San Gemini is a beautiful, small hill town in Umbria along the ancient Roman road, the Via Flaminia. Located between Rome and Florence, it is a convenient base for travel in central Italy. Rome can be reached in about ninety minutes by public transport. Other Umbrian cities, such as Perugia, Spoleto, Todi, Assisi, and Orvieto are even closer. Situated within easy reach of a wealth of cultural resources (museums, libraries, and many of the world’s art and architectural treasures), San Gemini is a friendly town where students can easily meet local people and enjoy life in the Italian countryside. San Gemini is located a few kilometers north of Terni and has a population of about five thousand.
It was first settled as an agricultural suburb of the ancient city of Carsulae in the 1st century and has been continuously inhabited since Roman times. In classical times it may have been called Casventium. During the Middle Ages, when Carsulae was abandoned, “Casventum” became a small fortified city and border outpost. Its name changed to San Gemini and there are various theories as to why this happened. The official story is that it was given in honor of a Syrian monk named Gemine (Yamin) who preached and lived there, and is now the patron Saint of the town. Another theory is that it derives from a local popular cult of the twin saints Cosma and Damian. In pre-industrial times the town reached maximum expansion in the 14th century and then stagnated until the 20th century. The city started to grow again in the 1930’s and has now reached a population of five thousand. Since World War II, the city has become a bedroom community for the city of Terni. Most of the growth has happened since 1960 outside the medieval perimeter. Although the population of the historic center has decreased to less than ten percent of the total population, it still remains the civic and social center of the city. Across Italy, San Gemini is well known for the “Sangemini” mineral water. Both the spring and the bottling plant are located just outside the populated center, near the ancient city of Carsulae.