The hill of Monticelli has in many respects the fortune of being in an ideal location. The landscapes around it are still relatively untouched despite the closeness to the capital of Umbria. All around Monticelli there is one of the biggest concentrations in the countryside of Italy of listed buildings and medieval hamlets mainly because from 595 to 774 AD the border of the Byzantine corridor was running through the area surrounding it which is called “Contado di Porta Eburnea”. In the area there are several untouched forests, one of which is protected also by the European Union because of the presence in it of rare trees, plants, insects and animals. The small hamlets called Castiglione della Valle, San Biagio della Valle, Spina, Morcella and Cerqueto were originally all fortresses constructed along the border to protect the town of Perugia. Today some of them are fortunately still real little jewels. They have lovely medieval centres, worth-seeing romanic churches with paintings by famous Italian artists and little restaurants and grocery stores. For all the above reasons in May 2015 the Italian Government passed a law listing the landscapes, 15 medieval hamlets and several castles and monasteries, some abandoned, in an area of 58,5 square kilometres around Monticelli.
The government decided to safeguard the area from the attacks of builders and complacent local politicians after the University Hospitals and the School of Medicine were moved in 2005 from the very centre of Perugia to its suburbs, just 3 km from border of the Contado di Porta Eburnea. For more information about the reasons why the Government passed the law and for the interesting fights than ensued between the Italian Government and local politicians see www.contadoportaeburnea.it. In the autumn of 2015 even national papers and the Daily Telegraph paid attention to the Contado di Porta Eburnea.
The hill of Monticelli lies almost exactly half-way between Rome and Florence (160 and 130 km. respectively). Both can be reached in about two hours by car or by train from Chiusi-Chianciano Terme. Monticelli lies half-way between the border of Tuscany and Perugia (about half an hour).
The distance by car of other famous art-cities is:
Assisi 30 minutes,
Siena 75 minutes,
Orvieto 60 minutes,
Montepulciano and Cortona 45 minutes,
Lake Trasimeno 15 minutes.