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Siena

Siena, located in the heart of Tuscany, surrounded by hills, is one of the most beautiful medieval cities of Italy '. Heart of the city is the famous Piazza del Campo, the shell-shaped, in which it holds the famous Palio, one of the most important events for all the people of Siena. The Palio of Siena is a 'passionate horse race that takes place every year in July and August and its origins seem to date back to the seventeenth century addiruttura. According to legend, Siena was founded by Senio, the son of Remus, and in the city there are several statues of the mythical Romulus and Remus suckled by the she-wolf. Piazza del Campo is the core of Siena since the time of the Romans, who had their court here. The square was repaved during the government of the Nine, a semi-democratic group in power between 1287 and 1355, with a division into nine sections in the memory of the Government of the Virgin Mary and symbolizes the mantle that protects the city. The field is dominated by the red Palazzo Pubblico and its tower, called the Torre del Mangia. The Palazzo Pubblico, as well as the Cathedral of Siena, was built during the government of Nine, which was the heyday of economic and cultural center of Siena. The palace today houses the offices of the City, like the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. From the courtyard of the Palace leads to the Civic Museum and the Torre del Mangia, on top of which, climbed the 500 steps, you can enjoy a splendid view of the city. In the Museum are kept some of the finest paintings of the Sienese school. The Consistory Hall offers one of the most beautiful works of Domenico Beccafumi, who frescoed ceilings depicting the cycle of public virtue. In the Hall of the Mappamonto and in the Sala della Pace (or Hall of the Nine) then there are true masterpieces: the great Majesty and the equestrian portrait of the siege of Montemassi Guidoriccio da Fogliano by Simone Martini and the Allegories of Good and Bad Government Ambrogio Lorenzetti, considered one of the most important series of paintings of the Middle Ages.

Pienza

Pienza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in the beautiful Val d'Orcia and is known as the city of Pope Pius II, born Enea Silvio Piccolomini, who was born there in 1405. Pius II wanted to create an urban center and highly worthy ideal contrast to the other cities that had, with his family, unjustly marginalized Siena. Claims that famous architects and artists cry worked on a project in which they were embedded construction principles and philosophy of an age that opened full of promise: the Italian Renaissance. In just three years, from 1459 to 1462, rose Pienza, the City of author, the Ideal City, the City Utopia. The city "was born from a thought of love and a dream of beauty" as Giovanni Pascoli wrote. The city has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, as well as the entire Val d'Orcia which surrounds it. A fraction of the town of Pienza is well known Montichiello, the ancient village with its keep, its walls and its medieval gate towers over the Val d'Orcia. The inhabitants of Montichiello keep alive the ancient tradition of Poor Theatre, which demonstrates the vitality of the country and the ability of the population to meet and to stage its own history and its own identity.

Cortona

The town of Cortona is located in the province of Arezzo, on the side of a mountainous place between the Valdichiana and the valley of the Tiber, and was an important Etruscan center. Of the Etruscan period are substantial remains of the walls perhaps dating back to the fifth century BC, which were developed for about 2 km. The old town as it is today was formed in the thirteenth century: in 1241 there is already the Town Hall, built in 1245 is the church of St. Francis, built in 1250, is the People's Palace. In 1456 began the renovation of the new Cathedral on the site where once stood the ancient parish church of St. Mary, while in 1480 the Sienese architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini starts the construction outside the city of Sanctuary of Madonna delle Grazie al Calcinaio . The city is rich in museums and works of art from the Museum of the Etruscan to the Diocesan Museum, which collects treasures such as the Annunciation by Fra Angelico, the Madonna in glory by Bartolomeo della Gatta and the Deposition of Luke Signorelli. Do not miss the Archaeological Park, the Medici Fortress of Girifalco and the Abbey of Farneta.

Montepulciano

 
At the junction of two valleys, the Val d'Orcia and Val di Chiana, Montepulciano is located. Built along the narrow top of a limestone hill, this beautiful medieval village seems to be the natural continuation of the survey on which it is built. Coming by car from the picturesque tourist town but most ideal of Pienza, just eleven miles away, the landscape that you encounter just before reaching the village is in the best way the idea of ​​the classic Tuscany, made up of hills and green waves fields, as well known in the world. Immediately below the city walls and fortifications of the town, you can admire the beautiful church of the Madonna di San Biagio. The pearly white travertine with which the early sixteenth century was built the building stands out in the distance in the green surroundings and welcomes anyone who decides the best way to spend a day wandering through the narrow streets of the village or swim in the warm waters of the nearby sulfur Terme. Leaving the car in one of several parking lots located outside the walls is possible to walk along the river that runs through the elegant and ancient village dating back down the hill along the imposing Renaissance palaces, until you reach the central square. The Piazza Grande, located at the highest point of the country is dominated by the large tower and the Gothic facade of the Palazzo Comunale. Opposite the town hall you can admire the cathedral dating back to the late sixteenth century. Despite the undeniable beauty, Montepulciano is known internationally for its Vino Nobile, one of the most popular Tuscan wines in the world, which is obtained from the pressing of the grapes from the vineyards surrounding the village.

Città della Pieve

Where today is Città della Pieve, it is assumed that the Etruscans and Romans had already established their respective settlements. This quaint village was not immune from the vicissitudes of medieval history, and in fact, he saw several gentlemen succession to his guidance until Clement VII placed it under the direct control of the Church. In the middle of 'village, still surrounded by walls for a good part of the fourteenth century and medieval appearance so they can boast the narrowest street in Italy: the way Baciadonne, stands the Cathedral, dedicated to SS. Gervasio e Protasio; its original structure is to be traced back to the twelfth century, but the interventions of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries have changed the forms more remote, but the oldest building still emerges in the decorative details of the facade of the lower zone, in 'apse and bell tower in Romanesque Gothic . Inside works by Domenico Alfani and two great painters both born just in Città della Pieve, Perugino: "Madonna and Saints John the Evangelist, John the Baptist, Peter Martyr and blessed James Villa," "Madonna and Child with SS. Peter, Paul, Gervasio and Protasio "," Baptism of Jesus ", and Pomarancio:" Eternal and Angels. " Besides the beautiful tower of the Public, 38 meters high and built from a thousand and the churches of Santa Maria della Mercede and St. Augustine, which respectively preserve a fresco by Perugino and a table of Pomarancio, we can not forget to visit the Fortress and the church of S. Francesco, now shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. The first is a solid defensive structure with towers and male, the second, of the thirteenth century, houses the works of local school and a "Pentecost" usual Pomarancio. To conclude other works of the most famous painter citizen, Pietro Vannucci are preserved in the churches of Santa Maria dei Servi, and in that of St. Anthony the Abbot. Among the most important events organized in the city we should absolutely mention the Terzieri.

Panicale

Panicale, historic and picturesque town in the Province of Perugia, perched atop a hill at 441 m above sea level like most of the towns in the area still maintains a typically medieval appearance is due to the remains of the walls and fortified gates. The plant in the country in concentric circles represents one of the most advanced systems of military defense in the later levels typical of the medieval era. This type of defensive structure in fact consented to the castle of Panipat to resist numerous attacks to which he was subjected. Although the church of Our Lady of the rails and that of St. Augustine are not certain buildings without mentioning the 'main attraction of the village is represented by the magnificent views from here you can enjoy the lake Trasimeno and the valley of the river Nestor. Who, however, is more interested in the works of art can ammirarei two paintings "The Martyrdom of St. Sebastian" and "Coronation of Mary" painted by Pietro Vannucci known as "Il Perugino". Noteworthy are also the fifteenth-century fountain in Piazza Umberto I °, the frescoes of Caporali and structures such as the Municipal Theater, one of the smallest theaters in Umbria, the Collegiate Church of St Michael, the Church of the Madonna della Sbarra, the fourteenth-century Palazzo del Podesta today's historical archives, once the seat of political power.

Castiglione del Lago

Situated on a bluff overlooking Lake Trasimeno, Castiglione del Lago is one of the most beautiful villages in the area of ​​Lake Trasimeno. The village of Castiglione del Lago, one of the most important tourist centers of the Trasimeno which also includes Polvese Island, owes its footprint medieval lords Corgna become masters of the lake in the sixteenth century. We recommend that you set me your itinerary from the Ducal Palace, also known as the Palace of Corgna its construction took place in 1563 at the behest diAscanio Corgna. The building, which was originally conceived as a small palace and hosted famous people such as Niccolo 'Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci, is now the seat of the Municipality. Very beautiful and decorative interior halls frescoed by Pomarancio; between them stands the Hall of Deeds of Ascanio della Corgna, whose home and studio are located on the first floor. The Fortress and the Castle of the Lion are connected to the Palazzo della Corgna through a long and fascinating passage, forming a complex with it from the typically feudal. Made in 1247 by Frederick II of Swabia Castello del Leone, owes its name to its pentagonal shape, inspired by the constellation of Leo, who dominates the Trasimeno, in one of his most beautiful views. In our guide of what to see in Castiglione del Lago on a day we announce the Church of St. Dominic of Guzman in 1640, which houses the graves of family members Corgna; remarkable coffered wooden ceiling, the century. XVIII. What to do in Castiglione del Lago in one day? Definitely see Polvese Island, the largest of the three islands of Lake Trasimeno which is of great natural and environmental interest due to its rich vegetation: forests of oak, laurel oak; I want to see the church of St. Julian and the medieval castle. Castiglione del Lago is also home to many events. If you're in the area at the end of April you will have the chance to see stunning views riempiersi Council of kites thanks to Color the Skies, an event that promotes a culture of peace and the protection of the environment. The International Folklore Festival is an international festival aimed at promoting awareness of the traditions and folk culture of different countries, various folk groups perform in the theater built inside the medieval fortress. Also in April do not miss the appointment with the Tulip Festival to see the show of Castiglione del Lago entirely adorned with beautiful flowers. The festival includes a parade of floats, prepared with tulips, costume parades and a Palio between the districts. Our mini-guide can not escape from the most appetizing, or advice on what to eat in Castiglione del Lago Two ancient lake fish dishes to try are absolutely the Brustico, whose origin seems to date back to the Etruscans and the Tegamaccio. The first is fish fried in a special way, exclusively on carbon straws to the lake while the Tegamaccio is a soup of different varieties of fish that should be left to cook for at least 5 hours in earthen pots. Other specialties of the area are the spaghetti with fish sauce, fried fillets of perch, carp regina in porchetta, a carp that is baked and flavored with fennel, garlic, pepper and salt. What to eat in Castiglione del Lago if you do not like fish? The choice is really great, try the pici with duck sauce, salad of farro and the famous Trasimeno bean, slow food, a very small bean delicate flavor.

Gubbio

Nestling at the foot of Mount Ingino, Gubbio is one of the most ancient towns of Umbria, extremely well preserved during centuries and rich of monuments testifying its glorious past. Testimony of its ancient origins are the Tables of Gubbio, one of the most important documents of Italic and Roman Theatre just outside the walls. Dominated from the Basilica of St. Ubaldo which holds the incorrupt remains of the patron saint, Gubbio keeps architectonic masterpieces that symbolize and evoke the power of this medieval city-state. At the beginning of the XIV century the superb urban complex formed by the Palazzo dei Consoli, who became the symbol of the city, Piazza Cabinet and the Praetorian Palace. To remind the palaces Beni, the Bargello with the famous fountain, the Captain of the People. pure lines of the Renaissance Ducal Palace by Francesco Giorgio Martini draws and documents the significant period lived under the lordship of Montefeltro's duchy which the city was an integral part. Of great interest are also the Cathedral (XII century), Santa Maria Nuova (inside which you can admire the Madonna del Belvedere painted by Ottaviano Nelli in 1413), Church and convent of St. Augustine (XIII century) with inside Nelli frescoes, Church and Convent of San Francesco (XIII century), St. John (XII century) characterized by the facade and bell tower in Romanesque style, St. Peter and St. Dominic expanded in 1505 enlarged in the fourteenth century. Among the most important events taking place in the city we should absolutely mention the Corsa dei Ceri and the commemoration of the Palio della Balestra.

Perugia

Perugia, the great "Guelf strong-hold" rises up in the center of the region, with its 5 storical quarters closed-in by its Etruscan town walls enormous bastions formed by gigantic square masses, were constructed 22 centuries ago and are still visible for long stretches. When the city of Rome was little more than an encampment of huts, the Etruscan Perugia had 7 doors, including particularly mighty, the Porta Pulchra or of Augustus. Entering from Porta San Pietro, whose exterior was remodeled by Agostino di Duccio in 1475, we find on the right the Basilica of San Domenico; in the cloisters and in the adjoining convent was ordained to the important National Archaeological Museum of Umbria. We then reach the Piazza del Sopramuro, where you align the fifteenth-century palace of the Old University at the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo; continuing, after a short climb, you open one of the major squares in Italy: Piazza Grande of Perugia (Piazza IV Novembre) a superb monumental complex that includes the Palazzo dei Priori, the Cathedral, and the Fontana Maggiore in the center of the '200 . At the opposite end of Corso Vannucci is a famous panoramic gardens which was built on the foundations of the Rocca Paolina, a fortress built by Pope Paul III in 1540. These foundations contain, under an enormous bell, a whole Old Town district, a dead city, a sort of Medieval Pompei which was brought to light and which is fascinating to visit. The ascents and stairways are usually quite steep, both dating back to the earliest times and those traced in more recent times. For example, the ramp Via delle Prome, starting from the Arch of Augustus, leads to the highest point of the city, where stood the fortress of Porta Sole was built in the fourteenth century by Gattapone and later destroyed in the fury of the people. Even the most fleeting visit to this center of art, history and culture must not overlook the complex of San Francesco, and the Oratory of San Bernardino masterpiece of Agostino di Duccio, who, covering the facade with bas-reliefs of enchanting grace and modeled fineness made it a little poem of Renaissance sculpture. Among the most important events taking place in the city we should absolutely mention the musical festival Umbria Jazz and the gastronomic festival Eurochocolate. Also remember to Perugia, especially for children is the City of Sunday, the first amusement park in Italy!

Assisi

Assisi stretches out on the slopes of Mount Subasio, above the plain where the Topino and Chiascio. Although it can boast Roman origins, the present-day appearance, because of the buildings of the urban fabric, is surely due to the medieval development. The oldest part of the town is protected by a defensive apparatus consists of eight fortified entrance portals and a long city walls, still in an excellent state of preservation, which is headed by two castles: the Major Castle, reconstructed by the Cardinal Albornoz in 1367 and the Minor Castle. Assisi, in addition to places of worship of such great importance that it can not be considered solely the heritage, such as the Basilica of San Francesco, the tourist can also visit the Basilica of Santa Chiara and the Church of St. Peter. The first was constructed in the Gothic style between 1257 and 1265, the second is a little older, decorated with an elegant portal with three rose windows. The Cathedral, dedicated to the patron saint San Rufino, a splendid and unaltered facade with sculptures and reliefs; the interior, however, has undergone reconstruction during the centuries that have distorted the original thirteenth century. On the Town Square, located on the ancient area of ​​the hole, we find the Palazzo dei Priori in 1337, the thirteenth-century Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo and the Temple of Minerva, built during the Augustan period with pronaos Corinthian columns and capitals are still intact . Nearby you can visit the places connected with the life of St. Francis, as the Hermitage, surrounded by a dense forest of oak trees on the slopes of Subasio and the Convent of San Damiano, which grew up in which tradition says that the Cross spoke to the saint. In the plains, finally, the imposing Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli was built to the plans of between 1569 and 1679 to protect the Chapel of the Portiuncula, the poor first meeting of the Franciscan friars. All those who have the good fortune to visit this beautiful town have to agree with those who believe that her beauty goes beyond a brief and necessarily incomplete list of works more or less extraordinary, but is instead to be found in the atmosphere of the places that the history and faith of St. Francis of Assisi have made it unique in the world

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