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History

pietralunga-foto-storica

Our small town has been partner of the Association of Authentic Villages since 2013. It offers a rich interesting historical, cultural and environmental heritage, that is being preserved and promoted as a typical and authentic form of past life.
As regarding its geographical position, the village is about 20 km from the larger neighbouring towns such as Gubbio and Città di Castello. It is a lively village, where it is becoming important to bring to light and to let people know its activities, workshops, its beautiful rich natural landscapes as well as its local products and history.

As already mentioned, our village offers a great historical and naturalistic interest. The historical centre presents quaint and charming features: it is a Medieval hamlet, rising on the hillside sloping towards the Carpinella stream. It ancient walls are still intact and the historical part of the hamlet is protected by an imposing pentagonal defence tower, commonly called “Rocca”. Between the northern and southern sides of the city walls there is a height difference of 40/50 metres.

Pietralunga has prehistoric origins thar are witnessed by the flute on human tibia preserved in the Archaeological Museum in Perugia, by more than 80 forts spread throughout the territory and by clay and lithic material findings.

The foundation of the urban centre under the name Tufi (ernu), dates back to the Umbrian population.

The most flourishing period was under the Romans, that gave the village the name of Forum Julii Concupiensium. Villas, aqueducts, coins and important roads (diverticula) with entirely paved parts bear witness to this period.

The most important among these evidences is the diverticulum, the Roman road which connected Upper Umbria (Città di Castello, Gubbio and Perugia), through Pietralunga, to the consular Flaminia road near Cagli, a paved section still preserved with sandstone slabs, 300 m wide and 4.30 m large.

The territory has also witnessed the spread and growth of Christianity throughout the Tiber Valley; San Crescenziano’s real life events bear witness to he arrival of Christianity. He was a Roman legionary who, according to the sacred legend, killed a dragon that infested our areas in proximity of the old city gates of Tifernum (Città di Castello). Crescenziano, messenger of the new doctrine, was beheaded and buried in Pieve de’ Saddi, the oldest parish in the Dioceses, which is about 10 km from the Centre of the Pietralunga, bordering with Città di Castello. There a church was built over the remains of an earlier pagan temple, to preserve the remains of the Saint martyr .

Destroyed during the barbarian invasions, Pietralunga was rebuilt between the 6th and 8th centuries A.D on today’s hill. It was strategically situated in an advanced position on the border with the Byzantine domination (corridor) in the centre of the junction between two important roadways. One of them, from East to West, was the most important route along the a ridge which connected Arezzo and Tiferno directly to Gubbio and a second one, from South to North , was the alternative route to the Flaminia road. These two roads were protected by fortifications, with defence and watchtowers. After the solidification of the first Lombard Manor, Pietralunga became a fortified village, welcoming many inhabitants and taking on the appearance of a true Citadel.

With the passing of time the territory of Pietralunga became a populated and flourishing land and its name was changed into Pratalonga (Leonardo called it PRATOMAGNO in his vernacular language ) for the rich and extensive pastures that surrounded the village.

More recently.

On May 7th, 1944, Pietralunga suffered a disastrous rounding-up, which culminated with the shooting of five teenagers in the central square of the town.

Pietralunga is among the towns who have been awarded with the Bronze Medal for Military Value during the Liberation War thanks to the sacrifices made by its population and to the partisan struggle and resistance during World War II; for this reason it is also the seat of the Regional Monument dedicated to the Umbrian partisan, placed in the so-called “Park of Peace”.

Free zone of Pietralunga

On September 8th, 1943, at San Salvatore, and on September 13Th , 1943, at San Faustino, both places in the municipality of Pietralunga, groups of resistance to nazi-fascists were being formed. The first groups were part of an organized Brigade called “Brigata Proletaria d’urto San Faustino” (San Faustino Proletarian Brigade of impact). After a winter of resistance and several military conflicts, finally on April 30th, 1944, the Brigade occupied the barracks of the social Republic of Pietralunga, declared Pietralunga a Free Zone and appointed the new Mayor Luigi Pauselli, chased by the fascists on April 1921. After 23 years the population celebrated the festivity of May 1st in total freedom. After this date, on May 7th, 1944, Pietralunga suffered a disastrous rounding-up, which culminated with the shooting of seven boys in the main square of the town and with the shooting of Venanzio Gabriotti in Città di Castello, on May 9th1944, without any trial. He is considered of the martyr of the resistance.
The area became a theatre of bloody clashes between allies and partisans on the one hand, and Nazi-fascists on the other, with devastations and loss of lives among civilians, until the final liberation came on July 29th, 1944.
During World War I (1915-1918) over one hundred citizens from Pietralunga had lost their life defending their homeland. To commemorate them the municipality erected a monument in the gardens of the main square.