Montefranco originated in the Lombard era as a defensive bulwark of the Duchy of Spoleto, whose vicissitudes it shared. In 1258 it became an independent commune, and after being under various rules it came under the jurisdiction of the Papal States until the creation of the Kingdom of Italy.
ART, CULTURE, ENVIRONMENT
The village owes its origins to the old castle of Bufone, which was built before 1228, and of which only the two gates, Porta Franca and Porta Spoletina, and the outside walls remain. Places of interest in Montefranco include: the Church of the Madonna del Carmine, with 15th-century frescoes from the Umbrian school and a 16th-century Ascension; the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, originally built in the Middle Ages and enlarged during the reign of Pope Eugene IV (15th century); and the Church of San Bernardino, dating from 1454, with frescoes attributed to Orlando Merlini, a pupil of Benozzo Gozzoli. It was built during the Romanesque period over the ruins of an old oratory dedicated to the martyr Primiano. Rebuilt in the 15th century, with a convent of the Observants annexed to it, there are traces of the earlier building still visible in the façade. The inside, which has a single nave and barrel vaulting, holds numerous frescoes by different artists, dating from the 15th to the 16th century. On Mt. Moro, which rises above the historic center, there is an archeological site where the remains of flooring from an ancient Roman building have been unearthed. The municipal territory is within the Nera River Park, offering many opportunities for natural and adventurous outdoor activities, such as canoeing, rafting, white water rafting, free-climbing and cave exploring.