An ancient Umbrian centre, the first documentation of it coincides with the Roman conquest of Umbria, when the Romans took over the area and built the western Via Flaminia (220 BCE) and other roads connecting to it. In the year 90 BCE, the town became an important Roman municipality by the name of Mevania. In 1439 it became part of the Papal domain and remained so, with the exception of the Napoleonic years, until the Unification of Italy in 1860.
The town, whose medieval (XII-XIII century) urban layout remains intact, is surrounded by walls with towers and gates. The most conspicuous Roman remains are those of a temple, which was then transformed into what was once the Church of the Madonna della Neve, a thermal springs building, which still boasts a II century BCE mosaic floor of white and black tiles depicting marine motifs, and, in the upper part of the town, an area where houses set in a semicircle trace the old theatre.
The old layout of the Roman city became medieval with piazzas and noble palazzos: on Piazza Silvestri is the Palazzo dei Consoli (1270), the Romanesque churches of San Silvestro and San Michele Arcangelo, both constructed in the XII century, and the Church of Santi Domenico e Giacomo (XIV century). Also worthy of note is the Baroque church of the monastery of Santa Margherita and the church of San Filippo (1725). The Church of San Francesco (fine XIII century) is located at the town’s highest point. Next to the altar is the stone on which St. Francis leaned as he preached to the birds at Pian d’Arca.
The Church of San Silvestro overlooks on the picturesque square of the small village of Bevagna: high testimony of the religious architecture and compendium of the Romanesque style features of this place. Established in 1195, as it is stated in the inscription that is located at the entrance, the church of San Silvestro shows a incomplete façade, which was likely to be composed of two overlapping orders and be crowned with a bell tower, like the Church of San Michele, on the other side of the square. Under the horizontal frame, which is decorated with reliefs depicting various hunting scenes, dragons, human busts and animals, there are three windows: a mullioned window at the center and other two on the sides. Twin columns of recycled-marble sustain the central mullioned window, which is richly decorated with plant motifs; the other two windows are positioned on twisted columns, whose bases consist of upside-down capitals. The beautiful build in portal is decorated with life scenes and animals fighting images.
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