The etymology of the name VALFABBRICA comes from the derivation of 2 Latin words: “VALLIS” (valley) and “FABRICA” (factory, work). In the past, terms such as “Vadus”, “Vadum”, “Vado Fabricae” were interpreted as the origin of the name “Valfabbrica” when instead, more than anything else, they indicated a point, the ford of the factory, located near the ancient Benedictine monastery.
In fact, they are the 2 nouns “Vallis” and “Fabrica” that appear in many medieval historical documents, even in the archives of Assisi, Perugia, Gubbio, Nonantola … words that remain separate even in vulgarized Latin, but always respectful of grammatical and syntactic rules in various cases (eg Vallis Fabricae).
Valfabbrica rises in a beautiful position on a hill overlooking the valley of the Chiascio river. There is evidence of Roman settlements given by the discovery of a villa from the 1st century AD. which had a “tepidarium” and some mosaics. But the richest history of events begins with the medieval origin, since the foundation and development of the original nucleus of the town are connected to the events of the Benedictine Abbey of S. M. Assunta, with the monks who reclaimed the area in the early twelfth century marshy making it a fertile plain.
In 1177 the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa placed the “ecclesia de Valle Fabrica, in comitatu Esisio” under his protection. In 1202, monks and castellans sided with Assisi in the battle of Collestrada, lost against rival Perugia, and in 1205 Valfabbrica swore submission to Assisi, which in the meantime became Ghibelline.
In 1207 St. Francis, after the “spoliation”, on his first journey left Assisi and passed through Valfabbrica where, after the attack suffered in the locality of Pioppo, he stayed for a few days at the Benedictine monastery before crossing the Chiascio river to reach Gubbio, originating the “Franciscan Path of Peace”.
In the year 1209 the castle of Valfabbrica was destroyed by Perugia, in retaliation against the attempt to subdue the nearby castles of Perugia.
However the enterprising Benedictine monks rebuilt the castle together with the laborers and in the land registry of 1232 there is the balia of Valfabbrica with 75 fires.
In the further battles between Perugia and Assisi (1319), the castle was again sacked. Later, the territory was disputed by Perugia and by the Duke of Montefeltro Guidobaldo I, Lord of Gubbio, to whom Valfabbrica asked for protection.
Starting from 1497, except for a brief return under the dominion of Assisi (1516-1521), Valfabbrica became part of the dominions of the Duchy of Urbino and the castle was fortified. And it is precisely at the time of the Lordship of Guidobaldo II (1538-1574) that Valfabbrica obtained the “municipal” statutes, which were “renewed” on the basis of the fourteenth-century ones.
In 1631 the dynasty of the Dukes of Urbino died out and their territories passed to the Church, so that Valfabbrica was also annexed to the Papal State.
In 1728 the exact boundaries between the Municipality of Assisi and Valfabbrica were marked.
In 1815, after the end of the Napoleonic empire, Valfabbrica was erected as a Municipality and absorbed the territory of the suppressed Municipality of Casacastalda.
From the medieval period is the historic center, called “Pedicino”, which preserves two high towers (one modified and made “civic” in 1907) and conspicuous parts of the surrounding walls.
To visit the Benedictine abbey in Romanesque style, with valuable frescoes inside, where of particular interest is a painting by the Cimabue school (the only example in Umbria), depicting the lamentation over the dead Christ, from the end of the 13th century.