Bevagna: a town beloved by the Romans

Bevagna was originally an Etruscan-Oscan settlement. Around 80-90 BC it became a Roman municipium, called Mevania, placed on the western side of Via Flaminia (220 B.C.) a road of great importance, since it was connecting the western and eastern sides of Italy, from Rome to Rimini. At that time, the town had a greater extension than the following medieval Bevagna. Being such a strategic point and passage from west to east, the Romans decided to build a great theatre, accomodating up to 5.000 people and other structures to pleasantly spend their time, like the thermal baths.

Bevagna was linked to Rome also by water through rivers Teverone, Chiascio and Tiber: travelling by river allowed to reach Rome in just one day, that’s why commerce was so prolific in this area. Bevagna lost its importance after the construction of the eastern branch of Via Flaminia (3rd century) and became a border town of the Longobard Duchy of Spoleto and later part of the Pontificial State.

Set on fire by Frederick Barbarossa in 1154, in 1187 it became a free commune governed by consuls. Restored thanks to the activity of the Dominican Blessed Giacomo Bianconi, a disciple of Albertus Magnus, since 1371 it got under the domain of the Trinci of Foligno until 1439.

Passed again under the control of the Church, Bevagna experienced short intervals of domain by the Baglioni of Perugia (1530-34 and 1552-67).