tin alloy composed of an inverted truncated conical section surmounted by a cylindrical section closed at the top, and an 8' sopranos oboe of similar shape (the cylindrical section is shorter and more open)).

The 8 'tromboncini pipes, always arranged in front, have pyramidal tin tubas in the basses (similar to the Cello) and conical in the sopranos, while the 8' trumpet tubas, also made of tin and placed in front of the show, they are slightly flared conics at the top, like those of the trombette in octave, register of 4 'in the bass. The Fabriano instrument of 1843 presents an 8 'soprani violin with conical alloy tubas which, placed at the bottom of the wind chest in an expressive case that can be operated via a pedal, unequivocally betrays the descent, albeit indirect, of the authors of the Montecarottese school of Vici.

Finally, the pedalboard, in the larger organs, has an 8 'register of trombones with pyramidal tubes in red painted wood of real height (as in the Assisi instrument, here called Bombardone) or made up of several truncated conical sections of tin.

The following belong to the family of flutes: the original Corno dolce of 16 'sopranos (register that does not derive from the Morettinian inheritance) (18) with conical tubas of rather large cut, some partially covered at the top, placed at the bottom of the wind chest; the Flute Traversié (also called Flute Traverso or Traversiere) of 8 'sopranos with cylindrical pipes capped by an outer cap of lead trimmed with leather, the Flute in octave of 4', with the first octave derived from the Octave and with pipes capped up to Yes and the following cusps, sometimes limited to the sopranos register only and called Ottavino which in the organ of Sorbolongo di Sant'Ippolito, indicated with the French style Flasgiolé, has a particularly lively intonation thanks to the original presence in the pipes of two diametrically opposite; the 2, 2/3 'Quintet in sopranos with cusp-shaped pipes; the decimino of 1,3 / 5 'cylindrical sopranos and with measures from the Principal (19).

The presence in Martinellian instruments of the human voice is also constant, the traditional swing register of 8 'sopranos, here with increasing tuning, while the 4' Violetta is rarer in the basses with narrow diameter pipes. Finally, the Umbrian organ builders equip their works with a wide range of accessories from the traditional Tiratutti del Ripieno with crank handle and acoustic drum on pedal board (20) to the more modern Bells (or Carillon), Grand case and Third hand (21).


Mauro Ferrante , organ concert artist, organologist and composer born in 1956, is professor of composition at the “Gioacchino Rossini” Conservatory of Music in Pesaro. As Honorary Inspector of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities at the Superintendencies of Urbino and Bologna he is responsible for the study and protection of the Italian historical organs on which he has lectured and published various essays, including: The organs of Gaetano Callido in the Marche, The restoration of ancient organs in the Marche: criteria and methodology, Venetian organ builders in the Marche from the 16th to the 19th century, The organ of the convent of Beato Sante in Mombaroccio and the activity of Pietro Nacchini in the Marche, Notes on Cioccolani master organ builders by Cingoli.





1. The biographical information in this contribution is taken from the unique and fundamental essay on the art of organ building in Umbertide by Renzo GIORGETTI, Organs and organ builders in Umbertide, in “studies and documentation. Umbrian magazine of musicology ", n.13 (December 1987), pp. 5-32. By the same author see also Umbrian cathedrals and their organs, ibidem n. 19 (December 1990) pp. 3 - 38 and the Catalog of organ builders active in Umbria, in the 5th “Città di Perugia” organ festival; Perugia 1989, pp. 23 - 41. Historical information and aesthetic considerations are also contained in the essay by Paolo PERETTI The Umbrian-Marche organ-building tradition in the 18th and 19th centuries Historical and critical notes, in “Historical Bulletin of the city of Foligno”, Vol. XIII Foligno 1989 , Fulginia Academy, pp. 83 - 120

2. Angelo Morettini had in turn been a pupil of the Marches organ builder Sebastiano Vici, the most authoritative of the organ-building school of Montecarotto (Ancona).

3. This is the op. 23 by Angelo Morettini commissioned by Ruggero Burelli.

4. See Marco VALENTINI, The main organ of S. Rufino in Assisi. Description and restoration, Quaderni dell'Accademia Properziana del Subasio (5), Assisi, 1998, p. 5.

5. See R. Giorgetti, Bodies and organ builders ... op. cit. pp. 7 - 8.

6. On March 22, 1840, the contract for the organ was stipulated for the sum of 480 scudi. The document is transcribed in R. Giorgetti, Umbrian cathedrals ..., op. cit. pp. 31 - 34 which also reports the news of the addition of the Campanelli register made in 1864 by the same Martinellis.

7. The contract of the organ of 9 May 184-0 is transcribed in R. Giorgetti, Organs e organari ..., op. cit. pp. 27 - 28. The instrument was paid for 500 scudi plus the materials of the old organ.

8. A printed plate with metal frame applied to the center of the strip above the keyboard bears the inscription: "FF Martinelli / 1843" while on the foot of the main barrel of the facade is engraved: "Gregorii XVI PM / in / Romualdum / Munifica Pietate / Hoc / A FF. MARTINELLI, Fractae fuit elaboratum / AD / 1842 ".

9. Transported around 1975 to the church of the Holy Crucifix of S. Lorenzo in Campo (Ps), the instrument was dismantled in 1999 and put aside.

10.  See in this regard Alberto CAMETTI, Organs, organ builders and organists of the Senate and of the Roman People in Santa Maria in Aracoeli (1583 - 1848), in "Rivista Musicale Italiana", XXVI (1919) pp. 441 - 483 and Ferdinando DE ANGELIS, Organs and organists of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, Rome, Convent of S. Lorenzo in Panisperna, 1969.

11. The instrument was restored in 1994.

12. The contract for the organ for the sum of 620 scudi, dated June 16, 1848 is transcribed in R. Giorgetti, Organi e organari ..., op. cit., pp. 25 - 27. In 1996 the historical restoration of the instrument was completed.

13. See R. GIORGETTI, Bodies and organ builders ..., op. cit., pp. 17 - 18.

14. The authorship of both works is attested by printed labels with the inscription: “FF. MARTINELLI ". Sorbolongo's instrument presents the original material unaltered and in good conservation conditions; the one from Camerino, after a historical restoration completed in 1994, suffered minor damage following the earthquake of September 1997.

15. See R. GIORGETTI, Ancient organs in the churches of the Confraternities of Mercy in Tuscany, Florence 1994, Arti Grafiche Giorgi & Gambi, pp. 235 - 237.

16. Red saline lead oxide used for the preparation of anti-rust enamels and paints.

17. Originally also existing in the organ of Mercatello sul Metauro, later suppressed.

18. Observable in Castignano (here with the most acute pipes plugged), Mercatello sul Metauro and Passignano sul Trasimeno.

19. The same indicated by Morettini also with the curious name of Acciarini.

20. Controlled by the last key of the pedal board, the drum simultaneously activates a series of bass reeds causing a sound similar to that of the homonymous percussion instrument

21. Mechanical device that connects some keys with the analogues of the higher octave.



“Umbertide nel Secolo XIX” by Renato Codovini and Roberto Sciurpa - Municipality of Umbertide. 2001



A storm of unprecedented violence on 19 July 1800 caused the palace to overflow causing significant disasters. The first big problem occurred on its right bank, after the first bridge (such it was at that time, small, low and built in wood) that linked the market to the Collegiate. The strong current carried away the retaining wall that supported the embankment going up towards the Porta del Soccorso della Rocca, the one facing the market.




















Proceeding towards the mouth, after circumventing the base of the South East tower (after today's small iron railway bridge) the current had ripped up the wall of the left bank that sheltered the entire village of Santa Croce, and then devastated one of the supporting walls of the bridge along the road that led to San Francesco is relevant. The damage was significant and came to fall in a circumstance in which the Municipality did not even have the money to buy bread. The request for help from the Apostolic Delegate, although reluctantly knowing what kind of man Cardinal Rivarola was, was indispensable. The Priors, therefore, informed the Delegate, who promptly replied on 26 July suggesting that the Council be convened to examine what had happened and asking to be informed "... on the result, after which I will determine what will be more just and the way more suitable and cheaper for refurbishments ".
























Everything seemed to be going well and the Priors of Fratta commissioned, on 30 July, the master mason Pietro Gentili to carry out the appraisal. The technician made a detailed report on the extent of the excavation to connect the old part with the new works, to redo the arch in order to "accompany it with the other remaining portion"; estimated that 11,340 bricks would be needed to complete the work, including the reconstruction of the removed banks. The total expenditure would have been 742 scudi.

The report was sent to Perugia and, in the transmission letter to soften the hardness of Rivarola in terms of disbursements, it was recalled that Fratta paid an annual contribution for the viability. The Cardinal, faithful to his commitment to make known the cheapest system for "renovations", replied that the annual contribution was needed for normal road maintenance and since the floods of rivers are an extraordinary fact, the damage could not fall under this heading and added that "... The Perugia Treasury is so exhausted and so miserable that its situation is in the real powerlessness of making up for the expenses that would be required of this object, even if it were required to do so". The Cardinal's letter ended with the precious advice to accommodate him immediately because "... the longer you wait, the more the damage could become serious, then we'll see". But the Fratta Council did not give up and struck the chord of ideology to grace the prelate, saying that "... Fratta is poor because the inhabitants were impoverished in time of the extinct Democratic Government". The Roman Republic, therefore, had thrown the people of Fratta to the pavement. But the Cardinal was not a man with a tender heart and much less sensitive to ideological references and with a decisive and blunt attitude on August 16 he closed the question as follows:


"... If the councilors waste time in discussions, the ruins will become bigger every day, the bridge and the walls will stop falling .... The claim to immediately oblige the necessary expenses without immediately doing anything would be like that of a guest, seeing the house in flames and fire, with the inevitable danger of losing all its belongings, he wanted to wait for the owner, to whom the annual rent corresponds, to think about extinguishing the fire and in the meantime would remain indolent to look at it. Therefore, the Community of Fratta must immediately make repairs at its expense and free us from the incessant complaints that come to us every day from this land ”.


The letter left no interpretative doubts and the Municipality decided to fend for itself. Since we were on the threshold of autumn and the rainy season was looming, on 4 September the master mason Ventura Bartoccini was given the task of preparing the project and the phases of execution of the works. Everything was prepared with great care: the wall would be rebuilt by November and the bridge of San Francesco by June. The Municipality allocated the necessary sum in the budget and forwarded to Rivarola the request for the necessary authorizations for the start of the works. The Cardinal was happy, his hard line had won. He quickly granted all the required permits and the necessary faculties to find money among the clergy and the landowners, even if they lived outside the Fratta.

But the disasters never come by themselves and once the dispute over the repair of the damage caused by the flood of the Royal Palace was over, in early October, the flood of the Tiber arrived and eroded part of the road to Città di Castello. The bridge was then narrower and had only three arches; Therefore, the mass of water during flood periods was more withheld which, forcing against the embankment from the west part of the bridge, sucked up part of the road.

For the second time began the dribbling of the competences between the Municipality and Rivarola who did not want to shell out a penny for the reasons set out above. The Municipality of Fratta had to bear half of the expense and the other half the neighboring municipalities.



“Umbertide nel Secolo XIX” by Renato Codovini and Roberto Sciurpa - Municipality of Umbertide. 2001

La grande piena del torrente Reggia e del Tevere
l Capitolati dei Servizi di posta e luce
Il dominio francese a Fratta - II Parte
Il dominio francese a Fratta - I Parte


The annexation to France

The Papal State formally exercised all its powers, kept its laws and its administrative structure in force, but the control and interference of the French Authority was becoming heavier every day, not only on economic choices, but above all on those policies. The Pontifical Government had also prepared a radical electoral reform, raising the number of municipal councilors to thirty and reworking some administrative mechanisms within the town hall, but the project remained in the drawer, because the agony of papal power was now nearing its end.

The first signs of a rupture between Napoleon and the Pope occurred when the latter was forced to ask for heavy tax surcharges for the maintenance of French troops in Central Italy. Housekeeping expenses increased every day since the spring of 1807 and the tax burden not only became unbearable on taxpayers, but also triggered bitter conflicts between the first two classes for its distribution.

At Fratta there was much discussion and lacerating divisions were created on the payment of those 39 annual scudi imposed for the maintenance of the transalpine troops. In the following year (1808) there was a real fiscal strike: the landowners refused to pay and the Municipality was forced to look for another criterion for distributing the tax. This episode would suggest that the burden of the barracks was entirely borne by the first class or that it weighed heavily on this alone.

On August 4, 1808, a lively council meeting was held because the Artists, who were in the majority, firmly maintained that the tax had to be paid by the landowners. These, outnumbered by the numbers, appealed to the Governor of Perugia, with undisguised indignation, saying: "The class of artists, who form the largest number, but not the healthiest part, tumultuously opposes any just project, demanding that the burden is imposed either on the land or on the livestock, which is unjustified because it would only affect the Owners ". The Governor gave them reason and imposed the division by "testatic", excluding the class of the "poor": the landowners will pay 9.50 baiocchi each and the artists 5.50. That incident on the "indigent" makes us understand many things about the "testatic" and that is that in more than one case this type of tax also weighed on the "non-taxable" class.

By now the semblance of autonomy, which the State of the Church seemed to enjoy, was at sunset. In May (1809) Pope Pius VII was imprisoned and his state annexed directly to the French Empire.

He changed masters! Other laws came into force, another administrative structure was organized, the Priors disappeared and the Maire took office in the highest seat of the Municipality.

But even the new state of affairs was destined to have a short life because in 1814 the course of history resumed the path it had interrupted five years earlier. They tried to "restore" everything and everyone, as if nothing had happened in the meantime. They did not want to see the tenacious fire of renewal that burned under the ashes and that would slowly flare up, because the uncritical restoration is always violence to the laws of history.

Rome, Perugia and Spoleto were annexed to the French Empire on May 17, 1809. Fratta remained in the limbo of uncertainty until July 13. Meanwhile the Priors, in the council meeting of June 22, not knowing which political side to look at, headed the minutes of the meeting as follows:


“In the name of God, Amen - On the day of June 22, 1809

In the name of His Majesty the Emperor of the French, King of Italy and Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine ... "

After July 13, God was no longer named, but only Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, with what follows. The date remained.


The first measures of the French government

By now Fratta was a third class municipality of the French Empire, or rather a canton of the Trasimeno Department. Its territory expanded with the addition of the lands of Sorbello (1,615 inhabitants divided into ten parishes), Antognolla (959 inhabitants and six parishes), Solfagnano (847 inhabitants and 4 parishes), Montone (1,224 inhabitants and 4 parishes). All semblance of autonomy disappeared, which, moreover, had never existed even in the papal regime, and the appointments of the heads of the local administration were made directly by the trustees of Napoleon I.

On 13 July 1809, in fact, the Superior Commander of the Provinces of Umbria, General Miollis, arrived at Fratta to give precise and peremptory indications on the new political course and to prepare a list of reliable persons to whom to confer administrative duties.

The following documents are more telling than any comment:



In the name of His Majesty Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, King of Italy and Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine

July 13, 1809


His Excellency the Adjutant General Miollis, Superior Commander in the Provinces of Umbria and Sabina, appointed by the Extraordinary Council of the Roman States, having to organize the Municipality in this Land in accordance with the decree of that Consulta of the current 5, he personally went to this country and after having summoned the individuals of the present Provisional Magistrate and the heads of the principal families to congress, he requested a note of all those persons who might be able to support the posts of Maire, Adjunct, and the ten Municipal Councilors. Having made this note, after having taken the appropriate information, he decided on the choice of the infrascritti used, as can be seen from his dispatch, which is transcribed here.


La Fratta - July 13, 1809

The Superior Commander of the Province of Umbria and Sabina, appointed by the Extraordinary Council for the Roman States of the Organization of the Municipal Administration of the aforementioned Provinces.


To Mr. Domenico Bruni - La Fratta

According to the session of 5 July, the organization of a Maire, an Assistant and ten Municipal Councilors having been remitted to me by the Extraordinary Council, I have chosen you to take on the office of Maire; you will have as added Mr. Luigi Santini. Councilors will then be the Lords: Vincenzo Mavarelli, Giuseppe Bertanzi, Domenico Reggiani, Giuseppe Paolucci, Giambattista Magi Spinetti, Felice Molinari, Francesco Cambiotti, Angelo Gigli, Gioacchino Pucci, Luigi Passalbuoni. You will let them know their assignment: and at the same time I am going to give an account to the Extraordinary Consultation in order to have the further Orders for the installation.


                                                                         With consideration, your Miollis.




















The names that appear are always the same, in any regime, with the Pope or against the Pope. Only those of the two alleged Jacobins, Burelli and Savelli, are missing. But perhaps, in their stead, the one of those who plotted against them will figure. So was the world, even then!

The new administration immediately worked to put order in the various administrative procedures and in the communication and exchange systems. The registry sector was the object of particular care, with the compulsory registration of births, marriages and deaths, previously left to the diligence of the parish priests. House numbers were imposed on houses, names on streets and squares. The unification of monetary systems, weights and measures was achieved. The articulation of the municipal budgets was structured in chapters (1) , with the possibility of making provisions for unforeseen expenses. The absolute prohibition of burial in churches or inhabited centers was established in application of the Edict of Saint Cloud, now also extended to Italy, a historical circumstance that inspired Ugo Foscolo's I Sepolcri. Apparently these were small things which, however, had an enormous impact on the social fabric, taking into account the level of backwardness in which our populations lived.

There was a great deal of work for the naming of the streets and squares (2) and the numbering of the houses, which were just 200. The work was contracted out on 5 October 1810 and the relative specifications were very rigorous and detailed. It stated:


1. Within the month of October, carry out and complete the work of all the folders that will be needed for the numbering of the houses in this town and on the villages and for the indication of the name of the streets and squares.

2. Similar folders will be made on fresh plaster, with a light background and black-colored numbers of the size according to the model that becomes extensible.

3. The cards that will indicate the name of the streets and squares, as they must be larger, will be considered double those of the houses and will be paid by the Municipality.

4. Those of the streets and squares will be placed in the place that will be indicated.

5. The numbering of the houses will be paid by the respective owners in the form of the decree of 7 September which may be forced by the contractor also legally.

6. Finally, any expenses that may be required for the award and register will be borne by the contractor himself.


For the contract, the Municipality established the price of eight baiocchi per folder. Several candles were lit which all remained without offer. It was necessary to resort to an auction discount which was won by Giovambattista "del morte" Clemente Giangottini for six baiocchi per page.

Among the measures adopted by the French government, there was also that of compulsory conscription. The “lucky” young men who were supposed to serve in Napoleon's army were drawn by lot. A glass amphora, specially ordered from the Piegaro glassworks, contained leaflets with the personalities of the young people. In the absence of a precise registry, the urn contained the names that the various parish priests sent, at the explicit request of the Maire. The collaboration should not have been very enthusiastic if the Baron Rederer, Commander of the French troops in the Trasimeno Department, with an ordinance, imposed that starting from 1 January 1814 all the parish priests would have to deliver the parish registers to the Municipality.



It is interesting to know the remuneration of the first decade of the century in the public sector. It is not a great contribution to history, but a useful element of comparative knowledge to understand the wage dynamics that have taken place and the trade union guarantees that protect this sector today.

First let's take a little look at the directors' "indemnities".

The Priors received 20 scudi a year which had to be divided among the four Magistrates. It was an honorary recognition for the function performed since 5 scudi per head certainly did not represent a flattering economic resource and the modesty of the figure encouraged the healthy and always valid principle of politics as a service. If we add that this indemnity was paid when the finances of the Municipality allowed it, it can be assumed with reasonable certainty that the local time authority saved this expenditure.

There were, however, those who lived there with the salary and had to be paid regularly.

The municipal secretary, Giovambattista Burelli, had a golden salary, such as to be looked upon with great envy by all the other public employees. He received 30 scudi a year which were paid in quarterly installments of ten scudi each.

Immediately after him came the Camerlengo (cashier) with 18 scudi a year to be paid in quarterly installments.

The police commissioner of the municipality, Dr. Paolucci, was poorer, he received only 12 scudi a year as the Director of the Post Office and dealer of letters at the same time.

Since it was possible to carry out some paperwork in Rome, at the government headquarters, and it was not easy to go to the papal capital due to transport difficulties, the Municipalities resorted to the appointment of their representative who resided in that city and looked after the handling of the paperwork that was sent to him. The remuneration for the Rome Agent was not fixed and depended on the volume of work he had done during the year. In any case, the average reward was around eight scudi per year.

Giambattista Fuochi and Silvestro Catalani were the two country guards of the municipality who had to travel a lot throughout the municipal territory. Their salary was two crowns a month. They had to play a very important or thankless role if they perceived more than the commissioner, the chamberlain and the postmaster.


The limits of the municipal area

An important measure of the French administration was that of the arrangement of customs operations. The duty ("octroi" as the French forced it to say) had to be paid by the entire population of the Municipality in all kinds of trade and each municipality had its own tariffs and organizational systems. It was therefore essential to know precisely the territorial limits of the Municipality in order to establish with certainty the competences of the taxes and the methods of collection.

On January 9, 1813, a provision was issued for the rationalization of the collection of the octroi and therefore for the consequential definition of the municipal territory. The law established that "struts" had to be placed in the border areas of the municipal area that would bear a wooden sign with the inscription




The signs were posted in the following places:

1. Strada di Montecastelli, near the boat (3)

2. Strada di Banchetti, near the tavern, on the border of the Cura di Verna

3. Near the Osteria di Sorbello

4. Near the La Nese Bridge

5. Close to the Rio Bridge

6. At the limits of the territory, at the New Homes

7. On the road near the Rasina stream

8. On the border of the Cura di Santa Giuliana and Antognolla

9. At the limits of the Cura di Monestevole, to go to Preggio.


Public Works

In 1803 there was an initial intervention of modest proportions, but destined to significantly change the town planning of the town. At that time the Fratta was an islet between the Royal Palace and the Tiber, and the northern part not lapped by the waters was surrounded by a moat that started from the tower of the Rocca and, skirting the walls, passed under the present Theater, continued for the Piaggiola and flowed into the Tiber next to the Cambiotti mill (today's Molinaccio).

This moat was filled and flattened the ground below the Rocca in order to obtain a square used for fairs and markets.

A surprising element is given by the fact that despite the fact that the Technical Office, a talented and moreover “hydrostatic” engineer like Don Bartolomeo Borghi, the work was entrusted to Eng. Calindri of Perugia. The era of "external consultancy" had already begun!

In 1805 the Municipality decided on some removals for a more rational use of the premises. Three rooms on the ground floor of the current theater were sold to the Accademia dei Riuniti, used as a prison and related services. The prison was transferred to a special sector of the Town Hall and on this occasion the opportunity was taken to carry out some maintenance work.



1. Even today the budgets of public bodies are divided into chapters. At the time we are talking about, the In and Outs were in one cauldron.

2. Under the government of the Papal State no street or square bore its written name.

3. From Montecastelli, to go to Città di Castello, it was necessary to cross the Tiber on a large boat pushed over the water by the sturdy arms of the ferryman, who clung to a large rope anchored to the two pylons located on the opposite banks of the river. The “Passo del Tevere” is still visible; just look a hundred meters upstream of the current bridge to see the remains of the two pylons. This road today bears the name of "via della barca". Since the seventeenth century that point marked the border between the territory of Fratta and that of Città di Castello.

The road that crosses Montecastelli headed directly towards Trestina. As there was no bridge, there was not even that unfortunate current curve on which the road to Trestina joins. About 150 m. from the graft, it went steeply downhill on the right (as can still be seen today) towards the “Casa dei Fabbri” which still exists and is called “La Maestà dei Fabbri” (today's Pacciarini property). From the house, after having passed a brick bridge over a small stream, the road turned to the right, towards the bank of the Tiber, where the boat was. On the other side of the river, in the territory of Città di Castello, one could see, until recently, the high “Casa Torre” under which the carriage road passed. Now you can't see why the municipality has allowed the owner to incorporate it into the rest of the building. Perhaps it was the most beautiful tower house in Umbria!



“Umbertide nel Secolo XIX” by Renato Codovini and Roberto Sciurpa - Municipality of Umbertide. 2001



L'albero della Libertà

I primi anni del secolo, stando alle lettere che il Gonfaloniere di Fratta inviò alle autorità perugine, furono fonte di notevole preoccupazione per l'ordine pubblico nel paese. A dire il vero il tono e il contenuto della corrispondenza ci sembrano esagerati. Fenomeni di scontento per le condizioni economiche e sociali vengono, con studiata disinvoltura, attribuiti a presunti nostalgici del passato regime sì che diventa difficile distinguere i fermenti del dissenso dalle proteste della fame.

Non c'è dubbio che la Repubblica Romana aveva alimentato gli ideali liberali propri dell'Illuminismo, come pure è assodato che la caduta del potere papale fu salutata dovunque con tripudio di gioia. Ma non ci fu il tempo per dare all'alternativa politica e ideologica un assetto di stabilità perché la rapida alternanza delle vicende militari tra vincitori e vinti non permise l'assimilazione e il consolidamento dei processi in atto.

Solo nelle città più grandi, dove era attiva una borghesia progressista e intraprendente, fu osteggiata con ostinata tenacia la restaurazione papale che, dal canto suo, vedeva pericoli e con giure ovunque (la Tosca di Puccini è ambientata in questo clima politico romano) e dispensava notevoli dosi di galera per il minimo sospetto.

Anche alla Fratta l'ordine pubblico era esposto a frequenti episodi di turbativa e il Gonfaloniere Lorenzo Vibi tremava dalla paura vedendo in essi la occulta regia di repubblicani in agguato. Già due illustri cittadini, Burelli e Savelli, a torto o a ragione, erano stati sospettati di simpatizzare per i giacobini. Meglio stare guardinghi.

Ma ci doveva essere anche dell'altro se il 1° febbraio del 1800 il Vibi prese carta e penna e scrisse alla Reggenza Imperiale di Perugia:


“Le continue risse, li frequenti litigi fomentati in questo basso popolo da partigiani che qui abbiamo del passato Repubblicano Governo, per porre in discredito il presente, tengono tutto in agitazione, non meno noi, che tutti li buoni del nostro partito (1). Noi senza autorità e senza forza non possiamo tenere in dovere tanti spiriti rivoltosi che c'inquietano... Se le Vostre Signorie facessero quivi giungere una Notificazione nella quale manifestassero a questo popolo di stare ogni uno nel proprio dovere e lontano da litigi, e dalle risse, dando facoltà a questo Signor Giuseppe Agostini Capitano di questa piazza... di far arrestare chiunque saprà aver fatto il litigio e la rissa e spedirli poi subito ben custoditi in codesta vostra Città, con la comunicazione di quelle pene che crederanno e che ogni bettola ed osteria debba serrarsi ad un'ora di notte. Tutto questo diciamo richiedere perché più volte il giorno da poco tempo fa occasione replicate risse e rumori...”

Il Gonfaloniere, quindi, invocava il carcere per i litigiosi e i rissosi che nelle bettole e nelle osterie osavano affrontare il tabù della politica e parteggiavano per il passato regime. Non gli venne in mente che un progetto politico serio di destabilizzazione non si porta in osteria e che il luogo dei litigi, più che a divergenze di opinioni politiche, faceva pensare a qualche foglietta di troppo con la quale si innaffiavano le miserie.

Appena due giorni dopo, infatti, scrisse un'altra lettera allo stesso destinatario la quale ci fa capire, senza volerlo, il vero motivo che stava alla base dei litigi. In essa si diceva che i poveri del paese andavano a macinare dai quattro ai sei chilogrammi di grano alla volta, ma dovevano pagare una bolletta (la tassa sul macinato) su di un minimo di 30 Kg. Il fatto creava grave malcontento e il Gonfaloniere si convinse a chiedere correttivi: “ clamori continui dei poveri di questa terra e suo circondario che con poche libbre di grano fortunatamente trovate vanno al molino chi con 10 libbre chi con 15 libbre e debbono fare il bollettino per mezza mina... si chiede di fare i bollettini per minore quantità”.

Faceva comodo al potere contrabbandare come protesta politica, alimentata da abili mestatori, un malcontento diffuso che aveva origine, invece, nella fame e negli stenti della povera gente.

In questa logica si inserì anche la ricorrenza del carnevale. Le feste da ballo potevano diventare un momento di aggregazione pericoloso per esternare il malumore sul quale poteva far leva “la gran massa” del partito repubblicano della Fratta. Basta leggere questa terza lettera del 10 febbraio (quel povero Vibi, che vedeva repubblicani dappertutto, era veramente terrorizzato per scrivere tre lettere dello stesso tenore in appena dieci giorni) per renderci conto che la realtà veniva ingigantita: “Qui si vogliono fare le feste da ballo e ne siamo stati richiesti per darne il permesso; ma non vi abbiamo accudito per timore che possa succedere qualche inconveniente, sul riflesso del gran partito Repubblicano che domina in questa Terra. Rendiamo di tanto avvertite le Signorie Vostre”.

Che anche alla Fratta ci fossero simpatizzanti delle idee liberali è fuori di dubbio; ma che costoro avessero un'organizzazione capillare, diffusa e agguerrita non è credibile. Le idee di rinnovamento nell'Italia di allora, e in particolare nella provincia contadina, più che imporsi con la forza organizzativa di un partito, venivano imposte e protette dalle truppe straniere francesi. Forse proprio per questo il timore era grande e si incominciò ad aver paura anche degli alberi.

Gli scrittori politici del tempo fanno un gran parlare degli “alberi della libertà” che sarebbero stati piantati in molte città nel periodo della Repubblica Romana, come simbolo dell'inizio di un'era di rinnovamento nella libertà e nel progresso. Spesso tali affermazioni non sono suffragate da documenti certi. Anche la Fratta ne aveva uno (2) e la sua esistenza è documentata in una lettera del Vibi datata 27 febbraio 1800: “Il partito contrario al presente Governo sempre più insolentisce e si rende intollerabile. Noi fin'ora abbiamo il tutto Religiosamente sofferto, ma vediamo che questa nostra indulgenza fa essere sempre più baldanzosi quei tanti che abbiamo del Partito Repubblicano. Ieri l'altra sera circa le ore due della notte due di questi che ne verremo in cognizione ebbero l'ardimento di usurpare quel diritto che spetta alla Guardia Civica, con dire ad alta voce “Alto là - Chi va là”. Similmente martedì mattina ventisei corrente al piedistallo della Croce che sta collocata ove era l'infame arbore fu trovata una piccola bandiera tricolore con infondo un coccardino che tuttora conservasi da noi: ma il colore turchino pallido di una parte di detta bandiera ci dà indizio che possa esserne stato l'autore un famoso Repubblicano avendo questi un abito di simil colore. Bramiamo sapere come dobbiamo regolarci...”

Non sappiamo quanti fossero i Repubblicani di Fratta, ma sicuramente erano molti gli oppositori al regime papalino nello Stato Pontificio, se lo stesso Papa Pio VII, il giorno 8 novembre, si vide costretto a concedere “il paterno perdono ai rei della passata rivoluzione”.

Intanto il Gonfaloniere Lorenzo Vibi, per non morire di paura (3), si dimise dalla carica ai primi di giugno, a meno di trenta giorni dalla scadenza naturale del suo mandato.


Il passaggio delle truppe straniere

L'Alta Valle del Tevere era uno dei percorsi naturali delle truppe che, provenendo dal Nord, si dirigevano a Roma e viceversa. Di solito si trattava di soldati tedeschi, ad eccezione dei due periodi in cui passarono e ripassarono quelli francesi. I costi, sia quelli ufficiali che venivano imposti con le tasse, sia quelli nascosti dovuti alle ruberie, ai soprusi e ai danni prodotti, erano enormi per le comunità locali. Tutte le truppe che si alternarono in quegli anni si comportarono da eserciti occupanti senza il minimo riguardo per le persone e le cose durante il loro passaggio e la loro permanenza.

Il 19 giugno del 1800 arrivò alla Fratta un drappello di 20 soldati a requisire provviste per la truppa austriaca che giornalmente sfilava nei pressi di Perugia, diretta verso il Nord. “Vogliate dar loro ciò che abbisognano - ordinava la Reggenza - occorrendo adopreranno la forza. E un affare della più forte urgenza e darete a questi soldati le solite razioni”. Quasi sicuramente si trattava di soldati austriaci che scappavano verso il Veneto dopo la battaglia di Marengo (14 giugno 1800) con la quale Napoleone, vinta l'Austria, si apriva la strada per l'occupazione dell'Italia Centrale.




II 12 e il 13 settembre, infatti arrivarono i Cisalpini (4) che, armi alla mano, si appropriarono di numerosi beni dei cittadini per un valore di 15 scudi che la Magistratura di Fratta richiese al Rivarola. Ma nel territorio circostante ancora esistevano forti nuclei di soldati austriaci e aretini (i soldati del Granduca alleato dell'Austria) che riuscirono addirittura a far prigionieri alcuni Cisalpini il 19 dicembre. Il drappello con i prigionieri si fermò alla Fratta e consumò, senza pagare, 48 libbre di prosciutto, 3 di salame, 3,50 di formaggio, pane e vino a volontà. Il ventinove dello stesso mese passarono altri aretini con 154 prigionieri francesi.

Lo spettacolo continuò e il 12 gennaio del 1801 la Fratta dovette sopportare il passaggio di un distaccamento di cavalleria tedesca e toscana che prelevò 46 razioni di vino e carne. Il 20 arrivarono i napoletani, alleati dei francesi, che usarono gli stessi metodi dei soldati avversari.

Il 5 febbraio del 1801 il Rivarola fece sapere alla Fratta che al passaggio della “pacifica truppa francese” bisognava restare tranquilli e subordinati alla legge del Sovrano (del Papa) aggiungendo che arriverà a Fratta Leone Borgia, suo Commissario, a fare una requisizione di viveri per l'Armata Francese. Se richiesti, bisognava mettere a disposizione vino e bestiame per il trasporto delle merci.

Le disposizioni del Rivarola farebbero supporre che i francesi si fossero stabilmente insediati nella zona e fossero padroni della situazione. Invece il 14 febbraio passarono da Fratta, e vi pernottarono, numerose truppe tedesche e toscane con prigionieri francesi. Evidentemente temevano qualche attacco delle vicine truppe francesi dal momento che si rinchiusero nel Palazzo Sorbello (odierno Comune), sprangarono porte e finestre e “si abbarrarono le porte coi chiodi”. Come si vede, la confusione regnava sovrana.

Il 19 marzo 1801 una nota del Rivarola impose un'altra requisizione: 40 carri e 40 paia di bovi per servire la numerosa armata francese. Le requisizioni continuarono per tutti gli anni successivi fino al 1808 in cui, per ben sei volte (21 aprile, 26 giugno, 10 e 11 settembre, 15 e 18 ottobre) la Fratta fu sottoposta a pesanti salassi.

Così frequenti e normali erano diventate ormai le requisizioni che alcuni impostori, spacciandosi per soldati francesi, si presentavano per prelevare viveri e vettovaglie di ogni genere. Il fenomeno doveva essere esteso anche nelle altre zone del territorio della provincia se il Rivarola, di sua iniziativa, in data 27 ottobre 1801 scrisse in questi termini al Commissario di Fratta:

“Ci sono molti impostori che dicono di essere addetti alla Truppa Francese ed esibiscono falsi permessi per estorcere razioni e vetture e quindi dilapidano i paesi dove capitano. Se simili soggetti si presentassero, neghino qualsiasi cosa che volessero e guardino bene i permessi. Se questi sono falsi, arrestateli. Ciò va fatto anche con i soldati francesi e se per caso questi si provassero ad atti indoverosi per le vie di fatto denigranti l'onore della loro nazione, farete in modo che vengano decentemente arrestati con darcene pronto ragguaglio. E che Dio vi feliciti”.


La milizia cittadina

Correvano davvero tempi pericolosi in quell'inizio di secolo. La miseria della povera gente che non poteva acquistare i mezzi di sostentamento indispensabili, la delusione politica che andava ad inserirsi in un contesto sociale di estrema povertà, le rivalse ricorrenti dei vincitori nei confronti di coloro che avevano simpatizzato per i vinti, creavano un clima di instabilità, di incertezza e di paura. In questo contesto nascevano piccole bande di malfattori formate da diseredati, perseguitati politici, insofferenti verso ogni forma di autorità costituita e infine da tutti coloro che nella delinquenza trovavano l'unica risposta facile ai loro bisogni economici. Alla criminalità dei singoli si aggiungeva anche quella organizzata con un proprio capo, delle regole e l'efficienza dell'organizzazione.

Queste piccole bande si facevano sempre più numerose. Alla Fratta operava quella di un certo Luigi Rossi di Sorbello che era molto attiva in tutto il territorio circostante e rinomata per le “grassazioni” (rapine a mano armata), come si diceva allora, e gli accoltellamenti. Tanta era la certezza dell'impunità che i banditi agivano prevalentemente di giorno al “campo della fiera”, dove c'era maggiore abbondanza di portafogli da rapinare.

Il Rivarola, preoccupato per l'aumento della criminalità nel territorio umbro, ordinò al Commissario di Fratta di arrestare i banditi e di “far suonare anche la Campana all'Arme e di permettere che si faccia fuoco contro di loro”.

I cittadini non si sentivano più sicuri. Anche i locandieri e gli albergatori dovevano registrare, su apposite schede, le generalità dei clienti, unitamente alla “patria” di provenienza. In questo clima la municipalità, per riportare tranquillità entro i propri confini, pensò di organizzare un corpo di milizie cittadine volontarie. Alla fine di febbraio del 1801 il Commissario di Fratta inviò apposita richiesta in tal senso al Rivarola che accettò di buon grado la proposta diretta a rendere più sicura la vita nei territori da lui controllati. “... Non possiamo altro espediente prendere - afferma - se non quello di permettere a formare un Ruolo di otto o dieci persone probe e da bene che abbiano del proprio i fucili onde, come soldati, prevalersi di essi nelle occorrenze: al quale effetto vi conferiamo le facoltà necessarie... a far godere alle persone da voi prescelte tutti li più estesi privilegi militari”. Al Rivarola stava bene tutto, purché non gli si chiedessero soldi. Nei bilanci del Comune di Fratta, da ora in poi, troveremo in uscita anche il costo della polvere e delle palle di piombo per “le caricature”.

Non tutte le bande erano composte da briganti. Ci potevano essere anche dei gruppi di oppositori politici che si erano dati alla clandestinità. E una ipotesi che spiega una strana lettera inviata dal Rivarola al Gonfaloniere di Fratta il 14 marzo 1801 relativa alla “... disobbedienza di questa Guardia Urbana” che non volle andare ad arrestare dei briganti segnalati dal Cardinale. Evidentemente i “volontari” di Fratta sapevano distinguere bene i malviventi dai dissidenti politici.

Il 16 luglio del 1809 il Corpo della Guardia Civica di Fratta, assieme a quello di Città di Castello, partecipò ad un'azione repressiva contro una banda di briganti che aveva compiuto già diverse scorrerie nell'alta valle del Tevere e che si trovava al Monte Santa Maria. L'ordine venne direttamente dal Generale Miollis che promise anche uno scudo per ogni bandito catturato. Lo stesso Generale francese provvide a munire di fucili e sciabole il gruppo di armati. L'operazione ebbe pieno successo e i briganti furono arrestati.

Uomini organizzati ed efficienti come i nostri Civici avevano bisogno anche di una caserma idonea ad ospitare loro, i cavalli e l'armamento. Si provvide ricorrendo all'utilizzo di alcuni locali dell'ex convento di San Francesco che furono opportunamente trasformati nei primi giorni di marzo del 1810 (5). Vi lavorarono i maestri muratori Pietro Gentili e Giovanni Ribuffi. Da un elenco dei lavori eseguiti ci rendiamo conto anche delle caratteristiche della struttura. Al piano terra c'era la cucina e la scuderia e sopra “due camere servibili”. Alla scuderia si rifece il pavimento per il quale si impiegarono 1.700 mattoni, 30 piedi di tavoloni per fare la greppia, 62 piedi di “stilloni” per fare cinque “battifianchi” (il che fa pensare ad una capienza di sei o sette cavalli). Ai muri della scuderia e agli stilloni si misero 30 “campanelle” di ferro (anelli per fissare le funi). Le guardie mangiavano con posate d'osso, il magazzino del fieno fu posto sopra a due loggiati del cortile e alle finestre c'erano “impannate” di tela.


La gara dello steccato

Il 6 settembre del 1808 alle ore 21, in piazza San Francesco, fu organizzata una gara di “steccato”. Per l'occasione furono costruiti dei palchi di legno davanti alla porta del “Borgo di San Francesco” o della “Madonna di San Francesco” detta così perché sopra l'arco vi era un affresco con l'immagine della Madonna e di altri Santi, in parte visibile tuttora.

Non sappiamo con precisione in che cosa consistesse il gioco e quali fossero le sue regole. Lo spettacolo vedeva in campo i cani contro i bovi che si affrontavano in un ampio recinto (uno steccato, da qui il nome della gara) e lottavano tra loro. È ipotizzabile che lo scontro tra questi due tipi di animali, da sempre cari amici dell'uomo, potesse essere anche cruento e quindi la gara, almeno per la nostra sensibilità, non doveva essere molto edificante. Da un manifesto che il Comune di Marsciano (evidentemente la gara si praticava anche lì) inviò a quello di Fratta si apprende che venivano dati premi al bove e al cane “che si sarebbero portati più valorosi” e che erano vietate “le false prese”. Troppo poco per capire la tecnica del gioco.

Le nostre convinte riserve su questo spettacolo non erano condivise dalla gente del tempo che si recò numerosa ad assistere, ma l'impalcatura costituita da tre ampi gradoni che era appoggiata alla porta, crollò improvvisamente provocando molti feriti.



















Fu aperta un'inchiesta e dai verbali dei testimoni (6) si è potuto intuire la popolarità che questo tipo di intrattenimento raccoglieva e l'entusiasmo che la lotta dei poveri animali era capace di sollevare sui presenti. Gli spettatori sopra i gradoni si agitavano e “atteso il movimento grande delle persone che facevano sopra di essi”, e il “gran battimento di piedi che facevano”, la struttura, non ben fissata al muro, si rovesciò sullo steccato.


La ventata anticlericale

Nel 1810 non c'era più il Gonfaloniere e nemmeno i Priori, al loro posto c'era il Maire (7) scelto direttamente dai fiduciari di Napoleone. Il Comune di Fratta era un cantone del Dipartimento del Trasimeno, ma il problema dell'ordine pubblico rimaneva sempre attuale anche se con caratteristiche del tutto diverse.

Si stava sviluppando un risentimento astioso nei confronti della Chiesa, come reazione naturale alla voglia di protesta repressa negli anni precedenti. E siccome i confini tra l'agire degli uomini e le istituzioni che essi rappresentano non hanno mai contorni precisi, il risentimento contro i ministri del potere papale diventò aperto rigetto della religione.

Il fenomeno andava assumendo dimensioni preoccupanti di turbativa dell'ordine sociale per cui il Maire, rappresentante di quel potere che aveva imprigionato il Papa e annesso lo Stato

Pontificio alla Francia, si sentì in dovere di scendere in difesa dei principi religiosi con la seguente ordinanza:


In nome di Sua Maestà Napoleone I°, Imperatore dei Francesi, Re d'Italia e Protettore della Confederazione del Reno.

Il Maire, considerando che il più importante dei suoi doveri è di sorvegliare alla pubblica tranquillità e di prevenire la corruzione dei Spiriti e gli scandali che collidono l'ordine sociale. Considerando che non può restarsi ulteriormente neghittoso dal reprimere la sfrontata baldanza di alcune lingue licenziose che si attentano anche nei pubblici luoghi di oltraggiare gli oggetti più venerabili della nostra Religione. Considerando esser cosa necessaria d'apporre con tutta la possibile energia una qualche barriera a questi criminosi attentati e di richiamare al proprio dovere questi perturbatori dell'ordine e della società. Riflettendo infine che la Religione Cattolica è la Religione della maggiorità dei sudditi dell'Imperatore, che si gloria del titolo sfolgoreggiante di Primogenito della Chiesa è venuto nella determinazione di avvertire quanto segue:


Saranno riguardati come fomentatori di disordini i pubblici promulgatori di massime antimorali ed irreligiose e come persone perniciose allo Stato, alle leggi e alla comune tranquillità. Sappiano questi non essere loro permesso dal presente sistema di Governo di conculcare impunemente i Dommi della religione, di scagliare esecrabili invettive contro la Divinità, gl'oggetti del culto ed i suoi Ministri. Si rammentino dei luminosi e sinceri sentimenti intorno alla Religione considerando che Sua Maestà Napoleone il Grande fin dal suo innalzamento a Primo Console li notificò personalmente al Clero di Milano e volle che fossero noti non solo all'Italia e alla Francia, ma all’Europa intera. Non può quindi tollerarsi che si proferischino sfacciatamente nefande ed esecrate bestemmie contro il Divino Autore della Cattolica Religione, contro i suoi attributi, contro il suo culto e si sparghino pubblicamente delle massime contro ogni virtù civile e religiosa.

Saranno in conseguenza di simili trasgressioni soggetti alle pene che prevede il Codice, cioè alla multa di 500 franchi ed un anno di prigione e di due anni di prigione in caso di recidiva. Voi pertanto cui il Principe confidò una porzione della sua autorità, o per rapporto all'esecuzione delle leggi od alla pubblica Polizia, concorrete a sì bell'opera procurando di arrestare col rigore delle leggi quel torrente che minaccia travolgere la moltitudine nei gorghi della corruzione e darete così la più sincera prova del vostro zelo per il bene e l'ordine sociale e della vostra fedeltà e attaccamento al Sovrano.


                                                                                                                            Dalla Mairie (8) della Fratta, lì 2 agosto 1810

                                                                                                                                                Il Maire Magnanini Giuseppe


Mentre veniva difesa con formale energia la Religione Cattolica e i suoi Ministri, il Governo Francese trasferiva con fermezza all'autorità civile i settori della carità e dell'assistenza gestiti, fino ad allora, dagli enti religiosi. Nei primi mesi di febbraio del 1808, come già ricordato, ci fu la soppressione dei conventi e delle corporazioni religiose. A partire dall'aprile del 1811 vennero soppresse anche le istituzioni di carità i cui capitali furono trasferiti ai Burò di Beneficenza.

Alla Fratta la Confraternita maggiore e più apprezzata era quella di Santa Croce che gestiva l'ospedale, detto allora l'Ospedale dei Poveri. Il 4 aprile del 1811 fu sottoscritto formalmente il passaggio delle competenze e dei beni al Municipio, nel Palazzo Comunale, Ufficio del Burò di Beneficenza, alla presenza del Maire e di due Canonici rappresentanti la Confraternita di Santa Croce.





















In nome di Sua Maestà Napoleone I°, Imperatore dei Francesi, Re d'Italia e Protettore della Confederazione del Reno. La Commissione Amministrativa del Burò di Beneficenza di Fratta, tenuto conto delle odierne leggi sulle amministrazioni degli Ospizi e Ospedali, considerata cessata qualunque autorità o funzione per l'amministrazione degli Ospedali ed Ospizi... esaminate le Memorie della Confraternita di S. Croce... dalle quali risulta che fin dalla sua prima istituzione era essa addetta ad opere di pubblica e privata carità e che tutti i suoi beni e rendite erano impiegati per l'Ospizio e Ospedale dei Poveri... viene nella determinazione di prendere l'amministrazione di tutti li capitali e fondi spettanti al detto Ospizio ed Ospedale, fissando il termine di otto giorni acciò dagli Amministratori di detta Confraternita in S. Croce venghino rimesse tutte le carte e Libri opportuni ed appartenenti al detto Stabilimento di carità, unitamente allo stato della cassa per formarne il processo verbale.


Fatto nelle camere della Mairie questo dì 4 aprile 1811.


Firmato: Canonico Antonio Guerrini - Canonico Giacomo Pecchioli -

Giuseppe Agostini - Per il Maire di Fratta: Santini Luigi aggiunto


Il giorno successivo fu redatto il verbale di consegna e presa di

possesso dei seguenti beni:

1. Podere vocabolo Petrelle con il bestiame del valore di scudi 160;

grano stara 20; fave stara 5; veccia stara 1 e coppe 4; attuale affittuario

Pietro Crosti per una corrisposta di scudi 221 l'anno.

2. Locale dell'Ospedale in Piazza di San Francesco n. 4.

3. Casa ad uso granaio in contrada di Porta Nova n. 66.

4. Casa in contrada di San Giovanni n. 42, con fondo ad uso di forno.

5. Due fondi ad uso di stalla nella strada di Santa Croce n. 210.


La rapina delle opere d'arte

La sistematica e organizzata rapacità francese delle opere d'arte, almeno alla Fratta, ha inizio nel mese di ottobre del 1812 con un programma ben pianificato e articolato. Per essere certi di sottrarre materiale di un certo valore e non semplici “patacche”, la selezione delle opere veniva fatta da esperti, mentre l'imballaggio e il trasporto dalla manovalanza generica. Il furto per i francesi era così naturale e dovuto da annunciarlo ufficialmente tramite lettera, come avvenne il 2 ottobre del 1812 quando il Prefetto del Dipartimento del Trasimeno comunicò al Maire Magnanini che sarebbe arrivato alla Fratta un incaricato per scegliere e requisire le opere d'arte.



























Non sappiamo come reagissero i nostri Magistrati di fronte ad una simile notizia, se prevalse, cioè, in loro un'apatica accondiscendenza o una legittima astuzia per salvare il salvabile. Dalla corrispondenza che segue si deduce che Magnanini si comportò da zelante esecutore delle richieste francesi. I tempi, in ogni caso, furono molto stretti perché arrivò quasi subito alla Fratta l'Intendente incaricato della scelta e della requisizione delle Opere e il 7 ottobre, ad appena cinque giorni dall'avviso, il Maire autenticò la firma del trasportatore della “refurtiva” a Perugia.


L'anno 1812 il giorno 7 di ottobre. Col presente foglio sia noto come il Sig. Innocenzo Lazzarini, figlio del morto Andrea, domiciliato in questo Comune di Fratta, si obbliga di fare trasportare fino a Perugia tre quadri esistenti nei Conventi soppressi di questo Comune, due in tela e uno in tavola e questi fare incassare in una proporzionata cassa di legno e renderli ben custoditi nell'interno con carta perché non soffino detrimento, il tutto a spese del medesimo Lazzarini: e ciò si obbliga di eseguire per la somma di scudi 12 di moneta romana, quali saranno pagati allorché verrà ordinato il trasporto sopra indicato.


In fede di che sarà il presente foglio dal medesimo firmato. Innocenzo Lazzarini


                                                                                                               Visto per la ricognizione della firma del prefato Sig. Lazzarini,

                                                                                                                                                          il Maire Magnanini


Il documento attesta con assoluta certezza che i quadri erano tre, di cui uno “in tavola” (anche la Deposizione del Signorelli è “in tavola” e fortunatamente rimase al suo posto) e che appartenevano ai due Conventi soppressi.

Il 9 ottobre, appena due giorni dopo aver autenticato la firma del trasportatore dei quadri, lo zelante Maire Magnanini scrive al Prefetto del Dipartimento del Trasimeno, residente a Perugia, per informarlo dell'avvenuta selezione.


Al Prefetto del Dipartimento del Trasimeno di Perugia.

L'anno 1812 il giorno 9 di ottobre, avanti a noi Maire del Comune di Fratta si è presentato il Signor Agostino Tofanelli, Conservatore del Museo Capitolino incaricato da S.E. il Signor Cavaliere Basa, Intendente della Corona in Roma, alfine di prendere possesso di tutti gli oggetti d'arte spettanti agli stabilimenti pubblici del Trasimeno, che in virtù del Decreto Imperiale del 25 febbraio 1811 appartengono alla Corona.

In conformità adunque degli ordini del Signor Prefetto del suddetto Dipartimento, comunicatoci dal Signor Sotto Prefetto, con lettera del 2 ottobre corrente, Noi Maire suddetto abbiamo posto in Possesso il lodato Signor Tofanelli di tutti li quadri descritti nei due inventari già da noi sottoscritti e verificati.


Il fascicolo che contiene la lettera racchiude anche la descrizione inventariale fatta dal Maire:


Nel Convento di San Francesco un quadro rappresentante la Vergine col Bambino, San Francesco, San Sebastiano ed altri due Santi. Pittore il Pomarancio.

Nell'ex Convento di Santa Maria degli Osservanti due quadri rappresentanti uno l'Incoronazione della Vergine al di sopra e sedici Santi al di sotto in tavola della scuola Pietro Perugino. L'altro in tela rappresentante la Vergine col Bambino, San Lorenzo, Santa Maria Maddalena e San Filippo, del Magi, scolaro del Barocci.

Il Maire Magnanini


Dall'inventario risulta chiaramente che uno dei tre quadri, quello “in tavola”, è l'Incoronazione della Vergine che si afferma essere della scuola di Pietro (Vannucci) detto il Perugino. Questa Tavola non arrivò mai a Parigi ed ora si trova nella Galleria Vaticana, Sala VII, a Roma. Essa è catalogata come opera di Bernardino di Betto, detto il Pinturicchio, allievo del Vannucci (9).

A chiusura del discorso sulla rapina delle opere d'arte perpetrata dal Governo francese è utile leggere attentamente la lettera che segue per avere la prova di come essa, con ignavia e scarso senso civico, fu consentita dagli Amministratori del tempo.

La lettera è del 14 marzo 1813 e fu inviata dal Sotto Prefetto del Dipartimento al Maire di Fratta. La trascriviamo per intero.


N. 426. Richiamerete nella risposta il numero qui sopra riportato (10). Perugia, lì 14 marzo 1813.

Il Sotto Prefetto del Circondario di Perugia al Signor Maire della Fratta.

È giunto in questo comune il Signor Tofanelli incaricato di far trasportare in Roma quegli oggetti di Belle Arti che avea anticipatamente scelti e ne aveva preso possesso.

Io, a tal uopo le accludo il contratto a Lei noto e che fu stabilito tra il Signor Tofanelli ed Innocenzo Lazzarini che si incaricò dell'incasso, imballaggio e trasporto dei quadri indicati nella nota che parimenti le accludo, sino a Perugia. So che il Lazzarini è in Roma, ma egli stesso, che si presentò ieri avanti di me, ne deve avere scritto a cotesto Signor Paolucci, acciò in di lui assenza eseguisca il contratto. Dica adunque al Signor Paolucci che nel principio dell'entrante settimana devono essere in Perugia li tre quadri di cui si tratta. Per facilitare l'operazione io le trasmetto scudi sei che passerà al detto Signor Paolucci, riservandomi di pagare gli altri scudi sei allorché saranno qui giunti li detti quadri.

Deggio poi prevenirla, Signor Maire, che se i quadri indicati nella nota riscuotono una speciale venerazione, e sono cari al popolo per la sua devozione, Lei non solo non li manderà, ma non li farà neppure rimuovere dal luogo ove attualmente si trovano. L'intenzione di S.M. è che non si privi il popolo delle cose concernenti il culto. Se poi i detti quadri non sono cari al pubblico culto allora farà subito eseguire l'incasso e il trasporto.

Sarà sua cura di rimettermi il contratto che le accludo, il quale penso soffrirà una variazione, se non tutti i quadri espressi nella nota saranno trasportati.

                                                                                                                       Mi reputo con la più distinta stima.

                                                                                                                         SottoPrefetto (firma illeggibile)



La lettera lascia trasparire con chiarezza che in data 14 marzo 1813 tutti e tre i quadri si trovavano alla Fratta e non erano ancora stati rimossi dalle pareti dei due Conventi. Ma quello che più indigna è che il Sotto Prefetto invita il Maire, indicandogli anche le motivazioni, a lasciare i quadri dov'erano, o almeno qualcuno di essi. Per timore che questi non avesse capito bene, in chiusura della lettera l'alto funzionario, nel chiedere il rinvio del contratto, aggiunge “il quale penso soffrirà una variazione”.

Magnanini, di professione medico, non fece soffrire nessuno e con servile zelo inviò la refurtiva.


La coscrizione militare

Napoleone aveva un bisogno enorme di soldati, avendo fatto della guerra la sua politica prevalente in Europa. Gli organici militari erano in continua crescita e alla loro copertura non bastavano più i giovani cittadini francesi. Il ricorso a quelli dei territori sottomessi fu la scelta naturale, imposta con estrema disinvoltura.

Il meccanismo del reclutamento funzionava sulla base di ferree regole matematiche: si stabiliva quanti coscritti doveva fornire l'Italia, il totale veniva diviso tra i Dipartimenti in base al loro “animato”, ossia alla popolazione, e questa operazione si ripeteva all'interno dei vari Dipartimenti per fissare i coscritti di ogni cantone. In genere il numero era modesto e i nominativi si estraevano a sorte da una palla di vetro entro cui erano state inserite le generalità dei giovani del cantone atti alle armi, alla presenza di una Commissione che veniva da Perugia.

Nel marzo del 1812 ci fu una coscrizione per la quale il cantone di Fratta doveva fornire un contingente di quattro reclute. La Commissione che arrivò da Perugia era formata da tre persone, quattro con l'addetto ai mezzi di trasporto, ossia alle cavalcature. Alloggiarono per due giorni nella locanda di Pietro Romitelli (11).

Vennero estratti i nominativi delle quattro reclute, cioè dei “fortunati” che dovevano combattere per Napoleone. A costoro, qualche giorno dopo, arrivava la lettera di chiamata in cui si invitavano a presentarsi a Spoleto. La lettera aveva il seguente contenuto:


È ordinato a Pietro, figlio di Paolo Rondini Coscritto della classe del 1812, domiciliato nella Cura del Sacro Eremo di Monte Corona, Comunità di Perugia destinato in seguito all'estrazione per formare il Contingente assegnato a questo cantone, di rendersi a Spoleto il giorno 16 aprile corrente, da dove egli sarà diretto subito al Reggimento, al quale lo destinerà il Consiglio di reclutamento.

Il suddetto coscritto non può Per verun motivo dispensarsi di rendersi a Spoleto il giorno sopra indicato.

Resta prevenuto che se mancherà di ubbidire al presente ordine verrà dichiarato ritardatario, e a questo titolo verranno mandati quattro soldati in sua casa e in quella dei suoi genitori i quali saranno mantenuti a di loro spese per lo spazio di un mese e pagati a ragione di due franchi al giorno per ogni soldato.

Il coscritto sarà arrestato ed allora non sarà più ammesso a servire liberamente nell'armata; ma sarà tradotto al deposito di Civitavecchia per essere trasportato in Corsica ed arruolato nel reggimento del Mediterraneo.

Se passato il mese il coscritto ritardatario non sarà arrestato, verrà dichiarato refrattario e condannato ad una multa di 1.500 franchi unitamente ai di lui genitori, come civilmente responsabili. Il coscritto verrà quindi perseguitato, arrestato e tradotto a Civitavecchia per essere arruolato nel reggimento del Mediterraneo in Corsica (12).

Fatto in Fratta il dì 2 aprile 1812.

Le leggi del tempo consentivano la possibilità di evitare la “naia” dietro il pagamento di una congrua cifra. Chi ricorreva a questo sistema veniva chiamato Riformato. Questa lettera indirizzata dal Maire a Vincenzo Mavarelli padre del riformato Giandomenico è eloquente:


Lì 2 gennaio 1812

Oggetto: indennizo per coscritto riformato.

Vi prevengo, o Signore, che l'indennizzo dovuto per la riforma del vostro figlio Giandomenico della classe del 1811 è stato fissato alla somma di franchi 1.200. Il pagamento di questa somma è esigibile nello spazio di sei mesi, a ragione di una sesta parte per mese.

                                                                                                                                                                                             Il Maire


Nel mese di settembre del 1812 ci furono anche volontari veri, per di più minorenni con il consenso dei genitori, che chiesero di essere arruolati come Gaetano Martinelli, di anni 19 seguito a pochi giorni di distanza da Giuseppe Morti e Giuseppe Lazzarini. Questi tre giovani avevano le idee chiare sul reparto e la sede: 3° Reggimento di Cavalleria Leggera Ussara, a Versailles.


La Guardia Nazionale

Nel mese di marzo del 1812 Napoleone, con un ben articolato decreto costituito da 56 articoli divisi in due titoli, istituì la Guardia Nazionale. Si trattava di un corpo militare autonomo, formato da uomini dai venti ai sessanta anni, con compiti di polizia. Oltre a risolvere i vari problemi di ordine pubblico, il nuovo corpo liberò l'esercito napoleonico dagli impegni del controllo dei territori, restituendogli lo spazio e il tempo per dedicarsi alle operazioni militari.

La selezione veniva fatto da un Consiglio di Reclutamento presieduto dal Prefetto che aveva ampia discrezionalità nell'individuare gli uomini “suscettibili di essere chiamati”.

La Guardia Nazionale si divideva in varie Coorti di 1.120 uomini ciascuna; la Coorte, a sua volta, era formata da otto Compagnie costituite da 140 uomini . Il Dipartimento del Trasimeno dovette fornire 278 coscritti che furono aggregati alla Coorte di Roma.

Il Reclutamento nel nostro Dipartimento iniziò il 15 aprile del 1813. Tutti coloro che non si fossero presentati alla chiamata o che avessero abbandonato il loro distaccamento durante il cammino, sarebbero stati trattati come refrattari. La ferma aveva la durata di sei anni e l'organico era rinnovato per un sesto ogni anno.

Il “Soldo”, ossia la remunerazione dei soldati, come l'armamento e la divisa, erano uguali a quelli della Fanteria di Linea.


La fine del dominio francese

Il 1814 fu l'anno di inizio del rapidissimo declino dell'astro napoleonico e degli sconvolgimenti politici che aveva introdotto in Europa. Già da tempo i suoi avversari ne attendevano la fine e avevano programmato con cura meticolosa i meccanismi e i sistemi della Restaurazione, prima ancora che il loro nemico fosse tolto definitivamente di mezzo. Il Congresso di Vienna si aprì, infatti, il 1° novembre del 1814, alla vigilia di quei Cento Giorni che vedranno Napoleone di nuovo in sella a far tremare l'Europa.

Gli alleati della coalizione antinapoleonica riportarono una netta vittoria nella battaglia di La Rothiére il 1° di febbraio del 1814 e procedendo in due colonne lungo la Senna e la Marna si diressero verso Parigi con l'intenzione di occuparla e di umiliare lo storico avversario.

Napoleone non si dette per vinto e nei giorni successivi riuscì ad ottenere qualche piccolo successo non decisivo, ma venne gravemente sconfitto il 20 e 21 marzo nella battaglia di Bar-surAube.

Il 31 marzo i vincitori entrano in Parigi.

Il Senato francese dichiarò immediatamente decaduto Napoleone che il 6 aprile fu costretto ad abdicare; gli venne offerto il principato dell'isola d'Elba ed una rendita vitalizia di due milioni di franchi.

Il 24 maggio Pio VII fece ritorno sul trono dello Stato Pontificio.

Il rapido susseguirsi degli avvenimenti non consentì, fin dai primi mesi dell'anno, a Napoleone di seguire direttamente le sorti dell'Italia Centrale ed il controllo dei territori pontifici fu affidato al cognato Gioacchino Murat, Re delle due Sicilie.

L'intestazione dei verbali dei consigli comunali del 16 e 27 marzo riporta la dicitura: "In nome di Sua Maestà Gioacchino Napoleone, Re delle due Sicilie, provvisoriamente occupante li Stati Romani".

Il 27 marzo 1814 si ha, dunque, l'ultima riunione consiliare sotto la tutela francese, poi seguirà un periodo di pausa e di incertezza in attesa degli eventi.

Il Bonazzi afferma che “a Perugia fu rimesso al suo posto lo Stemma Pontificio il 24 aprile, essendosi il Murat accordato con il Papa. Frati e monache ritornano nei conventi...”

Da quella data ebbe inizio l'amministrazione provvisoria in Perugia. Alla Fratta dal 16 maggio 1814.


Odiosa transizione

Verso i primi di giugno del 1814 si incominciarono a vedere i primi concreti segni del cambiamento di regime. Drappelli di soldati pontifici comparvero qua e là in varie zone del territorio. Arrivarono anche alla Fratta dove si stabilì un picchetto, comandato da un caporale, per sorvegliare l'ordine pubblico non fidandosi della Guardia Civica Cittadina.

Il comportamento dei papalini non piacque agli abitanti di Fratta e il Maire Reggiani, che sicuramente non vedeva l'ora di essere sostituito, scrisse al capitano Sebastiano Matteucci, Comandante delle truppe pontificie di stanza in Città di Castello, in questi termini:


“Ella non ignora, Signor Capitano, che quei pochi soldati della di Lei Compagnia che dimorano in questo Comune per qualche fatto imprudenziale praticato nel presiedere al buon ordine sono stati presi in odiosità da molti del paese. Non avendo qui li medesimi alcun officiale o persona autorevole che dirige li loro movimenti e non essendo dotati di quel controllo e contegno che deve accompagnare un buon soldato, va a pericolo da un momento all'altro, che possino fàr suscitare delle risse e sconcerti troppo facili a nascere nelle circostanze attuali. Il governo comanda che debba invigilarsi per il buon ordine e per la pubblica tranquillità. Questo distaccamento di truppa lo vedo necessario per questo effetto, e giacchè non può essere comandato da alcun officiale della Compagnia stessa son costretto a pregare la di lei bontà a voler degnarsi ordinare al caporale del picchetto che dipenda in tutte le operazioni dal Maresciallo Roberti, capo della Gendarmeria locale, che qui dimora. La prudenza e cognizioni che accompagnano il detto Officiale Produrrà quell'effetto che si desidera…”


I soldati papalini erano stati presi in "odiosità" dai cittadini di Fratta per il loro comportamento (“fatto imprudenziale”"). Non era il miglior biglietto da visita per un ritorno non molto gradito.



1. Si incontrerà più volte la parola "partito" che ha un significato diverso da quello attuale inteso come struttura ideologica e politica gerarchicamente organizzata. Qui si tratta di un raggruppamento vago di persone che la pensano alla stessa maniera.

2. L'albero della Libertà di Fratta fu piantato dai fautori della Repubblica Romana il 16 o 17 febbraio del 1798 e fu abbattuto due mesi dopo, il 28 aprile 1798, da una banda di partigiani clericali venuti da Magione e da Castel Rigone. Era un grosso abete di Monte Corona. A1 suo posto i clericali, tornati al potere nel secondo semestre del 1799, eressero una croce sorretta da un piedistallo in muratura. Il tronco dell'albero venne portato nella chiesa di San Francesco e per molti anni fece da sostegno al soppalco dell'organo. Così “l'albero anticlericale” fu costretto a “servire” in chiesa.

3. Anche il gioco della tombola lo turbava e non sa se “proibire il dannevolissimo gioco che arbitrariamente e nel pubblico Teatro e nelle pubbliche botteghe sfacciatamente si pratica...”

4. Ne parla anche Luigi Bonazzi con una colorita espressione “...I Cisalpini osarono perfino di andare a democratizzare la Fratta...” (Storia di Perugia - Vol. II - Pag. 392)

5. Nei primi mesi del 1808 furono soppressi i Conventi e le Corporazioni religiose.

6. Furono chiamati a testimoniare Tommaso Fanfani, di anni 54, calzolaio abitante al Boccaiolo; Giuseppe Sarti, vasaro; Vincenzo Igi. I feriti più gravi furono Vincenzo Scarpini, Domenico Porrini, Pietro Antonio Migliorati e Pietro Bettoni. Ci fu solo un ferito gravissimo, ma se la cavò: Antonio Brettone.

7. “Maire” è il termine francese con cui si indica il capo del comune, ossia il sindaco

8. “Mairie”, nella lingua francese, significa “comune”.

9. Il Pinturicchio, nato a Perugia nel 1454 e morto a Siena nel 1513, la dipinse nel 1502 su incarico dei Frati Minori dell'Osservanza di Santa Maria di Fratta. Fra i Santi che sono nella parte inferiore vediamo San Francesco al centro, San Bonaventura e San Bernardino a sinistra, Sant'Antonio da Padova e San Luigi da Tolosa a destra. In secondo piano ci sono i dodici Apostoli. La tavola partì da Fratta verso la metà di marzo del 1813 diretta a Parigi, via Perugia, Roma, Civitavecchia. Qualcuno, per fortuna, la fermò a Roma. Attualmente essa si trova nella biblioteca del Papa, dove Giovanni Paolo II, devotissimo della Madonna, volle che fosse collocata.

Il Guerrini afferma che nei primi anni del secolo XIX essa fu venduta dai Frati Minori al Vaticano per 500 scudi. La notizia, priva di riscontri documentari, potrebbe essere fondata. Dopo la caduta di Napoleone e la restaurazione del Governo pontificio, con molta probabilità, il Vaticano ne chiese l'acquisto trasformando la rapina iniziale francese in un possesso legittimo dei Musei Vaticani. L'opera, oltre che al maire Magnanini, interessava poco anche ai Frati, che si sono accontentati di collocare al suo posto una riproduzione fotografica delle stesse dimensioni!

10. Da rilevare la novità introdotta dai Francesi, cioè il numero di Protocollo cui fare riferimento per la corrispondenza successiva.

11. Abbiamo la lista dei piatti richiesti dai commissari. Colazione: salsicce, pane, formaggio, due fiaschi di vino moscatello. Pranzo: minestra, lesso, arrosto, pane, frutti, formaggio e vino. Cena: Frittata, arrosto di lonza, pane, frutti, formaggio e due fiaschi di moscatello.

12. Le sanzioni previste per i refrattari ci spiegano perché venivano chiamati “fortunati” coloro che si arruolavano.



“Umbertide nel Secolo XIX” di Renato Codovini e Roberto Sciurpa – Comune di Umbertide. 2001

2 - Copia.jpg
Antonio Guerrini.tif



SERVIZIO POSTALE - luglio 1848


1. Sarà obbligato il Postino partire da Fratta con la valige delle lettere, pacchi ed altro nel lunedì, mercoledì e venerdì di ogni settimana, non più tardi delle ore cinque antimeridiane e giungere a Perugia per consegnare il tutto a quella Direzione non più tardi del mezzo giorno o anche prima se la Direzione variasse l'ora della partenza del Corriero.


2. Nel lunedì e venerdì sarà obbligato il Postino partire con Calesso o Carrozza a suo piacimento e nel mercoledì gli si permette inviare la valige, pacchi ed altro anche da altri, ma sotto la stretta sua responsabilità e con legge di arrivare in Perugia nell'ora sopra stabilita.


3. A suo maggior profitto potrà ricevere ed eseguire le commissioni dei particolari, purché queste non ritardassero o intralciassero gli obblighi di Officio che andrà egli ad assumere.


4. Sarà obbligato il postino da per sé, o col mezzo di altri sotto la sua responsabilità riportare e consegnare la valige delle lettere, pacchi ed altro a questo Distributore postale, dal primo aprile a tutto settembre alle ore sette antimeridiane, dal primo ottobre a tutto marzo alle ore dieci antimeridiane del martedì, giovedì e sabbato di ogni settimana.


5. Sarà obbligato prendere in formale consegna da per sé, o col mezzo di persona di sua fiducia sotto la sua responsabilità, la valige delle lettere, pacchi ed altro dal Distributore di questa Terra, alle ore due italiane della sera del giorno innanzi alla partenza, ossia di ogni domenica, martedì e giovedì; consegnarla in Perugia all'ora stabilita all'articolo 1 e riportarla e riconsegnarla al Distributore di Fratta nelle ore stabilite all'articolo 4, senza alcun ritardo, meno il caso di vera urgenza, che sempre dovrà legalmente documentare; altrimenti per ogni ritardo non giustificato incorrerà nella penale di baj 50, che gli verrà ritenuta nel saldo a favore della Cassa Comunale, oltre il poter essere sospeso e anche dimesso dall'impiego secondo i casi e la circostanza, specialmente se recidivo.


6. Sarà obbligato portare e riportare dal Registro gli atti del Comune soggetti a detta formalità; come puntualmente eseguire qualunque incombenza che gli affidasse la Magistratura.


7. Sarà obbligato eseguire una idonea fideiussione solidale che garantisca verso il Comune tutte le obbligazioni e responsabilità che andrà egli ad assumere da approvarsi dal pubblico Consiglio.


8. Il Signor Distributore Postale nelle domeniche, martedì e giovedì di ogni settimana sarà obbligato chiudere la valige della corrispondenza alle ore due italiane della sera e farne la formale consegna al Postino.


9. Nei giorni di arrivo della posta sarà obbligato distribuire la corrispondenza mezz'ora dopo che sarà giunta, premesso il suono della campana come al presente: dovrà poi trattenersi nell'Officio per la distribuzione un'ora continua dopo sonata la campana, usando anche la correttezza di consegnare le lettere dopo l'ora indicata, quante volte taluno per assenza non fosse giunto in tempo a riscuoterle.


10. Nei giorni antecedenti alla partenza, dovrà il Distributore trattenersi un'ora nell'Officio avanti la chiusura della valige, per ricavare lettere, pacchi e denari da fiancarsi.

11. Sarà obbligato alla piena osservanza delle leggi e ordini che gli verranno abbassati dalla Direzione Generale delle Poste, dal Governo e dal Municipio e dovrà esibire un fideiussore solidale da approvarsi dal Consiglio che garantisca verso il Comune le obbligazioni e responsabilità che andrà egli ad assumere.


Periodo dagli anni 1851 - 1852 - 1853


Si invitano gli aspiranti a presentare le loro offerte d'appalto...... il 30 settembre prossimo si procederà al primo esperimento d'asta pubblica sulla base del seguente capitolato:


1. Durata dell'appalto: anni tre.


2. Sono compresi in questo appalto n. 8 lampioni costituenti 8 faci, perché il nuovo appaltatore sarà obbligato a far fare del proprio un lampione nuovo simile agli altri esistenti e questo con i necessari ferramenti, catena, serratura, e dovrà collocare il 1 ° gennaio 1851 nella via di San Giovanni di prospetto al voltone che conduce alla via di Porta Nuova in maniera che illumini quella strada traversa…


3. L'accensione dei lampioni sarà regolata come segue: dal giorno che farà il primo quarto la luna, fino alla sera dopo in cui avrà fatto il plenilunio, non si accenderanno affatto. Dalla prima sera dopo il plenilunio si accenderanno per quelle ore in cui non sarà alzata la luna.


4. ..............…


5. L'Appaltatore farà uso per l'illuminazione di olio ben purgato anche al fuoco occorrendo; e a tale effetto prima di incominciare il servizio depositerà nella Segreteria una mostra di olio giudicato capace a produrre una bella e chiara luce, quale verrà suggellato e conservato per servire di campione all'occorrenza.


6. L'Appaltatore sarà obbligato a tutte sue spese provvedersi dei diversi utensili, delle fettucce o lucignoli per i lampioni composti di cotone fino e seta bianca e nella forma e misura del campione esistente in Comune che gli verrà per sua norma esibito, come dovrà provvedere a tutt'altro che sarà necessario senza pretendere alcun compenso.…


7. La fettuccia o lucignoli dovranno fissarsi..... in modo che siano innalzati fuori dalle biffe che le racchiudono un quarto di oncia di piede perugino, quanto appunto ne dovranno ardere perché le fiaccole siano sufficienti all'illuminazione.


8. Sarà obbligato l'appaltatore alla manutenzione di tutti i lampioni, cristalli, lucerne, parabole (o riverberi), bracci di ferro, catene, rotelle di metallo, serrature e chiavi che gli verranno consegnati.…


9. Nei giorni destinati alle assolute vacanze di accensione descritte all'art. 3 dovrà l'Appaltatore ripulire esattamente tutti i lampioni e cristalli anche con gesso macerato per fare sparire tutte le affumicature altrimenti sarà tenuto dei danni.


10. Quante volte per qualunque caso straordinario piacesse alla Pubblica Rappresentanza ordinare l'accensione dei lampioni per dopo la mezzanotte, fermo l'obbligo prescritto all'articolo 3, l'Appaltatore ne sarà proporzionalmente compensato.


11. Sarà obbligato l'Appaltatore tenere accesi tutti i lampioni nelle intere notti della vigilia del Natale; e in quelle notti di carnevale in cui al teatro si facessero feste da ballo si terrà accesi fino che saranno terminate; e tutto questo senza poter pretendere alcun compenso.

12. I lampioni che non si trovassero accesi nelle ore descritte importeranno a carico dell'Appaltatore una multa di bajocchi 40 a lampione.


13. ..............


14. .............


15. Sarà obbligato l'Appaltatore ad esibire un'idonea fidejussione solidale..... e anticipare le spese legali occorrenti…


16. .........…


Dalla Residenza Municipale, lì 29 agosto 1850.



“Umbertide nel secolo XIX” di Renato Codovini e Roberto Sciurpa – Comune di Umbertide, 2001 (Allegati)

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