Anghiari is a welcoming town with a charming Medieval feel. Its city walls are still intact, and an impressive clock tower guards the city centre where artisan studios and antique shops jostle for your attention.
Situated just 30 km. from Arezzo, Anghiari is one of the most scenic walled towns in Tuscany. It has occupied its position in the Valtiberina in eastern Tuscany since early Medieval times. Its inhabitants were famed artisans known for their skill with wood, textiles and ceramics. Today, the artisans have moved with the times but still manage to preserve their past, plying their trade as restorers and antiques dealers. The narrow streets of Anghiari are lined with pottery shops, antique sellers and workshops where forgotten furniture is brought back to life. There is a school dedicated to wood art and restoration, and the Popular Tradition Museum adds colour and context to its lively artistic history.
What to see in Anghiari, Tuscany
Palazzo Pretorio: A beautiful palace peppered with coats of arms.
Palazzo del Marzocco: The Marzocco lion is a heraldic symbol of Florence. Here it’s a reminder of the supremacy of Florence over this territory. Inside is the Museo della Battaglia di Anghiari which will teach you everything you need to know about the history of the area and the famous battle depicted by Leonardo da Vinci.
Palazzo Taglieschi: A Renaissance building that is a typical union of two “case torri” (house towers). Its gothic windows are reminders of its past.
Museo Tradizioni Popolari: this Popular Tradition Museum houses an eclectic collection of art, including frescos that have been lifted from local churches, a polychrome Madonna by Jacopo della Quercia, and terracotta pieces by Andrea Della Robbia. There are other sculptures, liturgical and secular ornaments to ponder over, but it’s worth a visit to see the building itself with the impressive vaulted ground floor.
Church of Santo Stefano: A 7th – 8th century church with characteristic Byzantine influences.
Church of Sant’Agostino: Easily recognisable by the apse which protrudes from the city walls. The church’s origins are linked with a visit said to have been made by Thomas Becket in the 12th century. It has a richly decorated interior with 18th century stuccos.
What to do:
Shopping or browsing in the many art-craft and antique shops.
Mostra Mercato dell’Artigianato in April: One of the most popular art craft exhibitions in Tuscany and central Italy.
Did you know? Battle of Anghiari
In 1440 the decisive Battle of Anghiari saw Florence snatch the whole territory from the Milanese. But it’s best known today for a lost fresco by Leonardo that depicted the action. It was commissioned for the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, and some think it’s still there, hidden underneath another fresco by Vasari.