A BRIEF HISTORY OF MONTONE
The village is at least 1,000 years old, possibly as old as 1,200 years. In the 10th century the fortress of Montone was owned by the Marquises del Colle, later by the Marquises del Monte. In AD 1200 it became part of the Seignory of Perugia. In the 13th century the Fortebracci family took control of the village.
A Franciscan community was established just outside the walls in 1286. A few years later the community moved to the centre of the village, near the main piazza, opposite the houses of the two pre-eminent montonese families, the Fortebracci and degli Olivi.
For hundreds of years Montone's fortunes followed those of the Fortebracci family. In the 15th century the village achieved its greatest glory thanks to Braccio Fortebraccio, aka Braccio da Montone. Braccio was born in Montone in 1368. In time he became a renowned condottiero (commander), famous for his ability as a master-strategist, his decisive battle-field victories and his determination to establish a single state, separate from the Church, throughout central Italy.
On the 28th of August 1414 Montone was elevated to the status of Earldom. Braccio accepted the hereditary investiture for his family from the anti-Pope John XXIII. Braccio died in 1424 during the siege of Aquila, the year in which Pope Martin V repeated the investiture in favour of his son, Carlo. Control over Montone remained in the hands of the Fortebracci family until 1518 when the Vitelli family of Città di Castello took over.
In 1640 Montone fell into the hands of the Catholic Church, which dominated most of central Italy and subjected the people to a rigorous form of suppression for about 200 years. Except for a brief period near the end of the 18th century when it was part of the Cesalpine Republic, Montone remained within the Papal States until 1865.
In 1865, after a local plebiscite, Montone joined the newly-formed kingdom of Italy.
Along with a few other small towns and villages in northern Umbria, Montone has been very lucky in that it has largely avoided the twin scourges of full-scale war and capital-P progress.
Montone is divided into three rioni (wards) - rione Porta del Borgovecchio, rione Porta del Verziere and rione Porta del Monte.