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Tuscany Travel Guide


Overview of Monterchi

Monterchi is a small charming town situated in the northeast of Arezzo. It rises along the right bank of the Tiber River.
Its original name dates back from Roman civilization. Its etymology comes from two Latin words: Mons (mount) and Hercules, the mythological hero son of Jupiter and Alcmena.

The first historical records of Monterchi are coming back from the 12th century when the town was under the power of the Marquises del Monte di Santa Maria. The locality remained under their government until the end of that century when the Bishop of Arezzo, Guido Tarlati, and his brother Pier Saccone seized it. In 1440 Florence defeated Tarlati’s family in the famous Battle of Anghiari and Monterchi was annexed to the Florence’s State.
In the 18th century the town was under the jurisdiction of Lorena’s Duke who retrieved the whole territory and started important works to restore the town, promoting the local’s economy development.
In 1861, during Italy’s reunification, the territory passed under the conduction of Italy’s Kingdom.

When Monterchi was under the domination of the Tuscan Grand Dukedom, the great painter Piero della Francesca (1416-1492) painted the well-known fresco “La Madonna del Parto”, probably dedicated to his mother, Romana di Perino da Monterchi, who was born in this town.
The fresco is believed as one of the Italian Renaissance masterpieces, being also the only painting of a pregnant Madonna made during that century. To paint it Piero della Francesca utilized colors from rare and expensive minerals, in order to create bright and striking pigments. The Virgin’s robe is made from lapis lazuli.   

What to visit in Monterchi:

- Santa Maria in Momentana: the chapel where Piero della Francesca painted “La Madonna del Parto”.
- The Museum della Madonna del Parto: is now hosting the recently restored fresco.
- The Pieve Romanica: a charming Romanic parish.
- The Museum delle Bilancie e Pesi: a small structure with an interesting collection of old balances and weights.

More information about Monterchi can be found at this page: Comune di Monterchi

Main Towns in Casentino

Anghiari, Bibbiena, Camaldoli, Chiusi della Verna, Monterchi, Poppi, Pratovecchio, San Sepolcro.


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