The ancient cities of Anghiari,
Sansepolcro and the etrusca Citerna (further information is available
which dominate the surrounding hills, are testimony to a great Tuscan medieval
and Renaissance past - a history which cannot be separated from the history
of the papacy and the empire, the communes, the Guelfis and the Ghibellinis
and which is further intertwined with the arts, trade and commerce, and
16th century culture. The most important exponents of this cultural period of Tuscany -
- Raffaello, Signorelli, Della Robbia, Vasari, and above all Piero
della Francesca to name but a few - operated in the zone leaving traces
of their talent.
This history is today still documented and enclosed in surrounding buildings, narrow passages along the city walls, in characteristic stone houses, in the small squares and narrow alleys, in the fortresses and towers, in magnificent buildings and in the roof tops of cathedrals which are rich in valuable works of art dating back to the epoch. In close proximity, villages of historical-artistic renown can be found sheltered behind medieval or Renaissance boundaries: Cittą di Castello (known as Tifernum in ancient times); Monterchi; Chiusi della Verna; Caprese Michelangelo; and the etruscan Cortona. All these cities seem to emerge from some miniature or painting by Giotto, Gozzoli or Piero della Francesca himself. The entire surrounding region echoes not only with the medieval and Renaissance past: parishes, monasteries, abbeys, and castles are to be found alongside Roman, Longobarde, and Etruscan symbols which all appear to be carefully preserved in an obstinate struggle against the hands of time. Fascinating too are the worn and welcoming rural residences and local workshops, in which artisans still fervently work their gold and carry out restoration and decoration activities in the local historical centres.