Gubbio is our latest twin town with the formal twinning charter having been signed in April 2013.
It is an ancient town situated in the north-eastern part of the Italian region of Umbria, near the lower slopes of Monte Ingino. Gubbio is well known for its mediaeval palaces, churches, cathedral and a wealth of historic buildings. Among these is an ancient open air theatre built in the 1st Century BC which was able to hold 6000 spectators. It has a population of around 30,000 and is situated about 50 kilometres from both Perugia and Assisi. Its prosperity was largely built upon its exquisite porcelain, famous around the world.
The Iguvine Tablets (also known as Eugubian Tablets), a series of seven bronze tablets, were discovered in Gubbio (then known as Iguvium) in 1444. These tablets were probably written in the 3rd century BC and together constitute the largest surviving text of the ancient Umbrian language.
The town is the setting for the popular story of Saint Francis of Assisi and the wolf of Gubbio, and hosts numerous festivals throughout the year. Perhaps the most famous of these is the Ceri Festival held on May 15th each year. The “Ceri” are huge wooden structures about 4 metres high on top of which are placed the statues of Saint Ubaldo, Saint George and Saint Anthony. They are raced around the town on the shoulders of the Ceri bearers and thence up to the Basilica of Saint Ubaldo on top of the mountain.
The slope of Monte Ingino provides a wonderful backdrop for the world’s largest Christmas tree, on display during December. The tree is actually made up of about 800 lights connected by 40,000 feet of cable in the shape of a tree and sits on the side of the mountain overlooking the town. A simple cable car links the town with Monte Ingino and the Basilica of St Ubaldo, useful for those who don’t wish to make the long steep trek up by foot.
Gubbio’s main industry is cement manufacturing with tourism coming a strong second. Among the local craft activities historically established in Gubbio, ceramics, wood and wrought iron hold prominent positions. Other types of craft include instrument making, leatherwork and plaster moulding.
Food plays an important role in the town and there are many restaurants serving traditional dishes such as local game, cheese and charcuterie, tagliatelle with meat sauce, and roundflat bread baked on a griddle, all of which are frequently cooked with local white or black truffles. At the end of October each year there is a truffle festival with stalls of food and wine on every street.
There is a link to Gubbio’s Twinning page here: http://www.gubbiogemellaggi.it/http://www.gubbiogemellaggi.it/