The Santo Stefano Church is located more or less at the beginning of the road that leads from Anghiari to Sansepolcro. The main attraction of the church is a painting by Domenico di Michelino.
Santo Stefano Church Anghiari
Address: SP 43 della Libbia, 52031 Anghiari. telephone: +39 0575 789522. Opening hours: Unknown. Entrance fee: Free of charge.
History and description
The Santo Stefano Church, built between the 7th and 8th centuries, is located at the bottom of the hill on which the historic center of Anghiari is located.
This small church shows influences of Byzantine architecture as seen especially in churches around Ravenna. The brick building has a square floor plan with semi-circular apses on three sides. A somewhat elongated rectangular structure serves as the entrance.
The entrance to the chapels is bordered by round arches resting reused Roman columns with Ionic capitals. The three arches probably function as a symbol of the Catholic Trinity.
At the time the church was built, the rule of the region was disputed by the Lombards who adhered to the Arian doctrine, which does not recognize the dogma of the Trinity. It is assumed that the church served as a kind of answer to an Arian church in this era, which is however no longer existing.
The architectural structure of the building changed significantly in the course of the centuries. Thanks to a restoration around 1970, the original appearance has been restored.
What to see
The main attraction is the 15th century “Madonna and Child with Saints” painted by Domenico di Michelino (1417-1491). Domenico di Michelino was a painter from Florence, whose real name was Domenico di Francesco. His most famous work is “The Divine Comedy Illuminates Florence” and can be seen in Florence’s Santa Maria de Fiore Cathedral.