Anghiari

The site of the legendary battle of Anghiari painted by Leonardo da Vinci really exists: it is located in the province of Arezzo, among hills and vineyards.
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The pretty village of Anghiari is located in the province of Arezzo, in the far west of Tuscany not far from the border with Umbria. It was here that the mythical battle of Anghiari was fought between the republics of Florence and Milan, made famous by a now-lost mural by Leonardo da Vinci .

Although the glorious name is now gone, today Anghiari is an important tourist destination in Tuscany: head here to enjoy everything worth seeing in and around the centre, breathe clean air and enjoy the wonderful hilly landscapes that have made the region famous throughout the world. Among vineyards and rows of vines, you can alternate cultural visits with food and wine itineraries, to truly enjoy Tuscany at 360 degrees, straddling the Casentino and Upper Tiber valleys.

A holiday in Anghiari, or even a simple weekend, should be spent in no hurry, so much so that the town is on the list of Slow cities (cities of good living). But Anghiari’s recognitions do not end here: it is in fact part of the club of the most beautiful villages in Italy, and has been awarded the title of Orange Flag by the Italian Touring Club.

Things to do in Anghiari

Anghiari’s main tourist attraction is its historic village. Visit it far and wide, first discovering the main streets and then the side streets. Enjoy it by wandering around aimlessly, then devote yourself to its main points of interest. Afterwards, set off to explore the surroundings.

Palazzo Pretorio

1Piazza del Popolo, 9, 52031 Anghiari AR, Italia

The Palazzo Pretorio of Anghiari, now used as the seat of the municipality, is located in Piazza del Popolo, and is an ancient palace dating back to the 14th century that was the centre of the first nucleus of the town.

On the façade are represented in bas-relief the coats of arms of the podestà who administered Anghiari on behalf of the government of the Republic of Florence; on the ground floor there is also a beautiful 15th-century fresco, probably the work of Antonio di Anghiari, a master of Piero della Francesca.

The history of Palazzo Pretorio is long and troubled, so much so that in the 19th century it was used as a prison. In addition, a Roman artefact, a wine vat, was found on the ground floor.

Castle of Montauto

2SP43, 52031 Anghiari AR, Italia

The imposing castle of Montauto, located in La Scheggia, is a medieval castle owned by the Barbolani family, one of the oldest aristocratic families in Italy.
Built at the end of the 1100s, it was partially rebuilt in the mid-1500s and today has elements of Renaissance and late 19th-century style.

It is located on the Montauto hill, almost 800 metres above sea level, in a dominant position and difficult to access. For this reason, it assumed strategic importance during its history.

For three centuries, the habit of St. Francis of Assisi was kept at Montauto Castle, from the autumn of 1224 to 1503, when it was stolen by the Florentines and taken to Florence and then, in 2005, to La Verna.

The castle is private and cannot be visited, but is a popular location for weddings and events.

Museum of the Battle and History of Anghiari

3Piazza Goffredo Mameli, 1, 52031 Anghiari AR, Italia

Inside Palazzo Marzocco, in Piazza Mameli, in the historical centre, is the Museum of the Battle and History of Anghiari, established in 2000. It is the historical museum of Anghiari and houses numerous collections, ranging from prehistoric times to the 18th century.

Between stone tools from Neanderthal man, sculptures from the Roman era and firearms created during the time of the French Revolution, the museum showcases man’s ability to find resources.

Finally, ample space is given to the Battle of Anghiari, with an in-depth look at the painting by Leonardo da Vinci that was never completed, put on display together with all its copies via a digital system.

The Museum of the Battle and Anghiari is open from 1 April to 1 November every day from 9.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m., while from 2 November to 31 March afternoon opening hours are shortened by one hour. The museum is closed on Christmas Day.

Monti Rognosi natural reserve

452031 Anghiari AR, Italia

For an excursion out of town between Anchiari and Sansepolcro, do not miss the Monti Rognosi nature reserve, established in 1998. Covering an area of 156 hectares, it is part of the Monti Rognosi, which has been declared a Site of Community Importance.

Within the reserve, you can walk through a rugged and unspoilt mountain territory, very rich in flora and fauna. The marked trails can be travelled on foot, by bicycle or on horseback, but it is also possible to walk through woods, fields and secondary roads.

There are some trails of historical importance, such as the one called ‘the way of the mines’, others dedicated to nature, and even one dedicated to St Francis of Assisi and his habit.

St. Stephen church

5SP43, 52031 Anghiari AR, Italia

The ancient church of Santo Stefano is located in Anghiari in Via della Battaglia, and is one of the few examples of early medieval religious architecture that has survived to the present day. It is a 7th-century building, and therefore very old indeed, located outside the walls of the historical village, in the direction of Sansepolcro.

Visit it from the outside to admire the austere lines of the medieval style, influenced by Byzantine features, while inside there is a beautiful panel painting by Domenico di Michelino, the Madonna and Child with Saints.

Castles and Villas around Anghiari

Anghiari and other centres in the Valtiberina were under Lombard rule in the first half of the 11th century: the phenomenon of encastellation at strategic points in the Sovara, Tiber and Singerna valleys dates back to this period.
The Montauto, Galbino and Sorci castles are the most significant and best-preserved examples of fortifications around Anghiari.
Also worth mentioning are the castles of Pianettole, Toppole and Valialle, all part of the system of fortifications placed to defend the right side of the Sovara valley, and the extraordinary example of the fortified villa La Barbolana.
Since all the buildings are private property, they can only be visited externally, while for a possible visit of the interiors it is advisable to make arrangements with the owners, after contacting the Anghiari Museum System office.

Castle of Galbino

652031 Anghiari AR, Italia

Situated between a tributary of the Sovara and the Libbia provincial road, Galbino was an ancient castle whose origins can be traced back to the year 1000, being a fief of Count Ranieri. Transformed into an aristocratic residence, the castle today has a turret in the centre of the roof and small cylindrical towers at the corners of the square plan. A splendid loggia with stone columns runs along the entire façade. It is clearly visible from above the road that connects the hamlet of Tavernelle with the former Convent of San Niccolò a Gello (a modernly equipped centre for hosting religious groups and communities).

Castle of Sorci

7Località San Lorenzo, 21, 52031 Anghiari AR, Italia

In 1268 it was destroyed at the hands of some German soldiers in the retinue of Corradino di Svevia, at war with Charles of Anjou. Later subjected to Florentine domination, it was the home of the mercenary captain Baldaccio d’Anghiari. At the time, the fortress had as many as thirty soldiers guarding an impregnable moated wall. In the centuries that followed, the castle underwent renovations, until it took on the appearance of a 17th-century villa in which the tower it incorporated still stands out.

Transformed into a farm, today Sorci Castle is home to one of Italy’s most typical restaurants, well known for the personalities that regularly frequent it (film actors, television presenters, singers, journalists, writers, etc.).

In this regard, it is worth mentioning that its rooms provided the inspiration for the screenplay of the film ‘Non ci resta che piangere’ by and starring Roberto Benigni and Massimo Troisi, who were guests of Sorci’s castle at the time. On summer evenings, under the starry sky, some still seem to hear the clanking of the armour of Baldaccio, whose ghost animates the life of his ancient manor.

Pieve di Santa Maria alla Sovara

8Via della Fossa, 52031 Anghiari AR, Italia

Dating back to the 8th-9th century, it is a pre-Romanesque building with three apses located a short distance from Anghiari, on the road leading to Arezzo (via Libbia). The influence of the Camaldolese on the layout of the church (11th-12th century) is documented inside by the tower that once jutted out over the central part of the façade, denoting a strong French influence.

Pieve di Santa Maria a Micciano

9SP47, 52031 Anghiari AR, Italia

A baptismal church in early Christian times and later, after the ownership of the Counts of Galbino, under Camaldolese jurisdiction. Inside are fragments of early medieval sculptures, traces of 14th-century frescoes, a canvas attributed to the Arezzo painter Niccolò Soggi (Madonna and Child between Saints Peter and Jerome) and the panel painting of the Assumption attributed to Giovan Battista Naldini.

Map

In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article

The Battle of Anghiari and Leonardo’s painting

In 1440, the Florentines and Milanese clashed near Anghiari, in a bloody battle that has gone down in history. The clash was also very important for the geopolitical balance of the time, and was won by the Republic of Florence with the help of the knights of the Republic of Venice, who blocked the Milanese vanguard. Moreover, the Papal States also stood by the Republic of Florence. The defeat for the Duchy of Milan was sharp and swift: it all happened in less than 24 hours.

However, despite the very short duration of the conflict, its rumours have come down to the present day thanks to its depiction by Leonardo da Vinci, who around 1503 created a mural painting on the walls of the Salone dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio. Unfortunately, there is no trace of the work today, as Vasari completely decorated the salon around 60 years later; however, it has been speculated that Leonardo never completed the work and, more importantly, never even began the painting phase, as he stopped with the preparatory phase of the wall, which brought to light several problems due to a defect in the plaster.

However, several autograph studies remain to this day, which Leonardo carried out in more than a year’s work with six assistants, on the basis of which several artists have made copies. Among these, the most famous is undoubtedly that of the Flemish painter Pieter Paul Rubens, now exhibited in the Louvre.

Where to stay in Anghiari

In the centre of Anghiari and its immediate surroundings there are two hotels and a few flats; staying here is ideal to have the beauties of the historic village at your fingertips, and to visit them comfortably on foot without having to travel by car.

But just move a few kilometres from the town and you are already in the heart of the Tuscan countryside. In this beautiful environment we find many agriturismi, villas and resorts, all excellent facilities resulting from renovations, even major ones, carried out in the last 20 years.

Today, staying in a country house in Tuscany is a winning choice, to enjoy at best both the typical views of hills and vineyards, and to relax to the full in a serene and relaxed environment, perhaps by the pool, finishing the day in beauty at the restaurant, where the menu is often based on typical local products cooked on the spot.

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How to reach Anghiari

Geographically, Anghiari is located in the heart of Italy, but considering only Tuscany, it is situated at the western end, in a very remote position, and therefore not always too easy to reach.

From Florence, for example, it takes almost two hours: you travel along the A1 motorway as far as Arezzo, and once you reach the capital you proceed along the provincial road SP43. The last stretch of road, the one between Arezzo and Anghiari, takes about 30-35 minutes.

Reaching Anghiari from Siena, on the other hand, means travelling a distance of about 100 kilometres along the SS715 state road, passing through Taverne d’Arbia and Rapolano Terme, then entering the province of Arezzo near Lucignano and continuing via Monte San Savino on the SS73 state road. The journey time is just under an hour and a half.

Anghiari is then very far from the sea, which makes the journey from the coastal cities of Tuscany such as Pisa and Livorno rather long: we are talking about almost 3 hours, for a total distance of over 100 kilometres. From both Pisa and Livorno, one first arrives in Florence, and then continues on to Arezzo before arriving at one’s destination.

For those travelling by public transport, the only option is the bus departing from theArezzo Terminal in Via Marconi, near the central station. The line of interest is the SI381 Arezzo-Sansepolcro-Città di Castello-Lerchi, operated by Sitabus, which takes you to your destination in less than an hour. Of course, first it is necessary to get to Arezzo, and this can be done comfortably by train from any province in Tuscany.

Anghiari Weather

What's the weather at Anghiari? Below are the temperatures and the weather forecast at Anghiari for the next few days.

Friday 31
12°
21°
Saturday 1
11°
22°
Sunday 2
11°
19°
Monday 3
12°
19°
Tuesday 4
12°
24°
Wednesday 5
15°
21°

Where is located Anghiari

Anghiari is located in the province of Arezzo, near San Sepolcro, not far from the border with Umbria.

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