What to see in Sansepolcro, itinerary including the main monuments and places of interest, including the civic museum, Cathedral and Piero della Francesca's house.
Located at the foot of the last stretch of the Tuscan Apennines, near the borders with the Marche and Umbria in the upper Tiber valley, the town of Sansepolcro dates back to the end of the tenth century.
Traditionally the foundation of the town is attributed to the two pilgrims Egidio and Arcano who, coming from the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, stopped in this place and understood through a miraculous sign that the Holy relics brought behind from Jerusalem and other places visited during the trip back, they had to stay in this land.
Arcano and Egidio built a hut and a small oratory dedicated to San Leonardo, where in 1012 an Abbey was built which included the church dedicated to the Holy Sepulcher and the Holy Four Evangelists as well as a monastery of the Benedictine order, passed to the Camaldolese congregation during of the XII.
There are conflicting opinions on the foundation of the city, as some elements suggest Sansepolcro of Roman origin, but the fact remains that the life of the city begins with the birth of its Church.
The great economic development that occurred between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, which greatly fueled the artistic and cultural growth of Sansepolcro, we can admire it through the valuable monuments of the city.
The historic center of Sansepolcro is full of refined architectural elements, starting from Piazza Torre di Berta, which takes its name from the tower built in the twelfth century and destroyed by the Germans during the passage of the WWII front, via Matteotti, which leads to the Duomo dedicated to San Giovanni Evangelista, in Romanesque-Gothic style of the first half of the eleventh century, renovated in 1300 and restored several times, via XX Settembre, the main street of the historic center, full of Gothic, Renaissance and mannerist buildings.
In the eastern part of the walls is the Malatesta-Medicea Fortress, whose sixteenth-century renovation is due to the project by Giuliano da Sangallo and to the direction of the works by Antonio il Vecchio.
The city boasts many churches, including the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the Church and Convent of San Francesco, the Church and Oratory of San Rocco, the Church of Sant'Antonio Abate, the Church and Convent of Santa Maria dei Servi .
The Civic Museum located in the architectural complex of the Palazzo dei Conservatori houses extraordinary works by Piero della Francesca, who was born and died in Sansepolcro.
Here you can admire, among others, the Resurrection, the polyptych of the Madonna della Misericordia, the San Giuliano and the San Ludovico of Toulouse.Recommended readings
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The current co-cathedral, dedicated to San Giovanni Evangelista, originates from these primitive constructions, in fact on the first of September of each year the feast of Sant’Egidio founder of the Cathedral and the city of Sansepolcro is celebrated, together with Arcano.
House of Piero della Francesca
In Sansepolcro is the home of this great artist, a building characterized by an imposing architecture enriched by refined decorative elements, home of the Piero della Francesca Foundation.
Contemporary and friend of Piero della Francesca was another illustrious person born in Sansepolcro, Fra ’Luca Pacioli, mathematical encyclopedic of the Renaissance, founder of modern accounting.
In Sansepolcro, in the splendid setting of Piazza Torre di Berta, on the second Sunday of September each year the Palio della Balestra takes place, a centuries-old crossbow shooting competition between the cities of Gubbio and Sansepolcro.
The event is accompanied by two other cultural events that alternate annually, the Biennial of goldsmith's art and the Biennial of lace or pin lace.