The importance of the Roman city of Bevagna was due to its geographical location as urban center along the Via Flaminia. Located on a small hill, at the western edge of Valle Umbra and at the confluence of the rivers Topino (the ancient Tinia), Clitunno and Teverone, it benefited from an efficient network of fluvial transport and thus constituted a junction, crossroads of roads, the so called Trivio, on the Roman road system. The itineraries of the crossroads included respectively: the first, Carsulae, – vicus ad Martis – Mevania – Forum Flaminii; the second, Spoletium – Coccorone (Montefalco) – Mevania – Urvinum Ortense – Vettona – Perusia. The road coming from Fulginia also crossed this junction, passing through a bridge over the Topino near the church of Santa Maria de ponte lapidum.

Next to this bridge, at the lower part of the plain (200 mt above sea level), there was the confluence of numerous waterways. The copiousness of the waters formed a real reservoir near the city.


That is why a landing place during the Umbrian period cannot be excluded. Later, the river port was structured in the Roman city.

So, the natural road, parallel to the course of Tinia river, now called Topino, and the crossing fords of waterway, were the first reason of a pre-urban settlement during  5th and  4th century B.C. At that time it was the most important road and river of the valley, then replaced in the medieval period by Trivio of Foligno. The stretch of the “decumano” remains in Mevania, i.e. the Flaminia road towards Porta Foligno, which is at the right angle with the archaeological wreck of Via Trionfale towards Porta Cannara, named the “cardo”, direct path perfectly north of the ancient trivium. From this intersection of roads, we headed to the “quay” of the river port. This road to Capro was connected to Aiso and the sacral area of Aisillo, as well as to the Roman settlements in the north of the valley.

These two ancient streets were orthogonal to each other in the plan of the city and currently form the Giacomo Matteotti course, part of the Via Flaminia passing in front of the Roman theater and the alignment of Via Crescimbeni-piazza Garibaldi, towards Porta Cannara, which is the ancient via Trionfale. It indicates that Trivio was the original place and emphasizes it as the generating center of the Roman town of Bevagna.

Mevania was not born according to a standard project with a homogeneous system of orthogonally crossed roads, generated by a maximum cardo and a maximum decumanus, as happened for many Roman cities, but by the crossing of natural roads. The Flaminia in front of the Roman theater and the Via Trionfale, today Piazza Garibaldi, represent two short sections of the maximum decumanus and the maximum thistle that had to be modified with small deviations and orientations due to the physical conformation of the place, i.e. the different natural slopes of the hill. The Roman city form took account of their irregular trends by adapting the orthogonal pattern of the streets only in the free areas between the natural paths. The fluvial port was located in a natural inlet adjacent to the Flaminia. It happened that the tracks of the streets, perpendicular to each other, were realized with streets aligned in four differently oriented blocks. A peferct example of insula is the rectangle of the only isolated still preserved of the ancient city, closed on one side by the Giacomo Matteotti course and on the other sides by Via Camassei, the square and via del Girone. The insulae, all designed in the same dimensions as this one (mt 35 x 70), leaned here on the generating axes with their smaller side. Consequently, the minor road network of the city was placed beside the longest part of the form and intersected orthogonally in the city with part of the Via Flaminia. The generating axes of the other areas, including the sector of the Via Triumphalis, were inserted obliquely to the other main lines of the city. An unusual route was conceived along the Via Trionfale, highlighting its importance. This road facilitated the transit from northern to southern territory of the new city coming directly to and beyond the river in the territory passing over the Lapidum bridge. The Via Trionfale crossed with the Via Flaminia coming from the East just to Trivio, it continued towards Rome.

In the Middle Ages the center of the new city developed towards the Roman forum and the area of the port basement. Here they built the church of S. Silvestro, the church of S. Michele Arcangelo and the Palazzo dei Consoli, which are anomalous but also so admirably placed with their facades on the new square. Not far from this area, along the city walls, from the Porta Mulini to Via Santa Margherita, up to the former church of Santa Maria de Ponte Lapidum, there was the ancient Bevagna pier. The city, in the medieval period, had to close completely into its walls, raising a defensive structure, just where the two accesses of the port and the mooring were located.

(See Cruciani in Grande Dizionario di Bevagna, 10).