A simple, detailed visitor guide to cities of art, lesser-known centres, nature parks and archaeological sites A map of Tuscany
18 town and city plans
www.turismo.intoscana.it VOGLIO VIVERE COSĂŒ
HISTORY, ART, NATURE
Tuscany seems to confirm that vocation for balance which lies at the base of its well-established fortunes, including in its territory-population ratio. This also holds true in the economy, if we consider that the so-called ‘Tuscan development model’ has long been considered to be one of the most positive realities, not only in Italy but also in an international context. Balance, therefore. This stands out even more clearly in the management of the greatest and best-known regional resource: tourism. In this particular sphere, intelligence and capability must be fully exploited since the issue to be tackled is of such important as to stretch beyond regional borders. Florence, Siena, Pisa, Lucca (to mention but a few of the famous Tuscan cities) and also those ‘minor’ gems such as San Gimignano, Volterra, Pienza, Montepulciano, Cortona, Massa Marittima and others belong to the culture of the world. As does the countryside which has played an important role in creating the great Tuscan legend. The question therefore is how to safeguard an environmental, historical and artistic heritage, unique in the world. It is clear that here, more than elsewhere, the greatest care is needed to foster that cultural quality which has always distinguished tourism in Tuscany. This guide stems from the collaboration of the Tuscan Regional Administration and Touring Club Italiano, and aims to make a small but significant contribution in this direction. This new edition has been carefully updated and expanded in collaboration of Toscana Promozione to make it a simple, yet accurate and reliable tool. It offers a visit to Tuscany which is neither excessively detailed nor hasty and superficial. A visit, indeed, in the name of balance.
* The asterisk indicates works and places of great interest.
2 Toscana 1: 1300 000 (1 cm = 13 km)
Maps of towns
Arezzo Carrara Colle di Val dâ€™Elsa Cortona FiĂ¨sole Firenze Grosseto Livorno Lucca Massa Massa Marittima Pisa Pistoia Prato San Gimignano Sansepolcro Siena Volterra
7 11 14 15 17 20 29 30 34 37 38 44 46 50 53 54 56 62
Conventional signs on page 64
The fifth largest of the Italian regions, Tuscany extends over a part of central Italy bordering on Liguria and Emilia Romagna to the north, the Marches and Umbria eastwards and Latium in the south. In the west lies the shore of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The typical image of Tuscany which springs to mind, of a prevalently agricultural region as depicted in the backgrounds of so many mediaeval and Renaissance paintings, is in part gainsaid by modern reality. While over the ages land reclamation and specialised techniques have developed prestigious farming areas (such as the vineyards of Chianti and Montepulciano, the olive-groves near Lucca and the flower growing around Pistoia), about 40% of Tuscan territory is still covered by woodland. It is also true that the “Tuscan development model” has seen the proliferation of SMEs, with strong traditional, environmental and cultural local links, alongside sizeable industrial centres such as iron/steel plants in Piombino, the petrochemical industry in Livorno and mechanical and glass industries in Valdarno Inferiore. Local crafts are among the finest and most prestigious in the world, with artistic/decorative and silverware production in Florence, goldsmiths in Arezzo, alabaster in Volterra and wrought iron in Siena and Pienza. Other big earners in the regional economy are the port activities (Livorno is Italy’s fifth busiest port), fashion (e.g. Gucci and Ferragamo, to name but two) and food, wine and tourism, the latter being one of the biggest in the country. The regional administrative centre is Florence; the capitals of the other nine provinces are: Arezzo, Grosseto, Livorno, Lucca, Massa-Carrara, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato and Siena.
A Historical Outline
Once heart of the Etruscan civilisation, Tuscany offered ‘a sight of superb beauty’ (Pliny the Younger). The might of Etruria lasted from the 7C to the 4C-3C BC, after which Tuscany too fell under Roman sway. A second vital historical moment, which also brought about physical transformation of the region, starts from the early 11C with the advent of the communes. Production skills, bold commercial enterprise, cultural and artistic creativity combine with social dynamism to make Tuscany a driving power of the Italian and European Renaissance. The Tuscan cities, often at loggerheads with one another, dominate the markets of half the world, and their bankers lend money to all the crowned heads of Europe. The pre-eminence of Florence was gradual and hard-fought and, from the 14C onwards, the city was already an economic power on a European scale. After the ‘Italian wars’ came the formation in 1569 of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany under the Medici Family. By this stage, however, Tuscany was confined to the outskirts of Europe, although it continued to enjoy great international prestige because of its art and culture. In 1737, the Medici dynasty came to an end and the Grand Duchy passed over to the Dukes of Lorraine. The regional state did not incorporate Lucca until 1847, nor MassaCarrara (first a seigniory of the Cybo Malaspina Family and later of the Estes) and a few other small areas. The 19C witnessed the great changes which came about after the Napoleonic wars (Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi, Napoleon’s sister, became Grand Duchess of Tuscany), then came the restoration of the House of Lorraine, followed by participation in the plebiscite which marked the birth of the Italian State, and finally, annexation to the Kingdom of Italy in 1860.
Etruscan vestiges are widespread throughout the region: Fièsole, Cortona, Chiusi, Volterra, Populonia, Vetulonia, Sovana, gateways, temples, walls and, above all, necropolises found in the many archaeological sites and museums. There are also very interesting remnants from the Roman era: the archaeological sites of Roselle, Cosa and Massaciùccoli; spa ruins in Pisa; Amphitheatres in Lucca and Arezzo; theatre and spas in Volterra; temple, theatre and spas in Fièsole (these are but of few of the most interesting archaeological sites); coastal and country villas on the islands and in the Maremma inland; and “Ville Schiavili” (Roman villas where slaves lived) in Tyrrhenian Tuscany. To these important testimonies to antiquity, some finds need to be added, such as, the exceptional discovery of the Pisa urban port complete with ships and the Gonfienti Etruscan centre near Prato. Tuscan art dates back virtually to the 11C and the region witnesses from the 14C to the 16C one of the most astounding periods of all times and places in the fields of painting, sculpture and architecture. At first, it is the Romanesque style which prevails throughout the region, but especially in Florence (San Miniato) and Pisa (the Duomo). The Pisan genre, further embellished in Lucca, spreads to Pistoia, Prato, Volterra and Carrara. The 13C religious buildings of Florence and Lucca are gems of elegant and sober Gothic style at its height. In the period between the 14C and the 16C the physiognomy of the region changes, above all in Pistoia, Pisa, San Gimignano, Volterra and Cortona. Giovanni and Nicola Pisano bring about a turning point in sculpture which will inspire the Florentine masters Arnolfo di Cambio, Andrea Pisano, Andrea Orcagna, and Tino da Camaino in Siena. In painting too, there is artistic rivalry between Florence, with Cimabue and Giotto, and Siena, with Duccio di Buoninsegna, Simone Martini and the Lorenzetti brothers. In the 15C, however, it is Florence which prevails, in art as in politics: it can safely be stated that the Renaissance was born here. To mention but three, emblematic are the masters considered by all manuals as creators of a ‘new form’ (Vasari) in art: Filippo Brunelleschi, Masaccio and Donatello. Yet there is also a panorama of exceptional artists throughout the province: in Siena, Jacopo della Quercia, Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Baldassarre Peruzzi; in Sansepolcro, Piero della Francesca; in Cortona, Luca Signorelli; and in Lucca, Matteo Civitali. Exchanges between Florence and the region are vivacious and fruitful, and will lead to a marked unitary complexion, notwithstanding the strong local inflections. Thus sprang up the creations of the height of the Renaissance; to mention but a few: Bernardo Rossellino who designed Pienza; Michelozzo, Antonio da Sangallo, Benedetto da Maiano, and then Filippo Lippi, Benozzo Gozzoli and finally the very greatest of them all, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti. In the 16C, artistic supremacy passes from Florence to Rome, although Tuscany is still a great reservoir of movements and talents: in the Cinquecento we find the Mannerists: Rosso Fiorentino, Pontormo, Beccafumi and Benvenuto Cellini; Mannerism is succeeded by the measured lucidity of Neoclassicism; in the 19C we come across the Macchiaioli (Fattori, Lega); and finally, in the 20C, great masters of modern art, Amedeo Modigliani, Gino Severini, Lorenzo Viani and Ottone Rosai.
ABBADIA SAN SALVATORE
(Siena) The main centre of Monte Amiata (q.v.) and until recently a mining town. This history is captured in the mining museum park. Today it is one of the most pleasant holiday resorts in the area. It grew up around the Abbey of San Salvatore, recorded since 762 in the Longobardic era and, in the Middle Ages, was one of the most powerful abbeys in Tuscany, first Benedictine and later Cistercian. The Romanesque church was built in 1036 and remodelled in the 16C. It contains an 8C crypt supported by 36 columns with sculptured capitals. Near the abbey stands a remarkable mediaeval village* with Gothic and Renaissance houses.
(Pistoia) It owes its name to the giant fir tree (abete) felled in the 18C during the building of the trans Apennine road by order of the Estes and the Lorraines. It is the most important skiing resort in the Apennine chain. The Abetone forest* (3700 hectares from 950 to 1930 m a.s.l.) abounds with beech, larch and maple trees. It houses the Orto botanico-forestale, a botanical garden with typical Apennine flora.
(Grosseto and Siena) This is the highest peak (1738 m) in Tuscany south of the Arno. Vines, olives and wheat are grown here, while the upper reaches are thick with sweet chestnut and maple groves. The tour of Mount Amiata includes Abbadia San Salvatore, Piancastagnaio, Santa Fiora, Arcidosso and Castel del Piano. The peak is easily reached on foot from Pianello (1669 m) at 13.5 km from Abbadia San Salvatore (q.v.).
(Arezzo) A farming and industrial centre of the Upper Tiber Valley, whose ancient core encircled by walls features mediaeval houses and Renaissance palaces. It is remembered on account of the battle which in 1440 marked the victory of the Florentines over Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan. Worthy of note are the 18C Parish Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie and the ancient Church of Badia with a remarkable asymmetrical interior. The Renaissance Palazzo Taglieschi houses the State Museum with its works of art and cultural artefactsfrom Val Tiberina. Just outside the built-up area stands the tiny Church of Santo Stefano, whose early-mediaeval structure reveals Byzantine tendencies (7C-8C).
Nearby (2 km south-west) are the recently restored Romanesque Parish Church of Sovara (9C-10C), and in the hamlet of San Leo, the Church of Santa Maria a Corsano (13C). On display at Monterchi (c. 10 km) is the Madonna del Parto*, a famous and beautiful fresco by Piero della Francesca (c. 1455).
(Grosseto) This tourist resort on the Tyrrhenian Sea near Argentario lies near the ruins of Cosa*, a Roman colony from 273 BC until its decline in the 4C. Located in an impressive natural setting, the city encompasses the dominating city walls, the acropolis and the three-cell Capitolium on a high podium, the forum and the residential district. The most interesting pieces are on display at the Museum attached to the archaeological site. Beneath the mountain there used to be the Portus Cosanus (port of the ancient colony), where, near the ruins of an imperial age villa, the socalled Tagliata is discernible. This is a Roman era hydraulic work which was hewn into the rock to prevent silting-up. Nearby stretches the Natural Reserve of Lake Burano (c. 410 h.), the first WWF reserve, and, 18 km away, is the mediaeval hamlet of Capalbio.
(Lucca and Massa-Carrara) Michelangelo came here to ‘quarry marble’ (Vasari) but Giambologna, Canova and many others made use of these ‘mountains of marble’ which are the most important source of this stone in the world. The Apuans form a stretch of the northern Apennines, but on account of their geological nature (mainly very finely crystallized calcareous rock) they have an ‘Alpine’ profile. Their name – used for the first time by Boccaccio – derives from the Apuans, a people of Ligurian extraction. The Regional Park of the Apuan Alps which stretches over 20,598 hectares, was established in 1985 to preserve the many endemic species of flora and fauna.
The town rises at the convergence of four valleys which form the province: Valdarno, Valdichiana, Val Tiberina and Casentino. On account of its particular geographical position it became the melting-pot of diverse civilisations and cultures. The earliest mention of Arretium goes back to the 4C BC, when it was perhaps one of the mighty Etruscan Confederation of 12 cities.
7 It later became a Roman garrison and acquired prominence in the Augustan age. The 1C BC witnesses the rise of the ‘terra sigillata’ pottery industry, later to decline together with the town in the early 2C. Economic and urban recovery occurred in the 12C with the communal era. In 1289, after the defeat of Campaldino (remembered by Dante), Arezzo came under Florentine influence, to which it was sold first in 1337, and again and finally in 1384, marking the onset of a decline which was to jeopardise its cultural and artistic autonomy. The Unification of Italy boosted local development, above all through the building of the Florence-Rome railway (1862-66). The visit starts from Piazza San Francesco (B2) which is characterised by the San Francesco Gothic Church. It was founded in the 13C and was rebuilt between 1318-77 in Umbro-
Tuscan Gothic style. It has an unfinished façade and a Cinquecento bell-tower. In the grandiose and austere Gothic interior, with 14C and Renaissance aedicules, the remains of 14C and 15C frescoes stand out. In the frontal there is a beautiful rose-window by Guillaume de Marcillat. The choir contains one of the most important masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance: the cycle of Frescoes of the Legend of the True Cross* painted by Piero della Francesca between 1453-66. He drew inspiration from ‘Legenda aurea’ (Golden Legend) by the beatified Jacopo da Varagine. The last restoration highlighted the extraordinary wealth of colour and light effects achieved by Piero through the use of different techniques and his highly innovative and daring conceptions of space and perspective. Hanging above the choir is the Crucifix with
Pietro Lorenzetti, central panel of the polyptych in the church of Santa Maria (Arezzo)
San Francesco* by the Maestro of San Francesco (13C). Also of note are the Guasconi Chapel with frescoes by Spinello Aretino (c. 15C), the Tarlati Chapel with works by Spinello himself and Neri di Bicci and there is also a beautiful Annunciation variously attributed to Luca Signorelli or Bartolomeo della Gatta. The Church of Badia (B2), built by Benedictine monks in the 13C and enlarged in the mid-16C by Vasari (the bell-tower dates back to 1650) houses a Crucifix* by Segna di Bonaventura and a monumental altar designed by Vasari. The former monastery to the right of the church contains an elegant Quattrocento cloister. Along Corso Italia (B-C1-2), the main street since time immemorial with fine old buildings and elegant shops, rise the 13C Church of San Michele with a 14C bell-tower, the Bacci and Altucci Palaces, a 13C Tower-House, the Trecento Camaiani-Albergotti Palace flanked by the tower known as the Bigazza, built in 1351 and modified under fascism into a ‘lictorian tower’. In front of the TowerHouse stands one of the loveliest Romanesque buildings to be found in Tuscany, the Parish Church of Santa Maria*. Construction started in 1140, with a series of Gothic additions until the first decades of the Trecento. It was remodelled by Vasari in the 16C and radically restored at the close of the 19C. The splendid Romanesque façade* (13C) reveals the influence of Pisa and Lucca, and has a central portal adorned with personifications of the Months of the Year* and a mighty bell-tower (1330) known as that of the ‘hundred holes’ (‘cento buche’) on account of its many two-light windows. The magnificent interior contains the baptismal font of Giovanni di Agostino and the polyptych* by Pietro Lorenzetti (132024). Piazza Grande (B2-3), also known as
Piazza Vasari, is one of the most spectacular to be seen in Italy, and is the choice setting for the famous monthly Antiques Fair and, in June and September, for the Joust of the Saracen. It features a Cinquecento public fountain, the Palazzo del Tribunale and the elegant Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici*, with a Gothic lower level and a Renaissance upper one, and also the Palazzo delle Logge designed by Vasari in 1537. Via dei Pileati (B2), which is the continuation of Corso Italia, is flanked by the monumental Palazzo Pretorio (14C-15C) and the presumed Casa del Petrarca, now seat of the Petrarca Academy of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Proceeding along the Passeggio del Prato (B2-3) with the deteriorated Medicean Fortress, you come to the Duomo (B2), which was begun in the 13C and completed in the early 16C. Inside are the Gothic sarcophagus of St Donatus, the Magdalen fresco by Piero della Francesca, and the cenotaph of Bishop Guido Tarlati (1330). In the Diocesan Museum (B2) are three 13C wooden Crucifixes*, the amazing St Jerome in the Desert* by Bartolomeo della Gatta and precious jewellery. In a small secluded treelined square nearby rises the Church of San Domenico* (A2), which houses an admirable Crucifix*, an early work by Cimabue. A fine example of the Tuscan Mannerist genre is Casa Vasari* (A2), Giorgio Vasari’s Aretine mansion designed by himself (154048). Hence, after the 11-12C Church of Santa Maria in Gradi (rebuilt in 1592 by Ammannati), you come to the Museum of Mediaeval and Modern Art* (A1-2), housed in the Renaissance Palazzo Bruni-Ciocchi or della Dogana (15C) and set on a great crossing flanked by Trecento and Renaissance palaces. Formed by the fusion of the Civic collections with those of the Fraternità dei Laici, together they present an exhaustive review of Aretine and Tuscan painting from the 14C to the 19C. There are works by Giorgio Vasari, Margarito d’Arezzo, Spinello Aretino, Luca Signorelli, Bartolomeo della Gatta, Ludovico Carracci, a Madonna of Mercy by Parri Spinelli besides paintings from the 17C (Grechetto, Pietro Benvenuti) to the 19C, including the Macchiaiolo painters Giovanni Fattori and Telemaco Signorini. Also to be seen are goldsmith works, small bronzes and ceramics* (one of the most important collections in Italy), arms, coins and medals. On the ancient “Via Sacra”, whose semicircle girded the mediaeval town, rises the Church of the Santissima Annunziata (B1), an elegant Renaissance building with an unfinished façade and an elegant 16C three-light window. Inside is a venerated terracotta im-
age of the Virgin and Child by Michele da Firenze (c. 1430). The Maecenas Archaeological Museum* (C2) (Museo Mecenate) occupies the Cinquecento construction of the ex-Monastery of San Bernardo, partly positioned on the ruins of a Roman Amphitheatre (117-138 AD). It houses items from private collections of the 18C-19C, and finds from recent digs. Besides the Etruscan and Hellenistic rooms, on display are antiquities found in the Aretine countryside (a volute krater by Euphronios*), in Valdichiana (an Attic amphora*) and in Casentino. In the Roman section, outstanding are the so-called ‘coral vessels’* (or ‘terre sigillate’), Aretine tableware in red-glazed pottery; also an Attic cup by Douris, glassware and jewellery (a male portrait in chrysography), coinage, Etruscan and Roman bronzes. There are also prehistorical and palaeontological rooms. Outside the town, the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (C2, off-map) built in 1435-44 on the site of the ancient ‘Fons Tecta’. In sober Gothic style, it has a graceful arched portico by Benedetto da Maiano. Inside, a high altar in marble and an enamelled terracotta by Andrea della Robbia which frames a fresco by Parri Spinelli. In Alpe di Poti (18.5 km east) rises the Badia of San Veriano, a Romanesque church of the 11C.
(Siena) This is a hamlet of mediaeval appearance, girded by walls built by the Sienese in the 14C and situated in the Upper Ombrone Valley. The main square contains the Church of Sant’Agata, an 11C Romanesque basilica, later restored. The old Corboli palace in Corso Matteotti houses the the Civic Museum of Archaeology and Sacred Art featuring important paintings* by 14C and 15C Sienese artists and interesting objects from the Poggio Pinci necropolis, Campo Muri votive offerings and the Molinello noble tomb. The Cassioli Museum displays works by the Macchiaiolo painter Amos Cassioli and his son Giuseppe. Outside the city walls is the RomanesqueGothic Church of San Francesco. Well worth a visit are the nearby low clayey hills known as Le Crete, and the charming spa of Rapolano Terme.
BAGNI DI LUCCA
(Lucca) This locality, with country wards scattered among chestnuts, fir-trees and avenues of plane trees and cypresses, has been known for its waters as far back as the 11C. The first European casino, the
Municipal Casino, was built in 1840. Nearby are villas of historic interest at Bagni Caldi and La Villa.
(Lucca) This town in the Garfagnana area assiduously preserves its mediaeval layout and characteristic Renaissance palaces. The alleys cut with steps are called ‘carraie’. In the charming grassy square known as l’Arringo, with a magnificent view of the Apuan and Apennine mountains, rises the Duomo*, a complex structure built from the 9C-14C with a 12C ambo in high-relief. Also worth visiting is the Palazzo Pretorio, home to the Civic Museum which has an interesting archeology section. Nearby is Castelvecchio Pascoli with the home and tomb of the poet Giovanni Pascoli. At Coreglia Anteminelli the sights include the Church of San Michele, with 13C remains, the Romanesque Church of San Martino (9C) and the Museum of Emigration and Plaster Figurines. In the valley of the Tùrrite di Gallicano stream, the Grotta del Vento (the ‘wuthering cave’) penetrates more than 4 km into the mountainside.
(Arezzo) The largest village of Casentino (q.v.). To be seen are the Quattrocento Church of San Lorenzo with a fine Renaissance interior, and the Church of Saints Ippolito and Donato, which harks back to the 12C, with several later interventions. Inside is the Madonna and the Angels by Arcangelo di Cola. Other fine constructions are the Cinquecento Palazzo Dovizi and the Oratory of San Francesco (1580). Nearby rises the Renaissance Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Sasso. The Archaeological Museum, in the village of Pàrtina forms part of the Ecomuseo del Casentino.
BORGO SAN LORENZO
(Florence) Founded by the ancient Romans and once an agricultural market, it is the main centre of Mugello (q.v.). The Romanesque Parish Church of San Lorenzo (1263) houses terracottas and paintings dating from the 14C-17C and a fragment of an altar-piece attributed to Giotto’s early work. The neighbourhood is of great interest: in Grezzano, the Church of Santo Stefano (11C) and the Museum of Peasant Tradition. At San Piero a Sieve is the Parochial Church, an ancient Parish Church (11C) transformed in the 18C, and the Fortress of San Martino which dominates the village. Nearby is the Convent of the Bosco ai Frati, which houses a small Museum of Sacred Art with a wooden Cross* attributed to Donatello.
In Scarperìa, worthy of note are the Trecento Palazzo dei Vicari, housing the Museum of Blades, and the Chapel of the Madonna di Piazza. East of Scarperìa lies the the International Mugello Racing Circuit. In Sant’Agata, the Romanesque Parish Church* (10C) is one of the most important in Mugello. To the east lies Vicchio, land of Beato Angelico to whom the Museum of Sacred Art is dedicated. In the Vespignano ward is a house which is presumed to be Giotto’s birthplace.
(Siena) This farming village on Via Cassia is partly enclosed by walls built by the Sienese in the 14C. The layout of the old centre is typically mediaeval. Worthy of note are the Parish Church of Saints Pietro and Paolo (12C), remodelled in 1705, and the Museum of Sacred Art of the Val d’Arbia, containing works by Duccio di Buoninsegna, Pietro Lorenzetti and Sano di Pietro.
(Pisa) Set in an olive-clad hollow of Valgraziosa, it is revealed by the bell-tower of the Parish Church of Saints Giovanni and Ermolao*, built between the 11C-12C, with a polychrome marble façade. Near the village rises the Certosa di Pisa*, a Carthusian monastery dating from 1366, rebuilt between the 17C-18C and seat of the Museum of Natural and Territorial History of the University of Pisa.
(Lucca) This small town is situated in Versilia (q.v.), and surrounded by the hills which separate the Apuans and the Tyrrhenian Sea. Next to the Romanesque Collegiate Chapter (1278) rises a bell-tower (1365). The Sacred Art Museum houses a small collection with very fine exhibits. On the outskirts of the built-up area is the Parish Church of Saints Giovanni Battista and Stefano. Built in the 12C, it contains a baptismal font adapted from a Roman sarcophagus dating back to the 2C. Among the pinewoods and facing a broad sandy shore, stretches Lido di Camaiore.
(Arezzo) Situated in a mighty forest* of the Casentine Apennines, this land was donated by Count Maldolo di Arezzo to the monk Romuald, who founded here the Monastery of the Camaldolese. Rebuilt in the 13C, and later enlarged, it is composed of areas dating from various epochs: the
guest-rooms with a porticoed cloister (11C) and the small cloister (15C); the baroque church (18C) with the adjoining cloister from 1543; the pharmacy (1543) and the refectory (1606). Deep inside the forest, at 1104 m, rises the Eremo*, original hermitage of the Order of the Camaldolese monks, constituted in 1012. Along the adjacent walks are 20 hermit cells (11C-17C). Nearby and spread over more than 36,000 hectares is the National Park of the Casentine Forests, Mount Falterona and Campigna, established in 1993.
(Livorno) A village of the Maremma (q.v.) with a mediaeval appearance. Near the cemetery rises the Parish Church of San Giovanni, a Romanesque building of the 12C. Not far off, Rocca San Silvestro*, a mining village abandoned in the 14C, and one of the greatest excavation sites for Mediterranean mediaeval archaeology is included in the Parks of Val di Cornia. Worth visiting in the neighbourhood are the Terme di Caldana and the hamlet of Suvereto, partly encircled by walls.
CAPRAIA (ISLE OF)
(Livorno) This Tyrrhenian island is prevalently mountainous. The sole village is Capraia Isola, dominated by the Fortress of San Giorgio (early 15C). From the summit of Mount Arpagna (410 m), is a fine view of the archipelago and Corsica. A penal colony from 1873 to 1989, that has maintained its unique floral and faunal characteristics which are protected in the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago (which will also include the islands of Elba, Pianosa, Giglio, Montecristo, Giannutri and Gorgona).
(Arezzo) Perched on a hilltop above the valley of Singerna is Michelangelo’s birthplace (6 March 1475). The 14C Castle contains the Michelangelo Museum which includes the birthplace of the maestro.
(Massa-Carrara) This is the city of marble. Surrounded by olive-trees against the background of rugged Apuan Alps, it produces each year millions of tons of marble: statuary, bardiglio, paonazzo, fior di pesco, apuano, breccia violetta or medicea. The city of a two-thousand year-old industry is chronicled for the first time in 963; for three centuries (1442-1741) it constituted, together with Massa, the small state
of the Malaspina Family, and later that of the Cybo Malaspinas. The Duomo* (A-B2) is a RomanesqueGothic construction (11C-14C) built in tiers of grey and white marble with a Pisanstyle façade, encircled by arches (12C) and adorned with a Romanesque sculptured portal, a small loggia and a Gothic rosewindow. On the right side is a Romanesque doorway; also of great beauty are the belltower with multi-light windows and the apse. The austere interior is adorned with marble, frescoes (14C-16C) and fine marble statues. The Accademia di Belle Arti (B2) is housed in the Cinquecento Palazzo Cybo Malaspina, which stands against the mediaeval castle’s keep. On display are sculptures, Roman memorial stones and notably the Roman altar known as the Edicola dei Fantiscritti. In 1982 the Civic Museum of Marble (C1, off-map) was established, documenting the culture and value of marble. In the Colonnata marble quarries (523 m.), linked by a tunnel to Quarry Museum of Fantiscritti*, spectacular marble-producing works may be admired. In 1985 the Regional Park of the Alpi Apuane was instituted, which stretches over 20,598 hectares.
(Pisa) The resort, which nestles among the hills south of Pontedera (q.v.), became fashionable in the 18C, but the properties of its waters were already appreciated in Roman times. The first ‘thermal baths’ were built by the Pisans in 1311. Nearby sights include Lari, with a Medicean Fortress and the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, and Créspina, with the Church of San Michele (panel* by Bernardo Daddi) and the 18C Oratory of the Belvedere villa.
(Arezzo) This subregion is remarkable for its villages perched on the hilltops, the many castles, walls, towers or their ruins, and for the countryside which, as is so often the case in Tuscany, teems with local and literary history. In 1289 the Campaldino Plain, near Poppi (q.v.), witnessed the victory of the Florentine Guelphs, whose ranks included the youthful Dante, over the Aretine Ghibellines: this event was to mark the predominance of Florence throughout the region. Casentino is the basin of the upper reaches of the River Arno (whose source is at 1358 m on the flank of Mount Falterona). It is enclosed to the west by
12 Mount Pratomagno, and to the east by the Apennine reliefs which culminate in the Serra Alp and the Catenaia Alp, beyond which the Tiber Valley fans out. On the alluvial bottom of the valley are expanses of wheat-fields, orchards, vines and olivegroves. On the mountains grow chestnuttrees, meadows and the austere, soaring fir-trees of Verna or Camàldoli where humanists such as Lorenzo the Magnificent or Leon Battista Alberti and many others used to meet. The most outstanding localities are Bibbiena, Camàldoli, La Verna, Poppi and Stia (see under the specific entries).
(Siena) It lies on a hill, surrounded by the severely damaged ruins of its mediaeval walls. In the centre rises the Collegiate Chapter, dedicated to Santa Maria (12C), which contains the Cenotaph of Beltramo Aringhieri* by Marco Romano (14C). The ancient presbytery houses the Archaeological and Collegiate Museum. Other nearby sights are the charming mediaeval villages of Mensano and Pievescola with its Parish Church founded in the 11C.
(Florence) Main town of Valdelsa, it is an important industrial centre, with a modern district below and an ancient settlement perched on a craggy spur. The church of Santa Verdiana (18C) is one of the prime Tuscan examples of the integration of baroque painting and architecture of the early 18C. The BeGo (Museo Benozzo Gozzoli) exhibits the underpainting and frescoes of the tabernacle of the Madonna della Tosse and the tabernacle of the Visitation.
CASTELLO DI BROLIO
(Siena) This complex which harks back to the 11C has belonged to the Ricasoli Family since the 12C, and was object of long drawnout strife between the Florentines and the Sienese. In the 19C, Baron Bettino Ricasoli had it rebuilt along Gothic lines, and made of it one of the most important Chianti farming estates. In the Chapel of San Jacopo are two Quattrocento polyptychs of the Florentine and Sienese schools.
CASTELLO DI MELETO
(Siena) A fine example of a fortified farm which dates back to the 12C. On the top of a hill among lofty cypresses, it features two characteristic circular towers. Inside are frescoed halls, loggias, courtyards and a delightful Settecento theatre.
CASTELLO DI ROMENA
(Arezzo) On the top of a Casentino hill, the castle was built around the year 1000 by the Count Guidi family. It now presents three of its former 14 towers, and the keep of the three circles of walls. An Archaeology and Weapons Museum has been arranged in some rooms. The nearby Parish Church of San Pietro di Romena* (1152, on the remains of a 9C church) is one of the most outstanding testimonials of Romanesque art in the Casentino area.
CASTELNUOVO DI GARFAGNANA
(Lucca) The Este Family of Ferrara made this settlement the main town of Garfagnana (q.v.), and in its 12C Fortress, later enlarged, Ludovico Ariosto resided in his capacity as Governor. The building houses the I Liguri apuani nell’alta valle del Serchio permanent archaeological exhibition, testimony to the presence of this people in ancient Garfagnana. The Duomo, which contains a Della Robbia terracotta, was refurbished in the 16C. Worth visiting are, to the north-east, Castiglione di Garfagnana and the Churches of San Michele (15C) and San Pietro, with a Duecento façade. In San Pellegrino in Alpe is the Sanctuary of San Pellegrino, traditionally founded by the Saint in the 7C, and also the ‘Don L. Pellegrini’ Provincial Ethnographic Museum. From the sanctuary, the Foce delle Radici, a pass on the Apennine watershed, is easy to reach and offers a wonderful view. To the north stretches the Tuscan-Emilian Appenninee National Park that includes in the Tuscan side, the natural reserves of Lamarossa, Pania di Corfino and Orecchiella. While north-west is situated Camporgiano with its Rocca housing the Civic Museum; continuing onwards, you come to the Foce dei Carpinelli, on the ridge which unites the Apuans and the Apennines (panorama).
(Livorno) This traditionally elegant seaside resort sits in pine and ilex groves on a headland facing the Tyrrhenian Sea and close to the main Aurelia road. Also of interest is the Civic Archaeology Museum in the nearby hamlet of Rosignano Marittimo.
CASTIGLIONE DELLA PESCAIA
(Grosseto) A famous seaside resort in Maremma (q.v.). The port lies beneath the Rocca Aragonese (14C-15C) which rises with its walls and towers on top of a knoll. Other fine sights are Castiglione Castello, known as the borgo mediaevale, whose turreted walls
are welded to the fortress, and the Tòmbolo Pine forest which stretches for c. 10 km along the coast. Nearby, the famous seaside resorts of Riva del Sole and Punta Ala.
famous avenue of cypresses* leading to Bolgheri. Castagneto Carducci features the house where the poet resided, and the Castle of Gherardesca mentioned by Dante.
(Siena) This hamlet on the slopes of Mount Amiata still resembles the ancient castle and is dominated by the remains of the Rocca degli Aldobrandeschi. The beautiful Piazza del Vecchietta and the mediaeval Parish Church of Saints Stefano and Degna are worth seeing. Nearby rises the mediaeval hamlet of Rocca d’Orcia and the Rocca a Tentennano*.
(Florence) This small town in Valdelsa of Etrusco-Roman origin has two centres, the older one rising on high land (Certaldo Alto, or Castello), and the other lying below (Certaldo Basso, or Borgo). The clearly mediaeval Rione Castello contains a number of important buildings, such as the Casa del Boccaccio where the great storyteller is believed to have died (1375). Or the simple Church of Saints Jacopo and Filippo (13C) and the Palazzo Pretorio which rises on the remains of the ancient castle. Nearby in the former Church of Saints Tommaso and Prospero is a cycle of frescoes* by Benozzo Gozzoli (1466-67).
(Arezzo) This mediaeval town of Valdichiana (q.v.) and once flowering Etruscan centre is distinctive on account of the walls and towers which encompass the old centre. The Collegiate Chapter of San Giuliano, built in 1853 on the remains of earlier oratories, houses fine works of art (Bartolomeo della Gatta, Lorenzo di Credi, Segna di Bonaventura). From here one enters the Vecchia Pieve, a parish church (1451) with a fresco by Luca Signorelli. The ancient Market Square, now called Piazza del Municipio, is fronted by the Loggiato Vasariano and the Palazzo del Comune. In the ancient acropolis rises the Cassero, an 11C-12C fortification which was reinforced in the 14C. It houses a worthwhile Archaeological Exhibition centred around the Etruscan Sanctuary* which surfaced together with rare 5C and 4C BC architectonic decorations. This site includes the Church of San Angelo, the heart of the Civic Art Gallery which is rich with important 13C-15C paintings (Bartolomeo della Gatta, Giovanni di Paolo and Taddeo Gaddi) and mediaeval jewels*. The Church of San Francesco (13C) houses a large Cross by Giambologna. Nearby, but not open to the public, is the mediaeval Castle of Montecchio Vesponi, with its huge turretted walls.
(Livorno) This modern tourist and commercial centre on Via Aurelia sprang up after reclamation of the Maremma (q.v.). Marina di Cècina, in San Vincenzino, the Civic Archaeology Park conserves the remains of a large Imperial Roman villa with a lovely vaulted reservoir. In the nearby hamlet of San Pietro in Palazzi, the La Cinquantina villa is home to the Civic Archaeology Museum, exhibiting interestng finds. Nearby are the localities familiar to the poet Giosuè Carducci: the Chapel of San Guido with the
(Siena) This is one of the most important thermal spas in Europe. Chronicles of 1005 refer to the Sillene waters, and they were undoubtedly known to the Etruscans and the Romans as well. This is well documented in the interesting Civic Archaeological Museum of Water, rich in important finds from the area. The thermal area, established between 1915 and 1929, includes hotels, baths and villas dotted here and there in the gardens and parks: noteworthy are the Parco delle Fonti and the Parco di Fùcoli. In the old centre, the Museum della Collegiata is housed in the Palazzo dell’Arcipretura, with works of the Florentine and Sienese schools (14C-15C). The Collegiate Chapter of San Giovanni Battista (13C) and the Palazzo del Podestà (also 13C with coats of arms from the 14C-16C) are both worth a visit. Nearby lies Sarteano, another thermal town whose old centre is dominated by the Castle (15C-16C); there is also a fine Renaissance Collegiate Chapter (1576). The Civic Museum of Archaeology located in Palazzo Gabrielli (of great value are the canopies) organises excursions to the nearby Etruscan necropolis. At Cetona, a village of Etruscan origin which rises on the mountain of the same name, are remains of walls and a Collegiate Chapter (13C) with Quattrocento frescoes. In the Civic Museum of the Prehistory of Mount Cetona is rich archaeological documentation from Palaeolithic times up to the Bronze Age. One aspect that should definitely not be missed is the ArchaeologicalNaturalistic Park of Belverde.
(Florence and Siena) The production area of one of the world's most renowned wines is one of rolling hills, cultivated fields, woodlands, tall cypress trees, vines and olive groves, all in surroundings reminiscent of 15C Sienese painting. The vineyards of Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Malvasia and Trebbiano grapes – that are mixed to produce Chianti – are set out in tidy rows on land that, since the days of the Grand Dukes, has been dotted with farmhouses, villas, castles and turretted villages. The present name of this area dates from the 13C.
(Siena) Once the Etruscan town of Chamars, whose famous king, Porsenna, routed the Romans, Chiusi stretches among thick olive-groves on the southern border of Valdichiana (q.v.). The layout is Etrusco-Roman, and has mediaeval and Renaissance buildings. When the valley was drained, it took on new life in the late 19C. The Romanesque Duomo (6C) was redone in the 12C and then radically restored in 1887-94. Alongside it stands the Cathedral Museum with a precious collection of manuscripts and choir-books* from the Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore and a mosaic floor* from the 5C. The attached Labyrinth of Porsenna* is an exciting archaeological journey through underground tunnels. The National Archaeological Museum* houses important Greek and Etruscan finds*. From the museum, guided tours of the catacombs can be arranged. The Etruscan necropolis* has many tombs (6C-5C BC) hewn in the rock and partially painted.
COLLE DI VAL D’ELSA
(Siena) Colle Bassa, the lower part of this ancient and vital manufacturing centre, is characterised by an ingenious canalisation system known as the Gore. This harks back to the 11C and has helped to encourage the development of spinning-mills, paper mills and, later on, glassworks. Nowadays, it is an important centre for the production of crystal. In low-lying Colle Bassa a visit should be made to the Church of Sant’Agostino (B4), with a 13C façade and a Renaissance interior. In Colle Alta*, a fascinating feature is Via del Castello (A-B2-3), which traverses the ancient Castle of Piticciano. One enters under an archway that is in the Palazzo Campana (B2), a magnificent but unfinished example of Mannerist architecture (1539). Next to the Duomo (17C) rises the Trecento Palazzo Pretorio (A-B3), which is the location for the Bianchi Bandinelli Archaeological Museum containing some exceptional Etruscan finds*. In the ancient Palazzo dei Priori (A-B3), you can visit the Civic Museum of Sacred Art. A 13C building is called the Tower-House of Arnolfo di Cambio (13C; A3) and is traditionally thought to be the birth-place of this famous sculptor and architect.
(Pistoia) Located in Val di Nièvole, this place is known for having been adopted as a pseudonym by Carlo Lorenzini, author of the famous book The Adventures of Pinocchio. The old village stands near the Villa Garzoni, built in 1633-62 surrounded by a spectacular mid-17C garden*, one of the loveliest to be found in Italy. Beyond the Pescia stream is the Pinocchio Park, which was set up between 1956-1985.
(Arezzo) Set in a panoramic position on the buttress of Alta di Santâ€™Egidio and extolled by Virgil, it was in turn an Etruscan city, a Roman town and an important mediaeval commune. In 1411 it was annexed by the Florentines whose fate it thereafter shared. Fra Angelico worked here, while Luca Signorelli, Pietro da Cortona and the Futurist painter Gino Severini were all born here. The town as a whole maintains a decidedly mediaeval atmosphere, in the walls, buildings, urban tissue and picturesque names of the alleys. Piazza della Repubblica (B1), in the very heart of the town, is dominated by the 13C Palazzo Comunale, enlarged in the Cinquecento. Facing it is the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo. Next to it, in Piazza Signorelli (A1), rises the Palazzo Pretorio formerly Casali, rebuilt in the 17C but with an original 13C flank covered with coats of arms. It houses the Museum of the
Accademia Etrusca and of the City of Cortona (MAeC)*, founded in 1727 as an emanation of the Etruscan Academy. This small, unusual museum groups together Etruscan exhibits of extraordinary interest (the great bronze lantern* from 5C-4C BC), Egyptian antiquities, coins*, Trecento and Tuscan Renaissance items and includes a room dedicated to Gino Severini. The Duomo (A1) was rebuilt in the 15C-16C on a Romanesque parish church: worthy of note under the Cinquecento portico is the portal by Cristofanello. Opposite, the Diocesan Museum*, with works by Pietro Lorenzetti, Luca Signorelli, Bartolomeo della Gatta, Giusto da Firenze and the renowned Annunciation* by Fra Angelico. Begun in 1245 by Friar Elia Coppi, the Church of San Francesco (A-B2) was remodelled in the 17C and houses the Reliquary of the Holy Cross, a Byzantine case of the 10C. One of the most charming and typical alleys of Cortona, Via Berrettini leads to the Quattrocento Church of San NicolĂ˛ (A2), with a fine banner and works by Luca Signorelli. On a scenic esplanade rises the Neo-Gothic Sanctuary of Santa Margherita (A3); just above is a Medicean Fortress (1566) with a magnificent view. Outside the walls is the Late Gothic Church of San Domenico (B2; restored in the early 19C) and from here begins a panoramic walk along Viale Giardini Pubblici. Not far from the built-up area rises the Church of the Madonna del Calcinaio* (1483-1513; B2, offmap), one of the finest examples of a Renaissance sanctuary, with stained glass by Guillaume de Marcillat (16C) and a venerated image of the Virgin. Near Tanella di Pitagora is an Etruscan hypogeum from the 2C BC. Worth visiting outside the walls are
the Church of Santa Maria Nuova (A2, offmap), begun in 1550 but later modified by Vasari; the Convento delle Celle founded between 1211 and 1221 by St Francis in a charming spot; and in the locality of Sodo, the ‘Meloni’ (A1, off-map), Etruscan hypogea, presumably dating back to the 6C-3C BC.
(Pistoia) Set amidst the woods of the Lima Valley, the village preserves the most ancient complexion of the Pistoian Apennines. In the square rises the 14C Palazzo Pretorio (or, del Capitano del Popolo), later remodelled. The nearby Parochial Church contains 16C-17C paintings. In the vicinity, Rivoreta with its Museum of the People of the Pistoian Apennine is worth a visit. The skiing resort of Doganaccia can be reached by cableway and then, on foot, the Duca degli Abruzzi refuge. Another winter-sports resort is treeclad Pian di Novello.
ELBA (ISLE OF)
(Livorno) Part of the Tuscany Archipelago which lies between Italy and Corsica, together with the islands of Gorgona, Capraia (q.v.), Pianosa, Giglio (q.v.), Montecristo, Giannutri and several other small isles, it is thought to have been part of a now-vanished continent. Largest of the minor Italian islands (223.5 km2), the coastline abounds with creeks and small beaches. Mount Capanne is the highest point (1018 m). The subsoil is rich in ore, and iron has been mined here for 3000 years. The vegetation is typically Mediterranean with olives, cacti, chestnuts and vines which yield lovely wines such as Aleatico and Moscato. The earliest inhabitants were probably the Ligurians. The Etruscans refined the ironore in the furnaces of Populonia, the Romans made Elba a naval base. Due to its riches and position it suffered harassment from Pisa, Genoa and Lucca; it belonged to the Appian Duchy of Piombino, was sacked by the Turks and then occupied in turn by Spain, France and England. In 1815 it was unified with the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, and is associated with Napoleon who was exiled here following his abdication at Fontainebleau (3 May 1814 – 26 February 1815). Just 13 km from Elba is the Pianosa has a pristine environment. You can visit the former prison and the ruins of the Roman villa known as Villa del Bagno di Agrippa, a princely residence on the eastern coast. The Isle of Montecristo (39 km from Elba) is a single and uninhabited mass of granite. The fauna and the thick maquis are protec ed by the Natural Park of the Tuscan Archipelago. (q.v. Capraia)
(Florence) This town is situated in the plain of Valdarno (q.v.), and is an important market and industrial centre (clothing and glass). In Piazza Farinata degli Uberti (who defended Florence openly after the Ghibelline victory at Montaperti) rises the Collegiate Chapter of Sant’Andrea, built in 1093 in Romanesque style, and remodelled in the 18C. The Collegiata Museum contains paintings by Masolino da Panicale, a baptismal font by Bernardo Rossellino and significant Tuscan works of the 14C-17C. The Trecento Church of Santo Stefano was radically restructured in the 16C. It houses frescoes by Masolino da Panicale and an Annunciation, a sculpture by Bernardo Rossellino. In the vicinity, other fine sights include, the scenic Medicean Villa in Cerreto Guidi, and Montelupo Fiorentino where an Archaeological and Ceramics Museum* is lodged in the Trecento Palazzo del Podestà. The citizens have been famous for centuries for the production of ceramics.
(Florence) Set on the hilltop which overlooks the Arno and Mugnone Valleys, it offers an incomparable view of the city of Florence. The beauty of the countryside, the archaeological vestiges and wealth of art treasures make of Fièsole a sight not to be missed. Of Etruscan origin, the Roman ‘Faesulae’ became the epicentre of the region. Fortified in 1325, in the 15C it was the favourite locality of the Medici and, in the 18C and 19C, enriched by villas and gardens, it was one of the best-loved destinations for foreign visitors. Facing Piazza Mino da Fièsole (A2), on the site of the ancient Forum, are the Trecento Palazzo Pretorio, next to the ancient Oratory of Santa Maria Primerana, the Seminary, the Palazzo Vescovile (Bishop’s Palace) and the Duomo, a Romanesque construction enlarged in the 13C-14C, whose façade was later remodelled (19C). The typical belltower (1213) was remade in 1700-1800. Inside, works by Giovanni della Robbia, Bicci di Lorenzo, Mino da Fièsole and the Salutati Chapel* with frescoes by Cosimo Rosselli (15C). The ruins on the archaeological site* (A2) are immersed in an enchanting setting and atmosphere. The Roman theatre, built in the Imperial age, preserves the cavea which seats 3000 spectators. The area also includes thermae, a Roman temple and a stretch of Etruscan walls*. The Archaeological Museum contains objects from urban excavations which date from the Iron age to the Etrusco-Roman age (bronzes, votive
small bronzes and architectonic terracottas) to the Longobard era, as well as interesting collections of Magna Graecian and Etruscan ceramics. The Bandini Museum (A2) houses the collection of an 18C scholar, Angelo Maria Bandini. The works are painted panels of the 13C-15C Tuscan school. On the hilltop, where the ancient acropolis once rose, is the Church of San Francesco (A2), built in the Trecento, but frequently remodelled later; next to the charming small cloister (15C), is the Ethnographic Missionary Museum. Not far from the centre is the Convent of San Domenico di Fièsole (B1); the Church of San Domenico contains works by Lorenzo di Credi and frescoes by Fra Angelico. A few kilometres away you come across the Badia Fiesolana (B1): Fièsole Cathedral until 1028, it was rebuilt in 1456 with an interior* by Brunelleschi (1461-64) and the convent of S. Domenico (B1), with frescoes by Blessed Angelico.
(Florence) Urbanistically speaking, this is one of the most interesting centres on Florentine territory, stretching along the left bank of the Arno. Today it is an important industrial town. The porticoed Piazza Marsilio Ficino is a typical Duecento market square, overlooked by the former Serristori Hospital, which faces the Collegiate Chapter of Santa Maria (12C), transformed in 1439 and remodelled in the 17C-18C. In the adjoining building the Collegiata Museum, has been set up. Leaving the square, you find the Trecento Palazzo Pretorio. Also worth visiting are the Church of San Fran-
cesco, of Romanesque origin, remodelled in the 15C and later renovated, and also the Villa of San Cerbone, transformed in the 16C-17C and seat of the Serristori Hospital since 1890, whose pharmacy* boasts a collection of majolica vases. To be found nearby, at Gaville, the Parish Church of San Romolo (12C-13C) whose presbytery houses the Museum of Peasant Culture; at Incisa in Val d’Arno rises the Châtelain’s Tower and in the upper reaches, known as Castello, is the house where Petrarch spent his childhood.
The regional capital of Tuscany, Florence is also one of the most significant capitals of the arts in Italy, if not of the world. Here surged in all its vigour that artistic phenomenon which coincided with the rebirth of Europe: here the dominion of Florence and the Medicis coincided with the most fecund and influential art period of the entire millennium. Resting on the banks of the River Arno, Florence is blessed with a charm, a magic, an atmosphere which has never failed to delight its visitors, from the early northEuropeans, to Stendhal, Ruskin, Berenson and the throngs of tourists today. Originally an obscure district of Etruscan Fièsole, the city of ‘Florentia’ is born in Roman times. Still a fringe area in the early Middle Ages (Lucca was the banner of Tuscia), the city begins to expand in the early 11C, as is testified by the Romanesque Baptistry and the churches of San Miniato and the Santi Apostoli. After the death of the great
18 Countess Matilda in 1115, the citizens achieve their autonomy under the first communal rule of the twelve consuls. Expansion sets in: first, to the detriment of Fièsole then, after an alliance with Lucca, to the detriment of Siena, Arezzo, Pistoia and Pisa. The last of these cities will be Florence’s natural adversary in constant strife for an outlet to the sea. From 1193 onwards, in the hope of settling more efficiently the friction between the populace and the nobility, a foreign ruler will govern the city. From the dawn of the 13C, political and territorial claims are identified with the conflicts between the Guelphs (supporters of the Pope and the House of Anjou) and the Ghibellines (partisans of the Holy Roman Empire and the Suevians). The advent of Frederick II will bring advantage for a brief period to the Ghibellines. The populace drives out the nobles and institutes the Capitano del Popolo (Commander of the local militia). The defeat of Montaperti (1260) is a short-lived episode. The Ghibelline choice of the Angevins (Charles d’Anjou is podestà for ten years) proves a winning move. The city, now in the hands of the guilds of merchants and craftsmen, crushes Siena at Colle di Val d’Elsa in 1269, and Arezzo at Campaldino in 1289. Meanwhile, Pisa succumbs to the Genoese in the battle of Meloria (1284). The result of this predominance is reflected in the first superb Gothic buildings: the Palazzo del Podestà (or Bargello), Santa Maria Novella, Santa Croce, Santa Maria del Fiore, Palazzo Vecchio, Giotto’s Campanile, Orsanmichele. Inside the city, Giotto, Cimabue, Arnolfo di Cambio and Andrea Pisano are actively at work. Walls are erected which will suffice to contain the city for the five centuries which follow. The regaining of power by the Ghibellines, led by Castruccio Castracani and Henry VII at the dawn of the 14C, is ephemeral. Florence commands most of Tuscany, despite the banking crisis of 134245, the pestilence of 1348, and the clash of the middle and lower classes which comes to a head in the Revolt of the Ciompi (woolcarders) in 1378. During the 15C, the Florentine Republic, governed by an oligarchy, becomes de facto a seigniory. In 1434 Cosimo de’ Medici (Cosimo the Elder), banished as a citizen, returns to the city as lord and master, keeping up the republican institutions as a pure formality. His grandson Lorenzo the Magnificent continues this form of government from 1469 to 1492. His spirit coincides in full with the Renaissance age, expressed by Brunelleschi, Leon Battista Alberti, Michelozzo, Benedetto da Maiano, Masaccio, Fra Angelico, Andrea del Castagno, Paolo Uccello, Botticelli,
Ghirlandaio, Benozzo Gozzoli, Donatello, Verrocchio, Pollaiolo, Luca della Robbia, Ghiberti… Lorenzo’s death marks the end of an era. The Medici structure fails to withstand the impact of Charles VIII. The exile of the Medici is interrupted for two brief periods (1494-1512 and 1527-30), conjuring up false hopes of restoring the republic. In 1531 however, Alessandro de’ Medici enters the city as the first Duke of Florence. In 1569, Cosimo I is Grand Duke and under his rule the golden age of Florence comes to an end. Embellishment of the lovely city continues, but Leonardo is now working in Milan and in France, while in 1534 Michelangelo leaves Florence for good. The 17C and 18C witness the economic decline of the city, and the end of the Medici dynasty (1737). They are succeeded by the House of Lorraine and, under Peter Leopold (future Emperor Leopold II) there is a timid revival. Napoleon, after the flight of the House of Lorraine, installs Ludwig of Bourbon Parma with the title of King of Etruria. In 1807 Florence is annexed to the French Empire. From 1815 to 1860 the Lorraines return. After the 1860 plebiscite, Florence and the whole of Tuscany join the Kingdom of Italy, with Florence as national capital from 1865 to 1871. This is the period of expansion, and the highly controversial remodelling of the 19C city. At the beginning of the century which follows, economic and demographic recovery lead to the incorporation of Rifredi, Galluzzo and Rovezzano. Following the severe damage of the last war, and the devastating flood of 1966, the city has continued to expand and today the 200,000 inhabitants of the beginning of the last century have nearly doubled in number.
The Religious Centre. In the city as it is structured today, Piazza del Duomo (C45), with the Church of Santa Maria del Fiore, and Piazza San Giovanni, with the Baptistry, form the spiritual heart of Florence. The few square metres teem with masterpieces by Giotto, Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, Donatello, Andrea della Robbia, Benozzo Gozzoli, Michelangelo… The Baptistry of San Giovanni* (C4) is the religious essence of the city, and also one of the most ancient buildings in Florence. Designed on an octagonal plan and encased in white and green marble, a 13C attic supports the eight-sided pyramid. In the three portals, the famous bronze doors* are oriented in accordance with the cardinal points, and portray a sort of gigantic bible. The South Door* is by Andrea Pisano (1330), the North Door*, again Late Gothic in style, is by Lorenzo Ghiberti (1403-24), while the East Door, facing the Cathedral, the famous Gate
to Paradise*, as it was defined by Michelangelo, is a copy of the masterpiece made by Lorenzo Ghiberti (1425-52) at the height of the Renaissance: some of the original panels, damaged by atmospheric agents and by the 1966 flood, have been restored and are on view in the Cathedral Museum. The interior, on a central plan, is covered by a segmented cupola glowing with 13C mosaics* of Byzantine inspiration that was made by Venetian and Florentine artists, among whom, perhaps, also Cimabue. The floor* is in marble inlay. The apse is also decorated with mosaics* in the Byzantine manner by Jacopo da Torrita. The tomb of the Antipope John XXIII has been attributed to Donatello and Michelozzo. In front of the South Door rises the Loggia del Bigallo (1352-58; C4) under which foundlings were exposed. Inside, a fresco (1342) depicts the oldest known view of Florence. Standing apart, to the right of the Cathedral rises Giotto’s slender, elegant Campanile* (C4). Giotto began the bell-tower in 1334 together with Andrea Pisano, and the work was completed by Francesco Talenti in 1359. The low-reliefs which decorate the base are copies of those by Andrea Pisano and his school, by Luca della Robbia and by Alberto Arnoldi. Above are copies of statues by Andrea Pisano, Donatello and Nanni di Bartolo. The originals are in the Cathedral Museum. A 414-step staircase leads up to a terrace with a sweeping panorama* of the city. At first sight, the Duomo* or Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore (C4-5) presents an impressive image of unity. In reality, it is the result of a series of interventions. Begun in 1296 by Arnolfo di Cambio to replace the old Cathedral of Santa Reparata, work was continued by Francesco Talenti from 1331-1357 and the apsidal area completed in 1421. Construction of Brunelleschi’s dome lasted from 1420 to 1436, to be crowned by Andrea del Verrocchio’s lantern in 1468. The façade, which replaced the original design by Arnolfo di Cambio, demolished in 1587, is a late 19C work. The severe and awe-inspiring interior holds many masterpieces, such as stained glass windows by Lorenzo Ghiberti, a portrait of Giotto by Benedetto da Maiano, frescoes by Vasari and Federico Zuccari which adorn Brunelleschi’s immense dome* (91 m), the windows in the oculi of the tambour fashioned from cartoons by Donatello, Ghiberti, Paolo Uccello and Andrea del Castagno, the wooden Cross by Benedetto da Maiano over the high altar, besides works of Luca della Robbia, a sarcophagus with the relics of St Zenobius (a masterpiece by Ghiberti) and the equestrian statues of Giovanni Acuto* and Niccolò da Tolentino, works respectively by
19 Paolo Uccello and Andrea del Castagno. Again in the interior, the 1966 excavations revealed ruins of the ancient Cathedral of Santa Reparata, demolished in 1375. The Opera del Duomo Museum (C5) contains fine Florentine sculptures of the 14C and 15C, including many originals from the Baptistry, the Duomo and Giotto’s Campanile (panels* by Ghiberti and Andrea Pisano). Not to be missed are Michelangelo’s unfinished Pietà* and two chancels* respectively by Donatello and Luca della Robbia. Along the charming Via de’ Martelli (B-C4) flanked by the Church of San Giovannino degli Scolopi, you come to one of the finest examples of early Renaissance architecture, the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi* (B4) begun in 1444 by Michelozzo for Cosimo the Elder, which was to be the residence of the Medici until Cosimo I. Inside, a fine courtyard* leads to the Magi Chapel*, a masterpiece by Michelozzo with frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli, and to the Gallery, frescoed by Luca Giordano. Piazza San Lorenzo (B4), flanked by 15C and 16C family palaces, with a monument to Giovanni of the Black Bands, and dominated by the façade of the Church of San Lorenzo*, a jewel of early Renaissance religious architecture, and indissolubly bound to Medici history. Built by Brunelleschi in 1442-46, and completed by Antonio Manetti in 1461, the interior is in perfect harmony with the works by Rosso Fiorentino, Desiderio da Settignano and Filippo Lippi. From the left transept one enters the old sacristy*, a Renaissance gem designed by Brunelleschi and decorated by Donatello. From the first cloister* of the Basilica, you come to the Medici Laurenziana Library*. Founded by Cosimo the Elder, it is housed in a building designed by Michelangelo who, besides the vestibule and staircase (which herald in the baroque style) also designed the ceiling, reading-desks and chairs. In the apsidal area of the basilica are the Medici Chapels*, which include the baroque Princes’ Chapel* with the monumental tombs of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, and the New Sacristy* designed and begun by Michelangelo (1521-24) and completed by Vasari and Bartolomeo Ammannati, now considered a prototype of Mannerist architecture. It contains two extraordinary tombs which Michelangelo sculpted from 1524 to 1533: the Monument to Lorenzo, Duke of Urbino* and the Monument to Giuliano, Duke of Nemours*; Madonna with Child* is also by the maestro.
Piazza della Signoria and the Uffizi Galleries. The monuments in this area, since
22 time immemorial the throbbing heart of the city, reflect the delicate rapport between art and authority, and the different ways in which art and government were conceived by the Guilds, the Republic and the Seigniory. Linking the Cathedral with Piazza della Signoria, is Via dei Calzaiuoli (C-D4), lined with smart shops and the 14C Gothic Church of San Carlo dei Lombardi, which faces the impressive mass of Orsanmichele* (D4), one of the most fascinating 14C constructions, a loggia-market built in 1337. Towards the close of the century it was transformed into a church storehouse for grain. In the external niches* stand statues of the Patron Saints of the Guilds, sculpted by the most important local artists: Lorenzo Ghiberti, Andrea del Verrocchio, Donatello, Brunelleschi etc. In the interior is the famous tabernacle* by Andrea Orcagna, one of the most charming examples of Florentine Gothic art. The Palace of the Wool Art (D4) in 1308 housed one of the most powerful of the major Guilds; today it is the seat of the Dante Society and home to the Orsanmichele Museum. One of the best known and loveliest Italian squares, the vast and solemn Piazza della Signoria* (D4) has since communal times been the centre of government and civic life. Dominated by Palazzo Vecchio, in the background rise the Gothic arches of the Loggia della Signoria* (or, dei Lanzi, 1376-82). Originally an assembly hall for public ceremonies, it later became a laboratory and open-air art gallery. The square is overlooked by the Trecento Merchants’ Tribunal, the Raphaelesque Palazzo Uguccioni (16C), with a statue of Cosimo I by Giambologna, and the great Piazza Fountain by Bartolomeo Ammannati. On the flight of steps of Palazzo Vecchio stand copies of the Marzocco, the lion symbol of Florence (original in the Bargello Museum), Donatello’s Judith and Holoferne (original in the Palazzo Vecchio), Michelangelo’s famous David (original in the Accademia gallery), the controversial Hercules and Cacus* by Baccio Bandinelli. Under the Loggia della Signoria are Benvenuto Cellini’s masterpiece, Perseus*, and Giambologna’s Rape of the Sabines*. Palazzo Vecchio* is one of the most magnificent mediaeval palaces in Italy. Designed by Arnolfo di Cambio in 1299 as Palazzo dei Priori, in the 15C it was to become Palazzo della Signoria, and residence of the Medici from 1540 to 1565. From 1865 to 1871 it was the seat of the Chamber of Deputies of the Kingdom of Italy. Its solid rusticated mass is crowned by a high crenellated parapet walk and, above, the
Arnolfo Tower* (94 m) raised in 1310. Inside is the great Hall of the Cinquecento*, built by Antonio da Sangallo (1495-96) for general popular assemblies. Under Cosimo I it became the audience chamber; it contains the marble group by Michelangelo, The Genius of Victory*. Not to be missed are the Studiolo of Francesco I de’ Medici, Eleonora’s Chapel with paintings by Bronzino, the Audience Hall with a ceiling by Giuliano da Maiano, the Sala dei Gigli which contains Donatello’s bronze group of Judith and Holoferne*. Worth mentioning, moreover, are the Loeser Donation, with works of the Tuscan school (14C-16C) and the Museum of Youths. The Belvedere houses ‘Alberto della Ragione’ Contemporary Art Collection with 250 works by 20C artists from the period Futurism-1960s. The charming Piazzale degli Uffizi* (E4) is reached from Piazza della Signoria. Surrounded by the bold and solemn Palazzo degli Uffizi, it was designed by Vasari (1560-80) as the administrative seat of the Duchy. Today it houses the famous Galleries. At the end of the square, you can enjoy a fine view of the Arno, the Ponte Vecchio and the Hill of San Miniato. The Uffizi Museum* is one of the most famous and important collections of Italian and European paintings from the 12C-18C, and the oldest Museum in modern Europe. Fundamental are the Tuscan works up to the Cinquecento, the Venetian and Northern art, the series of self-portraits and the collection of antiquities (a set of the children of Niobe*). It was established towards the end of the 16C to house the collections of Grand Duke Francesco I, and was constantly enriched under the patronage of the Medici Family. In its early days it was virtually a museum of Florentine modern art (Vasari defines as ‘modern’ the Cinquecento artists); later it was extended to include scientific objects and works by Venetian and Flemish painters. The donations of the House of Lorraine, and the separation of the science collection confirmed its definite vocation as a visual arts museum. It was only in the early 20C, when the 14C and 15C sections were expanded, that the Gallery started developing into the most important major Italian painting collection in the world. Approximately 2000 works are on display but another 1800 are in storage, awaiting exhibition. In 2006, a radical refurbishment and expansion of the exhibition spaces commenced and will result in the ‘New Uffizi’. It is impossible to do justice here to the immense collection of works, but some mention must be made of artists who have cotributed to the history of art. Starting from
the Tuscan Duecento and Trecento: Duccio di Buoninsegna, Cimabue, Giotto, Simone Martini, Ambrogio and Pietro Lorenzetti, Bernardo Daddi and Taddeo Gaddi. Then the Renaissance, with the Quattrocento and Cinquecento masters: Lorenzo Monaco, Gentile da Fabriano, Masaccio and Masolino, Fra Angelico, Paolo Uccello, Domenico Veneziano, Andrea del Castagno (Famous Men*), Piero della Francesca, Alessio Baldovinetti, Filippo Lippi, Filippino Lippi, Antonio Pollaiolo, Piero Pollaiolo, Sandro Botticelli (Birth of Venus and Spring), Leonardo (Adoration of the Magi), Verrocchio, Perugino, Luca Signorelli, Piero di Cosimo, Raphael (Madonna with Goldfinch), Michelangelo (Holy Family ‘Tondo Doni’), Giovanni Bellini, Bartolomeo Vivarini, Cima da Conegliano, Giorgione, Vittore Carpaccio, Andrea Mantegna, Titian (Urbino Venus), Andrea del Sarto, Pontormo, Bronzino, Parmigianino, Palma the Elder, Dosso Dossi, Lorenzo Lotto, Jacopo Bassano, Correggio, Paolo Veronese, Tintoretto and El Greco. The masterpieces from Northern Europe include works by Albrecht Dürer, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Lucas Cranach the Younger, Albrecht Altdorfer and Hans Holbein. The 17C and 18C section has paintings by Pietr Paul Rubens, Antonie Van Dyck, Justus Sustermans, Caravaggio, Annibale Carracci, Rembrandt, Giuseppe Maria Crespi, Canaletto and Francesco Guardi. The Corridoio Vasariano* (1565) was built to link the Uffizi to Palazzo Pitti over the Ponte Vecchio, and it houses significant 17C and 18C Italian and foreign works. In Via Lambertesca, the Contini-Bonacossi Collection* (E4) includes important works by Italian and foreign artists from the 13C to 18C (Cimabue, Andrea del Castagno, Bellini, Bernini, El Greco and Velásquez). Palazzo Castellani (E4) is the seat of the Museum of the History of Science*, which unifies the collection started by Cosimo the Elder, and displayed in the Uffizi until the 18C, with the assembly of scientific and didactic instruments and apparatus of the House of Lorraine.
The Oltrarno. As early as 1172 the walled fortifications stretched over to the left bank of the Arno, when there was only one bridge, known today as Ponte Vecchio, crossing from Piazza della Repubblica over to the bank on which rise Palazzo Pitti, the Church of Santo Spirito and the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine. Piazza della Repubblica (C-D4) came into being in the 19C, after the disastrous demolition of the mediaeval market place, now replaced by the best cafés in town.
Nearby rises Palazzo Davanzati* (D3), a severe Trecento building with an airy Cinquecento loggia; it is the seat of the Florentine House and Museum, with a collection of fine 14C-18C furnishings. The New Market Loggia (D4) was built in the 16C as an arcade for the fine-cloth trade. Today it houses a bustling craftwork market. In front stands a fountain known as the Porcellino (‘piglet’, though in reality it is a boar), a replica of the Greek original housed in the Uffizi. Behind the New Market Loggia rises the 14C Palace of the Guelph Captains (D4), later enlarged by Brunelleschi and Vasari, in which you can admire a magnificent Salon by Brunelleschi with a lunette by Luca della Robbia and a ceiling by Vasari. Via Por Santa Maria (E4), with two TowerHouses of the 11C and 13C at the end, leads to Florence’s oldest and most famous bridge, the Ponte Vecchio* (E3-4), built in 1345 on the remains of another bridge chronicled in 996. The only one spared by the Germans in their retreat in 1944, it is lined with shops, formerly butchers and greengrocers, and today jewellers. The Corridoio Vasariano runs above them. The bridge leads to Via de’ Guicciardini (E-F3) which opens onto a small square with the Church of Santa Felicita. From here you can reach the most imposing palace in the city, Palazzo Pitti* (F23), commissioned by the Pitti bankers and merchants in the mid-15C, enlarged in 1558, and which took on the appearance it has today with additions in 1764 and 1839 of the two wings called ‘rondò’. Of austere and simple design, it houses, together with other buildings of the adjoining Bòboli Garden,
Raphael, Madonna del Granduca (Florence, Palazzo Pitti)
24 some of the finest Florentine museums. The Palatine Gallery* has, in its splendid rooms frescoed by Pietro da Cortona and Ciro Ferri, many 16C-17C works. To name but a few, the Three Ages of Man by Giorgione, Raphael’s Madonna della Seggiola and Madonna del Granduca, the Portrait of Julius II by Titian, and Giovanni Canova’s Venus Italica. Moreover, major works by Botticelli, Filippo Lippi, Luca Signorelli, Beccafumi, Rosso Fiorentino, Andrea del Sarto, Dosso Dossi, Tintoretto, Veronese, Rubens, Van Dyck, Murillo, Perugino, Sustermans, Caravaggio, Salvator Rosa and many others. The lavishly decorated State Apartments were the residence of the Medici, the Lorraines, and the House of Savoy. The Modern Art Gallery contains a full range of Italian painting from Neoclassicism to the 20C. On show in the 30 rooms are works, among others, by Francesco Hayez, Giovanni Fattori, Gaetano Previati, Silvestro Lega, Medardo Rosso and Federico Zandomeneghi. The Silver Museum* contains an exceptional collection of ‘objets de vertu’ in precious metals and semi-precious stones, glass and ivory. Of particular note is the superb silver plate from Lorenzo the Magnificent’s collection. The Carriage Museum houses vehicles of the Houses of Lorraine and Savoy. The Bòboli Garden*(F3) stretches over 45,000 m2. This elegant and grandiose Italianstyle garden was originally designed in the mid-16C, but owes its present appearance to 18C and 19C remodelling and additions. The best-known features are the Amphitheatre, the Artichoke Fountain, the Buontalenti Grotto, the Neptune Nursery, the Cavalier’s Garden and the Piazzale dell’Isolotto* with Giambologna’s Ocean Fountain. The Porcelain Museum* has a collection of objects from the workshops of Ginori di Doccia, Sèvres, Chantilly, Vienna, Berlin, Meissen and others. The Neoclassical Palazzina della Meridiana houses the Usage and Custom Gallery which illustrates the evolution in way-of-life from the 18C to the 20C. On leaving Palazzo Pitti, and before visiting the elegant Via Maggio (E-F2-3) lined with 14C-15C buildings, other sights are the Church of San Felice in Piazza (F2) and the Zoological Museum ‘La Specola’ (F2) in Palazzo Torrigiani. This section of the University Natural History Museum has very significant collections which include an assembly of anatomical replicas in wax* (18C-19C). In Piazza Santo Spirito (F2), which contains a garden and is surrounded by Quattrocento houses including the striking Renaissance Palazzo Guadagni, pre-
ceded by a parvis, is the Church of Santo Spirito* (E2) which, together with San Lorenzo, is one of the finest examples of early Renaissance architecture. Designed by Brunelleschi in 1444 and completed in 1488, it has an elegantly simple interior with works of art by Bernardo Rossellino, Andrea Sansovino and Filippino Lippi; of particular significance are the vestibule and the sacristy. Outside the church rises a fine belltower; on the left is the Cenacle of Santo Spirito with a magnificent fresco by Andrea Orcagna. This brings us to the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine* (E1), of mediaeval origin and remodelled in 1771, universally renowned for the Brancacci Chapel, which is reached through a Seicento cloister. It contains the cycle of frescoes* by Masaccio and Masolino and put together by Filippino Lippi, which mark a crucial event in the history of art. In the nearby sacristy, of Gothic plan, are 14C-15C paintings.
Santa Trìnita and Santa Maria Novella. This is the western district which starts from Via Tornabuoni, on the furthest limit of the Roman city and the first mediaeval circle of walls. From the Gothic Church of Santa Maria Maggiore (C3-4) through Piazza degli Antinori (C3) with the Quattrocento Palazzo Antinori and the baroque Church of San Gaetano, you reach Via Tornabuoni* (CD3), one of the most elegant streets in town, lined with fine 15C-19C palaces. One of the most outstanding of these is Palazzo Strozzi* (D3) which, together with Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, is the most significant example of a Florentine Renaissance building. Begun in 1489 by Benedetto da Maiano and continued by Cronaca, one flank and part of the cornice remain unfinished. In the nearby former Church of San Pancrazio (CD3) is the Marino Marini Museum, with an important collection of works by the Pistoian artist. The adjacent Trecento Cappella Rucellai contains the Tempietto del Santo Sepolcro, a fine work by L.B. Alberti. Fronted by a fine Loggia is the Palazzo Rucellai* (D3), a gem of the early Renaissance designed by L.B. Alberti in the second half of the Quattrocento. Piazza Santa Trìnita (D3), in the centre of which rises the Column of Justice from Caracalla’s Baths, is overlooked by the Bartolini-Salimbeni and Spini-Feroni Palaces and the Church of Santa Trìnita* one of the oldest in Florence (11C), rebuilt in Gothic style in the 14C and with the addition of a baroque façade in 1594. The sober interior is one of the earliest examples of Gothic architecture to be found in Florence. It con-
25 tains works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Luca della Robbia and Desiderio da Settignano. The Church of the Santi Apostoli (11C) in the secluded Piazza del Limbo flanks Borgo Santissimi Apostoli (D-E3), a typical mediaeval street with Duecento towers and houses, and the Palazzo Rosselli del Turco by Baccio d’Agnolo. The Bridge of Santa Trìnita* (E3) spans majestically the River Arno with its three arches. This masterpiece by Bartolomeo Ammannati (1608) was destroyed in 1944 but rebuilt according to the original design. Along the Lungarno Corsini is Palazzo Corsini (D2-3), one of the finest examples of Florentine baroque. The Corsini Gallery is considered to be one of the most important private Italian collections, with Florentine 15C-16C paintings and 17C-18C works by Italian and foreign artists. In the square of the same name is the Church of Ognissanti (C1-2): founded in 1251 and later remodelled, it now presents a baroque façade. The interior contains frescoes by Domenico Ghirlandaio, Sandro Botticelli and Taddeo Gaddi. The adjoining refectory is frescoed by Domenico Ghirlandaio. Piazza Santa Maria Novella* (C2-3) offers one of the city’s most magical sights. On the side opposite the church is the Quattrocento Loggia di San Paolo, with ten elegant arches and, in between, nine medallions by Luca della Robbia who also fashioned the lunette under the portico. In the centre of the square are two marble obelisks which used to mark the bounds of the chariot race (Palio dei Cocchi). The Church of Santa Maria Novella* (B2-3) is a Gothic masterpiece built by Dominican architects from 1278 onwards. The Trecento façade* was remodelled by L.B. Alberti. The interior is of soaring and harmonious grace. It is ornamented with fine works by Nino Pisano, Nardo di Cione, the Rossellinos, Desiderio da Settignano, Ghiberti, Filippino Lippi, Giambologna, besides a Crucifix* by Giotto, the famous cycle of frescoes* by Domenico Ghirlandaio, a fresco* by Masaccio and a fine Crucifix* by Brunelleschi. The Museum of Santa Maria Novella* occupies part of the cloister on the left of the church. The main railway station of Santa Maria Novella (A-B2) in Piazza della Stazione is a good example of Rationalist architecture. Nearby in the former Convent of the Nuns of Foligno (A3) is a fresco by assistants of Perugino, and others, which have been detached, by Bicci di Lorenzo.
San Marco and the Santissima Annunziata. This area lies to the north of the Cathedral: its focal points are Piazza San Marco with
the Academy Gallery and the convent where Fra Angelico resided, and Piazza dell’Annunziata, with the nearby Foundlings Hospital (Ospedale degli Innocenti) and the Archaeological Museum. The Cenacle of Sant’Apollonia* (A4-5) was the refectory of the ancient convent of the Benedictine Nuns of Sant’Apollonia, decorated with important frescoes* by Andrea del Castagno. From the convent the 15C great cloister may be seen. It falls within the competence of the University and faces the spacious tree-lined Piazza San Marco. The square is also overlooked by the Church of San Marco (A5) which harks back to the 14C. Redesigned by Michelozzo (1437-43), it has been repeatedly remodelled and given a baroque façade. To the right of the church is the San Marco Museum* (A5) set in the fascinating rooms of the Dominican convent which during the Quattrocento was an important cultural centre. The museum is of great significance on account of its collection of works by Fra Angelico, who lived and worked here. Of particular interest among the many paintings, are the Descent from the Cross*, the Tabernacle of the Linen-drapers*, a Crucifixion* and an Annunciation*. The Scalzo Cloister is a small courtyard with a monochromatic frescoed portico by Andrea del Sarto and Franciabigio. The Natural History Museum (A5-6) contains three sectors: the Mineralogy and Lithology Museum, the Geology and Palaeontology Museum, and the Botanical Museum with the attached Botanical Garden, an old officinal herb garden (Giardino dei Semplici) founded in 1550. The Academy Gallery* (A5) owes its fame to the group of Four Slaves*, the unfinished St Matthew, and above all the David* by Michelangelo. The Gallery also houses paintings of the Florentine school (13C16C). The Semi-precious Stones Museum is attached to attached to the Institute, founded in 1588, and executes major restoration work on Italian artworks. Piazza della Santissima Annunziata (B6) is a fine construction surrounded by porticoes. In the centre stands a statue of Ferdinand I by Giambologna and two baroque fountains; to the left is the Loggia of the Servites. To the right of the basilica is the Foundlings Hospital*, a most significant testimonial to Florentine humanist culture, and one of the most graceful Renaissance buildings. The square is faced by a nine-arch portico* with eight medallions by Andrea della Robbia. The small Art Gallery houses works of exceptional quality. The Basilica of the Santissima Annunziata* (A6) contains a venerated image of the Virgin Mary: first
26 built by the Servites in 1250, redone in the 15C and repeatedly remodelled later, it has a 17C portico which gives access to the little Cloister dei Voti whose walls are decorated with frescoes* by Rosso Fiorentino, Jacopo Pontormo, Franciabigio and Andrea del Sarto: among the most significant in the history of 15C-16C Florentine art. There is also a low-relief by Michelozzo. In the baroque interior is the Chapel of the Annunciation, whose altar contains a treasured Trecento fresco. Near the transept is the Cloister of the Dead. The Archaeological Museum* (A-B6) in Palazzo della Crocetta is one of the most important in Italy, and concerns in particular the Etruscan and Egyptian civilisations. The section of Etruscan sculpture art* includes masterpieces of Chiusi sculpture (Mater Matuta, Larthia Seianti’s sarcophagus) and a famous collection of bronzes (Chimera d’Arezzo, the Arringatore). Also of extreme value is the collection of Attic Ceramics* of Athenian production, of which the François vase with black figures is the most noticeable. Amongst the Roman bronzes is the Idolino di Pesaro. In the Egyptian Museum*, which ranks second in Italy only to the one in Turin, of particular interest are the Fayyum female portrait, the relief with scribe, the war or hunting chariot and the copt fabrics. The Main Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova (C56), the oldest in Florence, was founded by Folco Portinari in 1288 and restructured by Buontalenti in the 16C. The Florentine Prehistorical Museum (C5), with some very precious collections, is housed in the former convent of the Oblates, as is the Museum of Florence ‘as it was’, which illustrates the transformation of the city, and displays twelve celebrated Views of the Medicean Villas by Giusto Utens. The Church of San Ambrogio, mentioned in 11C chronicles, has been repeatedly remodelled and today presents an 18C interior. Preceded by a fine porticoed cloister, the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena de’ Pazzi (1257, but rebuilt from 1479 onwards) houses a fresco of the Crucifixion* by Perugino.
Santa Croce. Near Santa Croce, the church frescoed by Giotto where ‘national glories’ are buried, is the Bargello, the Museum which enshrines some of Donatello’s and Michelangelo’s finest statues. The entire area, however, is rich in artistic and historical significance. In Via del Proconsolo (C-D5), one of the oldest city streets, rises the Palazzo Nonfinito, with the National Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology, founded by Paolo Mantegazza
in 1869. To the left is the Albizzi ward* overlooked by Palazzo Ramirez de Montalvo, Palazzo Altoviti, and the House and Palace of the Albizzi Family. In the same street is the Quattrocento Palazzo Pazzi* (also called ‘of the Conspiracy’; D5). In Via Santa Margherita the Dante Museum (D5) conserves documents linked to the great poet. The Badia Fiorentina* (D5) is an old church which dates back to the 13C, enlarged by Arnolfo di Cambio and remodelled in the 15C and 17C. The hexagonal bell-tower with a spire was built in the 14C. In the austere Palazzo del Podestà is housed the Bargello Museum* (D5), one of the foremost in the world for its collections of sculptures and works of art, especially of the Renaissance, and of mediaeval French ivories. Here to be admired are works by Michelangelo (David Apollo*, Bust of Brutus*), Donatello (David*, St George*), Brunelleschi, Michelozzo, Luca della Robbia, Giovanni and Andrea della Robbia, Verrocchio, Francesco Laurana, Benvenuto Cellini, Giambologna, besides objets d’art from all over the Mediterranean. In the square of the same name, facing one of the loveliest Quattrocento stately homes, Palazzo Gondi* (D5), is Palazzo di S. Firenze (D5), an intriguing testimony to late Florentine baroque. Buonarroti’s House (D6) rises on the site of three houses in which Michelangelo resided; it was commissioned by his nephew, Michelangelo the Younger, thereby creating a significant 17C testimonial. Of considerable interest are the gallery and the small studio. The house contains the family collections, including some works by Michelangelo. A popular meeting place during the Trecento and the Renaissance, and also the ground where ‘Florentine football’ was played, is Piazza Santa Croce (E6), surrounded by typical Florentine palaces, which include those of Serristori and Antella, besides the basilica itself. The Basilica of Santa Croce* (E6) is a masterpiece of Gothic art and the pantheon of famous Italians. Designed by Arnolfo di Cambio (1295) it was completed at the close of the 14C. The façade and bell-tower are 19C additions. The interior is vast and of simple lines. It contains fine works by Benedetto da Maiano, Agnolo Daddi, Giovanni da Milano, Donatello and a superb cycle of frescoes by Giotto, the tombs of Leonardo Bruni (a masterpiece by Rossellino), those of Michelangelo, Niccolò Machiavelli, Ugo Foscolo and Gioacchino Rossini, besides monuments to Vittorio Alfieri and Antonio Canova. The Santa Croce Museum has been set up in rooms
of the nearby convent and includes the famous Pazzi Chapel*, a fine work by Filippo Brunelleschi. From the cloister you can reach the refectory with Cimabue’s celebrated Crucifix* and Donatello’s St Ludovic*. A richly decorated portal gives access to the elegant second cloister, presumed to be the work of Bernardo Rossellino. Situated in Via Magliabechi is the Central National Library (E6), the most important in Italy. In Via de’ Benci is the Horne Foundation Museum (E5), a significant collection of paintings, sculptures, majolicas, glass and coins from the 14C-16C. Across the Ponte delle Grazie, rebuilt in 1957, is the Bardini Museum* (F5) with a fine selection of paintings, furniture and ceramics donated to the municipality in 1922 by the collector Stefano Bardini.
The hill and the outlying wards. No visit to Florence can be considered complete without a tour of the verdant hill, the wards outside the ring of avenues and, naturally, the environs. Viale dei Colli is the loveliest walk in town. The continuation of the left bank of the Arno leads to Piazzale Michelangelo* from where there is a magnificent view of Florence. From here, going up a stairway, you reach the Church of San Salvatore al Monte (1499). At the top of the hill is San Miniato al Monte*, a marvel of Romanesque architecture built between 1018 and 1207. The interior, with a splendid marble floor*, houses works by Michelozzo, Agnolo Gaddi, Taddeo Gaddi, Luca della Robbia, Antonio Rossellino and Alessio Baldovinetti. To the right of the church is the Trecento Palazzo dei Vescovi. Along Via San Leonardo, just before the San Giorgio Gate, stands the Belvedere Fort* (1590-95) which connects up with the city walls. It served as a stronghold and a suburban residence. Linked to Palazzo Vecchio through Boboli, Palazzo Pitti and the Vasari Corridor, it is overlooked by the elegant Palazzina di Belvedere, used for temporary exhibitions. The last stretch of the Viale dei Colli is Viale Machiavelli, which ends at Porta Romana, a massive tower with its original wooden doors. On the right bank of the Arno, west of the city, is the expanse of the Cascine Park*. This verdant area is a delightful breathing space for Florence and a favourite outing for the Florentines. In the northern wards is the Stibbert Museum*, one of the most important collections of ancient arms not only in Italy but in the whole world, and also an extraordinary range of applied arts from every age and country. Next to the Church of
San Michele a Salvi is the Museum of the Andrea del Sarto Cenacolo. This Last Supper frescoed by the artist in 1526-27 is a masterpiece of 16C painting. The Museum of the Israeli Temple contains ancient manuscripts, parchments and objects connected with Judaism. In the surroundings of Fièsole (q.v.), other places of interest are Sieci, with the old Parish Church of San Giovanni Battista a Rèmole, and Castello with the Medicean Villa* which houses the Accademia della Crusca. Nearby are the Medicean Villa of Petraia*, surrounded by a beautiful garden, and Villa Corsini which houses the collections of sculpture and ancient epigraphy from the National Archaeological Museum. In Pratolino there is the huge garden of the 16C Villa Demidoff with the daunting Apennine Fountain by Giambologna. Finally, on a hill clad with cypresses and olives is the Galluzzo Carthusian Monastery*, preceded by a Gothic Palace of Studies, with an Art Gallery. Founded in 1342 by Niccolò Acciaioli, it includes the Church of San Lorenzo, the Monastery, the small Monks’ Cloister, the Great Cloister with 66 terracotta busts by Della Robbia, the Refectory and the Quattrocento small Cloister of the Lay Brothers.
(Massa-Carrara) This commercial centre in Lunigiana (q.v.) is encircled by 16C walls built by the Florentines. The eye-catching Piazza Medicea, with a great Seicento fountain, is overlooked by Renaissance palaces and the Church of Saints Jacopo and Antonio. Construction on the latter was begun in 1377 and it was then enlarged in the 16C. Nearby is the impressive Verrùcola Castle, remodelled in the 14C. Heading towards Càsola Lunigiana, which has the Museum of the Alta Valle Aulella Territory, you come across the ProtoRomanesque Parish Church of Codiponte, containing Lombard-Carolingian sculptures. Also worth a visit is the Equi Terme spa and the caves of Equi.
FOIANO DELLA CHIANA
(Arezzo) Perched on a hilltop, the village overlooks Chiana and the Esse Torrent. Of great interest are the Collegiate Chapter of San Martino (1512-1796) and the Church of San Michele Arcangelo, known as San Domenico; the Church of Santa Maria della Fraternita (late 16C) with the Civic Museum. On the outskirts of the village, in the Church of San Francesco, is a great altarpiece by Andrea della Robbia. Across the Chiana you
come to the Abbey of Farneta (9C or 10C) where the Church and the crypt still stand, with an Antiquarium.
(Grosseto) This industrial and seaside town of Maremma (q.v.) was little more than a village until the area was drained during the last century. The population then grew, also to exploit the foundry already working in the 16C. Worth a visit is the Museum of Iron Production and the Modigliani Art Gallery. A curiosity is the Church of San Leopold, an intriguing example of ‘sacred industrial archaeology’, built mostly in cast iron. Nearby, in Scarlino, sights to see include the parish church and the remains of the Castle (which is where the materials in the Documentation Centre of the Area come from) and the Gavorrano mines.
FORTE DEI MARMI
(Lucca) The Fort, commissioned in 1788 by Leopold I, stands in the centre of the square. It was the port for the marble from the Apuan Alps that can be seen behind the pinewoods. A favourite haunt for artists and intellectuals in the 19C, with its fine villas, it is now one of the most elegant and popular seaside resorts in Versilia (q.v.).
(Massa-Carrara) This village, imbued with antiquity, lies on one of the outer spurs of the Apuan Alps. Above it rises a Trecento Castle where Dante supposedly stayed in 1306. The Parochial Church conserves the marble sepulchre of Galeotto Malaspina (d. 1367).
(Lucca) The actual boundaries of Garfagnana today are somewhat uncertain. By and large, this name applies to the territory around Castelnuovo, formerly under the sway of the Estes who on two occasions appointed a poet as Governor: Ariosto (1522-25) and later the baroque versifier Fulvio Testi (1640-42). It is circumscribed to the north by the Apuans and the Apennines – rugged and sharp-edged the former, gentle and verdant the latter. Also the River Serchio which flows here has two branches, the Serchio di Gramolazzo which springs from the Apuans, and the Serchio di Soraggio from the Apennines. The peculiarity of this mountainous borderland, and the distance from the main communication network make it, from language to eating habits, a melting-pot of most uncommon cultural traits.
GIGLIO (ISLE OF)
(Grosseto) The second largest island of the Tuscan Archipelago is entirely mountainous and covered in Mediterranean maquis. There is strong rivalry between Giglio Porto with its harbour, and Giglio Castello with its mediaeval walls, dominated by the Fortress. The other village, Campese, nestles gently on a splendid beach. A few miles away is the privately-owned Isle of Giannutri, which is a part of the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago. (q.v. Capraia).
GREVE IN CHIANTI
(Florence) Situated between the old Chiantigiana way and Valdarno Superiore, it is the main Chianti centre. In the characteristic Piazza Giovanni da Verrazzano*, where an important agricultural marketfair is held yearly, rise the now Neoclassical lines of the Parochial Church of Santa Croce with a triptych by Bicci di Lorenzo. In the nearby hamlet of Montefioralle, vestiges of the walls and towers of an ancient Castle may be seen, while not far off is the superb Cinquecento Villa Corsini.
This is the administrative centre of Maremma (q.v.) and a flourishing farming town. Founded in 935 by the survivors of Roselle, (formerly Etruscan) after the Saracen sack. It belonged to Siena from 1336, and to the Medici from 1559. Its fortunes varied accordingly with drainage or malaria (finally stamped out in 20C). The centre of the modern town is Piazza Fratelli Rosselli (B2) with the Neoclassical Government Palace and the modernist Post Office (1930). Nearby, the Porta Nuova leads to the old centre, enclosed by the green hexagon of bastions* built by Francesco I in 1574. The Duomo (C2-3), built from 1294 to 1302 over a former 12C construction, was later repeatedly restored, and received its NeoRomanesque white and pink façade in 184045. The interior houses a baptismal font by Antonio Ghini (1470) and a panel* by Matteo di Giovanni (15C). The Museum of Maremma Art and Archaeology*(C2-3) is an important collection(founded in 1865 and renovated in 1999) reconstructing the succession of different cultures in Maremma via archaeological and prehistoric exhibits and the precious collections of the former Diocesan Museum. The collection spans from the Roselle finds (cycles of Roman statues*, famous Etruscan ivory alphabets) to works of religious art
by Guido da Siena, Segna di Bonaventura and Sassetta. The Church of San Francesco (B3) houses a Crucifix* attributed to Duccio di Buoninsegnaâ€™s early period. Nearby, Marina di Grosseto has a fine beach in the TĂ˛mbolo pinewood, which extends southward as far as Principina a Mare where the Natural Park of Maremma* begins. Established in 1975, the park includes the marshes of the Ombrone estu-
ary, the Uccellina Mountains and the coastal area northward to the beach of Paludetto. Access is from Albarese or from Talamone (q.v.). Along the coast are the watch-towers of the old defence system. Near the Tower of Uccellina are the ruins of the Abbey of San Rabano (11C). Next to Nomadelfia, seat of an institution founded by Don Zeno Saltini, are the ruins of Roselle*, first an Etruscan and later a Roman town, with the
remains* of its fortified walls. The digs, still under way, have brought to light the remains of the Roman town and an urban layout of the late-archaic age.
(Florence) Here ‘in pruinetis’, meaning among the brambles, some Christian fugitives took shelter bearing with them an icon of Mary painted by St Luke. The history of this town is connected to the cult of Mary and her Basilica. In the main square rises the Basilica of Santa Maria dell’Impruneta*, a Romanesque parish church (1060) remodelled in the 15C, with a Seicento portico and a 13C bell-tower. The Renaissance interior was restored after the bombs of the last war, and the venerated image, probably mediaeval but repainted in 1758, is housed in the Chapel of the Madonna*. The Treasure Museum includes silver plate, illuminated manuscripts and a low-relief which portrays The Discovery of the Image of the Madonna, variously attributed to Michelozzo, Filarete or Luca della Robbia.
(Pisa) In 1818, a Frenchman, De Larderel, began to extract boric acid from the fumaroles of Montecerboli, and in 1846 the first plant was called Larderello. Today it is an important centre of electric power. Worth visiting are the late Renaissance Church of the Madonna di Montenero and, in the ENEL plant, the Geothermic Museum with the covered fumarole-hollow and thermal spring. At Sasso Pisano, near Castelnuovo di Val di Cècina, a town with a mediaeval ward, a Renaissance ward and a modern zone, archaeological digs have revealed Etruscan thermal buildings (3C-1C BC). At Pomarance, a village with a mediaeval appearance, the Parish Church contains a 16C polychrome terracotta crêche. Between Maremma (q.v.) and the interior, stand the Metalliferous Hills, volcanic mountains from which ‘soffioni’ (steam holes) spring at very high temperature.
(Arezzo) This remarkable calcareous height in Casentino (q.v.), between the Tiber and Arno, was donated to Francis of Assisi by Count Orlando Cattani da Chiusi. The Saint, together with a few companions, built here a cluster of huts. In September 1224 he received the stigmata and from then on the place became an important
sanctuary. The Verna Convent rises just below the mountain top, and includes the small Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, the Chiesa Maggiore or Basilica of the 14C15C, with terracottas by Andrea della Robbia. The Chapel of the Stigmata harks back to 1263, and a stone set in the floor marks the spot where the saint received the stigmata. One can visit St Francis’s grotto, and the Sasso Spicco, a huge projecting rock with just two metres of it resting on another rock. Through an ancient forest of beeches and fir-trees your reach Mount Penna, from which there is a breathtaking view of the Tiber and Arno Valleys.
This ideal late Renaissance city was founded by Grand Duke Francesco I de’ Medici. Besides its function as a port, development was influenced by the 1593 ‘Constitution’ which encouraged immigration and safeguarded the freedom of newcomers, thus favouring the settlement of different communities. The city has two distinct poles: the ‘ideal city’ of the Medici, and the 19C expansion brought about by the House of Lorraine. Although devastated by bombing during the last war, traces of Buontalenti’s original layout for the foundations of the city are still clearly visible. Piazza Grande (B2), full of buildings and porticoes, is the centre of the city. The Duomo is a remake of the late-Gothic building destroyed during the war. Piazza della Repubblica (B2) covers part of the Royal Fossato, an ancient moat constructed in defence of the city. On the short sides stand two large statues of Ferdinand III and Leopold II. Beyond the moat rises the Fortezza Nuova (new fortress; A-B2) designed by Bernardo Buontalenti. Behind stretches the working-class neighbourhood called Venezia Nuova*, built by Venetian workmen, which still preserves features of the original plan, with a dense network of canals, bridges, narrow roads and warehouses. The Church of Santa Caterina rises here, on a hexagonal plan. The Bottini dell’Olio were built in 1705 for the storage of oil. Not far off you come across the baroque Church of San Ferdinando. The Fortezza Vecchia (B1), a towering fortified construction (1521-34) built by Antonio da Sangallo the Elder, incorporates the Keep of Countess Matilde, a massive 9C donjon surrounded by a stronghold (1377). In front lies Piazza Micheli with the famous Monument with Four Moors* (B2), dedicated to Grand Duke Ferdinand I. It owes its name to the bronze figures created by Pietro Tacca in
1626. The square overlooks the old Dockyard beyond which stretches the Medicean seaport. From Via Grande (B2), the main city street, you can reach Piazza Grande, and beyond, next to one another, you find the Church of Santissima Annunziata (or, dei Greci Uniti; 1601), the Church of the Madonna (1607) and the façade of the Church of San Giorgio degli Armeni. At the end of the street is the Neoclassical Cisternino built in 1837-42 for water-distribution. From here you come to Piazza del Cisternone (B3), whose name derives from the great reservoir constructed in the first half of the 19C. Along Via De Larderel is Palazzo De Larderel, a Neoclassical Ottocento building. 19C-20C expansion is eloquently revealed by the elegant houses and old hotels, which bear witness to the tourist boom that reached its peak at the turn of the century. In the tree-lined Piazza della Vittoria (C2-3), the Church of Santa Maria del Soccorso was built in 1835 after a cholera epidemic. Villa Maria (C3), surrounded by an age-old park, is seat of the Centre of Documentation and Visual Research which assembles testimonials of city history. The nearby Castelletto (19C) houses the Mascagni Museum. The Labronica Library, the second most important in Tuscany, is in the 17C Villa Fabbricotti (D3). In the 19C Villa Mimbelli (D2) is the ‘G. Fattori’ Civic Museum with works* by the painter from Livorno and canvases by Macchiaioli and postMacchiaioli. Villa Henderson (D2) hosts the Mediterranean Natural History Museum. The beautiful promenade by the sea winds along Viale Italia* (B-F1-2) which, from the Orlando Naval Dockyards leads to the Mascagni Terrace, reaching into the sea, with the ‘D. Cestoni’ Municipal Aquarium. Just beyond the Church of San Jacopo in Acquaviva is the entrance to the famous Naval Academy (E2). Beyond the race course lies Ardenza (F3), a residential area which rose around a group of Neoclassical town houses. Nearby is the Sanctuary of Montenero, built in the 14C and enlarged and rebuilt from 1575 to 1721. It contains a precious collection of votive offerings. From the square there is a splendid view*.
(Arezzo) This is a typical locality of Pratomagno (q.v.) on the River Ciuffenna. The Church of Santa Maria Assunta contains a triptych by Lorenzo di Bicci and other 16C works. Nearby, at Gròpina, rises the Romanesque Parish Church of San Pietro*, with original capitals and archaeological excavations under the church. At Castelfranco di Sopra, with a circle of tur-
reted walls, are the Church of San Tommaso (11C) and the Palazzo Comunale (14C); near the built-up area rises the former Abbey of Soffena. At Pian di Sco a Romanesque Parish Church (12C-13C) can be seen.
The Roman city which arose on a Ligurian settlement was later occupied in turn by the Goths and the Byzantines; it then became a Longobard Duchy and the capital of Tuscia. At the beginning of the 11C, after a period of great prosperity and population increase, a new circle of ramparts was raised. Affluence stemmed from money-lending and the silk trade, but also thanks to the timely choice of siding with the Emperor during the War of the Investitures, thus furthering access to foreign markets. The conflict with Pisa the 14C and serious civic strife led to the establishment of seigniories such as those of Castruccio Castracani and Uguccione della Faggiuola. In 1369, Lucca regains its independence and, barring the parenthesis of Paolo Guinigi’s seigniory (1400-30), is virtually a city-state governed by a republican oligarchy. In the mid-16C, Lucca, still independent but stifled by the Este and Medici dominions, builds a third circle of walls. Never utilised for defence purposes, they are transformed in the 19C into a shady walk. After the brief period as a democratic republic in 1799, it becomes a principality under the rule of Napoleon’s sister, Elisa. After the restoration, Lucca is a Duchy ruled by Maria Luigia of Bourbon, then her son, Charles Ludovic, cedes it to Leopold II of Lorraine (1847). This period is marked by extensive urban development: the creation of Piazza Napoleone, the remodelling of Piazza del Mercato, the Rampart walk and the construction of the railway station. After the Unification of Italy, few changes come about, but the citizens of Lucca have already, in the words of the writer Mario Tobino, “achieved the most extraordinary feat in Italy, they have preserved their city. Lucca is the same as ever.” In the period when the tree-lined avenues were being formed on the ramparts, the great, shady Piazza Napoleone (C2) was opened, with a Neoclassical monument to Maria Luigia of Bourbon; it is bounded to the west by the Palazzo della Provincia, formerly della Signoria, begun by Ammannati in 1578 and enlarged over the 18C-19C. The magnificent Church of Saints Giovanni and Reparata* (C3), built in the 12C and partly remodelled in the Settecento, still maintains its original portal (1187). Adjacent to
it is the Baptistry on a square plan with a fine Gothic cupola (1393). The underlying archaeological site* enshrines the early foundations (early-Christian and early mediaeval) of the ancient Santa Reparata Cathedral and Baptistery, as well as Roman and late Roman eras. An impressive mediaeval scenery is found at Piazza Antelminelli (C3) and in the adjacent Piazza San Martino which is fronted by Palazzo Bernardi by Ammannati. The whole area is dominated by the Duomo* which was built in Romanesque style between 11C-12C but then rebuilt in 15C-16C. The asymmetrical façade dates back to 1204 with a porctico below which are some reliefs* (1233) and a Deposition attributed to Nicola Pisano. Inside is the worshipped Volto Santo (wooden crucifix in oriental art style), the world-famous funerary monument of Ilaria del Carretto* by Jacopo della Quercia and St Martin on horseback and the beggar*, a masterpiece of 13C sculpture. The Cathedral Museum located in a 13C-14C complex has a collection of precious sacred vestments, church plates and works of art. Via Guinigi* (B-C3), one of the loveliest in town, is overlooked by the Guinigi Houses*, a group of Trecento palaces and towers; from one of these, crowned with ilexes, there is a splendid view. Along Via Guinigi is the Duecento Church of Saints Simone and Giuda, whereas in Via Sant’Andrea you come across the Church of Sant’Andrea (12C) and the late Trecento Casa Gentili (later, Caselli), a typical example of a Lucca merchant’s house. In Piazza del Salvatore (B2), adorned with a Neoclassical fountain by Lorenzo Nottolini, rise the mediaeval Torre del Veglio and the Church del Salvatore (or, della Misericordia). Facing Piazza San Michele* (C2), a lively and typical centre of city life, are the Palazzo del Podestà (or, Pretorio; 1492, enlarged in the 16C), and the Church of San Michele in Foro*, a typical example of Lucca-Pisan architecture. The façade presents four superimposed galleries of richly decorated blind arcading, crowned with a colossal Romanesque statue of the Archangel Michael; the right flank is also incredibly beautiful, with powerful arches and a small Trecento loggia at the end of which rises the bell-tower. Inside, an enamelled terracotta by Andrea della Robbia and a panel by Fi-lippino Lippi. The only example of Renaissance architecture to be seen in Lucca is the Church of San Paolino (C2), constructed in 1522 on the site of a large Roman building. Palazzo Mansi* (B2), a Seicento mansion, houses the National Art Gallery. It still preserves some of its original furnishings: remarkable are the Music Room and the sumptuous Sala dell’Alcova*. The paint-
ings in the National Art Gallery span the period from the Renaissance to the first half of the Settecento. The museum aims at re-establishing the collection donated to the city by Leopold II. San Romano (C2) is a Dominican church rebuilt in the 13C on the remains of an old oratory. A magnificent example of early Romanesque architecture is the Church of Sant’Alessandro (11C-12C; C2), with a plain marble façade and, inside, columns with capitals harking back to the 3C-4C. From San Giusto (C2), a Romanesque building of the 12C, along the delightful Via del Battistero, you come to Via Fillungo* (BC3), the main axis of the old centre, lined with ancient houses and towers, and faced by Palazzo Cenami (early 16C), the GothicPisan Church of San Cristoforo (C3), the Duecento Casa Barletti Baroni and the Torre
delle Ore with a mechanical clock (1471). Along the charming, winding Via C. Battisti, (B2-3) flanked by fine 17C-18C palaces, among which the Palazzo Controni-Pfanner, you reach the Church of San Frediano* (B3). Built in 1112-47 and modified in the 13C, it has a sober and princely façade, with a trabeated loggia surmounted by a Byzantine-style mosaic. In the interior is a Romanesque holy-water stoup*, a cosmatesque marble pavement and the Cappella dei Trenta with reliefs* by Jacopo della Quercia. Next to the church are the remains of the Cemetery of Santa Caterina. Tangential to Via Fillungo, in the area of the Roman amphitheatre, the Piazza Anfiteatro* (B3) was opened in 1830: a series of mediaeval buildings superimpose the theatre and enclose the square in a ring,
del Suffragio are the Seicento Church of Suffragio and the Oratory of Santa Giulia (13C-14C). The 16C walls*, used as a walkway, rank amongst the most significant Tuscan military works. In the environs, among the many villas constructed after the Renaissance, mention should be made of the former Villa Reale* (now Pecci-Blunt) with a magnificent park, the late Cinquecento Villa Mansi and the Seicento Villa Torrigiani. Also worth visiting are the Romanesque Parish Church of Bràncoli* and Borgo a Mozzano with the Parish Church of San Jacopo and the Oratory of the Crocifisso.
(Arezzo) This centre with an unusual elliptical urban plan is built on a rise in Valdichiana (q.v.). In the core is the Collegiate Chapter of San Michele. The Civic Museum displays works of the Trecento and Quattrocento Sienese school, a Madonna by Luca Signorelli, a gilded copper (begun in 1350 and completed in 1471) known as the Albero d’Oro*, the symbol of the town. To the right of the Town Hall is the 13C Church of San Francesco with a Gothic portal. Outside the San Giusto Gate stands a Cinquecento Medicean fortress and the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Querce, perhaps designed by Vasari, with a fine interior by Giuliano da Sangallo.
creating a fascinating architectural cadre. The National Museum is housed in the 15C Villa Guinigi* (B4-5). On display are works fashioned for the city by local and foreign artists, recapitulating the art history of Lucca over the ages. It includes an archaeological section and works spanning the period from the Middle Ages to the first half of the 18C. In Via del Fosso (A-C4), which owes its name to the moat which once encircled the 13C walls, rises Villa Buonvisi with a lovely garden and the Botanical Garden (1820). Santa Maria Forisportam (13C) is a Pisan-Romanesque church which overlooks the square of the same name with a Roman column in granite, the goal for the Palio races. In the central stretch of Via Santa Croce (C3-4), among mediaeval dwellings and fine mansions, stands Palazzo Bernardini. On Piazza
(Massa-Carrara) At the far end of Tuscany, wedged between Liguria and Emilia, its name derives from the ancient town of Luni, today an archaeological site. The basin of the River Magra runs through it, creating a link and passage between the Po Valley and Central Italy. It is dotted with castles (160 of them have been counted), fortified hamlets and hospices for wayfarers. The grey hue of sandstone predominates here, and the agricultural terracing exploits even the steepest slopes, creating a landscape not to be found elsewhere in the Tuscan hills. The local language and traditional heritage seclude it from the rest of the region: a varied land with a strong identity. Part of it lies in Liguria stretching as far as Sarzana; the most important Tuscan centres are Pontrèmoli, Fosdinovo and Fivizzano (q.v.).
MAGLIANO IN TOSCANA
(Grosseto) Situated on the site of the Etruscan settlement of “Heba”, and later a Roman town, it shields within its walls vestiges of the 15C and memories of the Aldobrandeschis di Santa Flora. The sights in-
clude: the Church of San Giovanni Battista, the Romanesque-Gothic Church of San Martino and, along Corso Garibaldi, the Palazzo dei Priori and the Late Gothic Palazzo di Checco il Bello. The Quattrocento walls* still contain a stretch from the Aldobrandeschi age (13C). Nearby are the picturesque remains of the Church of San Bruzio, began in the early 11C.
(Livorno) This locality on the Isle of Elba (q.v.) is surrounded by chestnut trees and dominated by the Quattrocento ruins of the Appiani fortress. The Archaeological Museum contains prehistoric, Etruscan and Roman artefacts. A 40-minute walk along a path leads to the Sanctuary of Madonna del Monte with a hermitage where Napoleon once stayed. A cableway reaches the great granite mass of Mount Capanne. A 12C tower rises in the tourist harbour of Marciana Marina.
(Livorno and Grosseto) This region extends along the Tyrrhenian coast from the mouth of the River Cècina beyond Tarquinia. The coast is mostly flat land, interrupted by the Piombino Promontory, Punta Ala, the Mountains of Uccellina and Argentario, and by the Colline Metallifere (Metalliferous Hills). With the stagnation of the rivers, caused by the ‘tòmboli’ (connecting coastal sand-bars), the region became a marshland, which led to depopulation; thus, after the flourishing prosperity of the Etruscan and Roman age, the area acquired military rather than economic importance, as is testified by the 16C fortresses built by the Spaniards in the new Garrison State. At the beginning of the last century, drainage and the defeat of malaria brought fresh economic vigour to the territory, whose main source of income today is in the tourist industry. The Tuscan part is divided between the Pisan Maremma north of Piombino (which is itself in the province of Livorno) and the more extensive Maremma of Grosseto. See also: Ansedonia, Campiglia Marittima, Castiglione della Pescaia, Cècina, Follònica, Grosseto, Larderello, Magliano in Toscana, Massa Marittima, Monte Argentario, Orbetello, Piombino, Populonia, Talamone and Vetulonia.
MARINA DI CAMPO
(Livorno) This lively seaside resort on a promontory of the Golfo di Campo, on the southern shore of the Isle of Elba (q.v.)
is overlooked by the Medicean Marine Tower. Nearby are the beaches of Càvoli, Fetovaia and Lacona, the hamlet of Pomonte among the ravines of Mount Capanne, and San Piero in Campo, a village of ancient Roman origin, with the Romanesque Church of San Nicolò.
MARINA DI PIETRASANTA
(Lucca) This is a vivacious little town in Versilia (q.v.) backed by the ridge of the Apuan Alps. Along the beach between Forte dei Marmi and Lido di Camaiore (q.v.) are the seaside resorts of Fiumetto, Tònfano, Motrone and Focette.
Capital of the Malaspina dominion – then Cybo Malaspina – from 1442 to 1741, it was later united to the Duchy of Modena. In 1806 Massa and Carrara are annexed to the Principality of Lucca and in 1859 united to the Kingdom of Sardinia. The core is mediaeval with the Malaspina Fortress and 16C buildings. The modern part of the town extends along the coast. The centre of the old town is Piazza degli Aranci (A-B2) with the fine façade of Palazzo Cybo Malaspina (16C-17C) and a courtyard surrounded by arcades. The Duomo (A2), begun in 1389 and repeatedly remodelled, has a 1936 façade in Carrara marble. The interior houses the burial-ground of the Cybo Malaspina Family and of the Bishops, a fresco by Pinturicchio, a triptych attributed to Filippo Lippi and 6 bronze candelabras by Pietro Tacca. The Diocesan Museum is now housed in the former Bishop’s Palace. The Fortress* (B-C3) rises on the high hill, with a mediaeval nucleus and a Renaissance palace. Inside, the Castle Museum contains archaeological finds. The Ethnological Museum of the Apuan (A1, off-map) is one of the most exhaustive in this field and contains testimonials of rural life. In the vicinity are the spa of San Carlo Terme, Pasquilio in the meadows beneath Mount Càrchio, Antona with a fine Parish Church and, in the Nature Park of the Apuan Alps, Pian della Fioba with the ‘Pietro Pellegrini’ Botanical Garden.
(Grosseto) The ‘old town’, which nestles around the Cathedral has an intensely mediaeval atmosphere, and is of great artistic importance. The ‘new town’ is an extension planned in 1228. The city, which rises a few kilometres from the sea, was named
after ‘Maritima Regio’, as the coastal area was known from the 9C onwards. Until the 14C, silver and copper were mined; then economic decline set in, on account of malaria, which was only defeated after land reclamation. Paradoxically, this scourge helped to preserve the charming urban layout. The monumental core of the ‘old town’ is Piazza Garibaldi* (B-C1), enclosed by large flagstone steps leading up to the Cathedral. To the left, beyond the Bishop’s Palace, is the 13C Fonte dell’Abbondanza (C1-2). Also facing the square are the Palazzo Pretorio, the Duecento Casa dei Conti di Biserno, the Biserno Tower and the Palazzo
Comunale*, a Romanesque Town Hall of the 13C-14C. In front, rebuilt in the 19C, are the Logge del Comune. Behind rises the mediaeval Palazzetto della Zecca (the Mint). The Duomo* (C1), begun in the 11C and enlarged from 1287 to 1304, is a masterpiece of Pisan Romanesque-Gothic architecture. The bell-tower was rebuilt around 1920. The well-lit interior contains, among other things, a baptismal font (1267), the Madonna delle Grazie attributed to Duccio di Buoninsegna and the sarcophagus (arca) of San Cerbone* to whom the Cathedral is dedicated, a masterpiece of the Sienese artist Goro di Gregorio. Facing the Duomo is the Palazzo Pretorio
(B-C1), in which the Podesta resided, now seat of the Civic Museums: the Archaeological Museum, with Neolithic and Etruscan finds, and the Pinacoteca with works by Sano di Pietro, Sassetta, Ambrogio Lorenzetti and Sebastiano Folli. Underlying the ‘old town’ is a labyrinth of tunnels, used as a refuge during the Second World War and now housing the Mining Museum which documents excavation and exploitation techniques. Beyond the Silici Gate stretches the ‘new town’ with Piazza Matteotti* (B2), in the centre of which rises the Candeliere Tower (or, dell’Orologio). The piazza is lined with ancient houses and the curtains of the mighty Sienese Fortress. The Renaissance Palazzo delle Armi contains the History and Art of Mining Museum, with a collection of minerals, equipment and cartography which includes the famous Massetano Minerary Codex. In Piazza Beccucci is the Permanent Exhibition of Peasant Culture and in nearby Via Populonia an 18C oil-press. Sant’Agostino (B2) is a Gothic church with a superb portal on its bare façade and a polygonal apse (1348). In the vicinity lies the interesting Archaeological Park of Lake dell’Accesa.
(Pistoia) A thermal locality of Valdinièvole, and birth-place of Giuseppe Giusti, it grew during the 17C around the Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Fontenuova. In the adjoining Museum is an ivory Crucifix attributed to Giambologna. The Casa Giusti Museum has been set up in the house where the poet was born in 1809. From the spa, whose courtyard contains a small geological museum, you reach Grotta Giusti, divided into sectors known as Paradise, Purgatory and Hell, saturated with hot steam. The Parlanti Grotto is an artificial cave containing the baths. In the environs is Monsummano Alto, a small mediaeval hamlet surrounded by walls with the Romanesque Parish Church of San Nicolao (12C).
(Siena) The town rises on a hill clad in olive-groves and the vineyards which yield the renowned Brunello wine, between the Ombrone and Asso Valleys. In 1555, when Siena surrendered to the Imperial troops, 650 families took refuge in the Montalcino fortress (built in 1361), where they resist-
ed until 1559. Built in the 13C-14C, in true Sienese style, the Palazzo Comunale has a large portico with a Cinquecento statue of Cosimo I de’ Medici, and a high tower. Facing it is a 14C-15C loggia. Behind the Town Hall is the Church of Sant’Egidio, an unadorned building with a Romanesque-Gothic layout. In the ex-convent next to the Church of Sant’Agostino (14C) is the Civic and Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art, with a collection of important works by Sienese masters from 14C-15C. The pharmacy of the Hospital of Santa Maria is decorated with frescoes by Vincenzo Tamagni. The mighty pentagonal mass of the Rocca* overhangs the town; inside is a wine shop specialising in local wines.
(Grosseto) This promontory, perhaps once an island, is connected to the coast by ‘tòmboli’, sand bars which enclose the Orbetello lagoon. Its name perhaps derives from the money-lending activities of the Roman Domizi Family who owned it. From 1555, it was part of the Spanish Garrison State, and from 1815 annexed to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Porto Santo Stefano, formerly a fishing village, and today a famous seaside resort, contains a Spanish Fortress from which the ferryboats leave for the Isle of Giglio. Another fishing village was Porto Ercole, dominated by a Rocca and three Spanish forts. On this beach Caravaggio was killed when fleeing from the cut-throats of the Knights of Malta. In the neighbourhood there is a pleasant walk on Monte Telegrafo, the highest peak of the promontory, with a superb view* of the Tuscan Archipelago and the Maremma (q.v.).
(Pistoia) The birth of this town in Valdinièvole may be ascribed to an initiative of Peter Leopold I (1765-90) to modernise the 15C mineral water facilities. Today it is one of the best-equipped and most elegant ‘villes d’eaux’ in Europe. In the centre of the town is the great Park of the Terme* with the thermal baths: the Tettuccio (1927), the Art Nouveau Excelsior (1915) with modern additions, and the Terme Leopoldine (1775) renewed in 1927. The Dino Scalabrino Academy houses the Museum of Contemporary Art, with works by Italian and foreign artists dating from the late 19C to the present day. Beyond the Park of the Terme stretches the Park of the Panteraie, with a fine panorama.
Nearby Montecatini Alto is reached by cable car or along a scenic road which passes near the Maona Grotto. It contains the ruins of a mediaeval Rocca, the Provostry with a museum and, in the small square, a Chapel with a Trecento fresco. In the vicinity are several pleasant holiday resorts among the woods: Marliana with a Castlegateway, vestiges of walls and the Church of San Niccolò; Panicàgliora; Sierra Pistoiese with the Romanesque Parish Church of San Leonardo and the ruins of a Castle; and also Femminamorta on a green and rolling upland plain.
MONTE OLIVETO MAGGIORE (ABBEY OF)
(Siena) This superb art monument rises on a solitary height clad in cypresses. In the background the ‘crete’ (sand and clay formations), the Ombrone Valley and Mount Amiata. Founded by the Sienese Bernardo Tolomei in 1313, the Abbey is now a complex of buildings constructed over the 14C18C, preceded by a small mediaeval palace (1393). An avenue leads to the Monastery, flanked by the Abbey Church with a Gothic bell-tower. Through an entrancehall you reach the great cloister, whose walls are adorned with one of the masterpieces of Renaissance art, the cycle of frescoes of the Life of St Benedict* by Luca Signorelli and Sodoma. Inside the church is a magnificent wooden choir* by Fra Giovanni da Verona (1503). The enclosure area consists of the middle cloister, the refectory, the small cloister, the library* with 40,000 volumes, the Definitorio (or Chapter-house), the old Pharmacy and an important restoration lab for ancient books and parchments.
(Siena) This town of outstanding Renaissance beauty overlooks Valdichiana (q.v.). Michelozzo, Antonio da Sangallo the Elder, Baldassarre Peruzzi and Vignola contributed to its fine architecture, and it was the birthplace of Agnolo Ambrogini, known as Politian (from the mediaeval name of the locality, ‘Mons Politianus’). After passing through the 19C Poggiofanti Garden, the old centre is entered through the Prato Gateway, part of the mid-14C ramparts, restored in the 16C. Via di Gracciano nel Corso* cuts straight through the Gracciano ward, and is lined with Cinquecento palaces: Palazzo Avignonesi, faced by a copy of the Marzocco Column (19C); Palazzo Tarugi; Palazzo Cocconi attributed to Antonio da Sangallo the Elder; Palazzo Bucelli followed by the Quattrocento
Church of Sant’Agostino, with Michelozzo’s façade, and inside a wooden Crucifix by Antonio da Sangallo the Elder and works by Giovanni di Paolo, Antonio del Pollaiolo and Lorenzo di Credi. Opposite is the Pulcinella Tower (1524), crowned with a metal-clad wooden automaton of Punchinella which strikes the hours. Further on, past Palazzo Venturi and the Cavina Archway, you come to Piazza delle Erbe. In front of the arches of the Loggia del Grano (late Cinquecento and attributed to Vignola) begins the second stretch of the main street: Via di Voltaia nel Corso, also flanked by Cinquecento palaces: Palazzo Cervini*, Palazzo Bruschi with the Poliziano Café (19C), Palazzo Gagnoni Grugni, followed by the 17C Jesuits’ College and the baroque Church of Gesù. The last part of the main street is Via dell’Opio nel Corso, which continues as Via del Poliziano with the poet’s birthplace. In Via del Teatro stands the 18C Poliziano Theatre, modified in 1881. Piazza Grande* is the monumental town centre, overlooked by Palazzo Nobili-Tarugi, attributed to Antonio da Sangallo the Elder and flanked by the Pozzo de’ Grifi e de’ Leoni (a 16C well), the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo and the Renaissance Palazzo Contucci. The Palazzo Comunale* (Town Hall) was built between the 14C15C, with a façade by Michelozzo, and is reminiscent of the Palazzo della Signoria in Florence. The Duomo* is a huge Renaissance building with an unfinished façade and a Quattrocento bell-tower. In the soaring interior, a statue of Bartolomeo Aragazzi by Michelozzo, Taddeo di Bartolo’s Triptych of the Assumption and a Madonna and Child by Sano di Pietro. In Via Ricci, housed in the Gothic Palazzo Neri-Orselli is the Crociani Civic Museum and Gallery, with works by Margaritone d’Arezzo, Bicci di Lorenzo, the Master of Badia a Isola, Andrea della Robbia and many others. Beyond Via del Poggiolo, lined like Via Ricci with mediaeval and Renaissance buildings, you come to the Church of Santa Lucia, a construction which combines the Mannerist and earlybaroque styles, with a Madonna della Misericordia by Luca Signorelli inside. In the immediate vicinity, other sights are the Church of San Biagio*, a Renaissance masterpiece by Antonio da Sangallo the Elder, the Church of Santa Maria dei Servi (14C) with a Madonna* attributed to Duccio di Buoninsegna, and the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, with an elegant Mannerist façade and inside, a rare Renaissance organ and a terracotta by Andrea della Robbia.
(Siena) This village in the gentle setting of the Sienese hills is a rare example of mediaeval military architecture, virtually the same as when Dante saw it, and wrote of “Monte Reggion with towers crowned”. The walls*, built from 1212-19 and 1260-70, are fortified with 14 square towers. The Parish Church of San Giovanni Battista testifies the passage from the Romanesque to the Gothic style. In the environs is Abbadia Isola, a hamlet which sprang up around the 11C Abbey of San Salvatore.
MONTE SAN SAVINO
(Arezzo) The olive-clad hill on which it rises overlooks the Esse Valley. The village is imbued with mediaeval and Renaissance charm. Andrea Contucci, known as Sansovino, was born here. Attributed to him is the Loggia dei Mercanti*, facing the Palazzo Comunale by Antonio da Sangallo the Elder. The 14C Church of St Agostino, with a Gothic portal and a fine cloister, was enlarged in the Cinquecento, perhaps by Sansovino, and yet again in the 18C. In Piazza Jalta is a Castle Keep (1383) and the small Seicento Church of Santa Chiara. In the environs rises the Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Vertighe, founded in the 12C; inside is a chapel dedicated to the Madonna which, legend has it, was transported here from Asciano in 1100; the Convent houses a precious triptych by Margarito d’Arezzo. In the direction of Siena you come across the tiny castle hamlet of Gargonza, now a holiday location and conference centre, which gave hospitality to Dante at the beginning of his exile.
(Arezzo) This town in the Upper Valdarno is an important food and wine market, and also an industrial textile centre. It is dotted with intriguing houses and buildings of the Art Nouveau and Deco genres. The Sacred Art Museum, next to the Collegiate Chapter of San Lorenzo, contains 14C-15C works and a della Robbia collection which includes a templet. The Palaeontological Museum, in the former Convent of San Ludovico, which also houses the Valdarnese del Poggio Academy, contains Pliocene fossils. In the environs rises Cennina*, an interesting village with Quattrocento houses and the remains of a castle keep (‘Cassero’).
(Florence) Mugello is the region where Cimabue made his famous encounter with the young Giotto; Fra Angelico was born in
41 Vicchio and, near Dicomano on the banks of the Sieve, is a hamlet today known as Castagno di Andrea, which was the birthplace of Andrea del Castagno. Along the road from Florence to the Futa Pass, two of Michelozzo’s most fascinating works may be admired, commissioned by Cosimo de’ Medici: the Castle of Trebbio and the Medicean Villa di Cafaggiolo which was to become one of Lorenzo the Magnificent’s favourite residences. Mugello is a verdant hollow set among hills and mountains. The River Sieve flows here and the valley floor is densely cultivated with vines and fruit trees in a very varied landscape of dales and streams. During the Middle Ages it was a strategic passage to Romagna. In early mediaeval times it was under the sway of the powerful Ubaldini Family, who built here many castles of which few traces remain, as well as parish churches and abbeys which have better stood the test of time. When it was conquered by Florence, the so-called ‘terre murate’ (walled towns) were built here: Firenzuola, Vicchio, Scarperìa – to safeguard trade with the Po Valley. Nearby arose commercial centres such as San Piero a Sieve and Borgo San Lorenzo (q.v.) like San Piero a Sieve and Borgo San Lorenzo (q.v.). To the south-east lies the sizeable Pratomagno area (q.v.), with its age-old woods and the famous abbey of Vallombrosa (q.v.).
(Grosseto) Between the Maremma coast and Mount Argentario, two ‘tomboli’ (low-lying sand-bars) contain the Lagoon of Orbetello. The town, of very ancient origin, was in turn under the sway of the Byzantines, the Longobards, the Aldobrandeschi and Orsini families, and the Sienese. It was Spanish rule, however, with the creation of the Garrison State (16C) of which it was the capital, that characterised its architecture: for example, the mighty ramparts around the old centre, with imposing gateways (Porta a Terra, Porta Medina Coeli, Porta del Soccorso) and the Guzman powder-magazine. The Duomo (1376, remodelled in the 17C) presents a charming Gothic façade, and houses a pre-Romanesque altar-facing. The former Ursuline Convent now contains the Civic Library. On display here is the Pediment of the Temple of Talamone*, an Etruscan work from the Hellenistic period.
(Pistoia) This mediaeval town, whose wards are called ‘quinti’, is the administrative centre of Valdinièvole (q.v.) and is known
today for its flower culture and nurseries. The Duomo, remodelled in 1693, has a fine bell-tower (1306). The Capitular Library contains 15C-16C sculptures and works of art. In the Church of San Francesco, of Gothic origin, are a chapel attributed to Andrea Cavalcanti and frescoes probably by Bicci di Lorenzo. Also in the nearby Trecento Church of Sant’Antonio Abate are frescoes thought to be works by Bicci di Lorenzo, and a wooden group (13C). Civic life centres on the typical Piazza Mazzini, overlooked by the Oratory of the Madonna di Piè di Piazza, in the manner of Brunelleschi, and the Palazzo del Vicario (13C-14C). The Civic Museum houses works of the Tuscan school (14C-16C), while the Duecento Palazzo del Podestà contains a gallery with plaster casts by the sculptor Libero Andreotti. The history of the region is on display in the Civic Museum of Natural Sciences and Archaeology of the Valdinièvole. In the neighbourhood, worthy of note are the hamlet of Uzzano, the Parish Church of Castelvecchio (11C-12C – restored in the 19C), Montecarlo, where the fine wine of the same name is produced, and Altopascio with an admirable old centre, which grew around a Hospital of Charity and its related knightly order.
(Siena) Perched on a secluded hilltop stands this town, designed as an ideal Renaissance city. The humanist Pope Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (Pius II) commissioned Bernardo Rossellino to redesign his native village, then named Corsignano. The deaths of the Pope and the architect, in 1464, left the work unfinished. On the highest reaches of the hill is the true gem of the project, Piazza Pio II*, on a trapezoidal plan, inspired by the architectural principles of Leon Battista Alberti. It is surrounded by the Bishop’s Palace (formerly, Borgia), the Palazzo Pubblico, the Ammannati Palace and the Cathedral*, whose interior recalls the Germanic Hallenkirchen. It contains a wooden choir* (1462), and works by Vecchietta, Sano di Pietro, Matteo di Giovanni and a baptismal font* by Rossellino. To the right of the Cathedral, preceded by a well, rises the imposing Palazzo Piccolomini*, also designed by Rossellino (restored in the 1930s), whose pure Renaissance form is reminiscent of Palazzo Rucellai in Florence. Its elegant inner court leads to a hanging garden* overlooked by the famous loggia*. The Diocesan Museum* contains furnishings, gold-work, vestments (cope of Pius II*) and paintings of the Sienese school. The main
axis of the town is Corso Rossellino, faced by the Gothic Church of San Francesco and Palazzo Jouffroy also commissioned, like the Borgia, Ammannati and Gonzaga buildings, by Pius II. The Museum of the City and the Territory, housed in what was the San Carlo Borromeo Conservatoire, contains Neolithic ceramics and the important Landi Newton Etruscan Collection. Nearby is the Parish Church of San Vito (11C-12C). Other sights in the vicinity are the Olivetan Monastery of Sant’Anna in Camprena, with frescoes* by Sodoma; the earlyChristian Parish Church of Santo Stefano in Cennano, at Castelmuzio, while a small Sacred Art Museum has been set up in the Oratory of the Confraternity of the Santissima Trinità e San Bernardino. Monticchiello is a mediaeval hamlet known for the annual Teatro Povero festival.
(Lucca) This town in Versilia (q.v.) on the Via Francigena was founded in 1255. Its prosperity today depends on the activity of the marble sculptors and craftsmen, and on the casting houses which supply sculptures to art galleries throughout the world. The Duomo* was begun in the mid-13C and enlarged in 1330. The façade contains three portals with reliefs of the Pisan school and a rose-window by Lorenzo Riccomanni (15C). The bell-tower (15C-16C) is unfinished; the nearby Baptistry was restored in the 18C. The Archaeological Museum of Versilia documents (restoration and temporarily housed at Via Marconi 5) the prehistoric, Etruscan, Ligurian and Roman civilisations. The Model Museum contains casts by contemporary sculptors. The Church of Sant’Agostino (14C) houses the Altar dell’Annunziata attributed to Stagio Stagi. In the environs, past the Parish Church of Saints Giovanni and Felicita (13C-14C), Valdicastello Carducci is the house in which the poet Giosuè Carducci was born (1835-1907).
(Livorno) This important port and metallurgical centre rises on the tip of the promontory of the same name. In the centre of the old core stands the Trecento Parish Church of Sant’Antimo, flanked by a fine Renaissance cloister. At the end of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, overlooked by the Palazzo Comunale restored in Quattrocento manner, is Piazza Verdi, dominated by a 15C ravelin connected to a large tower (1213). On the Piazza della Cittadella, fortified between 1465-70, is the Archaeological Museum of the Populonia Area* which
contains prehistoric artefacts, burial robes* from the Etruscan necropolis of Populonia and material from the Roman and lateRoman eras (the outstanding piece is the silver Baratti Amphora*). The Istituto di Biologia ed Ecologia Marina has an interesting Mediterranean Aquarium.
Ensconced on a bend of the River Arno, today Pisa lies about ten kilometres away from the sea, though it was the sea to which it owes its historical splendour and decline. A flourishing city already in Roman times, maritime activities were fostered during Gothic, Longobard and Carolingian times. In the 11C the fleet, allied with the Genoese, was already strong enough to dislodge the Arabs from Sardinia, and to back up the Normans in the seizure of Palermo. The golden age of the maritime republic was, however, the 12C, when it gave its support to the First Crusade, waged war against the Saracens in the Balearic Islands, and defeated Amalfi. From Barbarossa it receives the fief of Sardinia and possession of the Tyrrhenian coast from Portovenere to Civitavecchia. These are the years of great artistic splendour: next to the Cathedral rise the Baptistry and the famous Tower. However Ghibelline Pisa is starting to kindle the rivalry of other cities: Lucca, Florence and Genoa. After the victories over the Genoese (1241 and 1258) and over Florence at Montaperti (1260), Pisa will share the fate of other Ghibelline cities after the fall of the Swabians: it is vanquished by Lucca and Florence on land, and in the naval battle of Meloria (1284) the fleet is destroyed by the Genoese. In the 14C decline sets in, and the colonial empire founders too. Art, however, is still outstanding: the Cemetery is completed, the University is reborn and the Church of Santa Maria della Spina is built on the bank of the Arno. In 1406, Pisa falls definitely under Florentine sway; the port silts up, the area turns into marshland, the population drops to 8000 inhabitants. Better days are to follow with the Medicean Dukedom and Grand Duchy. The University is substantiated with the creation of the first European Botanical Garden, and Cosimo I founds the Order of the Knights of St Stephen, which restores maritime prestige to the city, accentuating more and more the Medicean Grand-Ducal appearance which still characterises it. The ancient centre of the republican town was transformed in Medicean times into Piazza dei Cavalieri* (B4) as the site for the Palace
of the Cavaliers* (or, Palazzo della Carovana). Vasari remodelled the mediaeval Palace of the Elders, seat of the Knights of St Stephen. Today it houses the Scuola Normale Superiore, founded by Napoleon in 1810 on the lines of the transalpine universities. In front stand a statue of Cosimo I and a fountain (1596). The square is completed with the Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri* and the Palazzo dell’Orologio, also a readaptation by Vasari of older buildings. In Borgo Stretto (C4), one of the main city streets, stands the Church of San Michele in Borgo* (C4-5), with a Romanesque-Gothic façade. In Via Corsica is the Romanesque Church of San Sisto (11C, B4). Via Santa Maria (B-C3) is possibly the most typical street, lined with 17C and 18C buildings, the Domus Galileiana, the House of Antonio Pacinotti, a 13C TowerHouse and, next to the Church of San Giorgio dei Tedeschi, the Quattrocento Foundlings’ Hospital. The entrance to the Botanical Gardens is in Via Ghini. Piazza del Duomo* (A3), known as Campo del Miracoli, harbours in its striking expanse of lawns the finest monuments of Pisan Romanesque art: the Campanile*, known as the Leaning Tower, one of the most beautiful and famous belltowers in the world. Began in 1173, the work was interrupted on account of the settling of the subsoil to which it owes its incline. Building was resumed in 1275 and reached completion in the 14C. From the top (54 m) Galileo made his experiments on the force of gravity. The Duomo*, begun in 1064 and finished in the 12C, contains one of the most outstanding masterpieces of Italian Gothic art: Giovanni Pisano’s marble pulpit*; the Baptistry* is a majestic Romanesque circular-plan building, which houses a superb pulpit* by Nicola Pisano; nearby is the Cemetery*. Work on the Cemetery began in 1277. It is a rectangular construction with blind arcading and a magnificent portico; from the 15C onwards tombstones were placed here, and also a number of Roman sarcophagi*. During the restoration work which followed the serious damage caused by the Second World War, significant sinopias came to light which are now in the Sinopia Museum* (A3) in rooms of the Spedale Nuovo or della Misericordia. The Opera del Duomo Museum* (A3-4) assembles antique materials and works of art from the Campo dei Miracoli, above all 11C-16C sculptures. In Piazza dell’Arcivescovado (A-B4) rises the Palazzo Arcivescovile, a 15C Florentine work. The Church of Santa Caterina* (B5) was built by the Dominicans from 1251 to the early 14C next to a brickwork bell-tower decorated with glazed ceramic bowls. The Church of San Francesco* (B-C5), begun in
43 1211 and completed in the first half of the 14C, has a fine façade (1603), and inside, frescoes by Taddeo Gaddi. Not far off is the small Romanesque Church of Santa Cecilia (C5) and the Church of San Paolo all’Orto. Another Romanesque Church is that of San Pierino (C5) which contains a 13C pavement-mosaic. The National Museum of San Matteo* (D56) is housed in the convent of the Benedictines of St Matthew. Among the most outstanding exhibits, are the priceless collections of Pisan sculpture, mediaeval Pisan and Islamic ceramics*, and works of the Tuscan school spanning the 12C-15C, including – to mention but two – a bust by Donatello* and a polyptych* by Simone Martini. Along the Medicean riverside street stand the Medici Palace (D5) and the Cinquecento Toscanelli Palace. From Lungarno Pacinotti (C3-4), faced by the Agostini Palace and the Upezzinghi Palace (known as ‘hand-to-mouth’ after the motto inscribed on the doorway), you can reach the Royal Palace (C3). It was begun for Cosimo I de’ Medici in 1559, and later enlarged. The Royal Palace National Museum contains works of art from the Medici, Lorena and Savoy collections. Behind the Royal Palace is the singular Church of San Nicola (13C, C3). The Ship Museum* (D2), in the ex-dockyards of the Knights of St Stephen on the Lungarno Simonelli, will display the relics from the ships and other material recovered from the ancient port of Pisa, which was uncovered from 1998 to 2000, proving to be one of the most important finds of late 20C Italian archaeology. The value of the discovery is not merely due to the preservation of the pieces, but also because of its formidiable importance in reconstructing Mediterranean traffic from 5C BC to 5C AD. On the opposite bank of the Arno stands a gem of Romanesque-Gothic art: the Church of Santa Maria della Spina* (D3) in whose well-lit interior are statues by Tommaso Pisano. Continuing along Lungarno Sonnino, you reach San Paolo a Ripa d’Arno* (D3), a fine Romanesque-Pisan building of the 11C12C. Inside, to the rear of the apse, is the Chapel of Sant’Agata*, a small octagonal 12C building. In the square bearing the same name, is the Church of Sant’Antonio (E4), to the left of which is the Domus Mazziniana with a specialised library of books on the Risorgimento. Corso Italia (DE4) is a bustling pedestrian walkway overlooked by the Churches of San Domenico and Santa Maria del Carmine. At the end of the street are the Seicento Logge di Banchi. On the Lungarno Galilei stands the curious
Church of San Sepolcro* (D5). From here, along Via San Martino you can reach the Sangallo Bastion (E5), which is all that remains of the so-called New Citadel built by the Florentines in 1468. Adjoining it is the large Scotto Garden, today a public park. In the environs, in the direction of Marina di Pisa, is the Church of San Piero a Grado*, a Romanesque basilica which contains a cycle of Trecento frescoes; nearby are the remains of an early-Christian basilica. San Giuliano Terme is a spa at the foot of Mount Pisano. Along the coastal strip between Viareggio and Livorno (q.v.) stretches the Natural Park of Migliarino, San Rossore, Massaciùccoli, established in 1979. Inside is the Estate of San Rossore*, formerly an imperial domain, passed later over to the church, the Medici family and then to the Houses of Lorraine and Savoy and now to the President of the Republic.
The Roman ‘Pistoria’ was in all probability an outpost connection with the Apennines and a junction between the north and the centre, later to become an important Longobard town on the border of Byzantine Italy. After establishing itself as a commune, it reached the height of its glory in the 13C when the Pistoian bankers lent money to French kings and princes. In 1306, it was defeated by the allied forces of Lucca and Florence, and in 1329 fell once and for all under Florentine sway. This marked the beginning of a slow but inexorable decline, only shaken, at the close of the 18C, by the wind of reform of the Jansenist Bishop, Scipione de’ Ricci. It was not until the mid-19C that development was to set in. Industry, farming and craftwork led to the expansion of the town beyond its Trecento walls. The historic and artistic centre of the town is Piazza del Duomo* (B4), which gathers together in a fascinating setting monuments of the religious, civic and judiciary powers. The Duomo* is a Romanesque building in the Pisan style constructed between the 12C-13C. In the mid-14C a marble portico was added; the interior houses the dossale of San Jacopo* (altar frontal), a monumental masterpiece of silversmith work, began in 1287 and completed in the 14C by Sienese, Florentine and Pistoiese craftsmen. Next to it rises the mighty bell-tower, one of the loveliest in Italy, with Pisan-style loggias and a Renaissance spire. The Baptistry* (1338-59) is a slender Gothic building on an octagonal plan. The Bishop’s Palace, an important medaeval building, houses the Capitulary Museum containing valuable vestments and church plates. The museum is
linked to the mysterious underground Archaeological Path which documents the rise of the city from the Roman era. In the Palazzo del Podestà, an austere Trecento building, enlarged in the mid-19C, is the “Magistrates’ Seat” (restored in 1507), with the table of justice and the dock for the accused. The Town Hall* is a majestic building (1294), enlarged in 1334-85, which houses the Civic Museum with works which span the 13C-20C. A sector is dedicated to the Puccini Collection, with ancient and Neoclassical paintings and 19C furnishings and objets d’art. The Basilica of the Madonna dell’Umiltà* (B3) is a fine testimonial of the Renaissance (1492-1522); inside is a lovely cupola by Vasari. The Church of San Francesco (B3, erected in the 14C; A3) but remodelled with baroque additions, contains important Trecento Pistoian frescoes. The Church of Sant’Andrea* (12C; A3) has a Romanesque façade and contains
a masterpiece of Gothic sculpture: a pulpit* by Giovanni Pisano, inspired by the one created by his father, Nicola, in Pisa. The Hospital del Ceppo* (13C or 14C; AB4), whose name derives from the treetrunk (ceppo) used to collect alms, has a Florentine portico on its façade with a magnificent polychromatic terracotta frieze* by Giovanni della Robbia and Santi Buglioni (1525-26). Other important sights include the Romanesque Church of San Bartolomeo in Pantano (B4-5) which contains a pulpit* by Guido da Como (1250); Palazzo Rospigliosi (B4) housing the Clemente Rospigliosi Museum and the Diocesan Museum; the Fortress of Santa Barbara (C5), an interesting example of 16C military architecture. A rare example of mediaeval architecture in sandstone rock is the Church of Sant’Antonio del Tau (B4), whose name stems from the Greek letter ‘tau’ in pale blue enamel which the fri-
47 ars used to wear on their cloaks. Inside is a rich and continuous fresco decoration* of the 14C-15C, the work of several artists. The Marino Marini Foundation is housed in the former hospital-convent of the Order of St Anthony, restored in 1987. One of the city’s largest churches is San Giovanni Fuorcivitas* (B4); building began in the Pisan style in the 12C, and was completed by Comacene masters in the 14C. In the interior, a pulpit* by Fra Guglielmo da Pisa, a polyptych* by Taddeo Gaddi and a glazed terracotta group* of the Della Robbia school.
(Grosseto) For centuries the countship of the Orsini Family, this mediaeval town also contains some Renaissance additions. Palazzo Orsini stands in the main square, reached by skirting the arches of the Cinquecento aqueduct. Of the 14C, it was
48 modified in the two centuries which followed. The Museum of the Palazzo Orsini, which contains vestments, church plates and works of art; the Civic Archaeological Museum in the same building exhibits funeral robes and articles from the Etruscan necropolises in the area. Beyond the baroque Duomo stretches the mediaeval ward* with the small Cinquecento Church of Santa Maria. On the overhanging tufaceous rocks rises the Settecento synagogue.
(Siena) This is the largest industrial and commercial centre of Valdelsa. The 14C Church of San Lorenzo was rebuilt after the last war, and houses a Trecento wooden Crucifix. Past the so-called Fonte delle Fate (fairy springs – 13C) we reach the Convent of San Lucchese with a 13C church, a sacristy and a refectory. Barberino Val d’Elsa is a mediaeval hamlet girded by walls. Castellina in Chianti is a Renaissance village around which are many farm-houses of the Grand-Ducal era. Staggia, a hamlet with the remains of Trecento fortifications, houses a small museum with sacred objects and paintings, including an Assumption of St Mary Magdalene by Antonio Pollaiolo.
(Pisa) An industrial town in the cultivated plain where the Era meets the Arno. From the factory of Piaggio (with a small Museum) came the first legendary Vespa motorscooters. Worth a visit is the Church of Saints Jacopo and Filippo, a 17C building with Romanesque vestiges.
(Massa-Carrara) Frederick II considered this main town of the Lunigiana (q.v.) to be the ‘gate and sole key’ of the passage from north to south (the climb up to the Cisa Pass starts from here). It is a commercial centre of marked mercenary spirit, with emphasis on the book-stall sector which sends many Pontrèmoli salesmen all over Italy: appropriately, it is in Pontrèmoli that the prestigious ‘Bancarella’ literary prize is awarded yearly. It boasts a fine heritage of buildings, including a baroque Cathedral with a Neoclassical façade; the Church of San Francesco with a Romanesque bell-tower and, inside, a work by Agostino di Duccio (15C); the Oratory of the Madonna del Ponte (or, Nostra Donna) is an unusual and significant example of Rococo architecture. Just outside the built-up area is the
remarkable Church of the Santissima Annunziata, whose interior contains a templet (16C) attributed to Sansovino. In the former Augustinian Convent which flanks it, are two Quattrocento cloisters. The striking Piagnaro Castle houses the Museum of Lunigiana Protostelae* with a collection of mysterious sandstone menhirs in human form and other archaeological finds. Other sights nearby include Villafranca in Lunigiana with the remains of the Malaspina Castle and the Lunigiana Ethnographic Museum. In Aulla stands the Cinquecento Brunella Fortress which houses the Lunigiana Natural History Museum.
(Arezzo) The village in the heart of the Casentino district (q.v.) rises on the top of a hill. Encircled by walls and towers. The 13C Conti Guidi Castle* contains the Civic Rilliana Library with over 800 incunabula; the chapel with frescoes by Taddeo Gaddi is worthy of note. In the porticoed Via Cavour is the Church of San Fedele (13C), whose bell-tower was adapted from one of the towers on the walls. Not far off, near Ponte a Poppi, stands the Romanesque Church of Certomondo, built to commemorate the Ghibelline victory of Montaperti (1262). Further on, in Piano di Campaldino, stands a column in remembrance of the battle of 1289 between Arezzo and Florence, in whose ranks Dante served.
(Livorno) This fascinating town in Maremma was originally a port and an important metallurgic and commercial hub in Nothern Etruria. The mediaeval core is dominated by the Fortress, under which spreads the ancient walled acropolis. In the town is the Gasparri Archaeological Museum which exhibits Etruscan finds. The necropolises and the industrial facilities of Etruscan Populonia, opening onto the Baratti Gulf, can be found in the Populonia and Baratti Archaeological Park*. This is organised around three special paths: the necropolises of St Cerbone and Casone, the Iron way, and the Quarry* way. Also in the area, it is definitely worth seeing the Rimigliano and St Vincent Coastal Park, a seaside resort with a 14C tower.
(Livorno) This bathing resort of the Isle of Elba (q.v.) is dominated by the star-shaped Fortress, today a prison, commissioned by Philip II as the Spanish response to the
Medicean fortification of Portoferraio. Along the road to Rio nell’Elba is the Sanctuary of the Madonna of Monserrato. The Palazzo Comunale of Rio Marina houses the Museum of the Mining Park. Capoliveri, on a terraced mound, offers a beautiful panorama.
(Livorno) Today the administrative centre of the Isle of Elba (q.v.), already known in Roman times, it was transformed by Cosimo I de’ Medici into a fortified town, named ‘Cosmopolis’ (Cosimo’s Town, but also Town of Harmony). It is overlooked by the 16C Falcon Fortress, from which you reach the House of Napoleon, where he resided during his exile (1814-15). In a drawingroom in the building is a 17C theatre, where Paolina Bonaparte once performed. Other strongholds are the Stella Fort and the De Laugier Fort, which houses the Pinacoteca Foresiana with paintings from the 16C-19C. The Church of the Misericordia contains Napoleonic relics. The Civic Archaeological Museum in the Linguella Fortress houses Etruscan finds and marine relicts. Next to it is the Linguella Roman Villa. Nearby is Napoleon’s Villa, the emperor’s summer residence. At Procchio rises a 12C tower called Medicean or Saracen. In the direction of Volterraio, in which stands a Pisan Fortress built on an Etruscan necropolis, is the San Giovanni Spa, while at Le Grotte are the remains of a Roman villa of the Imperial age.
Not many kilometres from Florence stands a city of rare industriousness, in which over the centuries art and economy have formed a unique combination. Since 1992, it has had the status of capital of the province. Heir to a recently discovered Etruscan centre, development begins in Longobard times, around the Cornio ward and the Parish Church of Santo Stefano (now the Cathedral). In the adjoining locality of Prato, the Albertis, feudal lords of the territory, build their manor-house, on which Frederick II raises the castle. The settlement which grows up around it in due course incorporates the nearby ward. Established as a free commune in the 12C, it ends up under Florentine sway in the mid-14C. An important city during the Middle Ages for trade, especially of cloth, it suffers a period of decline due to the loss of its independence; recovery sets in at the end of the 18C, again prevalently in the textile sector, which is still in strong expansion today.
The Duomo* (B2) was remodelled in the 12C-13C in Romanesque form over the original Parish Church (10C). The façade in courses of green and white marble contains a glazed lunette by Andrea della Robbia and, on the right-hand corner, rises the graceful Pulpit of the Holy Belt* by Michelozzo and Donatello. Again to the right is the Gothic bell-tower (12C-14C). The interior contains works by Michelozzo, Mino da Fièsole, the important frescoes* by Filippo Lippi (apse), Agnolo Gaddi (Sacro Cingolo Chapel) and Paolo Uccello, besides a Trecento statue* attributed to Giovanni Pisano. The Opera del Duomo Museum* (B2) is housed in the Bishop’s Palace (12C-17C) and includes delicate reliefs like the Dance of the Putti* by Donatello, paintings, jewellery and ecclesiastical paraments. From here there is access to the Gothic vaults of the Cathedral, with frescoes (14C-15C). In Via Garibaldi (B2-3), in front of the Buonconti Towers, stands the Quattrocento Oratory of the Madonna del Buonconsiglio (B3). The street opens onto the spacious Piazza Mercatale (B-C3), traditional location for the market with, nearby, the Mercatale Gate (B3) and the Church of San Bartolomeo (C3). The Piazza del Comune (B2), heart of the old centre, is overlooked by the Palazzo Comunale with the Municipal Picture Gallery and the Textile Museum which has precious fabrics from the 15C to today (there is a plan to move these fabrics to an ex-factory of the 19C in Via Santa Chiara). In the mediaeval Pretorio Palace, seat of the important Civic Museum* which is being reorganised. Some of the works from here and some from the Opera del Duomo Museum are temporarily on display in the Museum of Mural Painting* near San Domenico (B2) (a Gothic complex renovated in the baroque era): the masterpieces of Tuscan art are the paintings of Paolo Uccello, Agnolo Gaddi, Bernardo Daddi, Giovanni da Milano, Lorenzo Monaco, Filippo and Filippino Lippi and Luca Signorelli. A true gem of Renaissance architecture is the Church of Santa Maria delle Carceri* by Giuliano da Sangallo. The interior reveals the influence of Brunelleschi, and houses a glazed terracotta decoration by Andrea della Robbia. The Imperial Castle* (C2-3), (or, Fortress of Santa Barbara) was built by Frederick II on the lines of the Swabian, Sicilian and Apulian castles, with cyclopic crenellated walls and projecting towers. In the neighbouring Piazza San Marco (C3) is a Henry Moore sculpture. The 13C Church of San Francesco (C2), crowned by a Renaissance drum, has a Quattrocento cloister leading
into the chapter-house frescoed by Nicolò di Pietro Gerini (1395 c.). Palazzo Datini (B2) is an intriguing example of a pre-Renaissance residence, and houses the State Archives. The Palazzo Alberti Museum (closed) is in Palazzo Alberti (B2). The large complex of the 18C Cicognini boarding-school (C1-2) comprises the Church of the Spirito Santo (C2). The Church of Sant’Agostino (A2), begun in the 13C and later remodelled (14C-15C), houses works spanning the 15C-17C. In the suburbs is the ‘Luigi Pecci’ Museum of Contemporary Art (D5 off-map), in a large complex conceived as a point of reference and reflection on the art of the last decade. In the environs, at Poggio a Caiano, is a
Medicean Villa* commissioned by Lorenzo the Magnificent and designed by Giuliano da Sangallo. The central hall is decorated with Cinquecento frescoes celebrating the triumphs of the Medici Family; the mansion is surrounded by a vast 19C park. At Comeana is the Etruscan tomb of Montefortini* and not far distant, the Medicean Villa Ferdinanda* built by Buontalenti, which houses the Civic Archaeological Museum. Inside are finds from necropolises including an incense burner* with an inscription using the Etruscan alphabet. In the mediaeval hamlet of Artimino is the Romanesque Parish Church of San Leonardo*, which contains 14C-15C wooden statues.
(Siena) This typical town lies at the foot of a fortress built by Pope Adrian IV. It was the lair from which Ghino di Tacco set out on his exploits, as Boccaccio narrates in the “Decameron”. In the town centre stands the Romanesque Church of San Pietro, containing Della Robbia terracottas, and restored after the war. Facing it is the Quattrocento Church of Sant’Agata. Near the built-up area is Palazzo La Posta, a Medicean villa in the Mannerist style where Chateaubriand, Montaigne and Dickens stayed. The original 13C Fortress was rebuilt in 1565 and in 1929: the keep and stretches of the walls still stand. There is a sweeping 360° panorama. In the vicinity you can find the Bagni San Filippo Spa, the old thermal baths of San Casciano dei Bagni, a village girded by walls with a Renaissance Palazzo Comunale and the Cinquecento Church of the Santissima Concezione which houses a painting by Pomarancio.
SAN CASCIANO IN VAL DI PESA
(Florence) One of the most important centres in Chianti territory (q.v.) for vine growing and wine production. The Church of Santa Maria del Prato houses the Museum della Misericordia with important art treasures, including a pulpit* by Giovanni di Balduccio and a Crucifix* on panel by Simone Martini. The Sacred Art Museum contains Florentine works of the 13C-14C, among which a Madonna and Child* by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. In the environs, the Romanesque Parish Church of Sant’Andrea a Luiano (12C); the Parish Church of Santo Stefano a Càmpoli, chronicled in 903 and restored in the 17C, and the Parish Church of San Giovanni in Sugana, in late Romanesque style, remodelled in the 16C, and with a Cinquecento cloister.
(Arezzo and Florence) The mass of Pratomagno stands out from Loro Ciuffenna with its rounded silhouette clad in meadows and woodlands. On the Casentino side (q.v.) stretch great chestnut groves, and on that of Valdarno (q.v.) olives and vineyards. The highest point is the Croce di Pratomagno (1591 m).
(Grosseto) This elegant seaside resort is immersed in the Mediterranean maquis, which closes the Gulf of Follonica on the left-hand side.
SAN GALGANO (ABBEY, OF)
(Siena) Mantled in the silence of the Sienese countryside, and mostly in ruins, stands the abbey founded in honour of St Galganus. Its peak of splendour was in the 13C; two hundred years later began its decline until inexorable ruin set in during the 16C. The Abbey Church* is an immense Gothic construction, renewed in the 16C. The towering interior, now roofless, is particularly impressive. Of the adjoining monastery, only the chapter-house, the Monks’ hall and the refectory still stand. On the nearby Poggio di Monte Siepi rises the small Romanesque Church of San Galgano all’Eremo di Monte Siepi*. Beneath the vaulted ceiling is the stone into which
52 Galgano Guidotti is said to have plunged his sword (visible) to signify his renunciation of worldly life. The chapel contains frescoes* by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.
(Siena) Soaring on a hilltop overlooking Valdelsa, in a territory most certainly inhabited in Etruscan times, the town is an outstanding testimonial to mediaeval Tuscan urban planning. It was already an important market centre in the 10C, at the crossroads of important routes. In the 13C it boasted nine ‘hospitatores’ for foreign merchants, and the 72 towers were a clear expression of the city’s prosperity. Then the new layout of the Via Francigena, and the ensuing development of Poggibonsi and Colle, gradually brought about economic decline, a circumstance which has certainly favoured the perfect preservation of a typical Tuscan mediaeval commune. Still encircled by its mediaeval walls*, the town is entered through the 13C San Giovanni Gateway (C2) with a characteristic Sienese segmental arch. Via San Giovanni (B-C2) is lined by many 13C-14C dwellings, and the remains of the façade of the Church of San Francesco (C2). Pratellesi Palace (B2) houses the Civic Library with its treasure of over 10,000 manuscripts. Further on, we come to the Cugnanesi Tower and the Becci Archway (B2), flanked by the Duecento Becci Tower. In Via Quercecchio (B1-2) is the Oratorio of San Francesco with an Ornithological Museum. A series of stairways leads up to the Fortress of Montestaffoli (1353; B1), dismantled by Cosimo I in 1558. From its sole surviving tower is a superb view of the city. Piazza della Cisterna* (B2) is connected through a passage-way to Piazza del Duomo with which, since the 13C, it has formed the city core. Facing it are Casa Razzi, Casa Silvestrini, the Trecento Palazzo Tortoli-Treccani, Palazzo dei Cortesi with the very high “Devil’s tower”; in the passage-way leading to Piazza del Duomo, the twin Ardinghelli Towers lean against the loggia of the Palazzo del Popolo. Piazza del Duomo* (B2) is overlooked by the Palazzo del Podestà* and dominated by the mighty Torre della Rognosa, adjacent are the Chigi Tower and the twin Salvucci Towers. Above a high flight of steps lies the Collegiate Chapter*, a 12C Romanesque building. The interior contains works by Taddeo di Bartolo, Benozzo Gozzoli, Jacopo della Quercia, Bartolo di Fredi; in the Chapel of Santa Fina* are frescoes* by Domenico del Ghirlandaio and one of the most outstanding Renaissance masterpieces, an al-
tar-front* by Benedetto da Maiano; to the left is the small Cloister of San Giovanni (14C). The Sacred Art Museum (B2) exhibits paintings, miniature choir-books and ritual furnishings. To the left of the Chapter Church is the Palazzo del Popolo*, dominated by the massive Torre Grossa*, which houses the Civic Museum* with paintings of the Tuscan school (13C-15C) and a collection of ceramics; in the magnificent Dante Council Chamber is a Maestà* by Lippo Memmi. On the clearest days, the sweeping views from the top reach as far as the Pistoia mountains and the Apuan Alps. In the Trecento courtyard stands a cistern (1361) and under the loggia is a fresco by Sodoma. Via San Matteo (A-B1-2), the northern stretch of the Via Francigena, is flanked by mediaeval dwellings and mansions: the Pettini Palace and Tower, the Cancelleria Palace and Archway, the Church of San Bartolo, the Pesciolini Tower-House, Casa Francardelli, Palazzo Tinacci, Palazzo Bonaccorsi and, where it ends, the San Matteo Gateway. In Piazza Sant’Agostino (A1-2), besides the small Romanesque Church of San Pietro, rises the Church of Sant’Agostino*, an imposing Romanesque-Gothic construction (1280-98). The interior contains the Coronation of Mary*, a masterpiece by Piero del Pollaiolo, and a remarkable cycle of frescoes on the Life of St Augustine*, by Benozzo Gozzoli. The former convent of Santa Chiara (later become the conservatory) in Via Folgore da San Gimignano (A2-3) houses the Archaeological Museum has Roman and Etruscan finds; the Chemist Shop of Santa Fina has the collection of vases and ceramics from the chemist, active since 1253; the Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery has works by Raffaele De Grada and other 19C and 20C masters. In the environs, worth visiting are the secluded Romanesque Parish Church of Cèllole. The Convent of San Vivaldo (14C16C) includes a small church and 18 chapels scattered through the woods.
SAN GIOVANNI VALDARNO
(Arezzo) Lying on the plain near the course of the river, this was the most important of the ‘fortified towns’ built by the Florentines in the 13C. Possibly planned by Arnolfo di Cambio, it is Masaccio’s birthplace. In the centre is Piazza Masaccio, faced by the Church of San Lorenzo, of Trecento origin, the Late-Renaissance so-called Palazzaccio (‘ugly building’) and the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie (15C) with a splendid Neoclassical façade (1840). The Basilica Museum houses some significant works,
above all of the Florentine Quattrocento, including an Annunciation* by Fra Angelico. The Palazzo Pretorio (or, Palazzo d’Arnolfo) has a mediaeval layout and 15C-16C coatsof-arms on the façade. Nearby stands the Convent of Montecarlo, an isolated Renaissance complex with a large cloister. The annexed Church of San Francesco is thought to have been founded by San Bernardino da Siena in 1424. A few kilometres away, the Cavriglia Nature Reserve extends over 600 hectares and is home to numerous animals, including chamois, roedeer and mufflons.
SAN MARCELLO PISTOIESE
(Pistoia) This busy Apennine locality lies between Pistoia and Abetone (q.v.). A few kilometres away is a suspended iron footbridge, 220 m long, over the River Lima.
Gavinana is remembered for the stand made by the militia of the Republic of Florence, led by Francesco Ferrucci (who died here on August 3rd 1530) against the Imperial troops. Its Parish Church contains low-reliefs by Luca della Robbia. Maresca is a holiday resort on the verge of the Teso Forest.
(Pisa) This town with a mediaeval atmosphere overlooks the plain where the Arno flows from Florence to Pisa (q.v.). One of the main imperial centres in Tuscany, it reached the height of its expansion in the 14C, before coming under Florentine sway. Today it is a prosperous industrial town, famed for its fine leather-work. In Piazza del Popolo is the Church of San Domenico, built in 1330. The façade is unfinished and the interior contains paintings and frescoes of the Florentine school. The 13C
Duomo, repeatedly remodelled, has a massive bell-tower, known as ‘Matilda’s Tower’. The adjoining Diocesan Sacred Art Museum houses works spanning the 16C-19C by Filippo Lippi, Neri di Bicci, Andrea del Verrocchio and others. The Trecento Palazzo del Municipio (Town Hall) incorporates the small Oratory of the Madonna of Loreto, known as Loretino.
SAN QUÌRICO D’ORCIA
(Siena) This old centre between Amiata and Valdichiana (q.v.) contains a wealth of mediaeval vestiges. In the ancient core rises the outstanding Romanesque Collegiate Chapter*, with two portals, one dating back to 1080 and the other to the 13C. Inside, a triptych* by Sano di Pietro. Next to the mediaeval Porta Nuova is the Horti Leonini, a Cinquecento garden in the Italian style. Nearby, Bagno Vignoni is a fascinating spa town with an unusual piazza-basin, used as a location by director Andrei Tarkovsky for his famous film Nostalghia.
(Arezzo) The birthplace of Piero della Francesca, a small and fascinating town of the arts, in which Cosimo I built a fortress, contains a wealth of Renaissance buildings. The central square is named Piazza Torre di Berta (A2) after a tower which was destroyed dur-
ing the last war. It is lined with fine constructions, among which stands the elegant Palazzo Pichi. The Duomo (A2), repeatedly restored, has composite Romanesque-Gothic architecture. The interior houses, among other things, the Volto Santo*, a wooden 10C crucifix that is a prototype of the one in Lucca. The Civic Museum* (A2) is noteworthy above all for the priceless works by Piero della Francesca, especially a masterpiece of his maturity, the Resurrection*. Among others, are works by Santi di Tito, Luca Signorelli and Pontormo. The Church of San Francesco (end of the 13C; A2) has a lovely cloister with a Gothic portal. Facing it is the small Cinquecento Church of the Madonna delle Grazie. The House of Piero della Francesca (A2) is a fine Renaissance building, probably designed in part by the artist himself. The Medicean Fortress (A3) is a good example of Cinquecento military architecture. The deconsecrated Church of San Lorenzo (1556; A2) contains a significant Descent from the Cross* by Rosso Fiorentino over the high altar. In the vicinity, the holiday resort of Badia Tedalda is reached through the Viamaggio Pass.
(Grosseto) This village on the southern reaches of Mount Amiata (q.v.) was once fief of the Aldobrandeschi and Sforza families. The an-
cient Parish Church of Saints Fiora and Lucilla contains a series of Della Robbia works. Nearby is the entrance to the park with an 18C Peschiera (fish-pond) from which the River Fiora springs. In the environs, other sights are the Bàgnore Spa; Arcidosso, overlooked by the Aldobrandeschi Fortress whose library houses the ‘D. Lazzaretti’ Centre of Studies (named after the prophet of Amiata), and not far off, the 12C Parish Church ad Lamulas; and Castel del Piano with the hamlet of Prato delle Macinaie, a plateau with winter sports facilities. In the Faunal Park of Mount Amiata, roebuck, chamois, deer and mouflon may be observed roaming freely, while there is a separate area for the Apennine wolf and the wild grey ass.
SANT’ANTIMO (ABBEY, OF)
(Siena) According to legend, this great Benedictine abbey was founded by Charlemagne. Decline set in from the 14C onwards. Restored at the beginning of the last century, it once again houses a religious community. The Abbey Church* is one of the most significant examples of Romanesque monastic architecture. The interior contains 15C monochrome frescoes. To the right of the church, the partly reconstructed remains of a monastery.
(Grosseto) The ancients reputed it to be the first town built on the peninsula. This hamlet in the Albenga Valley preserves walls built by the Sienese during the 14C on the vestiges – still visible – of those raised by the Etruscans. Nearby is the Terme di Saturnia spa. At Montemerano, girded by Quattrocento walls, is the Church of San Giorgio (14C-15C). At Manciano, a partly mediaeval village with a Quattrocento Fortress, is the Museum of Prehistory and Protohistory of Valle del Fiora.
(Florence) An industrial town between Florence and Prato (q.v.). In 1737, Marchese Ginori set up a plant in his Doccia estate to manufacture hard-paste porcelain of the Meissen genre. the Richard Ginori Doccia Porcelain Museum records this production. At Quinto is the Montagnola Tomb*, an outstanding Etruscan funerary monument dating back to the 7C BC. Nearby, is another Etruscan sepulchre, the Mula Tomb. In the vicinity is Calenzano with the Parish Church of San Niccolò, and its Trecento belltower, and the Museum of the Toy Soldier and the Historic Figurine.
“The sole living model of a mediaeval city”. This is the definition coined by the archaeologist Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli for this most homogeneous of Tuscan towns. Its layout is today almost exactly as it was in the 14C, that splendid century in which Sienese art and economy rivalled and competed with those of Florence. Of Etruscan origin, and later a Roman colony, Siena’s prosperity began in Longobard times, when the Via Francigena supplied an alternative to the consular roads, fostering the growth of commerce and trade in the area. The communal institutions start to establish themselves at the dawn of the 12C, and the town begins to expand, thereby inevitably clashing with Florence which, in 1145, already holds sway over Poggibonsi and Montepulciano. Siena becomes one of the main centres of Italian Ghibellinism. In 1260 it crushes Florence in the battle of Montaperti, but the victory is short-lived. Only nine years later, at Colle di Val d’Elsa, Siena is resoundingly overwhelmed by Charles of Anjou and the Florentines. Thus the Government of the Nine is born, Guelph and allied with Florence, and will rule the city until 1355. This is the golden age for trade, when the city acquires the appearance it has today, with the building of the Torre del Mangia, the Duomo – discontinued in 1339 to raise the Duomo Nuovo – the Baptistry and the Churches of San Domenico and San Francesco… However, the great plague of 1348 is a cruel blow for the city, claiming almost half the population. In 1399 Siena commits itself to the Viscontis. After the death of Duke Gian Galeazzo, strife between the rival factions re-explodes. In 1487 Pandolfo Petrucci seizes power, and governs the town until his death in 1512. Siena falls under imperial tutelage and, in 1531, the Spaniards occupy the town; a revolt against the invaders gives Cosimo I de’ Medici a pretext to attack and beseige the town which, at the end of its resources, capitulates on April 17 1555. Inexorable decline sets in, with an isolated counter-trend under the House of Lorraine. Today it is a flourishing city, a prestigious University town and cultural centre.
The ‘Campo’ and ‘Terzo’ of San Martino. The city branches out over three ridges of hills, called ‘terzi’ and subdivided into ‘contrade’ (wards). The ‘Terzo’ of San Martino extends to the east from Piazza del Campo. The Campo* (D3), or main square, is the core of the city and an outstanding example of
57 mediaeval architecture. Shaped like a scallop-shell, it is the venue for the famous Palio. In the centre stands the Gaia Fountain by Jacopo della Quercia (1419), though as early as 1342 water gushed here thanks to a remarkable system of underground channels. To the right stands the Settecento Sansedoni Palace; to the left, the Elci Palace which preserves its mediaeval appearance. The Palazzo Pubblico*, symbol of the independence and economic might of the Sienese oligarchy, is one of the most significant examples of Italian Gothic civic architecture. Constructed from 1284 to 1310, it was enlarged in 1680. On the left wing rises the Torre del Mangia* (1325-48), and at its side the Piazza Chapel erected to keep a vow made during the plague of 1348. The upper part is in Renaissance style. The Civic Museum* is housed in the Public Palace, with a fine combination of paintings spanning the 14C-18C. It is impossible not to mention at least the Maestà* by Simone Martini, and the Siege of the Castle of Montemassi by Guidoriccio da Fogliano*, traditionally attributed to Simone Martini; and the Effects of Good and Bad Government* by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. The former Convent of San Vigilio (D3) is seat of the University, one of the oldest in Europe. In Via San Vigilio stands the Ugurgieri Castellare (D3), a typical mediaeval fortified house; behind are the Renaissance palaces of the Bandini Piccolomini Family. An example of mature Florentine Renaissance, the Piccolomini Palace* (D3) houses the State Archives and the State Archives Museum* with the remarkable Biccherne Collection*: 103 wooden panels painted by great artists from 1258 to 1682 that served as covers for the accounting records of the magistrature. To the right of the elegant Renaissance Papal Loggias rises the Church of San Martino (D3), one of the most ancient in the town, which gives its name to the ‘Terzo’. The Basilica of the Servites* (E4) has an unfinished Quattrocento façade and a Trecento bell-tower. Inside are works by Coppo di Marcovaldo, Pietro Lorenzetti, Taddeo di Bartolo and others. Behind is the Oratory of Santissima Trinità (E4-5), built in the 14C and remodelled in Mannerist style during the Cinquecento. The sacristy of the Church of Santuccio (E5) two rooms house the Museum of the Society of Executors of Pious Dispositions, a collection of paintings by Sienese artists (14C-15C). Beyond the Porta Romana* (F5), the largest in the 14C enceinte, stands the Quattrocento Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Valli. The Renaissance Church of Santo Spirito (D4) is in the square of the same name, with a
fine Cinquecento fountain called ‘dei Pìspini’. Nearby is the Church of San Giorgio (D4), of mediaeval origin but remodelled in the 18C, with monochrome stuccoes inside. In the Leocorno ward is the Church of San Giovannino della Staffa (D3), of 13C origin, but remodelled in 1563.
The ‘Terzo di città’. The Cathedral cupola and the bell-tower identify Siena’s oldest ‘terzo’. In the former ‘Triventum’, today Croce del Travaglio, the meeting point of the streets which form the basis of the urban layout, rises the Merchants’ Loggia* (D3), an elegant construction in GothicRenaissance style. The mediaeval Via di Città*, main axis of this quarter, is overlooked by the Chigi-Saracini Palace* (E3), seat of the prestigious Chigiana Musical Academy with one of the finest private art collections in Italy. Facing it is the Piccolomini Palace* (or delle Papesse) and, further on, the Quattrocento Marsili Palace. The mediaeval Forteguerri Tower-House rises in Piazza Postierla (E2), flanked also by the Chigi Piccolomini alla Postierla Palace and that of the Capitano del Popolo (Captain of the People); a Quattrocento column is set in the middle of the square. Facing Piazza del Duomo* (E2), are the Palazzo Arcivescovile, built on Gothic lines in the 18C, the Palace of the Medici Governor and the Duomo* (D-E2) one of the loveliest creations of Italian Romanesque-Gothic art. The façade is mostly the work of Giovanni Pisano; the lunette of the Perdono Portal houses a copy of the low-relief by Donatello (the original is in the Opera del Duomo Museum); the Romanesque belltower*, in slim black and white marble bands, bears six orders of windows. The lovely Trecento paving* inside is in coloured marble inlay and sgraffito work: the 56
Duccio, Maestà (Siena, Opera Metropolitana Museum)
panels portray biblical or profane scenes. In the right transept is the baroque Chapel del Voto, attributed to G.L. Bernini (to whom we owe the two statues* flanking the entrance), besides works by Mattia Preti, Vecchietta and Beccafumi. The left transept houses Nicola Pisano’s pulpit*, a masterpiece of Italian Gothic sculpture, besides works by Donatello, Tino da Camaino and Francesco Vanni. At the end of the left nave is the entrance to the Piccolomini Library*, a Renaissance building with frescoes by Pinturicchio. Also in Piazza del Duomo stands the Hospital of the S. Maria della Scala*, a vast mediaeval hospital complex with the celebrated Pellegrinaio* fresco (15C). The hospital houses the National Archaeological Museum, with prehistoric, Etruscan and Roman antiquities; the architectonic terracotta pieces* from the Murlo Prince’s Complex are splendid. The Opera Metropolitana Museum* (E2) is housed in a building adapted in the 15C in what originally was intended to form the right-hand nave of the Duomo Nuovo. It contains works once part of the Cathedral’s decoration, such as Duccio di Buoninsegna’s Maestà*, and others by Pietro Lorenzetti, Domenico Beccafumi, Jacopo della Quercia, Donatello and Giovanni Pisano. The Church of San Giovanni Battista (D2) is in point of fact Siena’s Baptistry, with a fine Trecento portal* and, inside, the baptismal font*, a Renaissance masterpiece attributed to Jacopo della Quercia, with statues by Donatello, Turino di Sano, Giovanni di Turino and Lorenzo Ghiberti. Also in Piazza San Giovanni, the Palace of the Magnificent (D2), which owes its name to Pandolfo Petrucci, lord of Siena from 1487 to 1512. The Pinacoteca Nazionale* (E3) is housed in the Buonsignori and Brigidi palaces. It is
an essential point of reference to comprehend the development of 14C-17C Sienese painting. Besides masterpieces by Duccio, Niccolò Segna, Ambrogio and Pietro Lorenzetti, Sassetta, Domenico Beccafumi, Sodoma and a host of others, the museum contains the Spannocchi Collection with paintings from Northern Italy and Central Europe (Lotto, Dürer, Quentin Massys). In Prato San Agostino rises the 13C Church of Sant’Agostino (E3), remodelled by Vanvitelli, with works by Perugino, Ambrogio Lorenzetti and Sodoma. Opposite, is the former Camaldolese Convent, now seat of the Academy of the Physiocritics (F3), a prestigious institution devoted to the sciences, also featuring the fascinating Museum of Natural History; outside lies the Botanical Garden. Overlooking Piano dei Mantellini is the Church of San Niccolò al Carmine (F2); inside, a large panel* by Beccafumi and a fine Ascension* by Girolamo del Pacchia. The ‘Terzo’ of Camollìa and San Domenico. Fulcrum of the layout of the northern sector of this ‘terzo’, somewhat tarnished by 19C-20C intervention, with testimonials of Siena’s two great saints, St Bernardine and St Catherine, are Via Banchi di Sopra (D3) and Piazza Tolomei with the 13C palace of the same name. Opposite is the Church of San Cristoforo, which gives access to a small 12C cloister. One of the first buildings raised under Medicean rule is the majestic Basilica of Santa Maria di Provenzano (C-D3) built between 1595 and 1604. On the corner is the Church of San Pietro a Ovile. In the large square of San Francesco, is the great Basilica of San Francesco (C3) of Trecento origin with a Neo-Gothic façade. Inside are works* by Sassetta, Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti and Lippo Vanni. The adjoining Convent of San Francesco, today almost entirely occupied by the University, contains a vast Renaissance cloister from which you can reach the Crypt of San Francesco. Flanking it is the Oratory of San Bernardino* (C3), built in the 15C, where the saint used to preach. In the Lower Oratory is a delicate relief* by Giovanni di Agostino. The Upper Oratory, heart of the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art, with 13C-17C works by Sienese artists, including Sano di Pietro, the Master of the Osservanza, Jacopo della Quercia, Il Vecchietta, Pietro & Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Domenico Beccafumi and Sodoma. From San Francesco, you can reach the 13C Ovile Gateway (C3), leading to the Ovile Fountain (C3) and the Oratory of San Rocco which houses works by Sienese mas-
ters of the 14C-16C. Behind is the New Ovile Fountain, one of the most significant examples of mediaeval synthesis between practical function and artistic elegance. Further on, the Church of San Michele al Monte di San Donato (C3) with a wooden Pietà by Vecchietta. The 19C Piazza Salimbeni (C2-3) is overlooked by the Salimbeni and Spannocchia palaces. Santa Maria delle Nevi (C2) is a small oratory (1471); inside is an altarpiece* by Matteo di Giovanni. The Casa della Sapienza, the original nucleus of the Sienese Studio (university), in the street of the same name, contains the prestigious Civic Library degli Intronati (D2), with over 550,000 books, including numerous codezes illuminated by the leading Sienese artists of the 13c and 16C. From the Portico of the Comuni d’Italia (1941), you can reach the Sanctuary of the House of Santa Caterina (D2), which grew up around the birthplace of Caterina Benincasa, – known as Saint Catherine of Siena – canonized in 1461 and proclaimed co-patron of Italy in 1939. An arcaded hall leads to the Church of the Crucifix with the 13C Crucifix before which the saint is believed to have received the stigmata. The sanctuary also includes three oratories: the Superiore with a panel* by Bernardino Fungai, the Camera, and that of Santa Caterina in Fontebranda, which houses a statue of the saint by Neroccio di Bartolomeo. Where Via Santa Caterina ends, stands the most famous of all the Sienese fountains, the Branda Fountain*, overlooked by the imposing mass of the Church of San Domenico* (D2), a basilica in Gothic style built by the Dominicans between 1226 and 1262-65. Devoid of a façade, a Quattrocento bell-tower rises beside it; inside is the Chapel of Santa Caterina frescoed by Sodoma*; the tabernacle contains a reliquary with the head of the saint. The Fortress of Santa Barbara (or Medicean) (C1) was built by Cosimo I de’ Medici. Inside is the Italian Enoteca, with a selection of vintage wines. Nearby are the Lizza Gardens. The Camollìa Gateway (B1) is a Seicento reconstruction of the Trecento original, with an inscription commemorating Ferdinando I de’ Medici’s entrance into the city: “Cor magis tibi Sena pandit” (Siena opens unto you a heart greater than this doorway), words which have become symbolic of Sienese hospitality. In the environs is the Convent dell’Osservanza*, founded by St Bernardine on the Capriola hilltop, from which there is a sweeping panorama* of the city. Partly destroyed in the air-raid of January 23rd
60 1944, it has been rebuilt using the materials salvaged. The Church (1476-90) houses works by Sano di Pietro, Andrea della Robbia, Giacomo Cozzarelli and others. Adjoining it is the small Aurelio Castelli Museum, with works from the convent. The Lecceto Hermitage, of ancient origin, has a fortified Quattrocento appearance, and contains two cloisters (13C and 15C). The thermal town of Bagni di Petriolo is girded by Quattrocento walls. Murlo is a mediaeval hamlet which houses the Poggio Civitate Museum-Antiquarium*. This museum collects the materials which come from the Etruscan archaeological site of Poggio Civitate and it it has superb terracotta pieces of human figures sitting*.
(Florence) The upper part, known as Castello, rises on a hill circled by the remains of ancient walls. The lower part lies along the bank of the Arno. The Church of San Giovanni Battista (or, Parish Church della Beata) contains a baptismal basin (1480). In Piazza Cavour is an antiquarium with Etruscan and Roman finds. The Oratory of San Lorenzo, which harks back to the 9C but was rebuilt in the 12C, contains Trecento frescoes and a fine 12C pulpit*. Nearby is Lastra a Signa, a hamlet with the original walls and layout built during the Florentine Republic in 1377.
(Siena) A town of agricultural tradition, and today also industrialised, it rises on a plateau overlooking the plain of Valdichiana (q.v.). The sights include the Collegiate Chapter with works by Girolamo del Pacchia, Benvenuto di Giovanni and Sodoma. On the fringe of the built-up area stands the Church of San Bernardino, of Quattrocento origin.
(Grosseto) This charming locality is a solitary, partly abandoned village in which Etruscan, Roman and mediaeval memories intermingle. It is the ancient ‘Soana’, birthplace of Hildebrand, later Pope Gregory VII. The secluded Cathedral of Saints Pietro and Paolo* is a Romanesque construction, remodelled in the 14C; the cupola reveals Longobard influence, and harks back to the 10C. In Piazza Pretorio*, faced by the Palazzo Pretorio, the Palazzo dell’Archivio and the Renaissance Palazzo Bourbon del Monte, is the 14C Church of
Santa Maria with a magnificent preRomanesque ciborium (7C-9C). Nearby is the Tufo City Archaeological Park*. The fulcrum of this is the superb Etruscan necropolis with the famous Ildebranda Tomb*. It is also worth a visit to the mediaeval hamlet of Sorano*, dominated by the 15C Orsini Fortress which houses the Mediaeval and Renaissance Museum.
(Arezzo) In the Casentino (q.v.) at the foot of Mount Falterona, lies a town of mediaeval charm, and an important centre for the wool industry, celebrated in the Wool Museum. In the mediaeval Piazza Tanucci stands the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, which houses works of the school of Cimabue and by Bicci di Lorenzo and Andrea della Robbia. In the Palagio Fiorentino, an early 20C palace, is the Museum of Contemporary Art containing works by Fiume, Cascella, Maccari and others. Nearby, at Pratovecchio, is the Seicento Palazzo Vigiani. Not far off lies the Romena Castle (q.v.), built around the year 1000. Nearby is the 12C Parish Church of Romena*. From La Calla Pass, you can reach the Campigna Forest*.
(Grosseto) This bustling village on the promontory at the end of the Uccellina Mountains in Lower Maremma (q.v.) is dominated by a mighty Fortress. The Aquarium of the Laguna di Orbetello is of naturalistic interest and focuses on the local ecosystem.. On a nearby hill are the remains of a Roman temple in which an important Graeco-Roman pediment* came to light. This is now displayed in Orbetello (q.v.).
(Pisa) This seaside resort lies in a pinewood on the coast between the mouth of Arno and Livorno (q.v.). Nearby, stretches the Tòmbolo Estate which is part of the Natural Preserve of Migliarino, San Rossore and Massaciùccoli (q.v. Pisa). In the adjacent Coltano Estate is a Medicean Villa that has been made into a Visitors Centre.
(Florence) The middle reaches of the Arno Valley (Valdarno) are divided into four areas: upstream from Florence, Valdarno Superiore (to the right of the river) and Pian di Rìpoli, the territory between the river and the Chianti hills; downstream from the main city, the Florentine plain is divided into
61 Valdarno Inferiore and the Golfolina gorge. In this territory the Florentines founded a number of fortified towns during the 13C14C, settlements surrounded by ramparts in defence of the communication routes: Figline, Signa, Lastra a Signa, Montelupo, Émpoli and Fucecchio (q.v.). In the 19C, especially in Valdarno Superiore, former agricultural preserve of the Municipality of Florence, the industrial centres began to develop, thereby bringing about drastic changes in the landscape. The original balance and charm now survives mainly on the surrounding hills.
(Arezzo and Siena) This very verdant and well-cultivated area stretches from Arezzo to Chiusi, it is surrounded by mountains and hills clad with silvery olive-groves. In the first years of the 16C, Leonardo da Vinci traced a map which reveals that it then contained a large lake, of which today only the Lake of Chiusi and the smaller Lake of Montepulciano remain. The history of this land is marked by great hydraulic engineering works, begun in Roman times. Da Vinci’s map reveals an early attempt to systemise the hydraulics after the deterioration suffered during the Middle Ages. Drainage and reclamation of new farming land has continued until our times. From the slopes and ridges appear splendid and famous towns, rich in art and history, often preserved virtually intact: Castiglion Fiorentino, Chianciano Terme, Chiusi, Cortona, Foiano della Chiana, Lucignano, Montepulciano, Monte San Savino and Sinalunga.
(Pistoia) This small valley along the bed of the Nièvole Stream stretches from Pistoia to Lucchesìa. It is a farming and industrial area (mainly the hotel-trade, footwear, textiles). The main centres are Collodi, Montecatini Terme, Monsummano Terme, and Pescia (q.v.). On the edge is the Padule di Fucecchio Nature Reserve, an interesting wetland.
(Florence) This locality of Pratomagno (q.v.) stands on the verge of the time-old fir forest where St Giovanni Gualberto founded the Vallombrosian congregation in 1051, combining Benedictine cœnobitism with the heremitic ideal. The abbey* underwent a series of changes, acquiring its present appearance in the 17C. The church, remodelled
in the same period, has a 13C bell-tower. Walking through the woods, you come across a number of abandoned chapels before reaching the Hermitage delle Celle, known as Paradisino, from which there is a lovely view. The Biogenetic Natural Preserve of Vallombrosa stretches for 1270 hectares around the abbey.
(Lucca) This sandy shore, one of the most extensive of the entire Italian coast, stretches along the chain of the Apuan Alps from Forte dei Marmi to Viareggio (q.v.). In the words of the writer Mario Tobino, the charm of Versilia lies in the “vicinity of two opposing forces, the sea and the mountain”. Here are the famous towns which are among the most patronised and elegant holiday resorts in Italy: Camaiore, Forte dei Marmi, Pietrasanta, Viareggio (q.v.).
(Grosseto) This mediaeval town, in Maremma (q.v.), stands on the acropolis of one of the most important Etruscan cities. A visit to ancient Vetulonia includes the Etruscan necropolis* in Via dei Sepolcri (the tombs of Pietrera, Diavolino II and Fibula d’Oro should not be missed), numerous ruins of the Etrusco-Roman settlement and, in town, the Arce walls (6C BC). The ‘Isidoro Falchi’ Archaeological Civic Museum uses various objects to portray the history of the Etruscan settlement.
(Lucca) This main centre of the Versilia Riviera was a port of call as early as the 12C, and later a town of fishermen, sailors and caulkers. In the 19C, when tourism became fashionable in Europe, it became a holiday resort. In the middle of 20C, it became one of the best-known and most popular seaside localities in Italy, partly thanks to the Carnival Parade and the Viareggio Literary Prize. The sea-front is lined with a fine flower-bedecked avenue, and bounded by two pinewoods. The Civic Museums are housed in the villa which belonged to Paolina Borghese Bonaparte. The museum has a Section of Prehistoric Archaeology and the important Viani Gallery of contemporary art. Towards the middle is the Massaciùccoli lake which is near the Puccini Villa-Museum with the tomb of the composer. At the Massaciùccoli Archaeological Site are the remains of a Roman villa from which comes of the floor mosaic* on display in the Antiquarium.
(Pisa) Between Mount Pisano and the Imperial Canal stands a mediaeval village with towers and remains of fortifications, restored by Brunelleschi. The built-up inner area contains the Tower with Four Gates* and the Palazzo Pretorio. Outside the village stands a Romanesque-Pisan Parish Church (11C-12C) which contains wooden sculptures (12C14C), and two Romanesque churches: San Jacopo a Lupeta and Sant’Andrea a Lupeta.
(Florence) It sprang up among vineyards and olive-groves on the lower slopes of Mount Albano around the castle of the Count Guidi Family. Leonardo was born in this area. Inside the 13C castle is the Leonardo da Vinci Museum, a collection of models and mechanisms made on Leonardo’s drawings. The Leonardo da Vinci Museum has original antiques, engravings and artefacts inspired by the maestro. In Anchiano, not far off, is Leonardo’s birthplace.
(Pisa) Founded by the Etruscans in a commanding position on a craggy hill overlooking the Cècina and Era Valleys. The ancient “Velathri” was one of the twelve cities of the Etruscan confederation, with a circle of cyclopic walls of which signif-
icant portions still stand. It dominated Elba and Corsica, and with a population of 25,000 inhabitants, it was a flourishing centre for metal trading and the production of timber, wheat and alabaster. The Roman city of “Volaterrae” fell rapidly into decline after construction of the transApennine Pisa-Tortona route. In the 5C it is the seat of a bishop and of a count. After the year 1000 episcopal power passes to the Pannocchieschi Family, but from the 13C onwards it is superseded by the free commune. In 1361 it comes under Florentine influence, against which it rebels during the rule of Lorenzo the Magnificent. The ‘War of Volterra’ and the sack which ensued brought about definitive decline. Today it is an industrial, agricultural and tourist centre, with many alabaster workshops. The Piazza dei Priori* (B2), market-place since the 9C, is one of the most interesting mediaeval squares in Italy, surrounded by austere palaces: the Palazzo Vescovile, the Palazzo Pretorio with its incorporated Torre del Podestà, the apse of the Cathedral and, next to it, the Palazzo dei Priori* (B2), built in 1208-54. Inside are the Council Chamber with a Trecento fresco, and the Sala della Giunta (Board room). The Duomo* (B1) is a Romanesque building (12C-13C). It is flanked on the left by the Chapel of the Addolorata on which leans a Quattrocento bell-tower. Inside are a pulpit*, reassembled in the 16C with Duecento sculptures;
a painted wooden group* (13C); a ciborium* by Mino da Fièsole; a fresco* by Benozzo Gozzoli. Facing the Cathedral is the Baptistry (13C) with a baptismal font* by Andrea Sansovino. The Diocesan Sacred Art Museum (B1) houses sculptures from the Duomo and paintings (Madonna and Saints* by Rosso Fiorentino). In the Quadrivium dei Buonparenti* (A-B1), of typical mediaeval inspiration, rise some characteristic Duecento Tower-Houses, one of which is the Buonparenti Tower-House, connected with Buonaguidi Tower along a bridge. In Piazza Inghirani is the Church of San Francesco (13C; A1); inside, the Chapel della Croce di Giorno, a Gothic hall frescoed by Cenni di Francesco di Cenni (1410). In the Palazzo Solaini (restored) are housed the Pinacoteca* and the Civic Museum (A2). There are collections of works by Florentine, Sienese and Volterran artists from the 14C-17C, including Domenico Ghirlandaio, Luca Signorelli and Rosso Fiorentino (Deposition*). The Cinquecento Incontri-Viti Palace (A2) assembles important china, oriental objets d’art and Volterran alabaster*. In the small square of San Michele Arcangelo, on which rises the Toscano TowerHouse, is the Church of San Michele Arcangelo (A2) with a fine Pisan-Romanesque façade.
The Vallebuona Archaeological Site (A12) includes the ruins of the Roman Theatre*, which dates back to the Augustan Age, and a thermal building from the 4C. At the western rampart of the Fortress* (B2-3), which is now a prison, is the ‘Enrico Fiumi’ Archaeological Park with the remains of an Etrusco-Roman acropolis. The ‘Mario Guarnacci’ Etruscan Museum* (B2-3) houses a collection of antiquities from prehistoric times to the Roman Imperial age, with sculptures (‘the shadow of the evening’, an Etruscan votive bronze figurine of the 3C BC), a vast collection* of Etruscan funerary urns in tufa, alabaster and terracotta (the superb ‘urn of the married pair’*, 1C BC) and a collection of coins*. The typical Via Matteotti* (B2) and Via Porta dell’Arco which leads off from it, with many alabaster workshops, ends at the Arco Gateway* (B1), once part of the Etruscan ramparts of the 4C-3C BC. Well worth a visit are the nearby Balze*, an awe-inspiring series of precipices furrowed by gully erosion. Not far off is an Abbey founded by the Camaldolese in 1030. A few kilometres away is a mediaeval hamlet, Montecatini Val di Cècina, with a 12C tower (fortress remains), the Palazzo Pretorio and a Romanesque-Gothic Parish Church.
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