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curated by Fabio Mariotti








The castle within the walls was divided into three areas: the Terziere Inferiore , the Terziere di Mezzo , the Terziere Superiore which included the northern part of the castle (Rocca, north-west bulwark and was also called Terziere della Campana).

The Terziere di Mezzo included the part towards the Tiber, the houses in front of the church of San Giovanni, the central square (square of the Marquis of Sorbello), the northern part of the Vicolo delle Petresche with the hospice of the Capuchin Fathers of Montone behind it, the part north of the middle road near the central square. It was also known as Terziere della Greppa.

The lower Terziere (or Terziere della porta di sotto, also known as the door of the slaughterhouse) included the area around the southwestern bulwark, the southern part of the via delle Petresche (via Spunta current), the via regale (or straight, via Cibo), of the middle road and the San Giovanni road that led to the church of the same name.







The castle walls

In 1736 the Tiber, with its floods, ruined the central part of the west curtain and destroyed four houses built on that point of the walls. The budget of the defenders of Fratta amounted to 1,032 scudi. Wanting to hasten the reconstruction, they asked Clement XII for a subsidy and the pope replied that he would give five hundred scudi, however, when Fratta proved that he had found the rest.

The defenders were able in a short time to find their part but, seeing that that promise from the pope did not arrive, they began to buy the timber for the armor, the bricks and the lime and entrusted the work to the master builder Bartolomeo Ferranti of Rome. They took action on September 15, 1739, but the pope had not yet paid the promised subsidy at the end of the year. The defenders gave the task to a Mariotti, a Frattegiano resident in Rome, and he replied that Clement XII was very ill and that the defenders of Fratta had to work hard to get the five hundred scudi.

He adds that if the pope had died, it would have been much more difficult to obtain them. It is not known when the work was finished, but it was certainly done very quickly as winter approached. A plaque was affixed to the wall with the inscription "Clem XII Pont Max MDCCXXIYIX.", Which can still be seen about fifty meters before the bridge.
















The Tiber

It had a different trend from the current one and was dangerous for two reasons:

- the current was perpendicular to the road that led to the Niccone valley and to Città di Castello, even then of great communication, so it could have been cut. By 1758 he had come fifteen meters from the road and was threatening to cut it off.

- if this had happened, the bridge would have remained dry, with evident damage to the town and with serious compromise of activities such as military defense, weir, mills, gardens, public wash house, sewage disposal.

Work was done, using many large poles.

In 1726 the bridge of the Reggia was consolidated, over which all the traffic, even heavy traffic, passed from Santa Maria to the church of the Madonna della Reggia and to San Francesco and Montone. The bridge was made of wood, except for the two brick ends and in 1770 the judiciary of Fratta decided to enlarge it.

In 1787 the municipality incurred an expense to cover the top of the Rocca. The roof of the tower is rebuilt.


The villages adjacent to the Castle


The Borgo Superiore

It is located north of the castle within the walls and includes the Castel Nuovo (formed by the two streets of the Boccaiolo and the one that leads from the Piaggiola to the market gate), the "Mercatale di Sant'Erasmo" (today's Piazza Marconi), the area of furnaces and the church of Santa Maria della Pietà.


Palazzo Ranieri

Owned by Count Curtio Ranieri, son of Costantino, it was in the Piaggiola road. In 1756 the count enlarged it. In front there was a public well (the widening that forms between the end of the Piaggiola and the Boccaiolo road) called the well of Sant'Agostino, near the church of the same name.


Mill of the Fathers of San Bernardo

(Castel Nuovo)

It is located along the small road (now called del Molinaccio) which leads from the end of the Piaggiola to the Tiber. It was close to the castle walls and belonged to the Fathers of San Bernardo or Barnabiti. These had two small convents, one in Fratta and one in Migianella.

In the Borgo Superiore there are still two tower-houses, one in the Mercatale area and another at the Porta del Boccaiolo. They consist of a bottom below and a room above. They were built for peasant use.


The Lower Village

It is also called "le Fabbrecce" because there are blacksmith shops and in the mill outside the Borgo, the scythes were rounded (as in the fourteenth century! Nothing had changed). It included the area of the street that led from the bridge of the Reggia to Piazza San Francesco, the Via di Santa Croce (now Via Soli) and the area outside the Borgo gate.

At the beginning of the century, the road that began outside the San Francesco gate and led towards the Madonna del Moro was called the Caminella road; then strada del Piano (during the French occupation at the end of the century, strada Consolare del Piano); at the beginning of the twentieth century via Secoli.

Along Santa Croce there was the Osteria della Corona, owned by Count Ranieri. The square was already called Piazza San Francesco. It changed its name later to go back to that name.



In 1790 work was carried out on the road to Montone, in the section under the convent of the Observant Friars of Santa Maria. The width is eight feet, like all the other roads leading to Fratta, the bracing of which is redone every year.













The doors

In 1788 an arm wrestling was put on the Porta della Saracina (there was still this mighty tower at the beginning of the bridge). Other works were done on the door of the market and that of the nuns. In 1790 the door of the Saracina is set up. In 1792 it was the turn of the bridge and work was done to lower the door to the market.







- Renato Codovini - “History of Umbertide - Volume VI - 18th century” - Unpublished typescript.

- Calendar of Umbertide 2001 - Ed. Municipality of Umbertide - 2001 (Texts by Adriano Bottaccioli - Walter Rondoni - Amedeo Massetti - Fabio Mariotti).





South-west bulwark of defense
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The plaque on the walls dedicated to Pope Clement XII
The ancient houses on the Tiber. In the red circle the headstone
Cartina catastale Fratta del 1750 circa.
- On the left, cadastral map of Fratta from the mid-1700s
- Above, map of the medieval Fratta with the castle doors
Coperta Calendario 2001.jpg
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The cover of the 2001 Umbertide Calendar
The historian Renato Codovini
Il Castello di Fratta
L'Amministrazione e la Pubblica Sicurezza


The municipal administration

In the eighteenth century the public administration of Fratta has two different offices. From 1700 to 1787 the building located in today's Piazza Fortebracci, formerly the seat of the convent of Santa Maria di Castelvecchio (current seat of the Riuniti theater). From 1787 to 1799 in the palace of Castel Nuovo, formerly the seat of the convent of Santa Maria Nuova, suppressed in 1787. There are three administrative bodies: the judiciary, the council of twelve and the general council (or 42).










The judiciary is made up of the four defenders, also called "priors" or simply "the magistrates". Once elected, they met and nominated the "chief magistrate" or "first prior". Person of great importance in social life, he came from the "first class". The election of the council was made between only two classes, the primary people of the place, civilians and landowners and the artists (craftsmen). The former are destined to obtain the rank of head of magistrate, the office of public chamberlain and the harangue of the council. The second the other three parts of the judiciary: the second, third and fourth prior who are distributed by seniority.

The council of twelve met for decisions of greater importance, when they wanted to be sure that there would be no opposition to what was to be established. It was made up of the four defenders, the four counselors of the defenders, the three health conservatives and the chamberlain. He could not impose new taxes, vary the prices of abundance, discuss quarrels between citizens and the public administration, make decisions about wars, invasions, earthquakes, plagues. He was summoned by ringing the big bell with twelve taps.

The council of 42 was the general council, that is the council of the twelve, increased by the representatives of the classes that had the right to be part of it and by the exponents of the major villas (hamlets).



- Councilors (municipal). People who made up the two municipal councils (12 and 42). They were partially renewable, one third at a time, always removing the oldest ones. They belonged to the first and second classes. In 1798, following the French occupation, women were appointed municipal councilors for the first time. Three in Fratta and one in Preggio.

- Defenders. There were four of them and they remained in office for four months. They were elected by means of a "bussolo" vote, but they did not receive any salary since theirs were an honorary office. Only at the end of the mandate were they compensated with a small sum as a gift, not exceeding one and a half shields.

- Counsel for the defenders . There were four of them and each "on the sidelines" of a defender (or prior), to whom he gave advice. almost like today's personal secretary. They were chosen from among those who had been defender in the previous quarter, assuming that he had acquired some experience in the affairs of comitative government.

- Gonfaloniere. First prior and head of the judiciary, he was called so only at the beginning of the restoration, after the end of the Roman republic. in August 1799.

- Consular prefect of Fratta. Office of the French administration, reporting directly to the prefect of the canton of Fratta. He was the head of the commune of Fratta and also "president of the commune".

- Prefect of the canton. Figure established in the last decade of the century, when there was the French invasion. The prefect was responsible for everything that took place in our canton, including the municipality of Preggio and Poggio Manente (San Paterniano) as well as Fratta.


Employees and officials:

- Archivist. Usually a notary. He drew up acts for the municipality but also for the citizens.

- Balio. He was in charge of liaising between the judiciary and other community bodies and private citizens. He took four scudi a four-month period.

- Camerlengo. Collection and payment clerk. He did not take any premium on the collection as he received a normal salary.

- Chancellor. He had more or less the functions of today's municipal secretary. His office was called "chancellery" or "priority secretariat".

- Commissioner and judge. Public official appointed by Perugia. His main task was to enforce the law and punish the guilty, but in the most difficult, delicate and controversial cases he had the order to send the guilty to Perugia subjecting them to the examination of the higher court.

- Conservatives of health. Three people who remained in office for two years and had to belong to the first sphere, that is, to the first class. They spoke to the city council when called and their job was to give an opinion on what was being discussed in the meeting.

- Donzello. Clerk to all minor duties, he had the lowest salary paid by the administration to an employee.

- School teacher. His salary was paid partly by the municipal administration, partly by the parents of the children and another by the brotherhood of Santa Croce.

- Doctor led. He was also paid by the municipality.

- Moderator of the public watch . Supervisor, maintenance, loading and various checks of the public clock.

- Portinari. Surveillance of the gates of the town who opened every morning and closed in the evening at about "two hours at night".

- Preacher. Ecclesiastical, priest or friar, about three times a year he preached in the churches of the town. He stayed in Fratta for a few days, staying in a convent.

- Praetor. Charge born at the time of the French invasion.

- Commissioner. Charge that arose at the time of the French invasion. He kept the books of the canton's administration.

- Scribe. Person in charge of copying documents, letters, reports of board meetings, etc.

- Sindicators. We find this use in the first half of the century. The mayors controlled the community accounts and remained in office for one year.

- Letter dealer. He was the postmaster, also hired by the municipality.

- Public appraisers. We find them in the first half of the century. They were people responsible for estimating properties or various activities both for the interest of the municipality and for private citizens. They remained in office for a year.

- Community representatives in Perugia and Rome. People involved in unraveling community affairs in these cities. Being well established in state offices, they had practice in public administration and were known by various employees.























Management of the Municipality

Revenue for taxes

There were the chamber tax, the municipal tax, the privileged and fair tax, the allotment of the ground coffee. The community of Fratta imposed them on the population and then calculated its percentage on the sum; the remainder was sent to Perugia. The chamber tax was requested by the reverend Apostolic Chamber of Perugia, which kept a small sum and sent the rest to the central government of Rome. The privileged and fair tax related to the various privileges that the city of Perugia granted to its dependent communities. The ground tax concerned everything that was brought to the mill and was the most detested by the peasants. Then there was the focatico tax. It hit all the "fires", that is, the hearths, the families. It remained until the 1960s under the name of "family tax". In 1706 only eleven families paid for it; in 1728, fifty-seven. The "property tax" hit the owners of houses and land. In addition, there was the "undressing and jail tax". By "bare" was meant unnecessary clothing and by "galleys" a tax intended to strengthen the state's navy. Finally, there were other occasional taxes, such as the "tax on the million", introduced in 1713 by the papal government which needed as many scudi.


Revenue for procurement

They were preferred by the municipalities as they were easy to manage and made it possible to collect the maximum on set dates. The contracts were made known by posting a notice outside the door of the town hall: on the appointed day, the "piper" would station himself in certain points of the town, sound the trumpet and let people know the time and place of the competition. Which took place with the "virgin candle" method every three years.

Procurement of the oven. Granted in 1710 to Ercolano Fanfani. It ensured the production of bread for the whole country.

Wage contract. The prerogative of distributing the salt belonged to Perugia, which gave it out to the various communities. Fratta, in order to get the necessary, had to go and pick it up in Perugia or, when there was none in the warehouse, in some town on the sea road: Fossombrone, Fabriano, Jesi, Ancona.

Contract of the oil shop and grocery store. It consisted in granting a contractor the service of selling edible oil and kinds of delicatessens in the municipal shop, at the prices established by the municipality and written prominently on a sign.

Procurement of the land stamp. Those who wanted to occupy a part of the public land (for example street vendors) had to pay a certain fee.

Procurement of the meat stamp. The "butchers" of Fratta had to "skin" the animals in the public slaughterhouse. After removing the skin (which was used for the sole of the shoes) they cut the animal and the pieces were stamped by the "meat boiler". The operation served to make it clear to those who bought which was ox and cow, calf, sheep or mutton. The "bollatore delle carne" made the butchers pay the stamp, then paid the municipality, in two or three installments, as established.

Public procurement slaughterhouse. Whoever won the tender sold the meat in this shop for two or three years by paying the agreed sum, in half-yearly installments, to the municipality which had the purpose of keeping prices calm to favor the poorest population. Contract for damage given and deposit of pledges. The depositary of the "damage given" was assigned to the surveillance of public goods, movable or immovable, he noted, in his interest, the damage caused by citizens to public goods, brought these facts before the judge and commissioner. This was also joined by the contract for the "depository of the pawns" , that is the office that advanced money to whoever deposited a pledge. Procurement of measures. The possibility of having large quantities of goods weighed was the prerogative of the Noble College of Exchange of Perugia. The operation took place with a large scale, publicly owned, called "the big steelyard".

Procurement of firewood. Those who intended to bring firewood into the village had to pay a right in money to the municipality. Who contracted the collection to a private citizen.

Procurement of the foietta. The right to tax the sale of wine "al menuto", ie sold by glasses or foiette, was also contracted out by the municipality to third parties.

Procurement of the cenciarìa. He charged the collection of rags. The contractor collected a fee from those who collected the rags and was also a collector.

Contract for the pen . Collection of the excrements of the animals that passed through the country, assigned by means of a contract to the one who offered the highest price.

Tiber wood tender. It used trunks and branches that were deposited under the bridge after the floods.

Tiber fishing contract . It struck those who wanted to fish in the stretch of river under the jurisdiction of the municipality, that is, upstream of the bridge.



The municipal administration of Fratta divided the expenses into "recurring expenses",

"Occasional outgoings and expenses", "various gratifications". The "recurring outings" yes

they distinguished in outputs for the achievement of the purposes of the institution and for alms.

Among the former, the main item is the payment of employees and employees of

each degree. A recurring exit was the seasonal arrangement of the roads which,

both in the country and outside, they had to be bridged every November.

Another expense was the annual cleaning of sewers, wells and fountains.

It does not seem strange to consider among the recurring expenses also those "for alms",

because at the time the municipality used to give money to some brotherhoods for

the patronal feasts of Sant'Erasmo, San Bernardino and SSma Annunziata.

He also bought wax (candles), "powder" (for the barrels), oil for lighting

and other useful things in the processions.

At Christmas and Easter the municipality also used to give gifts: to the representatives of the

community in Rome gave two capons; to the four defenders, at the end of the mandate

quarterly, two scudi. The "occasional expenses" were used, for example, to repair

municipal-owned houses and farms, roads, bridges, town gates, to pay interest

liabilities on debts, cops' living expenses. All those rewards, finally, that the

It was common to give the refreshments offered in the form of gifts and tips to distinguished visitors

to guests (for example for the arrival of the bishop), gifts to the commanders of the foreign troops of

passage so that they did not do too much damage, donations to the convents.



Public safety

While the public administration was delegated, in Fratta, to the judiciary and to the municipal councils, in the eighteenth century public security was strictly the responsibility of the commissioner, who was appointed decenviral (that is, of the Perugian judiciary). The commissioner and ordinary judge, in this double capacity, had in his first role the competence over the public safety of the whole territory and the investigating power given to him by the Perugian executive. On the basis of this power, it resolved all issues relating to public order that arose in a territory of about five or six thousand inhabitants (Fratta and hamlets), up to the arrest of those responsible. For certain crimes he sent the guilty to Perugia, to his superior judicial body or criminal office, as it was then called. In the event of minor disputes (those which today, for example, are the responsibility of the justice of the peace) he invited the parties to go to a notary and in his presence formulate a "peace act" between them. In case of crimes of greater gravity (usually acts of banditry), where the powers and possibilities of the commissioner proved powerless, he asked Perugia to send one or more teams of cops. They, with the force of arms, were able to put an end to those emergency situations and to restore the normality of life, bringing the offenders to Perugia. In the village the behavior of the cops was rather heavy and savage and the population paid the price, but this was well tolerated by the "good government" for which the fear that they knew how to instill in the people was obviously convenient, as it facilitated their way to act.

The cops also came in times of epidemic diseases and if there was to fight the bands of brigands. In these cases they also went to guard the border areas and blocked the road with large iron gates to prevent transit in both directions. During their passage they stayed at the Osteria della Corona where they could stay for several days, but they were always frowned upon by the population as they committed abuses of all kinds and even harassed the hosts and their families. The Count of Civitella, who owned it, decided for these reasons to close not only this tavern to the public but also the one located in the San Giovanni street. It is the first case of "lockout" of an exercise. The municipality then bought a house to be used for housing the cops when they came to Fratta. It was bought in 1770, in via di San Giovanni and became the office and residence of the commissioner-judge. In this way it was possible to free the two rooms of the town hall which had already been used for this purpose for several years.










Security problems also arose at the time of French domination, due to the harassment carried out by those troops. The commissioner-judge could not move as he wanted in these situations: the military occupation had effectively nullified many of his possibilities. In May 1798, for example, the French soldiers of General La Vallette, coming from Città di Castello, committed various abuses, including the destruction of furniture and books from the convent of San Francesco. It is due to such vandalism that nothing has remained on the life of our convents whose friars had come to Fratta in the last decade of the 13th century. In December 1785 the central government of Rome forbids all games in taverns and taverns.

In 1788 soldiers were sent to Fratta to oppose a gang of criminals. In 1791 it was necessary to arm other soldiers, in the face of new raids by brigands who escaped, in July, from the Macerata prison and considered very dangerous by the government which had made prizes available to those who had captured them. A great scourge of time was that of collecting grains, which were then sold outside the kingdom. To put an end to this illicit trade, the municipality issues a notification against the "grabbers of wheat products". On August 13, 1795, a decree tends to limit the underworld of our province by forbidding those who go to the Monteluce fair from carrying weapons. In 1788 an ordinance was issued against "wounders and those who insult in the streets, with or without weapons".

On 26 March 1797 two companies of the Colonna regiment pass through Fratta, the Vespiccini company and the Colonnello company. On June 26, Corsican soldiers "fled from Faenza due to the French invasion, commending themselves to the mercy of this public". He is fed. On February 2, 1798, carriages from Cisalpini pass.


- Renato Codovini - “History of Umbertide - Volume VI - 18th century” - Unpublished typescript.

- Calendar of Umbertide 2001 - Ed. Municipality of Umbertide - 2001 (Texts by Adriano Bottaccioli - Walter Rondoni - Amedeo Massetti - Fabio Mariotti).

Today Teatro dei Riuniti, from 1700 to 1787 seat of the Municipality of Umbertide
cartolina 129.jpg
The town hall in the early 1900s
Old photo of the church of S. Bernardino
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Ancient image of the Castle of Civitella di Civitella Ranieri




The way of life

At the beginning of the eighteenth century most of the people of Fratta struggled in misery. The few owners (and this throughout the Papal State) had a good game to keep wages low, given the large supply of labor, fed by many poor people looking for work. There were other elements to burden this picture: the frequent famines, the extraordinary taxes to compensate for the various flaws in the central administration, the devaluations of the currency to fill the sudden cash gaps. The people were totally subject to higher taxes. He didn't feel the need to rebel, but he certainly felt the weight of it.

The entertainment

The Frattegiani's opportunities for recreation and distractions were not many and all more or less orchestrated from above. The theater, as the local academics society had a certain activity; patronal and religious festivals in general; the public joy in the cases of the most sumptuous marriages and in the passage through Fratta of the cardinal protector; the festivities in the immediate surroundings of the town. They could lock themselves up to play in the Osteria della Corona or in that of the Staffa but, above all, they had the greatest set of distractions and entertainment during the carnival period. It began on the day of Saint Anthony and ended on the "fat Saturday" with the midnight dinner, called "la sabatina", made up of fatty foods.



They were characterized by three moments: the private policy, the notarial deed, the ceremony in the church. With the private policy, the families established the economic conditions under which they would allow the marriage of their children. The parties then went to the "notary", together with the witnesses, to ratify the agreement. Finally, the ceremony followed, celebrated "according to the rite of the Holy Roman Church", preceded by a public "denunciation". The marriage was registered by the priest in the special book which, in 1741, had the five baiocchi stamp of the reverend Apostolic Chamber.


The processions

They all had a religious character and there were no civil processions or parades.

Their development was linked to the many festivals of the time; then there were others that originated from contingent events (rain, earthquake, disease, etc.). In the seventeenth century they were still called with the old medieval name of "lumi", for which going in procession was said to "go to the light" (taking place almost always in the evening, there was a great display of lights, with candles, "fàcole" of pitch , oil lights). They were planned a few days earlier by a certain fraternity which appointed a group of five or six brothers who were entitled to the honor of the organization. These were called "above" and had the task of looking for the necessary money in the "begging" done in the countryside or in the streets and squares of the town, especially on market or fair days. Elements common to all the processions were the presence of (lay) companies and (religious) congregations with their brothers, closed in their cloaks of different colors and shapes. The representatives of the community for the occasion wore the ceremonial dress (the purple rubbone), while the soldiers, often Corsican mercenaries, came specially from Perugia. Another element was the "machine", that is the large wooden scaffolding equipped with two large and long poles which served to support the statue of the saint for whom the procession was made and which was carried on the shoulder. Finally, the banners of religious and secular associations among which wooden sticks with cloth and fringes sprouted, carried by the sacristans of the churches, in the midst of a cloud of smoke, smells and sizzles of burning pitch released from the many "fàcole", candles, lights and a burst of barrels that framed that whole. In the end, those who had intervened wearing the "hood" were given food consisting of bread, cakes, torcoli, wine, the distribution of which often gave rise to "abuses and dishonesty" and several times the bishops of Gubbio suspended "the brothers' tycoon that go in procession ", and replaced it with distribution of candles. But given a certain rarefaction of the people in tow, everything returned as before.












Parties and sweets

In the eighteenth century there were about twenty feasts a year and they all had the common and main component of religiosity. The banners of the art corporations, religious fraternities (or companies), congregations (only priests) intervened together with that of the community of Fratta. These associations, together with the municipality, thought of the decorations, both of the town and of the churches. They were made with great pomp, of the drapery type (the "drapoloni"), of silk or damask, as well as they could consist of light weaves (structures) of wood or light metal, of various designs, covered with fabrics or flowers ( even fake), ribbons and lace at will. It was possible then, but only on major occasions, to the construction of real triumphal arches for the streets and gates of the town. Among the characteristic festivals there was the "flower festival of May", promoted by the company of Sant'Antonio. On such occasions, in the organizing church, there was always a "choir of musicians" and singers. On 8 September 1795, for the feast, the famous Frattegiano singer Domenico Bruni arrived in the church of San Francesco, passing through one of his numerous artistic tours that he sang among the amateurs of the town, without any compensation.

In the evening, the houses were lit with candles in the windows and everyone waited for the climax of the "barrels and rays".












The costume

In the eighteenth century the "sumptuary laws" of the seventeenth century on the way of dressing were in force in the Roman ecclesiastical kingdom, which forbade citizens (not the rich) certain luxurious ways, discriminating and further distancing the various social classes.

In 1703 Pope Clement XI issued an edict in which he ordered low-status women to renounce any adornment, imposing the use of ordinary fabrics and non-violent colors. It was then forbidden to those of the people and petty bourgeois (edict of Clement XII in 1730) to put gold and silver trimmings on headdresses, fabrics and ornaments.


The way to die

In the parish books we find various "systems" to pass on to a better life. In 1715, with a touch of romanticism, - "... died at 10 pm on the moon ...". There are also descriptions of violent deaths, such as "... assaulted by two brothers, one of whom took his gun and shot him in the chest and so wounded he fled the Tiber on the boat of Ascagnano".

In 1740, for a woman who throws herself into the Tiber "... At other times she had done other wisdom". A woman dies "from a serious fall made on the precipitous stairs of her house". Another, certain "Francesca di Brizio found in the house all burned with the exception of the head".

Then there are death records and testamentary dispositions which show the religious sentiment of the people. Sant'Antonio da Padova enjoyed a certain cult in our country, so much so that he had his own altar in the church of the Compagnia del Soccorso, in the monastery of Santa Maria Nuova.

In 1722 a Frattegiana told the notary "I want to be buried at the altar of St. Anthony of Padua, my lawyer and protector dressed in the habit of St. Anthony ...".

In another testament of 1794 we find instead the extreme will of a sinner (or presumed such). He explains how his funeral must take place: "... from the house where I live my body is to be taken directly to the church without any turn of the streets and this in order not to remind the public of the scandals given in my life. When it reaches the church it is immediately buried without to expose the corpse of such a great sinner to the public's view, without wax, or music, or other similar things that vanity has been able to invent ".


Funerals and burials

The dead person, after having received, sooner or later, the visit of his parish priest for the absolution and registration of the death in the parish books, remains entrusted to the relatives and is stripped, washed, then wrapped in a sheet, ready for the funeral (or fùnere, as it was said then). That was the responsibility of the parish priest of the parish to which the dead man belonged and, if he was in a company or in a congregation, the association sent its own representation of brothers dressed in "hoods". The dead man was placed on top of the bier, with the top layer covering him, then carried on the shoulder to the church. Often the testator, among other things, indicated the place of burial. In fact, the dead were buried in the rear part (cemetery) of the church, but some were placed in existing mounds under the floor. There was therefore a distinction between outside, where the poorest were buried, and inside, where the brothers of the lay companies and the wealthy were placed (noble sepulchres), while the truly rich had their chapel. The noble tombs, for the rich, were obtained in front of the altars (even the main one) or on the sides of the same. In the entombment, the simple burial of the corpse wrapped in a sheet was carried out.

The box was used only exceptionally, when it was a person who had acquired a great human value in life, or for the rich or for those who died outside the country and whose body had to be brought back to Fratta, transported on the wagon to horses.

The burial in consecrated land was conditional on the fact that the dying person had first confessed and communicated, with the exception of those who had died suddenly.

In the latter case it was the priest who ascertained whether the deceased had confessed some time before and, in any case, had always lived as a good Christian.

The unconsecrated land was near the church cemeteries.




Wheat mountain

It was commissioned by Don Giuliano Bovicelli di Fratta, a priest in Rome where he held the office of secretary to Cardinal Sacripante. Bovicelli, in the year 1715, donated the sum of one hundred scudi to the brotherhood of San Bernardino, of which he was a brother, with whom "... he wanted and longed for a mountain of wheat to be created in order to buy grain for the poorest population ". The brotherhood immediately bought two hundred wheat "stands" and started this institution. The wheat mountain stored grain for harvest and then gave it free to the poorest during the winter and spring, when it was difficult to find it. After the legal institution of 17191a confraternity began looking for a suitable seat where to arrange both the grain and the administrative office of the mountain. He succeeded only many years later, in 1764, when he bought a small house owned by the company of the Most Holy Sacrament in the central square, called "del Marchese" (Piazza Matteotti).









The pawnshop

Poor people who needed small loans of money turned to it and brought their little things as collateral, that is, movable goods of all kinds. For this service the municipality requested a sum to be calculated as a percentage. This was truly negligible, that is, much less than what would have been paid by resorting to the loan of the Jews, then present in Fratta, whose interest rates were much higher.

The community of Fratta was authorized to manage this institution by the municipality of Perugia, from which it had contracted it out and to which it had to pay a sum.

annual. The municipality could therefore manage it on its own but could also subcontract it, as it did in the year 1748 when the Monte was sold under contract to Ubaldo Moretti di Fratta.


Free study

The community of Fratta could send "two young people to the Episcopal Seminary of Gubbio every year, to remain free there, as long as they have the necessary requisites and are suitable to set out on the Ecclesiastical Way".


Assistance to the "exposed"

The "exposed" were newborns abandoned at the door of churches or hospitals, sent by the community to the hospital of Santa Maria della Misericordia in Perugia. Here many foundlings die because the nannies cannot be paid. Those who take babies to breastfeed them "... Also have five or six in the chest", so nourishment is scarce and deaths are many. Before 1739 the external nurses received a "dirty" grain mine a year, too little for Cardinal Martino Enrico Caracciolo, apostolic visitor in that year to Perugia, who assigns each six paoli a month, plus a shield, a tantum, after the eighteenth month. These children went around with a tag attached to their neck to indicate the date of baptism and the name.


Gifts for spinsters

In the eighteenth century some local brotherhoods, including that of Santa Croce which was the richest, bestowed a dowry on a spinster. In this way, girls who had to marry but who could not afford the necessary expenses were helped in this way since 1612. The dowry, one a year, was granted upon written request to spinsters born in the village (such as their parents), attaching a certificate from the parish priest who attested to both the birth, the age and the patronage of these girls. The brotherhood then chose a certain and limited number of girls and subjected them to an examination. The vinciti-ice could have the dowry only if and when he got married. There was also a deadline, which was 35 years; if the girl did not marry by this age, the brotherhood would take back the dowry. Another reason why the dowry was denied was that the girl, before marrying, did not live honestly.


The entertainment


Already in the seventeenth century an association of theatrical art lovers was operating in Fratta called "Accademia degli Inestabili". In 1746 it had to proceed with its reorganization, which suggests that it was in a strongly negative phase.

On the other hand, public and private music teaching was very active. In particular in the oratories, where the youth met for religious representations, with singing and instrumental schools linked to the various religious functions of the feast days.

The Fratta theater was located since 1746 in the town hall, in today's Piazza Fortebracci. On the first floor there were some offices and the council meeting room which was given to the "unstoppable academics" for their performances. It had two "lodges" which probably served for municipal councilors, but were open to the public for the theater. You entered via a stone staircase placed outside.

In 1770 it was still in the hall on the first floor of the town hall but this room was by now insufficient for the activity of academics. They therefore decided to expand it and asked for two adjacent rooms that served as the office of the commissioner and judge as well as for the passing cops.

In 1746 we know that they wanted to reconstitute a theatrical association on a different basis from the old one: perhaps the "unstable academics" had dissolved, in whole or in part, towards the end of the 17th century. In the mid-eighteenth century the members of the "Accademia degli Inestabili" were eleven, from the main families of the town, such as the Fabbri, the Francesconi, the Burelli, but then the number grew and other illustrious personalities took part, such as Dr. Prospero Mariotti, his son Annibale and doctor Giulio Fracassini. The academy had a coat of arms formed by a noble shield where a hand was drawn. He held three gold cords intertwined together that ended with leads like a small tassel and, all around, the motto "Difficile solvitur" (it will hardly melt).






















Outside the theatrical season (ie outside the carnival), the amateur dramatists of the country acted instead, who were mostly the academics themselves and the members of their families.

The plays were performed to train young people in stage disciplines rather than to give entertainment to the population.

In the mid-eighteenth century, dramatic companies of a nomadic nature were a rarity and the first came to play in Fratta in 1748. It was the company of Giovanni Gazzola, a professional "histrionist artist" who, after many difficulties in obtaining authorization, was able to delight the Frattegiani with the affected parts of Pulcinella, Brighella and Doctor Belanza.

Our theater closed, like everyone else in the Roman kingdom, from 1791 to 1795 by order of Pope Pius IV, due to the political events of the time, centered on the invasion of Italy by the French army. It was then reopened with the works "The guilty woman" and "The corsair of Marseille", where that "corsair" must have been a clear reference to the work of Napoleon, the most interesting character in the political scene of the time.

The theater was granted on request for dance parties, elementary school work, occasions in which the best children were rewarded. Sometimes it was then granted for the game of bingo, introduced in Perugino in 1796.

In the first months of 1798 the "Viva Maria" movement arose. In mid-February Fratta was invaded by these rioters who did various damages to municipal and private property, tampered with the theater and dispersed the administration documents.


Free time

In 1730, the "ox hunt", or "fence game", a sort of bullfight between oxen and dogs in a town square, usually San Francesco.

In 1760 we have news that hunting was practiced in the months of September and October, the so-called "birding" (with the net).

In 1794 the game of the "ball" or "ball" appears in Piazza San Francesco.


- Renato Codovini - “History of Umbertide - Volume VI - 18th century” - Unpublished typescript.

- Calendar of Umbertide 2001 - Ed. Municipality of Umbertide - 2001 (Texts by Adriano Bottaccioli - Walter Rondoni - Amedeo Massetti - Fabio Mariotti).


Il modo di vivere, di morire, la solidarietà e gli svaghi
Foto 20.jpg
Procession of the Madonna - late 1950s. (Corradi photographic archive)
chiesa sfrancesco.JPG
Domenico Bruni.JPEG
                   The facade of the church of San Francesco                                        The opera singer Domenico Bruni
cartolina 132.jpg
Piazza Umberto I (now Matteotti) in the early 1900s. (Historical photographic archive of the Municipality of Umbertide). In 1700 it was smaller and was called piazza del Marchese.
Annibale Mariotti
Giuliano Bovicelli 




In 1700 the permanent settlement in the countryside was much safer than in previous centuries and the construction of farmhouses was no longer based on the tower-house system, the house with a minimum surface area but developed in height, suitable for housing and also for defense. of the peasant and his household goods. Now the type of house developed on a flat level is adopted, with a greater base, lower height, overall higher airspace. It has a ground floor used for agricultural management and a first floor for the farmer's home.

The land could be "arable", "canapinato", "cerquato", "gineprato", "gengato", "working", "olivato", "ortivo", "pergola", "grass", "sodivo", "fucato" "," Vlneat0 "," silvato "," boschivo "(or" buscato "). The "cerquato" land was held in great esteem because the oak was even considered a fruit plant due to the great need for acorns that were used for pigs but, at times, in cases of great famine, they were reduced to flour as an aid to feeding. Human. There was a dominance of the pergola over the vineyard, a fair extension of the olive grove and the presence of the "canapinato" in the places richest in water. The extension of the land was measured in the capacity (rubbia, mina, stara, cup) of seeds necessary to cover the ground. The owners are very few. We find noble families such as Ranieri, Degli Oddi, Bourbon di Sorbello, Florenzi, Antinori, Crescenzi, Zeccadoro who had lands in Fratta but resided elsewhere, for which they did not pay taxes. There were resident families, also very rich: Alberti, Albanesi, Bertanzi, Bruni, Agostini, Burelli, Gnoni, Fracassini, Guardabassi, Magnanini, Paolucci, Petrogalli, Reggiani, Vibi, Cambiotti, Cibo, Mavarelli, Ramaccioni, Montanucci, Falici , Bartoccini.




The leases were of two kinds: a temporary type, stipulated for three, six and nine years and the type called "emphyteusis" which usually covered a period of three generations. These were the most used but there were some valid for a single "riculture", that is, for a single crop or a single agricultural year.

There are three parties to the dispute, even if only two stipulators, namely the owner of the land and the tenant who makes the peasants work the land, excluded from the negotiation.

The owner had to allow the tenant to have the peasant's family members live in the farmhouse; he had to give vines and olive trees to be planted in the year. If he did not provide them, the tenant was released from the "planting" obligation and the owner could not oblige him the following year. The tenant was required to keep the plants found in the delivery inventory, he could send the farmers away at his will and pleasure. It was up to him to pay, in addition to the rent, the duties, the gabelles, the chamber's taxes. He had to leave the sown land as he had found it at his entrance; he had to return the barrels but be careful "that they are of good smell and without any vice, as he receives them". At the end of the rent, the pigs and the large cattle were given back according to the estimate; the sheep and goat cattle were made at the head.

The farmer had to sow wheat and fodder with his own seed, prune and undermine young and old trees, plant a certain number of vines and olive trees every year with the system of formoni and that of single holes. Do not cut fruit trees, only lumber that has died from the fire. He had to take part of the land product to the master's house and for this he was paid in kind or in foodstuffs. The must was divided in half. At Easter he had to give a certain quantity of eggs and "pancasciato"; he had to give gifts and obligations in chickens and eggs.

In the eighteenth century there was no "colonial pact" specified and imposed by law as will happen later, but only unwritten agreements. Of the products of the fields, half went to the owner (dominical part) and half to the farmer. In the cases of three-way relationships (owner, tenant and farmer) the division took place between tenant and farmer; the master took the rent.

The owner was responsible for the costs of pruning and undermining the vines, the formoni and the pits, the fees to the farmer when he was called to give his "assistance" to the harvest work, to sift the wheat and shovel it, to do various jobs of the cellar, when it brought to sell the products to the market, the appraisals and the taming of the cattle, the construction and the accommodation of the rural buildings. They produced cecio, red cecio, hemp, cicerchie, cherries, beans, broad beans, mulberry leaves, opium leaves, figs, cheese, wheat, corn, acorns, lenses, lentils, wool, flax, lupins, honey, hazelnuts, walnuts , barley, olives, panic, pears, peaches, peas, grapes, vetch, vein, wine.

The farmer had to pay a tax called "collar" when he used the oxen that belonged to the owner to work the land.

The peasant's give and take resulted from the "workers' book".

On the hill farms, sheep and goats were kept, but also many pigs.





The Commerce

The aspect that characterizes the economy is the static nature of values. There is no inflation and the differences in the prices of some commodities are caused by momentary extraordinary factors. Another component is the painfulness of work, of wages stuck on the verge of a tiring survival. The economy is very poor, both at the territorial level (municipality of Fratta) and in the Papal State. Another aspect is the almost total concentration of productive activities such as agriculture, for example, in the hands of a few nobles who also took possession of a certain industrial activity (wool mills). There was also a small artisan industry (iron and figulina [terracotta]), but it was limited by a limited availability of capital, always insufficient as it was available in the family. The large payments were made with "bank coupons", generic receipts issued by banks (the "Monti").

The deeds were stipulated by the notary who certified that the buyer was putting the money on the table.



- Bocci (silkworms): Mavarelli, woman Caterina Igi.

- Hemp: Alessio Moriconi.

- Calcina: Mariangelo di Paolo, Domenico Stoppa.

- Construction material: Giovanni Maria Diamanti, Menco di Natale, Andrea Fanfani, Molinari, Domenico Salvatori, Fortunato Agostini, Ludovico Cristiani.

- Fronda dei mori (mulberry trees): Antonio called "il Regnicolo", the "Stinco".

- Timber: Andrea Bellagamba, Raffaele Scapicchi, Antonio di Giovan Battista, Paolo di Giorgio, Gio. Tomasso da Monte Castelli, Giuseppe Jotti,

- Straw: Girolimo di Rondino.

- Hides: Pietro Baldoni is a seller (and collector) of goat skins and "white bassettes".

- Stabbio: Donna Carolina Gratini (1712) to the brotherhood of San Bernardino; Costantino di Vincentio, Angelino Mavarelli, Giulio Rovinati. Mattio Massi, Filippo Leonetti, Filippo Carocci.

- Wine: they received monetary compensation for each barrel of wine. Santi di Cristoforo (1700), Francesco Franceschini, Federico Palazzari (1701), Pietro Martinelli (1715/1749), Francesco Mercante (1722), Antonio Jotti (1726), Costanza Martinelli (1727/1738), woman Elisabetta Jotti, known as " the Padella "(1733/1735), Bernardino Cantelli (1741), Elisabetta Falcioli (1741/1747), Fabrizio Brugnoli (1749), Donna Francesca d'Andrea (1751), Donna Margherita Massi called" the Margarita "(1756/1759 ), Giovanni del quondam Andrea (1759/1760), woman Virginia Ciangottini (1767), Tommaso and Clemente Ciangottini (1768), Antonio known as "il Regnicolo" (1780), woman Maria Antonia Mercanti (1782/1784). Gambattista Fanfani (1787), Gian Maria Bartolini (1789).


Shops and shopkeepers

1702 - Gregorio Molinari: glass. 1706 - Francesco Luminati: wax. 1718 - workshop of "Fabbreccia", in Piazza San Francesco, on the side of the Tiber. 1722/1730 - Sante Mavarelli: bread, lard, lard, wax, fàcole and gunpowder. 1724 - cobbler's shop. There were hammer, pincers, ligiatore, knife, stick. 1732 - Pietro Spaccini: glass, dies for windows (to be placed between the glass). 1732 - Gaspare Martinelli: lead for the dies.

1741/1749 - Domenico Cerbonelli: wax, string, nails, incense. 1745 - Borgo di Sopra, market area, Vasaro Giovan Maria Martinelli. 1745 - Borgo di Sopra, master Antonio Vibi, arquebusier. 1745 - Borgo Inferiore, three blacksmith shops. 1748 - Agostino Bettelli: wax. 1753 - Gaspare Martinelli: lead for glass. 1765 - Ercolano Roni: eggs. 1767 / 1797- Vibi: lace, wax, etc .. 1770 - Silvestro Jlartinelli has a "cossi" shop. 1770/1776 - Domenico Mavarelli: wax, lead for paints, canvas bombage . 1779/1795 - Donino Passalbuoni: shoe shop. 1776 - Burelli: "spetie", wax and shellac. 1781 - Vincenzo Mavarelli: wax. 1788 - Guerrini: wax. 1788 - Ubaldo Perugini: oil. 1791 - Alessio Vioriconi: cloth for sacks. 1792 - Girolamo Ciangottini: wax. 1794 - piazza San Francesco, a potter's shop with an adjoining furnace. 1794 - Piaggiola, shoemaker shop. 1794/1797 - “between the doors”. small square at the south-west bulwark (Tiber), the butchery shop, municipal meat resale. 1795 - 1799 - Vincenzo Mavarelh: balance bills, nails, pins, centaroles, silk buds.


Taverns and hotels

-Osteria della Corona "with accommodation. It was located in Piazza San Francesco, in front of the church of Santa Croce. It was owned by the Counts of Civitella Ranieri. In 1738, a Perugia cop died there, hit by a harquebus." Osteria della Staffa " , with lodging, in the street of San Giovanni, inside the castle walls.It was probably the property of Count Ranieri.There were also the taverns of Antonia Mercanti, with lodging, of Giuseppe Carocci, of Sebastiano Cesaretti.

In 1721 there is "the Osteria di Pier Antonio", managed by a certain Bruscatelli. Next to it stood a "palombaro", the classic peasant house. The villa (hamlet) consisted of only these two or three houses. Nearby was the chapel of the Holy Spirit.

"L'osteria della Mita" was owned by the Marquises Florenzi di Reschio, who lived in Perugia. Towards Città di Castello there was "l'osteria di Montalto", on the level of the Tiber, along the consular road from Fratta to Niccone. It belonged to the Counts Degli Oddi of Perugia, also owners of the castle of Montalto. Finally, there was "1'osteria della Nese", on the river of the same name, on the border between Perugia and Fratta.


Fairs and markets

Fairs were held in the first week of June and took place in the square of the church of Sant'Erasmo, also known as "il Mercatale". Only the cattle for such occasions found place in another location, usually the large municipal lawn located beyond the Tiber bridge.

In Civitella Ranieri the fair took place between 20 and 25 July. In Montalto, on May 28th.


The post office

In the eighteenth century the Upper Tiber Valley was crossed by two services with diligence (two "mail courses", as it was then called). One came from Città di Castello and was directed to Perugia, the other departed from Montone and was also directed to Perugia: they stopped in Fratta to change horses, to pick up the mail and any passengers. These "mail courses" arrived in Fratta early in the morning, first that of Montone, then that of Città di Castello, with a delay that could be half an hour compared to the fixed time. They reached Perugia about four hours later. In addition to the "scheduled" service, there was also a special "course", for urgent community mail, called "lo sped" or "celerifero" (a kind of "priority mail). Provided by a man on horseback who brought "bolzetta" (leather bag) only the parcels of the municipality for which the departure of the diligence could not be expected the following day.













Oil mills

There was one near the Lazzaro ditch, on the border between the "Mercatale di Sant 'Erasmo" and the area of Santa Maria. He probably also had a millstone. In 1794 it belonged to the Mazzaforti brothers who rented it for four years to Ubaldo Cambiotti. In the area there were oil mills in Cicaleto, Migianella, Monte Acuto ("Molino with its press and vine, in whose stump there are three iron circles, the millstone with its trestle and on an iron stake but with a wooden wedge" ), Racchiusole, San Patrignano.


Grain mills

In the "villa" of Cicaleto, in the parish of San Giuliano, property of the Camaldolese friars of Montecorona. It was located one kilometer from the Tiber river, south of Fratta and remained active until the early decades of the twentieth century. It had its own dam, the grinding wheel, the "cialandro", the hopper, the iron blades. And the "fulling machine", the mechanism for beating woolen cloths by means of large wooden hammers that were moved by the water. Other grain mills were located in Molino Vitelli, Monte Migiano, Serra "di Partuccio", San Patrignano and the abbey of San Salvatore (inside, it was called "mill of the cloister" and drew water from a ditch).


I calcined

In Santa Giuliana, owned by Mariangelo di Paolo. He made mortar which he sold the soma to four baiocchi. Another on the coast of Monte Acuto, belonging to the Fracassini family.



They had one Angelo di Roso and Fortunato Agostini, who in 1751 sold bricks for the facade of Santa Croce. In Carpini and Montalto, of the Degli Oddi of Perugia, owners of the castle of the same name. It was demolished by a flood of the Tiber in 1760.







A bit of everything'..

Archibugieri: master Giulio Castellani, master Giuseppe and master Antonio.

Gilders: Antonio Gabriotti, in 1717 gives gold to the candlesticks and carteglories of Santa Croce; Giuseppe Ferranti, from Gubbio.

Silversmiths: Silvestro Angelini, from Perugia; in 1743 he sold a chalice and a silver paten to the Confraternity of Santa Croce.

Bastari: Pietro Profili, Tommaso Mischianti, Giacomo Botti and Fabio Urbani.

Bottari and bigonzari: Alessandro Jotti, Angelo Ciangottini, Francesco Puletti.

Calzolari: were gathered in the congregation of the art of shoe-making (which had its own chapel in the church of Santa Croce, at the altar of Saints Crispino and Crispiniano, protectors of the category): Pietro di Angelo, Ubaldo Moretti, Carlo Guerrini, Donino Passalboni, Antonio Mariani.

Hatters: Passalbuoni, Giuseppe Benedetti from Città di Castello. There was also a shop in Castel Nuovo.

Canapari: Giovan Carlo Montanucci. Tanners: Giulio and Panfilio. Designers: Brischi, Giuseppe Notari and Giovan Pietro Gigli.

Fabbri: Lorenzo and Pietro Martinelli, Carlo Francesconi, Domenico Paganelli, Raimondo Rotelli, Pier Giovanni Lestini, Francesco d'Agostino, known as "Ferraccio". At the end of the eighteenth century two blacksmith shops were in the small open space at the beginning of the road that leads to the Borgo Inferiore, immediately after the bridge over the Reggia. In 1798 Silvestro Martinelli and Vincenzo Jotti are the "officials" of the art and university of blacksmiths.

Carpenters: Carlo Bolisi (1720), Ludovico Franceschini (1724), Alessandro Jotto (1753), Giovan Lorenzo Gigli (1750), Francesco Moscatelli (1745) in Pierantonio, Giuseppe Jotti (1749).

Founders: Gregorio Righi, from Perugia, melts and accommodates the bells of Santa Croce in 1717.

Fornari: Bartolomeo di Lorenzo, Domenico Lauri, Giovan Battista di Giulio, Bernardino Tassi, Olimpia Tassi.

Carvers: Marco Batazzi, Alessandro Igi.

Slaughterers: Santino, Andrea, Giuseppe Schiavini; Angelino Mavarelli, Marino Farneti.

Magnani: Michele Aragoni (1698/1710).

Laborers and porters: Tommaso di Francesco, Santi Paoletti. Giulio di Goro, Domenico Salvatori.

Marescalchi: Antonio Mazzanti.

Measurers, estimators: Fabrizio Mazzaforti (barrel meter), Lodovico Franceschini (grain meter), Alessandro Jotti (timber estimator), Antonio Brischi (wine meter), Vincenzo Mavarelli (wine estimator).

Molinari: Tommaso Mancini, Giuseppe di Antonio.

Masons: Giovanni, known as "Miracle", Costanzo di Cesare, Antonio di Giovan Maria, Ventura Bartoccini (master mason), Ercolano Corsini, Domenico Farneti (master mason). Mason's tools were the hammer, the spoon, the hoe for making mortar, the hammer, the lead, the archipendolo, the shovel to scornigate.

Organ builders: Carlo Balducci, Pietro Forti, Orazio Fedeli.

Pyrotechnicians: 1786, Francesco Natali; 1787, Bernardino Brischi

Painters: Antonio Gabriotti, Francesco Leonardi, Ubaldo Vitaliani, Giuseppe Ferranti, Francesco Cocchi, Giuseppe Bertanzi.

Pollaroli: Pietro known as "1'Anitraro", Giambattista. Pruners: Antonio called Sciuga, Francesco di Antonio; Francesco Scalseggia.

Embroiderers: Colomba Vespucci.

Tailors: Guerrini, Crestina Francesconi woman, Francesco Moriconi, Mauritio Pucci, Margherita Massi woman.

Stonecutters: Francesco di Vincenzo, Lorenzo Brischi, Francesco known as "Borzicchio", Domenico Mavarelli, "il Riccio".

Segatori: Giuseppe Moretti, Tommaso di Pascuccio, Belardino known as "il Regnicolo", Paolo Pieroni, Panfilio di Francesco, Paolo Ercoli.

Saddler: Fabio Urbani

Stucchi: Giuseppe Notari (1753, works in Santa Croce), Giovanni Cherubini.

Weavers: Maria Cristina Francesconi, Aurora Roni, Elisabetta Cantelli woman, Margherita Massi woman. There are no factories, woolen mills and cloth factories. The processing is done in the homes of private citizens as many have looms.

Dyer: Gerolamo Martinelli.

Vasari: Francesco Fussai (1709), Giammatteo Martinelli (1742), Silvestro Martinelli, Gaetano Martinelli.

Painters: Giuseppe Ferranti

Carriers and couriers: Paolo Cangelotti, Marino Rotelli, Tommaso di Marco, Andrea di Ercolano, Giovanni known as "Spaterna", Pietro Simone Cicutella.




In the eighteenth century there was a school where the first elements of reading, writing and arithmetic were taught, held by a clergyman. He was paid by the community with a salary that was, at the beginning of the century, of about twelve, fourteen scudi a year. To these were added three shields from the confraternity of Santa Croce as schoolmaster and another twenty-five that the same corresponded to him "for the chaplaincy", the task of saying masses in the chapel of the brotherhood. The employment contract was stipulated between the municipality and the master before the notary. In case of vacancy, the parents of the children signed a policy with which they agreed to pay a small sum to the municipality, in favor of the teacher.

The school was located in the Borgo Inferiore, in the premises of the Confraternity of Santa Croce.








At the end of the century, the master took thirty-two scudi a year from the community. In addition to this he received eight scudi from the Confraternity of Santa Croce again for the school and the "chaplaincy", to which were added the sums from other confraternities for various religious or occasional services such as musical performances on the occasion of parties. However, the annual income was sufficient for a decent standard of living.

A teacher taught grammar and rhetoric for a salary of seventy scudi a year. At the end of the century this school was located in Castel Nuovo, on the premises of the former monastery of Santa Maria Nuova, purchased by the community of Fratta.

In 1700 the schoolmaster was Don Pietro Cardoni, from Nocera. He lived in the two rooms above the Santa Croce hospital that the brotherhood had reserved for him. The latter retained fifteen paoli a year from the salary she paid him for the rent: thirty paoli in all, that is, three scudi. As was customary at the time, the maestro also performed the "music service" for the company of Santa Croce. In early August 1719 Cardoni resigned. Don Matteo Silvestrini took over and the brotherhood also rents the rooms above the hospital to him.

In 1725 the teacher is Don Pietro Burli. In the early months of 1730 the school teacher was a certain Fabbri, but in April he was replaced by Don Innocenzo Diamanti, for four years. Then the Abbot Giovan Battista Orlandini and Don Lorenzo Meuccio. From 1741 to 1750 the masters were Don Ubaldo Balducci, Don Gerolamo Passi, Don Francesco Tosoni, Don Gaspare Mazzaforti, Don Lorenzo Pellegrini, Don Modesto Spinetti.

From 1750 we find don Arcangelo Mischianti (teacher of sacred theology is fra 'Francesco Maria Calindri, guardian of the convent of San Francesco), don Alessandro Dini born in Urbania, don Matteo Tosciliani, don Paolo Costantini, don Ubaldo Menghini, don Stefano Loretti, don Angelo Mavarelli, don Antonio Giuseppe Gnagneri, don Cristiani, don Giuseppe Angelini, the canon don Paolucci. In 1787 the school teacher was Don Ercolano Mavarelli. He took four scudi a four-month period. He is a canon of the collegiate church of San Giovanni. In 1789, Father Fulgenzio Maria, a minor of the observers of the convent of Santa Maria, born in Città di Castello, was the master. In 1790 there is the canon Pecchioli followed by Don Luca Brami. We then find Don Sebastiano Riccardi and Abbot Paolo Padoni.


The teaching of music

It could be public and private. The first was entrusted to the chapel masters and these, having graduated in music in some school, were called and paid by the various brotherhoods and religious congregations. Their dependence explains the term "di cappella", as the brotherhoods had their headquarters in a church where they owned a chapel with an altar dedicated to their protector. The major brotherhoods, of Santa Croce and San Bernardino, had their own teacher but he did not take a salary that would guarantee him economic security; for this he also carried out occasional work at other brotherhoods and churches, managing, among other things, to earn enough to live.

In addition to public teaching, there was a private one. There was the custom of entrusting a young man, from early adolescence, to a teacher who undertook, for an annual fee, to teach him instrumental music and singing and, at times, also to read and write. The boy, however, had to leave his family and move to the house of the teacher, who became father-master, staying here for the established time, about ten years. All this was agreed through a notarial deed comprising many clauses.



- Renato Codovini - “History of Umbertide - Volume VI - 18th century” - Unpublished typescript.

- Calendar of Umbertide 2001 - Ed. Municipality of Umbertide - 2001 (Texts by Adriano Bottaccioli - Walter Rondoni - Amedeo Massetti - Fabio Mariotti).

Illustrations by Adriano Bottaccioli.

La Famigliola.jpg
Harvesting of wheat by hand (Historical photographic archive of the Municipality of Umbertide)
Peasant family (Historical photographic archive
of the Municipality of Umbertide)
Sul paiaio (Historical photographic archive of the Municipality of Umbertide)
On the ox cart (Historical photographic archive of the Municipality of Umbertide)
Il Calesse M.C.-1911.jpg
Calesse (Historical photographic archive of the Municipality of Umbertide)
Foto 72 - 1977. La vecchia Fornace.jpg
Foto 19 - 1975. Via Bovicelli. Traccia d
1977. La Fornace (Giuseppe Severi Archive)
1975. Trace of a potter's oven in via Bovicelli (Giuseppe Severi Archive)
Glimpse of Santa Croce
Agricoltura, Commercio, Mestieri e Istruzione
Le chiese minori di Fratta e i proietti
La chiesa di Sant'Andrea di Castelvecchio
Church of Sant'Andrea di Castelvecchio


The ancient temple was located at the height of the current analysis laboratory in the old hospital of Umbertide


The church, of very ancient origins dating back to the early twelfth century, stood in the Upper Borgo of Fratta, called Castelvecchio, right on the spot where the old hospital was built in 1870. It had a bell tower with two bells and several altars inside. One of these, dedicated to Santa Barbara, was built in 1735 (1).









Despite the long life and the prestige it had held in the hearts of the faithful of Fratta, we know little of its characteristics. We do not know its shape and we are not able to know if it kept works of a certain value within it, which is possible given the long history of the temple.

If we lack certain information on its origins and its structure, we have, on the other hand, detailed information on its end which coincided with that of the eighteenth century. The collapse, in fact, began much earlier, in the year 1751, when the parish priest, Archpriest Petrogalli, informed the Bishop of Gubbio that a part of the roof was collapsing and also the wall around the bell tower was about to do the same. The authorization for the "reduction" of the church arrived and as the collapses continued, it was further reduced to become a small chapel. In this capacity it was occasionally officiated for some time and later disappeared as the seat of the services of the cult. The "reduction" works were financed with the proceeds from the sale of the main bell (2) which also made it possible to embellish the altar of the church of San Giovanni Battista, where on 15 December 1752 the painting representing Sant'Andrea, painted by Benedetto Cavallucci of Perugia.










1. See Umberto Pesci, History of Umbertide, Typography R. Fruttini di Gualdo Tadino, year 1932, p. 133 et seq.

2. Archpriest Petrogalli, with the Bishop's permission granted on 10 November 1751, had sold the main bell, weighing 220 pounds, to the Philippine Fathers of Montefalco for 38 scudi.



"Umbertide in the XVIII century" by Renato Codovini and Roberto Sciurpa - Municipality of Umbertide - September 2003



The minor churches

The church of the Madonna del Moro was located just outside the Borgo Inferiore, in the center of a farm owned by the Savelli family, next to the farmer's house and a well. In 1746 the farm was sold to Bernardino Dell'Uomo with all the annexes and the small chapel followed the fate of the house and the fields.


























The  instead, the small temple of the Madonna del Giglio was located near the Borgo Superiore, in a property of Donna Pellegrini Stella, widow of Giovan Francesco Paolucci. The lady contributed to the maintenance of the chapel with the sum of five scudi a year. On 16 September 1730 she made her will and ordered that, after her death, the heir, who was her nephew, Captain Giovan Tommaso Paolucci, should continue to pay the contribution.


In the market area there was a small chapel, also called Chiesina del Boccaiolo , dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. The news comes from very few lines of a notarial deed (1) . The church, which we do not know precisely where it was, was enlarged by Marcantonio Stella who did not have it as a property, but was obliged to maintain it as well as to have one mass said a month and six masses on the 10th. December each year.

In front of the church of Sant'Agostino, before entering the Piazza del Mercatale, on the left, stood the Monastery of Santa Maria Nuova with the chapel of Santa Lucia attached to it. When the Monastery was suppressed on July 21, 1787, it continued to be open to worship. It was also called the "church of the blacksmiths" because that corporation had obtained it for use by the Municipality, which in 1787 had become the owner of the entire former monastery. Towards the end of the century, in 1790, it underwent substantial maintenance work for an amount of 140 scudi advanced by Lorenzo Vibi. The intervention suggests that the chapel was still officiated.

There is little news about the church of Calatola . It was located in the homonymous farm word, above the hill where the Bertanzi house stands (Villa Pace). The chapel almost certainly belonged to the same family.


Church of Sant 'Agostino

Shortly before entering Piazza del Mercatale (Piazza Marconi), to the right of whoever descends from Piaggiola, stood the convent of Sant'Agostino and the church of the same name, right in the center of Castelnuovo. The temple was regularly officiated by the Augustinian Fathers who had the responsibility and care of it; it housed several altars, including one dedicated to Sant'Antonio, and communicated with the premises of the convent in the west. Above the ceiling of the church there were two large rooms and on the north side, between the road to Montone and the apse, there was a vegetable garden cultivated by the friars.

The church was a thriving center of religious life and faith as long as the Augustinians who were its soul remained there, but when they left Fratta, the church also took second place. The convent, in fact, was suppressed and in 1738 its property, which also included that of the church, passed to the Municipality.

The Judiciary of Fratta, in the same year, asked the Bishop of Gubbio for authorization to sell the buildings adjacent to the church. The permission was granted especially since the transfer was destined to remain "in the parish" because the buyer was a priest, Don Silvestro Fanfani, who offered 110 scudi. It was a forced choice since the administrators needed cash to pay the salary of the school teacher, since for several years and after numerous attempts, they had not been able to rent those premises.

The church, which showed signs of subsidence in the wall along the road, was the subject of a careful restoration with the construction of a sturdy support spur. Towards the middle of the century, therefore, it was still officiated and was entrusted to the Company of Death.



1) The deed reads: "Remembrance of the faculty given by Mr. Giambattista Bartolelli from Città di Castello to the late Marcantonio Stella of this land to enlarge and expand the church of the Madonna di Loreto in the Market. Deed of the notary Michelangelo Cenni di Gubbio , on 15 September 1690, without reserve of patronage ".







The projectiles (foundlings)

One of the many painful problems of the century, of the previous ones and also of the following one, was the plague of projectiles (or foundlings, or exposed). There were many, more than one can imagine, and in some cases, in addition to the doors of convents, churches and hospitals, where newborns were usually abandoned, revolving drums were also put into operation, communicating with some convent, to to deposit defenseless children, wrapped in poor clothes as best they can. Also in Fratta there was one (1) , near the “scortico”, in the inter portas square that led to the Tiber bridge. It was called "The wheel of the exposed".

The painful phenomenon had deep social roots and did not bear the signs of the scarcity of the maternal sense. The mere thought of such a hypothesis would be an offense to feelings and history. The mother was certainly the first person to feel the agony of the dramatic detachment and to swallow drops of daily bitterness at the thought that the fruit of her breast would grow without affection and without caresses. But in a society such as the eighteenth century, in which infant mortality reached very high levels even in the most affluent families, and the darkest poverty gripped a large part of the population, the abandonment of one's creature to a destiny that was hoped to be generous with better assistance, paradoxically it could represent an act of love or, at the very least, an extra hope of survival. History hides, pitiful and discreet, a series of sufferings and dramas that have not touched the palaces of power, the only archives that an ancient and widespread historiographic theory has carefully consulted in its partial research.

The Fratta projectiles were taken to Perugia, to the Misericordia hospital, which then sent them to Assisi, where Mons. Caracciolo, since 1739, had created a special hospice. The transport to Perugia, for the weak newborn, already represented a heap of hardships, especially in the winter period, but for the insiders it was a normal practice to be carried out, governed by a series of strict provisions, behaviors and remunerations. (25 baiocchi per trip, for the coachman). Several had to arrive in Perugia if the Prior of that city, on May 14, 1741, sent a recommendation to the Confraternity of Santa Croce which had asked for information on the matter. The letter was long, but we report the most pleasant part, to soften the tints of the drama: "In response from the highly esteemed Loro Loro around the reception and transfer of the Proietti from there to this Hospital of Perugia, there is no difficulty in bringing us those who were born in this Territory of Fratta to be this of the Territory of Perugia, only the diligence remains that they are not from another nearby Territory, or from Città di Castello, or from Gubbio, that these have their Hospitals and there is the order of Monsignor Caracciolo, as they will see to the notification sent to them, as well as being careful that they do not take legitimacy and comply in everything with those orders, to which the due penalties are imposed ".

With all the good will it was difficult to establish the provenance and territorial belonging of the projectiles, and if we had some certainty about it, they would no longer be such.

Those in charge of this sector did everything they could to entrust them to some local nurse who nursed them in the very first days of life, before making the journey to Perugia, but the death records are pitiless. In 1753 one of them was entrusted to the Briganti family of Polgeto: “Luigi dies, of an uncertain father and mother, ten days old, handed over to Veronica Briganti on January 21st”; "On February 18, 1753 Anna dies, of uncertain father and mother, handed over to Veronica Martinelli to nurse her on February 11"; "On May 9 Maria dies, of uncertain father and mother, handed over to Veronica Martinelli to breastfeed her". And the list goes on, but we prefer to stop here.

Just to give an example, in the parish of Sant'Erasmo alone, in 1710, five were collected in front of the church door and six in 1720, to refer only to two years of a religious community that had 600 souls.



1. There was also another one next to the convent of Santa Maria Nuova. The gardener who cultivates the adjacent garden testifies that it was visible until the end of the 1950s.



"Umbertide in the XVIII century" by Renato Codovini and Roberto Sciurpa - Municipality of Umbertide, 2003





Almost all of the taxes were contracted out to a debt collector through a regular competition. The obligation was introduced in 1729 by an Edict of Pope Benedict XIII which remained in force for a large part of the following century. The method used for the award was that of the "virgin candle" described in detail in another volume (1).

Some contracts were extraordinary and remained in existence for the duration of the tax, as we have seen for the passage tax; others were fixed because the sector of activity subjected to the tax was permanent, such as that of supplies and some services, and were renewed every three years. They constituted the most reliable and most substantial income for the Municipality.

All citizens duly informed by the notice of the announcement posted on the door of the Municipality and by the Balio tubatore could participate in the conduct of the race who, after scraping a few rings of tuba, read the main heads of the announcement through the streets of the castle and in the squares inter portas.

In a council meeting of May 27, 1747 the contracts were discussed and thanks to it we were able to know not only which and how many there were, but also the amount that we wanted to obtain.

We report them in the same order in which they were exhibited at that meeting:

1. Public Oven Contract

2. Tender for the Land Stamp

3. Procurement of the Carne Stamp

4. Public Slaughterhouse Contract

5. Procurement of the Damage Given

6. Contract of the Salara

7. Oil shop contract

8. Procurement of Measures

9. Procurement of Wood

10. Contract of the Stabbio

11. Procurement of the Foietta

12. Cenciaria contract

13. Tiber Wood Contract.


Procurement of the oven

The public oven belonged to the Municipality which did not manage it directly, but gave it to contract. In truth, in some short periods of the century, for reasons that escape us, the system of direct management was adopted. We can only exclude that they were of an economic nature, since the average annual gain obtained with self-management was about 40 scudi, while the contract yielded 90. Self-management lost 50 net scudi, to which they were owed add all the management hassles and worries.

The contractor, in fact, in addition to the bread making was forced to provide for the purchase of the grain, its grinding; to the wood for the oven, all at his expense, and finally to the bread trade. It was a job that took a lot, especially in an era when there were still no electric ovens, special yeasts and various types of flour already packaged.

The frequent change of management of the oven, moreover, indicates that the profit margins were not flattering.

In 1710 the contract, always three years, was in the hands of a certain Pietro Antonio Marcellini who had inherited it from Ercolano Fanfani and Giovanni Antonio Agostini. The most lasting management was the one that goes from 1770 to 1781 held by Giovanni Antonio Agostini, perhaps a descendant of the manager we met at the beginning of the century.

In the five-year period 1787/1791 the Municipality almost certainly managed it on its own with the results we have illustrated. In the following year the contract was won by Ubaldo Perugini.

Towards the end of the century, in 1793, there was an attempt at competition by the Count of Civitella who was determined to open a bakery on the border of his county with the territory of the Municipality of Fratta, right at the point where today Viale Unità d ' Italia intersects with Via Roma, in the place then called Case Nuove. Giuseppe Palchetti had to manage it. The new exercise would have represented a serious blow to the public oven because Civitella did not apply duties to the activities inside its territory. The matter was resolved haphazardly in a meeting between the Count and the First Prior, at the end of which it was decided that things would remain as before.


Procurement of the land stamp

Even in those days whoever temporarily occupied the public land had to pay a tax to the Municipality. The most typical and recurrent case was that of the itinerant trade. As usual, the Camerlengo did not directly collect the sum and the entire sector was given out on a three-year contract to the highest bidder.

In the middle of the century the contract yielded 38 scudi a year.


Procurement of the meat and slaughterhouse stamp

All the beasts had to be "skinned" at the slaughterhouse. The skins were then left to dry in the sun and the meat, cut into pieces, was subjected to the stamp by the "Bollatore delle Carni".

The stamp was a guarantee of safety for the consumer and also of quality among the various types of meat (ox, cow, veal, sheep, mutton, pork, etc.), but above all a tax expedient.

The Bollatore was the one who had won the three-year tender and not a veterinarian. Its only role was to withdraw the stamp duties from the butchers and to pay the Municipality an annual fee that was between 30 and 140 scudi per year.

The slaughterhouse was also subject to the same regime. This is obviously the public slaughterhouse that the Municipality kept open for calming purposes, while the private butcher had fulfilled his obligation with the payment of the stamp on the meat.

The management of the public slaughterhouse was subject to the normal procurement procedure and the winner undertook to pay a fee that averaged around 35 scudi per year (2). In addition to being a contract, the relationship could be configured as a "slaughterhouse rental", but the rules and procedures followed were those of contracts and not those of leases.

Since they had to carry out the control function, the prices were agreed with the Municipality. Castrato, for example, had to be sold for 4 baiocchi (twenty quattrini) a pound, but from the first Sunday of Lent until the feast of St. John (24 June) it had to be sold for 21 quattrini a pound. Cow, sheep and goat meat sold for 12 quattrini a pound.

The regulation of the contract of 1782 required that during the Christmas holidays all meat had to undergo a reduction, in line with the "social" function that the public slaughterhouse performed.


Contract for the damage given and the deposit of the pawns

The contractor was responsible for the surveillance and protection of public, movable and immovable property. When they were damaged ("damage given"), his task was to report the person responsible to the Commissioner Judge and to collect the compensation established, if the dispute had not been settled by amicable means. Part of the sum (usually a third) was due to him and the other part was paid into the coffers of the Municipality.

It was a type of contract whose revenue was unpredictable and for this reason it was entrusted to the same contractor as the Depositeria dei Pegni, or Monte dei Pegni, as it was more commonly called. Debtors who could not meet their financial obligations often resorted to them, in the absence of the banks, to deposit an object of value and receive a sum in cash. At the set deadline, the depositary withdrew the pledge by paying the amount received with the interest and deposit rights. If this did not happen, as it often did, the pledge remained the property of the contractor who arranged for the sale and withheld the proceeds.

The contractor had to have a fair amount of cash to secure the loans and had to be a skilled trader to make the valuation of the assets deposited.

The contract paid the Municipality 6 scudi per year approximately.


Contract for the salary, oil shop and grocery store

Salt was a kind of monopoly in the Papal State and the sales regime was subject to government regulations. The purchase had to take place in the official "Salara", which for the Fratta Community was that of Perugia, or of Fossombrone, Iesi, Fabriano or Ancona, if it did not have one. The amount of the withdrawal was fixed at 36,000 pounds per year, and the local salary was also to serve the municipalities of Preggio, “Castelrigone”, the Badia di Monte Corona, “Pier Antonio” and Pian di Ronzano.

For retail outlets, the usual procurement system was used, which in this specific case had a duration of two years, and the "Minister of the Salara", as the contractor was also called (3), had the strict obligation to cover the entire needs of the territory under its jurisdiction, since salt is an indispensable element of very large consumption.

With the “Salara”, but in separate tenders, the oil shop and the grocery store were also contracted out. In the first, edible oil was sold and in the second, cured meats, lard and lard, salted meats and cheese. The prices of the products were set by the Defenders and had to be clearly visible on a sign posted in the shop.

While we do not know how much the Community earned with the salt contract, the oil shop and the grocery store yielded 20 scudi a year (8 scudi for oil and 12 for other products).


Procurement of weight measurements

The possibility of weighing quantities of goods over 50 pounds was an exclusive prerogative that belonged to the Nobile Collegio del Cambio of Perugia, which held the monopoly right in this sector. Not being able to exercise it directly, the Noble College contracted it out to the various communities and these, in turn, to a local contractor through the usual tender procedure.

"The large steelyard", as the scale was called, was considered a "public weigher" and the receipt issued attested not only the payment of the rights, but also the exact weight of the goods, to be asserted in court in case of disputes. The large steelyard belonged to the Municipality, which had to comply with all the provisions issued by the Collegio del Cambio and the Congregation of the Good Government (CBG) of Perugia.

Even private individuals could equip themselves with a similar instrument, which had to be "stamped" by the contractor, that is, subjected to the control and payment of a tax, and was not valid in the event of a dispute, nor could it be lent to others, under penalty of seizure of the "steelyard".

Weights under 50 pounds were carried out in all the shops of the time and in private homes, but the scales, in addition to the stamp duty, were subjected to bi-monthly checks.


Other contracts

Anyone wishing to bring firewood into the village had to pay a tax to the contractor as a "right of entry". The parcels were different in relation to the type of transport that could take place “a some”, that is, on the back of a donkey or mule, or in larger quantities of wagons. Payment in kind was also envisaged with the deposit of a piece of wood next to the entrance door to the castle. Generally the wood came from the cutting of the woods, but there was - also the “del Ponte” one, that is all the trunks that the floods of the Tiber piled up close to the pylons of the bridge. All this material that formed a kind of dam, with a lot of practical sense and foresight, was removed and sold on a systematic basis. Most of the time the contractor was unique, but the " wood of the Bridge " could have a different one from the official one.

The streets of the town were haunted by the passage of beasts which, not being angels, deposited their excrements along the way, without much modesty. In an economic system in which nothing was thrown away and everything was recycled, even the “pen” was a useful material. The Municipality contracted out the collection and sale to the highest bidder who, in addition to making a profit, kept the streets of the town clean.

The same thing happened with the rags whose collection was contracted out (contract by the cenciaria). The rags then ended up in Fabriano, where a thriving processing industry had existed since then.

The pleasure of the "drop" of wine seems to have ancient origins and even goes back to Noah. For the taxman there could not have been a better opportunity. Thus the innkeepers and innkeepers who sold the wine by the minute had to pay the “foietta” tax.

Even fishing, in the stretch of the river along the walls, did not escape the tax burden and the fishermen had to pay a kind of "license" to the contractor on duty.

These latter contracts did not represent large revenues for the Community. The tax on the fishing license, for example, paid the municipality a shield a year. We do not know about the others, but we are inclined to believe that municipal finances could not be raised with rags, stabbing and wood.


Various revenue

A few more shields entered the anemic municipal coffers through the leasing of land, of the Shiites, of the houses and shops of public property, but it was very little. The sale of the crushed stone of the Tiber, the foliage of the poplars ( albaroni ), of the willows, of the elms and above all of the morigelsi, planted along the roads and the banks of the waterways, also gave some shields. The breeding of silkworms was widely practiced, even in small quantities in common houses, not to mention the massive production of maggots that were found in the area.



The recycled materials of the renovated public properties were also sold, such as bricks, beams, tiles and bent tiles. The Rocca enjoyed direct financing from Perugia of 45 scudi a year, intended for the maintenance costs of the building and the entire complex of the castle walls .

There were also chancellery rights at that time and those who needed declarations, certifications or copies of deeds were subjected to the payment of the expected fee.

In any case, the proceeds deriving from the various items of income were very often not sufficient to cover the expenses of the Community and recourse to the loan was a constant practice even in those times. As there were no public credit institutions, private individuals were used, which were mostly religious communities. The loan was always guaranteed with the stipulation of a written deed, often with the endorsement of a guarantor and sometimes also with the deposit of a pledge by the guarantor himself.

It happened that the Municipality had credits to collect, but they did not constitute an additional income, but the recovery of taxes not paid at the time by the defaulting taxpayer.


Public properties


In the century in question, the concept of "inventory" did not exist and therefore we do not have a detailed list of municipal property. From the various documents examined, however, it can be deduced that the patrimonial situation of the Municipality was approximately the following:

L. Since 1725 there was a community of Monte Acuto with land on the coast of San Giovanni. We do not know for sure what the relationship between the Comunanza and the Municipality of Fratta was, but it is possible that it was a municipal property sold for use to farmers in the area.




2. In 1738 the Municipality became the owner of the church, the building, the gardens and the farm of the former convent of Sant'Agostino. The farm word “ Sant'Agostino ” had an area of 18 mines and three tables; farmhouse, cellar, barn and oven. The rent paid the Municipality 10 scudi a year paid in "two pays", that is, in two half-yearly installments.

3. In 1766 the Municipality owned the "shop of the bridge" which was located in the south-west bastion, that is in the small inter portas square near the bridge over the Tiber. It was rented to Silvestro Somigli with land under the public oven.

4. All the shiites under the castle walls were municipal property and also the environments in which commercial activities of public utility were carried out: oven, salary, flaying.

5. The seat of the municipal residence belonged to the Municipality, namely the Palazzo in the Rocca square and, subsequently, the former Convent of Santa Maria Nuova.

6. A house located in via San Giovanni di Bartolomeo Petrogalli was purchased by the Municipality in 1780.

7. Some registrations of 1798 certify that the following assets are sources of income for the Municipality, and therefore owned by it:

• a vegetable garden attached to the municipal house;

• a cellar under the municipal house;

• a vegetable garden above the castle walls and under the Bruni house;

• a vegetable garden in the word Porta Nova;

• two pieces of land under the fortress;

• two pieces of land at Boccaiolo, under the castle walls;

• a shop known as the "old slaughterhouse";

• a large number of mori-mulberry trees on the municipal skies.



1. For the same reason, Montone had to pay 2,500 scudi (Ascani A., Storia di Montone). The news is interesting because it can be deduced that at that time the territory of Fratta was smaller than that of Montone.

2. For the sake of completeness, we report the names of the contractors that result from the records in the Archives: 1774/76 Angelo Mavarelli, 1776 Angelo Nardi from Fiesole, 1779 Gismondo Contadini.

3. In 1745 the contractor was Mattia Degli Arrighi. After him the post was taken on by Bernardino Dell'Uomo.


"Umbertide in the XVIII century" by Renato Codovini and Roberto Sciurpa - Municipality of Umbertide, 2003

Gli appalti e le proprietà pubbliche
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Work on the area after the bridge

The Tiber, silent and lazy, in some circumstances also knew how to be noisy and violent, so much so that, over the course of the century, it caused considerable damage to the banks and the castle walls.

The banks along the Montalto area were the hardest hit, in particular the right one where the road to Città di Castello passed. The biggest damage occurred in 1760 when a brick kiln belonging to Count Degli Oddi, then owner of the castle of Montalto, and a long stretch of road were swept away by the current. "The city of Perugia, with the assistance of Mr. Domenico Tickets, factor of the castellano Degli Oddi, made a new road and built a double brush in the place of corrosion ..."

But the most dangerous damage occurred to the north and south of the Fratta bridge, right along the castle walls.

The river bed then followed a slightly different path, and upstream of the bridge, due to the erosions accumulated over time, the Tiber described a wide loop between the fields, moving away from the primitive route parallel to the road that corresponds to the current one. The current of the waters coming from the north direction rushed through the area of the bridge and threatened to dig an autonomous path, cutting the road and bypassing it on the right bank of the river. In 1758 the erosion reached only fifteen meters from the route of the via tifernate and the risk seemed to materialize with the breakthrough downstream. Fortunately, the phenomenon stopped, otherwise serious troubles would have been produced: the weakened castle defenses, the dry bridge, the compromised weir and large expenses for the adaptation of urban infrastructures to the new route (mills, public wash house, gardens and sewer system ).

Therefore, a serious reorganization of the banks was urgent and the first systematic interventions began in 1753. In that year, the Sacred Congregation of the Waters of Perugia sent the engineer Antonio Felice Facci to Val di Chiana, then a marshy area, to carry out no better specified remarks. And since the Fratta was along the route, the technician was also in charge of examining the state of the banks of the Tiber around the castle. On the outward journey he stopped for two days, taking lodging at the Staffa tavern (1) at the expense of the Municipality; on his return trip, on February 17, 1753, he stopped again for three days, always in the same inn and always at the expense of the Municipality. We do not know the report that the engineer presented to the competent Authorities, but something concrete certainly suggested, if at the beginning of 1754 the first expense reports for works of a certain consistency appearing on the right bank of the Tiber, north of the bridge. .

The trick used was to reinforce the bank with a palisade of large beams embedded in the ground and connected by thick planks behind which stones and bundles of glass were stowed. The "club" was also ingeniously built to drive the beams into the ground. It consisted of a castle of wooden planks from which a heavy oak trunk was lowered, shod at the edges, which hit the head of the pole. After each stroke the log was hoisted up again by six workers who pulled a sturdy rope wrapped in a pulley and the strokes were repeated until the desired depths were reached. All the timber was supplied by the Camaldolese of Monte Corona.

The costs of the works, including technicians' fees, travel and reimbursement of expenses, reached high levels and in 1755 provisional tolls were imposed on every animated being who crossed the bridge. The table of tax levies has come down to us and we are reporting it for information for our readers. Surprisingly, they also paid the people at a rate equivalent to pigs, for reasons of weight and nothing else.

People, 3 cash per person per day

Beast unloads, cash 6

Charged beast, money 12

Horse-drawn carriage or wagon, baiocchi 4

Pigs, 3 bucks each

Sheep, castrated and goats, 2 money each

Vaccine, money 6 each

In the same year there were important visits. The engineer of the Municipality of Perugia, Pietro Carattoli, the engineer of the Sacred Congregation of Waters, Antonio Felice Facci and a Jesuit, certain Father Ippolito, came to "recognize the state of erosion, draw up the map of the place and check the works". Syrians.

The works continued uninterrupted throughout the year and beyond, so much so that on June 22, 1756 another inspection arrived, that of Don Pietro Tassinari. The monsignor left, on 10 July the Tiber organized another ruinous flood which, in addition to damaging the sheltered banks, took away a good quantity of planks stowed in the yard, later recovered in Ponte Felcino.

The flood in July made it clear that the defense of the banks alone was not enough to prevent damage and around the sick area the commitment of the administration and technicians for more radical solutions intensified, with surprising timeliness. In March 1758, the engineer of the Municipality of Perugia, Pietro Carattoli, came back to Fratta and drew a new plan of the area in which the construction of an artificial canal was planned to bring the river back to its original layout, parallel to the road, so that close to the city walls it made a bend of 90 ° sufficient to harness the violence of the floods. The works began immediately in May and were almost finished by the end of June (2) . The work gave the desired effect: not only did it lighten the places from the damage of erosion, but the river immediately began to flow in a stable and definitive way in that riverbed which is still its natural bed today. Other floods occurred in 1773 and 1778 which threatened the Tifernate road and the Cistercian mill, but the works carried out considerably limited the damage.

The use of manpower was massive and also involved women. Their task was to find the stones to be placed inside the "baskets", a kind of wicker containers, which were used by the workers in charge of sheltering the banks to stabilize the river embankments. The papers tell us that they were 19 and they received six baiocchi a day, almost as much as men. There was also a large group of woodcutters to saw the beams and boards, a team of cable workers to work the hemp and weave the ropes and ribs (sturdy bands of canvas), a handful of men who took care of the poles and these, in all likelihood, they must have been the workers at the poles of the castle of the mace, and a series of other figures of workers and artisans such as carters, masons, shovellers, etc.

The most urgent and imposing works for the arrangement of the banks and to avoid damage to the castle were certainly those to the north of the bridge, but the intervention to the south was also necessary and in this sense, since 1752 (3 ), repeated requests were made which had no effect. In 1758, once the work to the north was completed, the pushes began again to fix the stretch of river from the bridge to the Schioppe, the cliff that was then also called "Punta della Genga" (4) . The practice went on very slowly due to evident contrasts between the Municipality, the frontists and the Perugian authorities who had to grant authorization to proceed, as well as an economic contribution. Since 1757 the three frontists - the friars of the convent of San Francesco, the Paolucci family and Count Ranieri di Civitella - had taken steps on their own to stem the banks along their properties. They were even willing to intervene on their own even in the most critical point of the situation, that is, at the mouth of the Palace into the Tiber, with the construction of a masonry "spur" or "guardian". The Municipality, although not very convinced of the solution, agreed because "you don't look a gift horse in the mouth", but Perugia rejected the proposal because it would have worsened the situation. On the contrary, the Sacred Congregation of Waters also contested the works of arrangement of the banks already carried out, inviting the frontists to demolish them. The result was a technical-juridical controversy which lasted for years and which had the sole result of paralyzing every initiative until 1789, when hostilities resumed. This time the experts came forward. The Municipality of Fratta, the city of Perugia and the Camaldolese friars (owners of the land on the right bank of the Tiber) chose Pietro Casimiro Fagliuoli as their expert; the convent of San Francesco, Paolucci and Count Ranieri commissioned the archpriest Don Bartolomeo Borghi, a great expert on the subject. But even the experts did not find an agreement and decided to resort to the arbitration of a well-known professional, a certain Virgilio Bracci, architect and engineer of the Sacred Congregation of the Good Government of Rome, who in those days was in Perugia. The meeting "in spite of the place" took place on 25 October 1789, in the presence of the archpriest Borghi and the abbot Luigi Pacini representing Fagliuoli. After two days of discussions, the dispute ended at the table with the lunch offered by the Camaldolese and a transaction was signed. It was a platonic agreement only because the commitments were never honored. Only two years later, the signed pacts were resumed with the decision to build at the mouth of the Reggia that triangular spur that the wise frontists had already designed in 1757. But when the work began, the Congregation of Waters of Perugia, still allergic to spurs, made it known that it did not intend to participate in the costs as it was due only to the frontists. One thing finally became clear: if the agreed works were to be carried out, the three owners had to bear all the expenses and the engineer Cristoforo Bartoli was promptly sent from Perugia to establish the boundaries of the land and share the shares.


The bridges

La Fratta was a fortress completely surrounded by water and the bridges were the only means of connection and communication with the surrounding area. Not only that, but since the surrounding countryside is crossed by the Tiber, the Royal Palace and the Carpina, other crossing systems were necessary to join the banks of the waterways and allow greater ease of movement and traffic in the fertile plain that it crossed. the valley. In some cases, considering the costs of a bridge, we relied on the ferry boats, but the Fratta was quite lucky and, in its immediate vicinity, had safe and stable tolls in masonry or wood.

The bridge over the Tiber was a masterpiece of engineering, technique and aesthetic taste. It rested on three arches, which constitute the coat of arms of the Municipality of Umbertide and, even after the demolition of the drawbridge of the Porta Saracina, it had not lost its beauty and grandeur. Two sturdy doors guarded its entrances and the small church of Carmelo, located above the central pillar of the valley, invited peace and prayer when the road was all slower. The year of its construction is to be found between 1571 and 1588, at the will of the "Company of the Madonna della Reggia and Madonna del Ponte", entrepreneur of the two aforementioned sites (5) .

Another bridge, the one over the Reggia stream in front of the Collegiate Church, played an important role in the town's economy. It connected Montone, the entire plain below and the Borgo Superiore with the center of Fratta and was also open to heavy traffic of animals and wagons. Its structural conditions were precarious because it was all made of wood with the exception of the two masonry heads on which the beams rested. The passage presented some difficulties because the bridge was narrow and without banks and on several occasions the Reggia had the bad taste of giving a few pieces to the Tiber. The spending resolutions for the restoration work were recurring, so much so that on April 4, 1770 the City Council decided to build it from scratch. The work was entrusted to Giovanni Tomassini, a Swiss from Lugano who lived in Gubbio, for a hundred baiocchi. The entrepreneur was known to Fratta because the previous year he had renovated the facade and the interior of the church of San Bernardino to the satisfaction of those who had commissioned the work. The new, wider bridge had sturdy sides and was suitable for carrying greater loads. It offered all the prerequisites of comfort, stability and safety.

In the last years of the century the Judiciary of Fratta launched the project for the construction of a second bridge over the Reggia, the one that was to connect the center of the town with the Collegiate Church through a nave of the church of San Giovanni. The bridge will be built in 1807, but the first projects and intervention plans date back to 1794.

In the surroundings, then, there were secondary but equally important bridges, such as the bridge over the ditch of Lazzaro and the one over the Fonte Santa. The latter, completely rebuilt in 1799.

Further north, on the Montonese road, there was an ancient bridge over the Carpina built since 1294.

To these bridges outside the castle must be added those that directly linked the area within the walls with the outside, such as the Piaggiola bridge, which allowed to cross the moat and access the Porta della Campana, and the bridge over the Reggia which allowed access to the Borgo Inferiore (Piazza San Francesco area).

The Rocca had a drawbridge that descended over the Reggia and put it in communication with the lawn in front of it. In 1787 it still existed and was used. A note dated 3 September, signed by the Municipal Secretary Giambattista Burelli, stated: “Mr. dr. Giuseppe Paolucci Camerlengo to pay Angelo Gigli paoli four for refurbishment of the drawbridge of the Rocca, which with receipt are forty baiocchi ”.


The walls of the Castle

The most natural and spontaneous defense system among the ancients was to surround the castle, the village or the city with a robust wall. Sometimes ditches filled with water, palisades or other similar devices were also used in order to curb the impetus of the enemies and immobilize them in front of the obstacle in order to hit them with greater ease and precision from above. The walls therefore were born with the first urban settlements and have developed and strengthened with them, following their historical evolution. On more than one occasion, particularly in large cities, their successive and concentric walls are evident documents of population growth and urban sprawl.

The castle of Fratta had only one wall of walls, robust and compact and nature had also endowed it with the natural defense of the water of the Tiber river and the Reggia stream in the area of its confluence with the older brother. Its inhabitants had built an artificial moat in the short stretch free from water, making the castle a fortified islet, with stone edges, among the safest in the area for very long centuries. The maintenance and repair of the city walls was always a meticulous commitment for the inhabitants and administrators of all times, well aware that it was a priority asset, essential for the survival of the community.

For the Fratta the part most exposed to the wear and tear of the corrosive pressure of the waters was the stretch along the course of the Tiber. On several occasions it had suffered damage and had recourse to repairs, but the flood of 1736 was particularly devastating. He dragged out 1,600 square feet of walls and four houses that stood on them. The appraisal, immediately prepared for the repair of the damage, established the total amount of expenses at 1,032 scudi. It was a high figure that the local community, alone, could not have met and the Pope was turned to for the granting of an extraordinary contribution. Clement XII declared himself willing to provide 500 scudi on condition that the other 532 provided the inhabitants. And so it was. Having found the money, the reconstruction machine started with the purchase of the necessary material and the preparation of the construction site. The contract for the work fell to Bartolomeo Ferrati of Rome (6) and the direction was entrusted to Cesare Francesconi della Fratta. The excavation of the foundations began on 15 September 1739.

Some financing problems arose immediately because at the end of the year the Pope had not yet granted the promised contribution. The Defenders of Fratta approached the representative of the community in Rome, a certain Mariotti, to act as intermediary for the handling of the file. We do not know if the choice was happy, the fact is that Mariotti made it known that "... the Pope was in a very bad state and almost sent to the doctors", taking care to add that if he died it would be more difficult to get the contribution and advised to get busy quickly, as if in the Roman Curia there were no offices in charge of dealing with the commitments undertaken, regardless of the Pope's health. Mariotti certainly did not have those "entrances" that his fellow citizens attributed to him and for which they paid him and he suggested asking others what they had rightly asked of him. It often happens that when you need a favor, the person you are addressing, instead of giving us a hand, submerges us under a heap of thoughtful advice, thankfully free. One thing, however, got it right: Clement XII died on February 16, 1740. A few years later, Mariotti was replaced by Giacomo Guadagni, a more authoritative and introduced Abbot who moved with greater agility in the offices of the Quirinale.

The papers do not tell us what happened to the Pope's contribution that certainly arrived, otherwise we would have found traces of increased taxes in subsequent years and also on the reconstructed walls a plaque was affixed with the inscription "Clement XII - Pontiff Maximus - MDCCXXXIX" ( 1739) which testifies to a direct economic intervention by the Pope.

The building intervention gave stability and safety to our walls precisely in that stretch where the thrust of the current was greatest, at the beginning of the sudden swerve of about ninety degrees that the Tiber makes before passing under the bridge.

The abrupt change of direction makes us guess the nature of the ground below at that point. The castle of Fratta rises on a resistant conglomerate base that forces the Tiber to deviate its course in an almost unnatural way. Its consistency, as well as ensuring stability to the urban center and its walls, protects the buildings and their basements from the infiltration of humidity typical of the most permeable soils.

The notarial deeds relating to the sale of properties located along the walls describe in a precise manner their characteristics and the neighboring strip of land. All the houses with the front in Via Diritta, in the rear part, bordered the fence, the municipal skids and the walls. The fence was not attached to the houses, but was separated from them for logistical reasons. Between it and the back of the houses ran a strip of land that formed a street or path. Later, in the west of the castle, the path will become Via delle Petresche and then Via Spunta. The space between the fence and the walls constituted, on the other hand, the "municipal shito", publicly owned which, in the distant past, was used for military defense purposes. At the beginning of the century, however, construction began on this area, reaching as far as the walls. The four houses that the flood of 1736 demolished are clear proof of this.

The following graph reconstructs the characteristics of the castle walls. The design was made on the basis of what the notary Filippo Maria Savelli, della Fratta affirms, on 12 March 1768 in his notarial deed relating to the sale of a house.



1. It is the only reference we have about the existence of this inn. In all likelihood it is the one that will be managed by Romitelli in the following century.

2. In a letter dated June 24, 1758 it is said: "... the work of the new cut is carried out almost to an excellent end".

3. Between 1752 and 1758 five reminder letters were written which can be found in the Augusta Library in Perugia among the "papers of Pietro Giacomo Mariotti".

4. The genga is a limestone rock for which the expression is scientifically more correct than others to indicate a cliff. It is used in the report of the engineer Cristoforo Bartoli of 1791 and in a notarial deed of the notary Giovan Battista Burelli, also of 1791.

5. In 1571 the Depositary of the “Company of the Madonna della Reggia (see the book Revenue and Expenses 1565/1571) and of the Madonna del Ponte” paid for some materials taken to accommodate (prepare) the pylon on which the church will have to support. In the year 1588, another recording tells us that a painting already existing in the Majesty which was at the beginning of the bridge is brought to the said Chapel. On that day the Confessor reminds us that the Chapel was not yet finished. In fact, it does not appear even in the drawing by Piccolpasso, dated 1565.

6. The Roman master mason came with a team made up of two masons and two unskilled workers (apprentices). He perceived in all (daily) paoli 14.50 (equivalent to scudi 1.45, i.e. baiocchi 145) divided by him as follows: baj 75 for him, baj 25 for each bricklayer and baj 10 for each boy, for a daily total of 145 baiocchi.



"Umbertide in the XVIII century" by Renato Codovini and Roberto Sciurpa - Municipality of Umbertide - Gesp, 2003

Il Tevere, i ponti, le mura del Castello


Al centro della vita democratica del tempo c'era un bussolotto che faceva girare le palle. Di esso abbiamo ampiamente parlato in un altro volume, al quale rimandiamo il lettore per evitare di ripeterci. Qui esporremo solo le procedure tipiche dell'epoca, avvertendo che quanto diremo è il resoconto del rinnovo del Bussolo del 17 luglio 1783:

"Rinnovare il Bussolo" era sinonimo di "predisporre la lista virtuale" di coloro che avrebbero dovuto amministrare il pubblico bene per i due anni successivi. Alla fine di ogni biennio esso veniva "rinnovato", inserendo nella cavità delle palle di legno poste al suo interno, un foglietto con i nominativi degli uomini destinati all'incarico.

Non si trattava di eleggere solo i Difensori, che duravano in carica quattro mesi, ma anche i Consultori della Sanità, un triumvirato del primo Ceto con incarico biennale; i Sindacatori (Sindaci Revisori), una coppia con incarico annuale; i Terminatori e Stimatori (Quasi sicuramente si trattava di persone esperte nei confini catastali e nelle valutazioni dei beni mobili e immobili. Dopo la metà del secolo lentamente scompaiono), un'altra coppia con incarico biennale; i Portinari, due custodi, uno per la porta sud e l'altro per la porta del Mercato, che restavano in carica due anni; i Sindaci, una coppia con incarico annuale.

Per questo motivo le palle, tutte uguali nelle dimensioni, erano contraddistinte da un'etichetta che indicava la categoria dei nomi contenuti: "Difensori, "Sindaci", "Portinari", ecc. per essere individuate al momento del sorteggio.

Ma seguiamo da vicino il rinnovo del Bussolo del 17 luglio 1783 per avere un'idea diretta e precisa della procedura adottata. Si doveva, prima di tutto, rinnovare la Magistratura, ossia i Difensori, la carica più importante, che aveva una durata quadrimestrale e gli Imbussolatori avevano perciò a disposizione sei palle, entro ognuna delle quali dovevano inserire il biglietto con una quaterna di nomi. Ogni Ceto o "Sfera" indicava i suoi. Dei quattro, uno doveva appartenere al primo Ceto, ed era di diritto Capo di Magistrato, gli altri tre al secondo.

Nella prima votazione furono indicati: Giuseppe Paolucci, Vincenzo Martinelli, Mattia Massi ed Angelo Gigli. Questa quaterna, di cui Paolucci del primo Ceto sarebbe stato il Capo, fu scritta in un foglietto, chiusa dentro la palla contrassegnata con l'etichetta "Difensori" e imbussolata. A questi signori, quattro mesi di governo cittadino da scontare quando sarebbero stati estratti, non li toglieva nessuno.

Si passò alla seconda quaterna seguendo la stessa procedura e furono indicati: Angelo Cristiani, Giovan Battista Guerrini, Giovanni Montanucci e Silvestro Martinelli. La terza quaterna dette il seguente esito: Giuseppe Bertanzi, Angelo Ciangottini, Filippo Legnetti e Vincenzo Iotti.

Man mano che veniva definita una quaterna, e dopo aver compiuto le operazioni di rito, si imbussolava la palla. A questo punto il Bussolo conteneva già tre palle.

La quarta votazione dette il seguente risultato: Giuseppe Cerboncelli, Vittorio Ceccarelli, Pietro Crosti e Maurizio Pucci. La quinta votazione sentenziò: Giovan Battista Burchi, Lorenzo Gigli, Ubaldo Perugini e Pietro Bruni. La sesta e ultima votazione indicò: Giovan Maria Criacci, Gabriele Dell'Uomo, Donino Passalbuoni e Antonio Martinelli. Ora nel Bussolo si trovavano tutte e sei le palle dei Difensori e ogni quadrimestre ne sarebbe stata estratta una che conteneva i quattro componenti della "Giunta" cui spettava la guida del Comune.

Si passò alla designazione dei tre Conservatori della Sanità, tutti possidenti appartenenti al primo Ceto, che dovendo restare in carica due anni, come il Bussolo, non vennero imbussolati. Lo stesso criterio fu usato per i tre Terminatori e Stimatori e per i due Portinari. Le due coppie di Sindicatori, con incarico annuale, furono nominate, scritte sul foglietto, chiuse nella palla e imbussolate. A questo punto nel Bussolo c'erano otto palle che diventarono dieci con le due coppie di Sindaci.

Le operazioni erano terminate ed il Bussolo, completamente rinnovato, conteneva dieci palle. Al suo interno fu inserito anche il foglio degli "Spicciolati", una lista di riserva, divisa per ceti, da usare nel caso in cui, al momento dell'estrazione della palla, uno dei nomi ivi compresi non fosse più in grado di accettare l'incarico o perché malato o passato a miglior vita.

Le elezioni erano finite e per due anni tutti i principali ruoli del governo cittadino erano assicurati dentro le palle.


Riflessioni "elettorali"


I metodi con cui venivano scelti gli amministratori e gli altri titolari di incarichi importanti nella Fratta del 1700 non sono nemmeno lontani parenti del sistema elettivo attuale. Ci siamo espressi con termini quali "elezione" e "sistema elettorale" solo per usare un linguaggio di uso comune e perciò comprensibile a tutti.

Non sarà sfuggito ai nostri lettori che non esiste il minimo accenno alla procedura con cui veniva eletto il Consiglio Comunale Generale. L’accenno non c'è, perché non l'abbiamo trovato. Ma si può ragionevolmente affermare che quel Consiglio fosse l'espressione delle indicazioni assembleari dei due Ceti, riuniti separatamente, come avverrà nel secolo successivo. Non si hanno notizie nemmeno circa la sua durata e il rapporto distributivo dei Consiglieri tra i due Ceti, ma è legittimo sostenere che esso durasse quattro anni e che i membri del secondo Ceto fossero in misura doppia di quelli del primo, come nel secolo successivo. Anche la proporzione tra i Difensori legittima un'ipotesi simile. Del resto in un sistema politico immobile, come quello dello Stato Pontificio, in cui il precedente costituiva prassi duratura per il futuro, non è da escludere che i meccanismi in vigore agli inizi del secolo XIX fossero gli stessi del secolo precedente. L’avvicendamento avveniva quasi certamente con sostituzioni di aliquote quadrimestrali, in modo che al termine della legislatura il Consiglio fosse completamente rinnovato.

Pur nei limiti di una rappresentanza ristretta, il sistema era ingegnoso e finalizzato ad assicurare continuità e stabilità all'amministrazione del territorio.

Le notizie sugli organi di rappresentanza sono comunque pochissime. Dati i tempi, era infatti superfluo trattare un argomento che si giocavano tra loro solo una ventina di famiglie.

Il paragrafo precedente dedica un ampio spazio al resoconto della riunione consiliare del 17 luglio 1783, che si occupò del rinnovo del Bussolo. È una delle rare occasioni in cui il secolo, avaro di notizie politiche, diventa generoso.

Prima ancora, i1 20 ottobre del 1743, ci fu un'altra importante riunione consiliare che offre molti spunti di riflessione.

Il rinnovo del Bussolo, nella sua disarmante trasparenza e semplicità, dovrebbe aver creato non pochi problemi, litigi laceranti e destabilizzanti ricorsi. Si viveva, insomma, in un clima di incertezze e di sospetti anche perché, in assenza di una normativa precisa, ci si rifaceva alle usanze e alle disposizioni precedenti. Le une e le altre venivano invocate, quando faceva comodo, dai personaggi più abili e interessati. Le cose stavano arrivando ad un punto di non ritorno e nella riunione dell'ottobre 1743, il Consiglio nominò una Commissione paritetica, composta da tre Consiglieri del primo Ceto e da tre del secondo, per elaborare una nuova bozza di Regolamento sul rinnovo del Bussolo e su altri problemi, da sottoporre poi all'approvazione del Consiglio Generale. I poteri conferiti ai Commissari erano ampi e andavano dal ripristino delle prassi "passate", all'adozione di misure nuove da adattarsi "alle circostanze de presenti tempi".

La Commissione, presieduta da Filippo Maria Savelli, era composta da Cesare Francesconi, Bartolomeo Petrogalli, Domenico Franceschini, Francesco Guerrini e Carlo Vibi. La bozza di Regolamento, riportata per intero alla fine di questo capitolo, i1 6 dicembre del 1743 era pronta e si presume che fosse sottoposta all'esame del Consiglio Generale nella riunione successiva.

I sette capitoli di cui si compone, nel loro stile involuto e tra ardite contorsioni concettuali che fanno invidia a un'odalisca, denunciano molti aspetti del costume del tempo. Senza dubbio, ci sarà stata anche la necessità di maggiore trasparenza e di moralizzazione della vita amministrativa, ma certe sassate impietose, scagliate con troppo disordine, sono sospette e sorprendono non poco:

"... perché attesa la scarsezza degli uomini intelligenti e capaci e la molteplicità delle persone meno idonee, ne avviene che il più delle volte fannosi risoluzioni poco profittevoli agli interessi pubblici... ".

Possiamo concordare sulla "idoneità", dal momento che non tutti sono portati per la vita politica; meno sull'intelligenza che è una dote di più difficile lettura; quanto alla posposizione del bene pubblico al privato, è un problema di etica politica e non di attitudini o di intelligenza. La furbastria ha un albero genealogico lungo e ramificato ed in questo il `700 ha anticipato i tempi. Senza dire che un giudizio del genere, approvato dal Consiglio comunale, si ritorceva con effetto autolesionistico su se stesso ed in particolare sul primo ceto, costituito al massimo da quattro decine di famiglie e sul secondo che ne contava poche di più.

Non sappiamo se quel regolamento si applicò veramente. Il resoconto del rinnovo del Bussolo, riportato nel paragrafo precedente, ad esempio, ne è la violazione palese a distanza di soli quarant'anni dalla sua adozione. In quella circostanza, tutte le indicazioni avvennero per "ballottazione", cioè per votazione consiliare, ed era proprio quello che esso vietava, affidando ad una Commissione ristretta di soli tre imbussolatori la scelta dei nomi, con l'obbligo strano di mantenere la massima segretezza. È chiaro che si sarebbe trattato del segreto di Pulcinella, anche in considerazione del fatto che il mercato delle persone "intelligenti e capaci" disponeva di pochi scampoli di rimanenza. L'introduzione di un accorgimento inutile sta forse a significare che 1'ufficializzazione delle quaterne dei Difensori o degli altri incarichi del biennio, sollecitava attese del turno "amico" o più "arrendevole" o comunque del momento più opportuno per effettuare poco commendevoli manovre. Così, affidandoci alla riservatezza degli Imbussolatori, si salvava la forma ma la sostanza rimaneva immutata, come spesso succede tra gli umani, e l'estrazione sarebbe diventata davvero una tombola.

Il Regolamento, inoltre, dava per scontata una prassi che a distanza di due secoli appare poco chiara, quando affermava che i quattro Difensori dovevano essere "uno per Sfera". Nel lessico usato, sembra assodato che il termine "Sfera" sia sinonimo di "Ceto" ed i ceti che godevano del diritto elettorale attivo e passivo erano solamente due. Come mai le "Sfere" diventano quattro? L'unica spiegazione plausibile è riposta nel fatto che mentre la prima sfera era molto ristretta ed omogenea perché l'appartenenza richiedeva il solo requisito del "possesso", la seconda era più eterogenea in quanto agli Artisti appartenevano non solo gli artigiani, ma anche i commercianti e i professionisti (medici, chirurghi, farmacisti, veterinari, avvocati, notai, preti, ecc.). Non si può escludere, pertanto, che all'interno di questo Ceto una prassi condivisa e consolidata stabilisse che i tre Difensori spettanti appartenessero ad ognuna delle tre categorie costituenti la "Sfera".

Un'altra constatazione che ci convince della non applicazione del nuovo Regolamento sta nel fatto che il Bussolo avrebbe dovuto contenere 17 palle, invece ne furono inserite solamente 10, e non figurano più alcuni incarichi importanti come quello di Ufficiale della Madonna della Reggia.

La nomina dei "salariati" aveva procurato molte "turbolenze" a causa delle raccomandazioni, un vezzo dalle lontane radici che qualcuno fa risalire alla nostra Religione che ha codificato il ruolo intermediario dei Santi presso Dio (N.d.R.: Avere qualche Santo in Paradiso) e sotto questo profilo occorre riconoscere che le nostre radici religiose sono lontane e resistenti. Per eliminare il vezzo delle raccomandazioni vengono dettate misure severe quanto inutili e inapplicabili poiché è difficile stabilire il limite tra la raccomandazione e la segnalazione dei titoli di capacità e di merito, richiamate dal Regolamento, se non si precisano i sistemi per documentarli.

Tanto per finire ricordiamo che le disposizioni regolamentari stabilirono la possibilità di imbussolare "padre e figlio" e "due fratelli", purché in palle diverse "attesa la suddetta mancanza di persone capaci". Non si può certo dire che quei Signori Consiglieri mancassero di autostima. Del resto basta dare uno sguardo all'elenco dei Difensori per accorgerci che gli intelligenti e i capaci appartenevano solo a un paio di decine di famiglie. Adesso si capisce perché quelli bravi erano tanto pochi!





In Dei Nomine Amen - Die 20 Octobris 1743.

Convocatum et celebratum fuit publicum et generale Consilium per illustris Comm(unitatis) Insignis Terrae Fractae Perusiae more solito intimati cum interventu, et assistentia per Ill(ustris) Dom. Francisci Ghezzi Commissarii, in quo quidam Consilio interfuerunt infras(criptii)…


Illu. Dom. Joseph de Sabelli Caput Officii

Laurentius Martinelli

Anselmus Donatuti

Petrus Ant. Guerrini

Ill. Dom. Philippus de Sabellis

Franciscus Guerrini

Carolus de Vibis

Joseph Andreas Milanesi

Dom. Franciscus Francisconi

Joseph Matthias Cristiani

Joseph Bernardinus de Homine

Petrus Joseph Lestini

Raimundus Rotelli

Bartholomeus Petrogalli

Caietanus Molinari

Laurentius Gigli

Philippus Roni

Dominicus Franceschini

Constantinus Pignani

Augustinus Bettelli

Franciscus Passalboni

Carolus Ant. Francesconi

Dominicus Paganelli


... de Consilio... et notum in eo habent ed illud totum representa ; et pro absen. si qui... promittentes. Et omissis aliis de voluntate reperiuntur infrascripta videlicet.

Dom. Dominicus Franceschini in aringo eius med. ... dixit.... Intra.


Vedendosi questo nostro Consiglio posto in molta confusione attesi i vicendevoli ricorsi fatti da diverse persone circa la Rinnovazione del Bussolo, numero dei Difensori, ed altre cose appartenenti a questo Consiglio, e non potendo fare a meno che questa Comunità non sia per risentirne gravi pregiudizi da questa discrepanza di voleri, sarei di sentimento pro bono pacis, ed in vantaggio del Pubblico et del Privato, che si eleggessero sei persone delle più capaci e dare a questi la facoltà di accomodare le differenze suddette; col darli anche l'arbitrio di rimettere in pristino molte buone e sagge disposizioni del nostro Statuto e rispettivamente de Signori passati Superiori, concedendoli anche la libertà di accomodare tali procedimenti alle circostanze dei presenti tempi e di fare insomma tutto ciò che li parerà opportuno per bon regolamento di questa Comunità con sottoporre poi alla Sag... questa loro... acciò si degni approvarlo e perché abbia la piena forza e debba essere osservato da tutti ed in tal modo credo che si darà fine alle liti e si rimetteranno gli animi in quiete, come tutti desiderano.


Rimettendomi... [seguono due righe in latino].


A chi pare e piace di aprire il suddetto Aringo e di dare alli signori Difensori la facoltà di nominare sei persone tre della prima Sfera, tre della seconda in effetto suddetto, dia la palla bianca in favore, e a chi non piace, la negra in contrario.


Tunc distribuitis et re... fuerunt reperta nota albe ri dece et nove, et unum nigrum... Post modum vigere... nominarunt... Cesare de Francescani, Bartholomeus Petrogalli, et Philippus de Sabellis, et Dominicus Franceschini, Franciscus Guerrini et Carolus de Vibis.

Iterum de... A chi pare e piace di lor signori di approvare gli uomini nominati come sopra e dargli tutte le facoltà necessarie et opportune come sopra, dia la palla bianca in favore e a chi non piace, la negra in contrario.


Tunc distribuitie e recollectis de more suffragia fuerunt reperta vota alba favorabilia viginta…"




Capitolo I


Primieramente, a tenore delle enunciate facoltà, si determina e stabilisce che essendo già determinata l'estrazione delle Palle degli Officiali di questa Comunità un mese prima che termini l'amministrazione delli Difensori estratti nell'ultima Palla, debba radunarsi il Consiglio nel modo e forma che dirassi in appresso ed ivi il Signor Capo d'Offizio dovrà nominare per primo un bussolatore uno della sua Sfera, il secondo e terzo Difensore un altro per ciascuno della sua Sfera, e dandosi il caso che alcuna delle persone nominate non fossero presenti al Consiglio, dovrà immediatamente mandarsi a chiamare da Donzelli ed in caso di legittimo impedimento dovrà nominarsi altro in suo luogo e, stabiliti che saranno gli imbussolatori, dovranno questi, doppo licenziato il Consiglio, rimanere in Palazzo col Signor Commissario e Segretario per formare il nuovo bussolo, quale dovrà rifarsi perpetuamente per soli due anni, sotto pena di nullità, e dovrà farsi di comune consenso, invocato prima l'aiuto dell'Altissimo e prestato il solito giuramento di prescegliere i più atti ed idonei, rimossa ogni privata passione e di tener segreta l'elezione fatta conforme costumasi e ritenuta convenientemente la facoltà al Capo Imbussolatore di prescegliere i Capi, in caso che il secondo e terzo imbussolatore non volessero convenire col primo e richiedessero che si ballottassero per voti le persone da eleggersi.

Il Bussolo poi dovrà contenere sei Palle delli Difensori da durare ciascuna mesi quattro; una Palla delli tre Conservatori della Sanità o Consultori della Comunità da durare tutto il biennio; due Palle degli Officiali della Madonna della Reggia, da durare un anno l'una; due Palle delli Sindacatori; altre due delli Stimatori Pubblici; altre due delli Portinari; due delli Sindaci, parimente da durare un anno per ciascuna, conforme si è sempre costumato, col fare anche i nomi de Spicciolati.


Capitolo Il

Delli Difensori e Conservatori della Sanità


Dovranno in ogni palla imbussolarsi quattro Difensori cioè uno per Sfera delle persone più capaci e discrete e che possiedono qualche stabile di proprio, giacché nelle presenti circostanze non puol pienamente adempirsi la mente del nostro Statuto che determina che nessuno possa essere eletto Difensore che non possieda almeno 30 di Scovere, determinandosi ancorché oltre alla possidenza debba essere ancora unita la capacità, ad effetto, che siano ben regolati i pubblici affari, il tutto sotto pena della nullità, a tenore del medesimo Statuto.

Si dovrà inoltre formare, come si disse, la Palla delli tre Conservatori della Sanità, o Commissari della Comunità, quali dovranno durare per fin che saranno compite le Palle delli Difensori, e questi dovranno sempre essere della prima Sfera, sotto pena di nullità, e persone non imbussolate se sia possibile in altri Offizi, la incombenza dei quali sarà di intervenire al Consiglio tutte le volte che saranno invitati, e di sopra intendere alla custodia delle porte in tempi di contagi e sospetti, di attendere alla restaurazione delle mura, ponti e fonti con l'assenso però dei Difensori, sotto pena a quelli che ricusassero di comparire al loro Uffizio d'uno scudo per ciascuna volta da applicarsi dal Signor Commissario, non essendo scusati dal legittimo impedimento dichiarandosi inoltre che non potranno gli Imbussolatori sotto la pena suddetta aggiungere alcuna persona al numero dei Consiglieri, né mutarle dalle loro Sfere e gradi ma solo sia lecito agli stessi Imbussolatori l'imbussolarsi per loro in caso di mancanza di persone.


Capitolo III

Delli Consiglieri particolari delli Difensori


Per miglior provedimento degli affari pubblici si determina e stabilisce che ogni Difensore debba avere il suo Consigliere e questi debbano essere quelle persone medesime che sono stati Difensori nella Palla immediatamente antecedente, per essere essi meglio informati dei pubblici interessi e dandosi il caso che nella prima Palla che si estrae finito il Consiglio, uscisse per Difensore alcuno delli Difensori della Palla antecedente, in tal caso anche il suo Consigliere debba proseguire nel suo officio per altri quattro mesi, se pure questo accidente non si dasse in uno dei tre Conservatori della Sanità nel qual caso dovrà surrogarsi dalli Signori Difensori altro nel suo luogo. Il che dovrassi sempre osservare quando per accidente o per mancanza di Soggetti una delle persone fosse imbussolata in Offici contemporaneamente.

L’incombenza poi per tutti suddetti Consiglieri sarà di dire il loro parere in tutti li consigli dopo che dal Segretario sarannosi proposti gl'affari da risolversi e non potranno consigliare fuori del luogo destinato e se prima non averanno prestato il solito giuramento de bene et fidate liber consulendo e se non volessero consigliare vi potranno essere forzati sotto pena d'uno scudo d'applicarsi come sopra, restando dopo di loro la facoltà alli Conservatori della Sanità di dire il loro parere approvando il sentimento di Consiglieri secondo le sarà dato dalla coscienza, sempre però prestando il suddetto giuramento, senza di cui non devrassi scrivere il sentimento e consiglio veruno.


Capitolo IV

Del modo di convocare e celebrare il Consiglio


Perché attesa la scarsezza degl'uomini intelligenti e capaci e la molteplicità delle persone meno idonee, ne avviene che il più delle volte fannosi risoluzioni poco profittevoli agl'interessi pubblici, si determina e stabilisce a tenore delli statuti e disposizioni, che in tutte le occorrenze della Comunità debba convocarsi il Consiglio composto di dodici Persone ed inoltre con l'intervento del Signor Commissario, e questi saranno li quattro Difensori, li quattro Consiglieri, li tre Conservatori della Sanità, ed il Camerlengo del Pubblico e questo Consiglio avrà tutte le facoltà di risolvere, determinare, decidere e far tutto ciò che puol fare il Consiglio Generale fuorché in materia di nuove imposizioni, prezzi d'Abbondanza, introduzione di litigi ed altri gravissimi emergenti per i quali dovrassi convocare il Consiglio delle 42 persone, senza intervento del Signor Commissario a solo fine di ben digerire le materie d'importanza da discorrersi nel Generale Consiglio, e tutto ciò a tenore di diverse risoluzioni fatte nei Pubblici Consigli ed approvate dalli Presidi di Perugia fin dal 1620, come si raccoglie da libri dei suddetti Consigli e dallo Statuto rispettivamente a quali si rimanda.

Per convocare poi e celebrare validamente il suddetto Consiglio si determina che il giorno avanti debbano per ordine delli Signori Difensori invitarsi dalli Donzelli tutti quelli che dovranno intervenire e dandosi l'accidente che qualcuno fosse legittimamente impedito, li Signori Difensori avranno la facoltà di surrogare un altro della medesima Sfera nel luogo della persona impedita il che parimente dovrà farsi tute le volte che nel Consiglio dovesse trattarsi dell'interesse particolare d'alcuna delle 42 Persone sopra nominate, non volendo che la persona interessata possa in nessun conto intervenire al Consiglio sotto pena di nullità del medesimo a tenore delle suddette statutarie disposizioni.

Stabilito poi che debba farsi all'ora determinata il giorno seguente il Consiglio, dovrà la sera innanzi dalli Signori Difensori farsi dar ordine al Campanaro del Pubblico che suoni all'Ave Maria, senz'altro segno, mezz'ora prima dell'ora determinata per il Consiglio si diano dodici tocchi alla Campana del Pubblico, che sarà il segno della convocazione del Consiglio delli 12 lasciando nel solito stile il modo di convocare il Consiglio Generale, come costumasi di presente.

In caso poi che le persone che dovranno intervenire al Consiglio delli 12 ricusassero d'intervenirvi all'ora determinata, non avendo legittimo impedimento da approvarsi dal Signor Commissario si determina e stabilisce che debbano essere puniti nella pena di uno scudo di moneta romana da applicarsi dal detto Signor Commissario, nella qual pena parimente incorreranno quelli che non avendo riguardo al luogo e alle persone ardissero discorrere temerariamente profferendo parole ingiuriose contro alcuno dei presenti in Consiglio, qual pena dovrà duplicarsi in caso che l'ingiuria fosse fatta ad alcuno delli Difensori, volendo che si discorra con tutta la modestia e solo degli affari pubblici nel luogo destinato e non altrove, tenuto conto di ogni umano rispetto, conforme ordina il suddetto Statuto al quale si rimanda.

Attesa poi la suddetta mancanza di persone capaci si determina e stabilisce a tenore degli ordini ultimamente emanati da Mons. Enriquez Giud. Dep. della Sagra Consulta, che possano imbussolarsi due fratelli, padre e figlio d'una medesima casa, in diverse Palle però, e che questi nel Consiglio delli 12 abbiano unitamente il voto per non diminuire in modo alcuno il numero dei voti che dorassi sempre mantenere integro; determinando che nella ballottazione il partito s'intenda vinto per voti otto favorevoli e non altrimenti.


Capitolo V

Delli salariati


Perché nel elezione di Medico, Chirurgo, Predicatori ed altri salariati sono in questa Comunità varie volte accadute varie turbolenze ed inconvenienti a cagione delle raccomandazioni procurate dai medesimi concorrenti, si determina e stabilisce che non possa essere ammesso alcuno a pubblici uffizi quando voglia impetrarli con loro commendatizie, ma si abbia solo riguardo a requisiti e meriti del concorrente, e perciò ne meno alcuno del Consiglio possa far pratica per unire li voti dovendo ciascuno votare a tenore de dettami della propria coscienza, avendo così altre volte decretato li Signori Superiori con lettere; a quali essi determinandosi in oltre che li salariati, dovendosi riproporre, si faccia due mesi prima che spiri l'anno dal giorno della loro elezione, acciò rimanendo esclusi possa la Commissione provvedersi d'altro soggetto che presti la debita servitù a se stessa ed agli abitanti del luogo.


Capitolo VI

Della rinnovazione di alcune pene


Si stabilisce in oltre, che qualunque persona commettesse fraude in pregiudizio di privativa, che gode questo Pubblico nei suoi proventi, o de i detti loro appaltatori, possa e debba dal Consiglio de i 12, coll'attestato d'un testimonio degno di fede, procedere unitamente col Signor Commissario a privare il suddetto defraudatore di Medico, Chirurgo, Maestro di Scuola e d'ogni grazia e favore che potesse concedere questo luogo e ciò a onore di quanto anno altre volte stabilito li Signori Superiori, qual pena dovrà anche infliggersi contro quelli che senza legittimo impedimento e privi di sufficiente privilegio, vi ricusassero di accettare gl'Uffizi Pubblici, non essendo giusto che riceva benefizi da questa Comunità chi si mostra ingrato in servirla nelle sue occorrenze.


Capitolo VII

Del acompagno del Magistrato nelle pubbliche funzioni


Si determina finalmente che in congiunzione, cioè in occasione, delle solennità dei nostri SS. Avvocati (Santi Protettori del paese), ed altre solite Sagre Funzioni debba sempre portarsi il Magistrato in Corpo a visitare le chiese consuete, ancorché sia sospesa quella ricognizione che era solita darsi in tal congiunzione, cioè occasione, e acciò a tenore del costume sin ora osservato e molto più perché non si manchi di prestare il debbito onore all'Altissimo e nostri SS. Avvocati e Protettori e in tal congiuntura debbano i salariati e Consiglieri necessariamente intervenire all'accompagno del Magistrato, assieme con gl'altri uomini della Comunità con abito e ferraiolo negro e con quella maggior decenza che li sarà permesso, altrimenti potranno essere rigettati indietro e puniti ad arbitrio del Signor Commissario e ciò per maggiore decoro del Pubblico e di tutto il Paese.


Quali capitoli come sopra stabiliti approvati che benignamente saranno dalla Sagra Consulta, vogliamo che siano inviolabilmente osservati, né sia lecito ad alcuno il mutarli senza il preventivo assenso della detta Sagra Consulta e del Generale e Particolare Consiglio.


In fede li abbiamo sottoscritti di nostro carattere adì 6 dicembre del 1743.

Io Filippo Maria Savelli Deputato mano propria

Io Cesare Francesconi Deputato ma. pr.

Io Bartolomeo Petrogalli Deputato ma. pr.

Io Domenico Franceschini Deputato ma. pr.

Io Francesco Guerrini Deputato ma. pr.

Io Carlo Vibi Deputato ma. pr.


[Seguono poi sei righe che si riferiscono alla stesura del documento stilate da un notaio, quasi sicuramente il notaio Burelli, e datate 17 giugno 1794, cioè 51 anni dopo.

Esse sono siglate con il timbro "IBBN" che è quello di Burelli (Iohannes Baptista Burelli Notaio)].



“Umbertide nel secolo XVIII” di Renato Codovini e Roberto Sciurpa – Comune di Umbertide, 2003

Il sistema elettorale comunale
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