Overview of Pratovecchio
Pratovecchio is a pretty ancient town, characterised by narrow streets and arcaded squares, rising at 420 m. above the sea level in the impressing protected “Park delle Foreste Casentinesi”, located in eastern Tuscany.
Originally an Etruscan settlement, in the 12th century, according to the official documentation, became a feudal site granted by the Emperor Enrich IV to the Counts Guidi da Battifolle, remaining under the dominion of different branches of that noble family - who surrounded the town with channels and a ring of walls - until the second half of the 15th century, when the Guelph’s victory over the entire Casentino’s area permitted the Medici’s to take it under their territorial jurisdiction, being conferred to the town the status of Podestà Seat of Office.
Under Medici’s power and subsequently under Lorena’s dominion, Pratovecchio reached an important economic improvement because of the commercialization of the pine-wood produced in the Casentino’s forests, starting to export it in all Tuscany as well as in other Italian jurisdictions. At the end of the 18th century the economic influence of Pratovecchio became so relevant that Lorena’s Dukedom took the control over all the pine-woods laying in Casentino.
In 1872 Pratovecchio, incorporated eleven years before into Italy’s Kingdom, became an autonomous community.
But the main reward reached over the centuries by Pratovecchio was conferred to the town by a natural event: to be the birthplace of Paolo di Dono, known as Paolo Uccello (1397-1475).
He was not only a great painter, pioneering of the perspective technique in the early Italian Renaissance, but a genius whose singular work, as a result of empiric and irregular directions because of his incessant experimentations, has set up the apprenticeship’s basis for the 20th century’s Cubist and Surrealist schools.
What to visit :
- Il Monastero Camaldolese di San Giovanni Evangelista: built on the 12th century. It church houses numerous art works. It highlight is “L’Incoronazione della Vergine e Santi” by Giovanni Bizelli from the 17th century.
- Il Castello di Romena: erected around the 12th century, still preserves three towers and the rests of its border walls. It houses a small Archaeological Museum and an interesting collection of arms. When the Castle belonged to the Count Guido Selvatico da Dovadola he guests Dante Alighieri during his exile from Florence.
- Pieve di San Pietro: comes back from the 12th century. The church’s interior has a basilica appearance. It has three aisles and columns carved with flowers and human faces.
- Propositura del SS. Nome di Gesú: the church hosts several art works being the most important a big wooden Crucifix from the 15th century and a “Maddona and Child” by Maestro di Varlunga from the 13th century.
Where to eat:
We suggest you three well-known restaurants in Pratovecchio which are offering a traditional Casentino’s cuisine made with the best local ingredients:
- Ristorante “Gli Accaniti” (30 euros c. per person)
- Ristorante “La Tana degli Orsi” (25 euros c. per person)
- Ristorante “I Quattro Cantoni” (20 euros c. per person)
Some old traditional Casentino’s dishes:
- Scottiglia: small beef meat pieces slowly stewed over a low heat and served on toasted bread slices.
- Tortello di Patate and Tortello di Ricotta: a kind of potatoes or fresh cheese salty cakes.
- Panzanella: a fresh dish with vegetables and bread.
Where to sleep :
Main Towns in Casentino
Anghiari, Bibbiena, Camaldoli,
Chiusi della Verna, Monterchi, Poppi, Pratovecchio, San Sepolcro.
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