Located in the eastern part of the province of Arezzo in Tuscany, Anghiari is one of tjhe main agricultural and industrial centers in the region. Like many towns in the area, it has a beautiful medieval center framed by the ancient defensive wall.
Anghiari city guide
Region: Tuscany. Province: Arezzo. The tourist office of the city (Ufficio Turistico – Pro Loco) is located in Corso Matteotti, 103. Tel./Fax +39 0575749279. The area code is 0575 and the zip code is 52031.
By car/public transport
By car from Florence: Follow the A1 until Arezzo, and then the E78 or the SP43 (Strada Provinciale della Libbia). Anghiari is also more or less along the E45, between Perugia and Ravenna (Sansepolcro exit). There are large parking lots at the foot of the hill and you can take a funicular to the historic center.
Public Transport: The best way is to take the train to Arezzo. From Arezzo there is a regular bus service to Anghiari (travel time about 50 minutes).
A brief history of Anghiari
The town was founded in the 7th century, when the Lombards built a castle there. Before that, there was probably a Roman farm on the same spot. In 1440, the Battle of Anghiari took place on the lowlands in front of the town. It is at this point in history that the city fell into the hands of Florence. The architecture of the main buildings was therefore influenced by the Florentines.
Anghiari is located in the hilly area that encompasses the slopes of the Catanaia Alps and the Val Tiberina valley. The town was originally just a supply post on the road from what is now Romagna to the Casentino region.
In the 10th century, the Anghiari Castle was the estate of the Count of Galbino, a branch of the Barbolani di Montauto family.
In 1104, this family made a gift of the town to the Camaldoli Hermitage. The monks managed to create a certain prosperity, thanks also to these to the cleric favorable decrees.
After the Tarlati di Pietramala family took power (1312), the freedom enjoyed until then was lost. From then until 1384 (with a brief interlude between 1339 and 1352 when Perugia took over) this family ruled Anghiari.
In 1385 Anghiari came under Florentine rule and was even elected the seat of a bishopric.
On June 29, 1440, a great battle took place at Anghiari in which the Florentines, together with the papal troops, defeated the Viscontis from Milan, gaining control of the entire region. The Sala del 500 in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence used to feature a fresco painted by Leonardo da Vinci depicting a scene from this battle. Since Rubens had made a copy of it, one knows more or less how this now lost work of art must have looked. (In the Palazzo Marzocco is a museum that is partly dedicated to this battle).
The appearance of a large part of the city is still due to the work that the Florentines carried out in that period.
From then on, Anghiari and San Sepolcro competed for economic and cultural power in the Val Tiberina.
In 1776 Anghiari became the capital of the community.
What to see in Anghiari
The center of the town is characterized by a maze of narrow, picturesque alleys and stairways flanked by medieval houses and Renaissance palaces.
One of the most important streets in Anghiari is the Corso Giacomo Matteotti. Constructed in the 14th century, this seven-kilometer road runs in a straight line from the center of town to nearby Sansepolcro.
Anghiari’s main attraction is the 18th century Santa Maria delle Grazie church. On display here are works of art by Tino di Caimano, (the studio of) Della Robbia and Giovanni Antonio Sogliano, and others.
The old church of Badia has an asymmetrical interior.
Palazzo Taglieschi was built in the Renaissance period and is the current seat of the Museo dello Stato. The palace is located in one of the city’s main squares, Piazza Mameli.
The Palazzo Pretorio, built in the 14th century, is located in the Piazza del Popolo and is now the city’s town hall. Its facade is decorated with all kinds of coats of arms.
The church of Santo Stefano is located outside the built-up area. It is characterized by an early medieval structure with Byzantine influences. The church was probably built in the 7th or 8th century.
The Chiesa della Croce was built on a spot where St. Francis once placed a cross.
Tourist attractions outside Anghiari
The Romanesque Chiesa di Sovara is located two kilometers southwest of Anghiari. This newly restored church dates back to the 9th century.
The 13th century church of Santa Maria a Corsano Church is located in the hamlet of San Leo.
Madonna del Parto
About 10 kilometers from the city itself is the village of Monterchi. Here you will find the famous fresco “Madonna del Parto”, created by Piero della Francesca.
Events and festivals
Every year on June 29 the Palio della Vittoria is held, in memory of a battle won by Florence against the Milanese. Venue is the Corso Giacomo Matteotti.