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Sansepolcro & Piero della Francesca trail

  • Sansepolcro & Piero della Francesca trail

    Art fans will be tempted to follow the Piero della Francesca trail to Sansepolcro, in the Upper Tiber valley, on the border with Umbria.  The only decision is whether to combine the trip with a stop at Monterchi.  From Arezzo, it’s a pretty 41 km drive northwards to Sansepolcro, via a patchwork of pasturelands and beechwoods. Sansepolcro is famous for two things: as the town where Buitoni pasta is produced and as the birthplace of the great Renaissance artist.

    For art-lovers this is a pilgrimage to see Piero della Francesca’s greatest work, The Resurrection. The fresco, created in 1463, was hailed by Aldous Huxley as “the best picture in the world.” It was nearly destroyed by the Allies during World War II as they bombarded Sansepolcro, believing the Germans were still occupying the town. Thankfully, it was saved from destruction by the villagers, who surrounded the artwork with sandbags. Today, this intense, brooding work is displayed in the Museo Civico, alongside the Madonna della Misericordia, another della Francesca masterpiece.

    Sansepolcro, huddled behind crumbling ramparts, is framed by four ancient gateways. The medieval town has much to recommend it beyond the Piero della Francesca masterpiece. The Duomo, which started out as an 11th-century abbey church, displays Perugino’s Ascension of Jesus and works by the della Robbia school. Apart from the well-preserved city gateway of Porta Fiorentina, admire the mansions, strung out along on Via Matteotti, the 16th-century Palazzo delle Laudi (Town Hall) and the Gothic Palazzo Gherardi.

    Address: Museo Civico, Via degli Aggiunti 71, Sansepolcro
    Web: www.museocivicosansepolocro.it & comune.sansepolcro.ar.it

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