The imposing walls (1210 - 1256) were equipped with 24 ramparts, 4 gates and 4 towers. This guaranteed a maximum view of the area and defense of the extremities turris Sanctis Johannis. Along the wall are the gates: Porta Santa Maria (1256), restored from 1379 to 1575, rebuilt in 1571 and topped by a tower; Porta Pontelato or Nursina (1283) with a slight ogive arch in stone ashlars at the foot of the tower with overhanging brackets for defense by hurtling objects and connected by a drawbridge to the left shore of the Nera river; Porta Ussitana or Porta San Giacomo (15th century) characterized by an ogive fornix suspended behind the guardhouse. Guard Towers – in Rocca Lungo on the road to Macereto, in an area that dominates the city, are two crenelated guard towers from the 11th and 12th centuries. The higher of these towers (25m) was restored in 1973 and the remains of a staircase to the first floor is visible from the outside; it was also used as a watchtower over the Ussitana valley. Ruins of the ancient walls that were protected by shorter towers (only one of which is still intact) are also visibile; these formed the square of the Fort, site of the first settlement of Castel S. Giovanni. Following an earthquake, the inhabitants resettled in the present day town and extended the castle walls of the Fort towards the city, alongside the Nera river. Today Porta S. Maria is the principal gate to exit the historical center of Visso. Built in 1256, as indicated by the inscription on a rough stone placed under the arch, and restored in by Pope Pius V in 1571, it has lost all characteristics of a medieval gate due to enlargment and modifications in 1867. Porta di Pontelato. The oldest gate of Visso, built in 1283 by Gualtiero, one of the first Podestà of the city, as confirmed by the gothic inscription on a pillar of the first arch. Other epigraphs attest to restorations in 1379 on behalf of Giovanni da Varano, then in 1466 and 1575. Over the gate are the remains of a tower of ashlars with a series of high brackets; on the south side the emblems of the city (pre 1400s) and Gregory XIII can be seen over an ogive arch.
Visso-Cinta Muraria Porta Santa Maria Porta Ussitana Porta Pontelato
Cinta Muraria Porta Santa Maria Porta Ussitana Porta Pontelato


Castello dei Da Varano (Fraz. Riofreddo)The Riofreddo Castle rose from a hillock in front of Mount Cavallo and Cetrognola; built in medieval times by the Counts of Alviano, who then sold it to Spoleto in 1296. Later on they came back in possession of the castle and ceded it along with Mevale to Norcia in 1378. In 1438 the Riofreddo Castle was under the control of the Sforza. In 1815 it became property of the town of Visso. Today only ruins are visible.