Pale is about 10 km from Foligno. A tiny hamlet on the slopes of the Pale Mountain, offering a wealth of art, nature and cultural sites that are worth visiting. Together let’s discover what you can see in this tiny ancient hamlet.
Pale: the Mentore River and the paper mills
The history of Pale is linked to the water of the Mentore River. The abundance of water made Pale one of the most important hubs of the paper industry. The first records of the prosperous fine paper manufacturing dates back to the early 1300s. In fact the paper of Pale was used for the first edition of the Divine Comedy, printed in 1472 in Foligno. Paper manufacturing gradually ended, but it is still possible to find numerous signs of this activity in Pale today.
The Mentore River is the source of an extraordinary landscape of waterfalls, ravines and natural lakes that one can visit by walking along a well-marked path. This steep path sheltered by vegetation passes through the rapids and small waterfalls. Scenery that makes the hamlet of Pale di Foligno truly one of a kind.
The Caves of the Abbadessa
From the centre of Pale it is also possible to book a visit to another natural creation of the Mentore river: the Abbadessa caves. Equipped with flashlight and helmet, it is possible to visit these natural caves divided into two main ‘rooms’ by narrow paths. The large lion-shaped stalagmite that stands in the smaller room is definitely worth seeing. Visits to the Caves of the Abbadessa can be booked from the official italian website of Pale di Foligno.
The Hermitage of Santa Maria Giacobbe
The Hermitage of Santa Maria Giacobbe dates back to 1200. Built into an already existing natural cave, the hermitage was the destination of pilgrimages thanks to its internal cistern that collects water with curative powers. Today the cistern is still visible, but the source of miraculous water is dry. Inside, the structure of the chapel is decorated with frescoes from various eras which are still visible today.
These precious places make Pale di Foligno a must-see site for anyone travelling through Umbria.