Ripalvella – San Venanzo -Marsciano(PG)
The village of Ripalvella (Ripa Bella, a modest settlement on a high bank of the Faena river) existed down in the Roman period as evidenced by the discovery of a funerary stone that belonged to the gens Vibia now preserved at the Wayside Shrine of “San Valentino”.
The town since 1278 was part of the lands subject to Orvieto.
In the same year Orvieto identified five castles and twenty-two parish churches (Piveri) as an administrative and fiscal point of reference so that the whole territory subject to it was divided into plebarians.
The Pievi, at that time, were a network of churches or rural parishes that slowly formed within the dioceses directed by the urban bishops.
Favoured by the movement of ruralisation, the building of parishes (Plebes, from which the Italian Parish Church was derived) allowed Christianity to spread in depth.
The Parish replaced the Roman “Municipium”, in fact in the Parish registered births, deaths and the number of “Fires” (families) present in the countryside.
Ripalvella is mentioned in the Orvieto cadastre of 1292 (E. Carpentier) where are listed precisely the pievere in the parish church of S. Felice, to be located, perhaps, in the locality of S. Felice where there was the “Villa Ripalvelle”.
The castle was fortified by Orvieto during the 14th century, before entrusting its defence to a Montemarte.
Ripalvella was the castle of the Morraldeschi family of Orvieto and followed all their historical events.
Put to iron and fire in 1395, it was destroyed again in 1437.
From the second half of 1500 until the descent of the French into Italy at the end of 1700, Ripalvella together with other castles, was permanently part of the district of Orvieto that appointed you as its representative podestà or vice podestà in place of the ancient Visconti.
It ceased to be an autonomous community in 1816 when, with the Napoleonic reform, it was appointed to the Municipality of San Venanzo together with 10 other “hamlets”; Collelungo, Civitella dei Conti and Poggio Aquilone instead passed under Marsciano.
With the restoration of the Papal government at the fall of Napoleon, the territory was again divided up, to arrive at a structural definition that is what we see today.
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