artistic itineraries in Tuscany, the art trails, history, culture
PIERO DELLA FRANCESCA PLACES IN VALTIBERINA
This amazing land is located on the border among Umbria, Marche and Emilia Romagna where Tevere river glides and the Appennini peaks dominate the landscape. This area, called Tiberina Valley, takes its name from Tevere river. This eastern part of Tuscany it is a place where art, history, nature offer a completely new and unknown version of the famous Italian region: It is an area characterized by being very quiet not too much touristic where it is possible to live “slowly” in the middle of nature and relax. However , while relaxing, the tourists that visit this area will have also the chance to discover stunning cities like Arezzo, Monterchi, Sansepolcro end Caprese Michelangelo following the same path that the famous painter Piero della Francesca made during his artistic career. The choice of the Renaissance painter to work in the same area in which he was born in the …century, represents a very unique case in art history. As a matter of fact his most famous piece of art are located not in famous museums, but in very intimate and hidden villages. This route can be easily covered also nowadays by tourists.
It is located in an area where four different vallley join together: Valdichiana, Valtiberina, CAseantino, Valdarno. Arezzo represent a great point where to star following the personal and artistic life of Piero della Francesca. When, back in the time, the city reached the peak of its power and prestige in the XIV century, Arezzo passed under the political control of Florence. In this time the city started entertaining the most famous art man of the time like the poet Petraca, the artman Vasari, Francesco Redi, Giudo d’Arezzo: the most important of them was Piero della Francesca that gifted the city with the best piece of art from italian Reinassance times.
The visit of Arezzo starts from the very central square named “San Francesco” where is located San Francesco gothic church: inside you’ll be able to find the frescos of “Leggenda della Croce”: Piero della Francesca painted these frescos between the 1453 and 1464, taking inspiration from Aurea Legend of Jacopo Varagine. Still today this frescos impress the visitors for the use of perspective, colors and light. Once you’re out of the churc follow the beautifull “Corso Italia” ( where you can still admire the palace where the famous poet Petrarca used to live) reaching the core of the city: Piazza Grande. Here every year at the end of August takes place the very famous traditional feast “ Giostra dell’Arentino”, while at the end of each month takes place the very prestigious exhibition of antiquities.
Our tour continues towards Arezzo’s famous Duomo; a wonderful medieval temple inside which you can admire another fresco from Piero della Francesca called “la Maddalena” . Once you’re out of the church few meters further on, it is possible to visit also San Domenico Church. This building faces a very intimate square characterized by relaxing tree shades. Inside the church it is still conserved the very famous Cimabue Cross. Another very famous art man coming from Arezzo, Vasari, used to live in san Domenico’s small square.
Monterchi appears, at fisrt glance, like a very high acropolis located in the middle of the valley. It is possible to reach Monterchi thanks to a very ripid street. The fortifications all around the borders of the medieval city, protects a village that is more that 1000 years old . The moment of maximum power of Monterchi dates back between the XIV and Xv century. Beyond the beauty of the whole Monterchi, in here it is possible to see an important piece of art: Madonna del Parto from Piero della Francesca. The paint was painted in 1464 and it is located in a museum created specifically for this masterpiece. It is worth to give a look also to the San Simeone Parrocchiale, completely rebuilt in the XIX century , in which are conserved important late- gothic piece of art, robbiana pottery and a Holy Cross dating back to 1500.
From Monterchi, moving towards the high part of Val Tiberina, it is possible to reach Sansepolcro city. This is the place where Piero della Francesca was born and where are still conserved, within the city museum, his most important pieces of art: the Resurrection, Il Polittico della Madonna della Misericordia, San giuliano, San Lodovico; while a cultural centre of Reinassance studies has been created in the original house belonged to Piero della Farncesca.
Il palio della Balestra it is an important feast that takes place every second Sunday of Sectember. In this occasion the city remembers the fame of his most famous painter. In this occasion hundreds of tourist assist to the famous wave flags parade, and observe people moving around the city dressed with the original costumes of Renaissance times.
In Sansepolcro city centre there are also some places that deserve to be visited: the Medicean Fortress belonged to Giuliano da Sangallo, the defensive walls with the original cannons by Bernardo Buontalenti , the romanic cathedral and San Francesco gothic Church.
In order to visit Caprese Michelangelo, it is necessary to leave the valley where San seplocro is located and move towards the mountains, taking a street that crosses old forests full of mistery. As the name suggest, this is the city where Michelangelo Buonarroti was born. In the well preserved village, it is possible to visit some building like the very tiny San Giovanni Church and the Podestà House where Michelangelo was born. The house it has been recently transformed in a museum in which modern piece of art and moulds of the most famous Michelangelo are conserved.
PIEVE SANTO STEFANO
Lest’s leave the native village of Michelangelo Buonarroti to move towards Pieve Santo Stefano , a stunning medieval city. In the building called Collegiata di Santo Stefano, it is possible to visit the very famous “Assunzione “from Andrea della Robbia, an atmen that was born in this area. In Pieve Santo Stefano is also located the “Archivio Diaristico Nazionale”, unique in whole Italy, in which are preserved the biographic evidences of most famous Italian charcaters. It is worth to visit also “Madonna dei Lumi Sancturay” and its well preserved church tower.
the street called Alpe della Luna takes to Badia Tedalda, last stage of our art tour around Val Tiberina Valley. Once arrived in this stunning village in the middle of the mountains, there is the chance to walk a path that takes to “San Michele church” Sant’Angelo Monastery” that dates back to IX century. Inside it is possible to admire a whole collection of Robbiano pottery from the XVI century.