Prehistoric era

The origins of San Venanzo can be traced back to about five million years ago, following the advent of a compression tectonic phase, which pushing from the South-West to the North-East brought out the first lands from the Mediterranean Sea forming the elongated ridge of the Apennine chain. It was only in the subsequent diverging phase, about a million years later, that a broad parallel anti-Apennine area flanked the Apennine structure, creating extensive depressive areas that characterize the great geological variability of Umbria. In essence, it is widely known that in the Pliocene, following the tectonic events mentioned above, the Umbrian territory was characterized by the large basin of Tiberino Lake.

This extensive lake surface had the shape of an inverted Y that from Città di Castello was oriented in NW-SE direction and, at near Perugia, it forked, due to the Martani Mountains, in the two branches of the Umbrian South Valley up to Spoleto and of the Middle Valley of the Tiber up to Todi, where the SO branch of the inverted Y was embedded in the structure of the Peglia through the bottleneck of the Forello and Corbara Lake until the confluence of the Tiber and the Paglia.

The ridge of this stretch, characterized by the alignment Città della Pieve – Monte Peglia was actually the true border between the lake and the continental environment. It’s a pity that man was not yet present; from Peglia, in fact, it would have enjoyed a beautiful lake view for many thousands of years. There were no human spectators even for the extraordinary and peculiar eruption which, in much more recent years, so to speak, gave rise to the current geological conformation of the San Venanzo hill 250,000 years ago.

At the end of the 19th century, it was discovered by the studies of the Senator of the Kingdom Eugenio Faina, who discovered that the outpouring of the burning magma from the bowels of the earth occurred, at the end of a long tunnel, through three different branches and as many volcanic vent, shooting the cap of the main one on the top of its crater. The aggression of the subsequent exogenous agents and the emptying of the small lake which for centuries occupied the crater of the now extinct volcano, modeled the definitive aspect of the hill on which much later, at the end of the Ice Age, with alternate events, it will intertwine the history of people and civilizations originated from the appearance of the Neanderthal man and from the encounter, which for him will be lethal, with Homo Sapiens from the African continent.

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