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Immersed in the wild nature of the Monti Sibillini National Park, one of the most beautiful protected natural areas in Central Italy, the medieval village of Preci developed within a fortress. Following an earthquake in 2016, the Abbey of Sant'Eutizio was damaged, the town's jewel the historic center was completely unusable.
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Preci  | Marino Pagano
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A look at Preci
A look at Preci

About the village

Preci literally in Latin means 'preces', that is prayer, this was in fact the activity that took place in the ancient Benedictine oratory of the twelfth century located in the historic center of the village. But the real inhabited centre originated from the castle that was built here in the XIII century.
According to the tradition of the village, the village was founded by the Syrian monk Eutizio, at the end of the fifth century A.D. This is testified by a text by San Gregorio, who in the year 594 wrote about the presence of some hermits in the first settlement.
The first document that speaks of a castle near the Valnerina dates back to 1232. Just around these years begins the history of Preci, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
The Abbey of Sant'Eutizio and the castle are the oldest and most symbolic monuments of the village. The abbey maintained, therefore, the control of the small centre which, after some destruction by the nearby Norcia, sealed the final peace with the latter in 1555. From here the village of Preci had a lively economic recovery and also some renowned activities. Such as the surgical school that gave training to great doctors, including Durante Scacchi, who entered the papal court to treat Pope Sixtus V and his brother Francis, and who in 1588 even operated on the Queen of England Elizabeth I, for an eye problem, probably cataracts.
The surgical art in Preci was handed down from father to son, it was a peculiarity of some important families of the village.
Precisely these families gave an important architectural contribution to the village of Preci, and gave it a very noble character typical of the sixteenth century. But Preci also preserves medieval testimonies, such as the two gates of the town.
After the Unification of Italy and the birth of the Kingdom, Preci assumed the role of municipality and obtained its individuality.
The main characteristic of Preci are its alleys and narrow streets formed by a very cosy settlement, typical of medieval fortresses. Only one small street is modest in size, that is the main street of the village. Along this street there are some of the most important architectural testimonies of Preci. One of these is the Piave di Santa Maria, built around the XIII century by the monks of Sant'Eutizio. The building has a Gothic portal built in the fourteenth century. On the left side was, instead, opened another portal and a further porch that joined the wall decorated with coats of arms and various inscriptions dedicated to the house of the Community, right here are held the meetings of the town council.
Just outside the historical village of Preci there are three important hamlets: Poggio di Croce, Roccanolfi and Montebufo, where there are two parishes rich in works of art of the sixteenth and seventeenth century with some representations of the New Testament.

The territory of Preci extends to the northern end of the Valnerina. The altitude varies of about one thousand metres, from 420 to 1490 metres above sea level.
The landscape is mostly wooded and the agricultural territory is of great beauty.
The products of the territory are exalted during the event that takes place at the end of September, called Pane Prosciutto e Fantasia. The main protagonist is certainly the pork butchery, a local product that evokes ancient traditions, trades and procedures, such as the processing of pork, but also bread and cheese.
Another protagonist of the territory is certainly organic farming. Thanks to the widespread traditional rural agricultural landscape, this type of agriculture has spread, centred on the cultivation of barley, lentils, spelt, chickling vetch and beans. These crops were considered archaic until a few years ago, but today they are the symbol of a genuine diet that tries to rediscover the rural civilization of the past years.
Life in Preci is very simple, the population density is very low, in fact, the municipality has no more than 750 souls. This allows the tourist to rediscover those values and that kind of eco-sustainable and at the same time relaxing tourism, in a place to be discovered, to which many, unfortunately, give very little value.

Maintaining the agrarian landscape traditional cannot be linked to the wide diffusion they have in this territory the techniques of’organic farming: at the base there are the rotation of crops and the renunciation of’use of synthetic chemical substances, then the maintenance of trees, hedges and species and varietyà traditional, both plant and animal, perfectly integrated with the territory, representing an extraordinary basin of rural biodiversity.

Spelt, barley, lentils, chickling vetch and bean, cultures be considered archaic until a few years ago today are a symbol of a healthy diet and allow you to rediscover ancient flavors jealously preserved by the rural civilization. Between the mountains you can marvel at the tenacity of small sheep farmers still today transhumant, that with a little luck we can then find them downstream in their small business laboratories, where you can also taste cheese from the unique flavor. As well as you can meet the passionate beekeeper, able to taste directly the floristic richness local translated into honey by the tireless bees. Preci and Valcastoriana are also black truffle of Norcia, to taste directly in the excellent local restaurants, that every day attract customers from a wide radius becauseé famous for the High Quality and genuineness dishes, proposed to honest prices.

Other applies for the two main fruits of the territory: the trout and the ham. These are products in Preci to enter the national market (sometimes also crossing state borders) which conquest important shares. Trout reared in plants of the Valnerina occupy 7% of the national market and are appreciated for the particular taste. As proof of the attention with which the activities productive inserted in an environmental context of great environmental value but also extremely fragile, all the ittiogenici systems are subjected to voluntary certification of quality environmental. In recently constructed plants has even begun to transform the products of the trout colture in worked particularly appreciated by families, such as trout fillets.

The product of Preci most known is however the ham that is seasoned in four large plants in the municipal territory, for a production that is around 450,000 pieces every year, among which is present about the 85% of certified production “Prosciutto di Norcia IGP”. 

Village of Preci
Municipality of Preci

Province of Perugia
Umbria Region

population: 716
Altitude centre: 596 m s.l.m.

the Municipality is part of:
Città del bio
Città slow

Protected Natural Areas:
Monti Sibillini National Park 

Piazza Marconi 1 - Tel. +39 0743 93781


  • From Rome-Terni: reach Terni via the A1 highway: follow signs for the Marmore Falls; SS 209 towards Visso; follow directions for Preci
  • From Rome-Rieti: drive along the Salaria towards Ascoli Piceno; follow signs for Norcia; continue for Preci
  • From Perugia-Spoleto: reach Spoleto via the Flaminia; take the Eggi tunnel towards Visso; follow directions for Preci
  • From Ascoli Piceno - San Benedetto del Tronto: take the Salaria towards Rieti; follow signs for Norcia; continue for Preci


  • Spoleto station


  • Perugia airport
  • Rome Fiumicino Airport
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june, 2021

Feast of Santa Maria della Pietà

From the blog

In addition to art and its splendid landscapes, one of the things Italy is proud of is its food: Italy's food and wine heritage is very rich and linked to local products. From north to south, you have the opportunity to taste exquisite food, from truffles to apples, from honey to dairy products, right up to cured meats, true gastronomic excellences with ancient origins. Here are some of the most important and tasty cured meats in Italian gastronomy. Jambon de Bosses raw ham
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