Umbria and Bethlehem

2009-06-13 00:00:00

 

Umbria

 

Country: Italy

Date of Agreement: 10 October 1997

Current Mayor/President: Catiuscia Marini

Website: https://www.regione.umbria.it/canale.asp

 

Umbria is a region of central Italy. Its capital is Perugia. It has an area of 8,456 km² and about 900,000 inhabitants.

 

Umbria is a region of Central Italy, bordered by Tuscany to the west, the Marche to the east and Lazio to the south. This region is mostly hilly or mountainous. Its topography is dominated by the Apennines to the east, with the highest point in the region at Monte Vettore on the border of the Marche 2,476 m (8,123.36 ft), and the Tiber valley basin, with the lowest point at Attigliano 96 m (314.96 ft). It is the only Italian region which is both landlocked and with no common border with other countries.

 

The Tiber forms the approximate border with Lazio; although its course northwards from its source just over the Tuscan border lies in Umbria, the river course is changeable and thus few towns have been built on it: the Tiber itself is not a major factor in the history and human geography of Umbria. The same cannot be said of the Tiber's three principal tributaries, each flowing in a generally southward course. The course of the Chiascio takes it through relatively uninhabited areas until Bastia Umbra, and about 10 km later it flows into the Tiber at Torgiano. The Topino, cleaving the Apennines with passes that the Via Flaminia and successor roads follow, makes a sharp turn at Foligno to flow NW for a few kilometres before joining the Chiascio below Bettona. The third river is the Nera, flowing into the Tiber further south, at Terni; its valley, called the Valnerina, is widely considered to be the most scenic area of Umbria. While the upper Nera flows more or less in isolation in the mountains, the lower course of the Chiascio-Topino basin is a fairly large floodplain, which in Antiquity was a pair of shallow, interlocking lakes, the Lacus Clitorius and the Lacus Umber. They were drained by the Romans over several hundred years, but an earthquake in the 4th century and the political collapse of the Roman Empire resulted in the reflooding of the basin, which was drained a second time over five hundred years; Benedictine monks started the process in the 13th century, and it was completed by an engineer from Foligno in the 18th century.

 

In tourist literature one sometimes sees Umbria called il cuor verde d'Italia (the green heart of Italy). The phrase, taken from a poem by Giosuè Carducci — the subject of which is not Umbria but rather a specific place in it, the source of the Clitunno river, treasured as a beauty spot — is to a certain extent appropriate since the modern administrative region is the only one to have neither a coast nor a border with a foreign country, and, except for August and September, is famously green.

 

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