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Veduta di Città di castello

Città di Castello

The ramparts of the old town: they are a reminder of the rich medieval past. They are intact in several parts of town, and in many places it is possible to see the double ring of walls, such as near the door in front of the park in the Tiber bend.

The Museum of Typography (Museo della Tipografia): it is possible to admire an 18th century lathe, the hand-composition desks, the flat rolling printing machines and many other peculiar objects which are preserved in a unique setting which has not been changed for several decades.

The Mayor’s Palace (Palazzo del Podestà): it was designed by Angelo da Orvieto and built entirely in stone, but only one façade still is intact. This façade is decorated by nine pointed arch niches with carved lunettes displaying coats of

Palazzo del Podestà a Città di Castello

Il Palazzo del Podestà a Città di Castello

arms and medieval decorative patterns. A row of arched two-light windows gives light to the first floor (called the noble floor). The great entrance vault is surrounded by a larger arch and is linked with the 17th century loggia which opens onto Piazza Fanti. The façade on Piazza Matteotti was finished by Barbioni in 1687. The double clock marking hours and minutes and the dial with the very rare image of a wind rose make this façade quite unique.

Church of Santa Maria Maggiore: it was built between the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century on the site of a small 13th century church. This church is a typical product of architecture during the Vitellian times, with an elegant late gothic structure and typically Renaissance decorative patterns.

Piazza Matteotti: This square is surrounded by the most important palaces of Città di Castello. The Mayor’s Palace, the Bondi-Mancini Palace, the Vitelli-Bufalini Palace, the Cappelletti Palace. In the past the Bondi-Mancini Palace and the Vitelli-Bufalini Palace hosted exceptional art collections including works of very important artists such as Signorelli, Poussin, Rubens and Van Dick.

Palazzo Vitelli alla cannoniera

Palazzo Vitelli alla cannoniera

Palazzo Vitelli alla Cannoniera: it used to be a cannon warehouse or a foundry and it is part of five buildings that the Vitelli family ordered to be built between the end of the 15th century and the second half of the 16th century. The Renaissance graffiti decoration of the main façade was created by Giorgio Vasari. In the 16th century the front garden was famous in the whole of Europe for its collection of exotic plants.

“Tela Umbra” and the collection of textiles: “Tela Umbra” is a weaving workshop created in 1908 by Barons Alice and Leopoldo Franchetti. Its main purpose was to improve life in the rural areas through a collectively organized quality production of textiles. The workshop also had a small nursery where the workers’ children were looked after. The centuries-old weaving traditions are followed unchanged by the women of the workshop, who guarantee a production of artifacts of great value.

The municipal gallery (Pinacoteca comunale): For the richness and the importance of the paintings, this gallery is the second most important in Umbria, after the National Gallery in Perugia. It is possible to admire masterpieces by Maestro di Castello, Luca Signorelli, Raphael, the Della Robbia Brothers.

Church of San Domenico: It is an imposing gothic church containing only one nave. The interior with a vaulted ceiling with exposed beams is divided by tall polygonal pillars which support the cross vaults of the apse. In the past the 16th century altar was decorated with the Mond Crucifixion by Raphael, which can now be admired at the National Gallery in London.

Church of San Francesco: in the shape of a Latin cross, with one nave and three polygonal apses, it was built at the beginning of the 14th century. The outside was modified at the beginning of the 18th century, while the inside is pure baroque. In the Chapel designed by Giorgio Vasari hangs the Crowning of the Virgin by Vasari himself. This large painting had been painted for the main altar a few years after he worked on the Chapel.

Palazzo Albizzini

Palazzo Albizzini (the Burri Collection): Since 1981 this building hosts the important collection of the works of Alberto Burri, which the artist bequeathed to his birth town. It is the richest and most organic collection of the works of one of the most important artists of the 20th century. The building, with its elegant proportions, is a good example of Tuscan Renaissance architecture.

The Councillors’ Palace (Palazzo dei Priori): it was designed by Angelo da Orvieto and built between 1332 and 1338, and it was once richly frescoed inside. Even if it is a medieval building, its ashlar façade is a precursor of the Tuscan Renaissance palaces. A 16th century staircase leads to the vast Council Room where remains from the Roman times are exhibited (from the 2nd century BC to the 1st century AD).

Palazzo Vitelli a Sant’Egidio: this palace witnesses the importance that Città di castello had during the Renaissance under the leadership of the Vitelli family which played a major political role in Europe during the time of the city-states. Perfectly preserved, and probably designed by Giorgio Vasari, it represents one of the most important architectural designs of the 16th century in Italy.

The municipal tower (known as the Bishop’s tower): it was built in the 13th century. The tower maintains its peculiar prismatic shape and some coats of arms on its walls, and also some traces of a fresco by Luca Signorelli that the city councillors had commissioned in 1474. Symbol of the power of the city-state, it also was a jail and was rebuilt several times: the current shape dates back to the 18th century.

The round bell tower: it is a very rare example of bell tower detached from the cathedral. The lower part is in the romanesque style, while the upper part is gothic, with a double row of wide openings and a conic roof which make it unique.

Cathedral: it was built during the Renaissance on the site of an older church of the 11th century which was bishop Saint Florido’s (the town’s patron) burial ground. Traces of its romanesque and gothic past are still visible, such as the wonderful door on the Northern side. It has only one nave with cross vaults and lateral chapels, following the typical Florentine Renaissance plan.

The Cathedral museum: it hosts the Pastoral Staff, a remarkable masterpiece of the Sienese goldsmith production. Among a large collection of precious reliquaries and paintings, it is worth admiring the “Madonna and Child with St. John” by Pinturicchio, and also the so-called Treasure of Canoscio, found in the village with same name in 1935, which is comprised of a number of chalices, trays and other liturgical objects from the 5th and 6th century.

Municipal Collections: they are hosted in one room of the municipal library and contain several archeological findings which nearly exclusively belonged to private individuals who bequeathed them to the town. They range from the most ancient geological eons, through the first signs of human presence to the Roman and Etruscan times.

Teatro degli Illuminati: it was opened on 25 August 1666 and was erected for want of the Enlightened People, a group of patrons of the arts and intellectuals who met under the motto “Videor ut video”. This group had been created by Senator Antonio Lignani, Marchioness Angela Vitelli’s husband, in 1662.

Museum of Popular Traditions, in Villa Cappelletti at Garavelli, about 1 km from the city center: it is one of the first examples of collection of objects linked to rural traditions. The Document Center of the Popular Traditions and of the Artisanal Workshops of Umbria is hosted in a farmhouse where the furniture, objects and working tools are a faithful reproduction of the traditional life of the rural families in Umbria.

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