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Anghiari, Province of Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy

This fine small town is situated in the upper Tiber Valley, along the road from Arezzo to Sansepolcro.

Of great interest is the ancient fortified borough, up on a hill and all surrounded by walls, with elegant Renaissance palaces around the main square, and picturesque stone houses along narrow lanes and flights of steps in the more ancient part. Anghiari is well-known in Italy for its many antique shops and restoration laboratories where ancient, ruined furniture are returned to their pristine splendour.

Info

Altitude: 430 mt a.s.l -- Population: ca. 5000 inhabitants -- Zip/postal code: 52031 -- Phone Area Code: 0575 -- Frazioni & Localities: Catigliano, Motina, Ponte alla Piera, San Leo, Scheggia, Tavernelle, Viaio

History

Archeological findings show traces of Roman settlements in the area, but the name of the place first appears in a pergamon of 1048, which is preserved in the archive of Città di Castello. In the Middle Ages Anghiari was of great strategical importance, and was a fiefdom of the Lords of Galbino and the Camaldola.

The name of the town is associated to the Battle of Anghiari of 29 june 1440 where Florentines, supporters of the Pope, defeated the army of Milan; the battle acquired great renown when the Magistrates of Florence encharged Leonardo da Vinci to fresco the rooms of Palazzo Vecchio with moments of the Battle, and Leonardo made first a project on paper then painted a huge "battle around the flag" on a wall.

The paintings were not finished and later were lost owing to drying problems, and Leonardo's drawings were dispersed, but Rumens made copies of them (which are preserved in the Louvre) as well as Biagio di Antonio (in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin). These drawings by Leonardo were, in the words of Benvenuto Cellini, "the school of the world".

What to see

  • the 18th-century parish church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, which preserves inside a painting representing the Last Supper, a work dated 1531 by Giovanni Antonio Sogliani (1492 - 1544) a Florentine disciple of Lorenzo di Credi; also of great interest is a large multi-colored terracotta of the Della Robbia family of sculptors (Luca 1400-1482, Andrea 1435-1525, Giovanni 1469-1529 and Girolamo 1488 - 1556 and their descendants).
  • the church of San Bartolomeo in Badia, going back to the 11th century
  • the Museo Statale delle Arti e Tradizioni Popolari dell'Alta Valle del Tevere, hosted in the Renaissance Taglieschi Palace, with collections of art works as well as items coming from the traditional houses and agricultural activities.


Province of Arezzo
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