This itinerary focuses on three beautiful medieval villages of the Umbrian and Tuscan Upper Tiber Valley: Monterchi, Anghiari and Citerna. These three small towns have in their historical town center important iconographies of the Virgin: works of art depicting the Virgin, whose theme is the most recurrent in Christian art and whose cult is still very widespread in the valley.

CITERNA

Listed among the most beautiful villages in Italy, dating back to the Roman age, Citerna was inhabited by the Etruscans: its location on a hill explains its characteristic of sighting pillbox. The small vllage is a real balcony on to the valley.

MADONNA WITH CHILD by DONATELLO

It is a splendid full relief terracotta group painted with cold painting. The work of art was discovered and studied in the church of San Francesco in Citerna and it has been recently attributed to Donatello; it is supposed to be dating back to the period between 1415 and 1420. The restoration was carried out by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence; they restored the original polychromy, highlighting the refined painting of the characters’ complexion and their robes enriched by golden decorations that are also present in the hats of the two characters.

MONTERCHI

Small town on the Eastern border of Tuscany. The village, of clear medieval origin, is perched on an isolated hill, formerly called Mons Herculis, (Mount of Hercules), that dominates the hills of the Upper Tiber Valley.

MADONNA DEL PARTO by PIERO DELLA FRANCESCA

Famous and unusual theme for the fresco by Piero della Francesca in the chapel of Monterchi’s graveyard; here the Virgin is depicted between two angels and with her hand she points to her lap. Traditionally the fresco is dated back to 1459, when the artist probably visited Monterchi for his mother’s funeral, that came from this village. The exact dating of the painting is not clear and usually varies between 1455 and 1465, anyhow at the same time as the frescoes of the Storie della Vera Croce in Arezzo.

ANGHIARI

One of the most beautiful villages in Italy, Anghiari, in the province of Arezzo, is a marvellous medieval village dominating the green upper Tiber valley. Built within the 13th century walls, it was very important in the Middle Ages for its strategic location. The battle that took place at the bottom of the village is extremely famous: on June 29, 1440 the troops from Milan clashed against a coalition led by the Republic of Florence. To remember this event, the town’s coat of arm shows at its center a Florence lily.

MADONNA COL BAMBINO by JACOPO DELLA QUERCIA

Dated within 1420 for its style, this polychromatic wooden sculpture was commissioned by the Compagnia di S. Maria della Misericordia for a church in Anghiari. Today it is kept in the State Museum of Palazzo Taglieschi. This magnifient polychromatic wooden sculpture of Siena style represents the Vigin Mary, masterpiece by Jacopo della Quercia, with a child, maybe not relevant, but that in the past was placed on the Madonna’s arms.

Minimum: 6 paiyng participants; Price: 89€ adults; 80€ children up to to 17 years with ID.

Departure time: 9.30

Duration: about 8h

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