The Hotel Clitunno is an historic building and is in the historic quart of Spoleto. Spoleto was known as Spoletium by the Romans and the Ponte Sanguinario of the 1st century BC still exists. The Roman forum lies under the modern marketplace.
Located at the head of a big valley, encircled by a group of mountains, Spoleto has occupied a strategic position geographically for a very long time. It was an important town to the original Umbri tribes, who constructed walls to surround their settlement in around the 5th century BC, some of which are still visible today.
Under the Roman empire Spoleto flourished. The poet Martial spoke highly of its wine. Would-be emperor Aemilianus was slain by his own men in the town on his way from Rome in AD 253, after reigning for only three or four months. Owing to its elevated position, Spoleto was a strategic stronghold during the Vandal and Gothic wars.
In AD 774 Spoleto became part of Holy Roman Empire. A few of its dukes, the majority during the late 9th century, became emperor. In 1155 it was destroyed by Frederick Barbarossa and In 1213 it was occupied by Pope Gregory IX. The Duomo cathedral was built between 1175 and 1227. The church contains a manuscript letter by Saint Francis of Assisi.