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Monte San Savino, Arezzo. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

Monte San Savino: architectures of late Renaissance

Monte San Savino (about 9,000 inhabitants), is an interesting town in the Val di Chiana in the province of Arezzo, situated on a hill about 330 meters high, the village presents medieval and late Renaissance buildings. The village is the birthplace of Andrea Contucci Sansovino famous architect and sculptor of the Renaissance.

The area where stands today Monte San Savino was populated since Etruscan times and continued to be so during the period of the Roman Empire. The first evidence over the village of Monte San Savino date back to the thirteenth century when it was a castle of the Ubertini, during this period was bitterly contested between Arezzo and Florence, Florence prevailed in 1385 and since then Monte San Savino remained under the power of the Florentines.

The village – which was the seat of the vicarage – had considerable development in the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, when there were built interesting buildings, and settled there an important Jewish community that remained there until 1799. Between sixteenth and seventeenth century, Monte San Savino was home to a thriving Jewish community since the sixteenth century, the town had its own synagogue.

Loggia dei Mercanti, Monte San Savino, Arezzo. Autore e Copyright Marco Ramerini

Loggia dei Mercanti, Monte San Savino, Arezzo. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

Monte San Savino still retains much of its medieval walls with circular towers, on them are open two gates: Porta Romana and Porta Fiorentina. The historic center of Monte San Savino is crossed by Corso Sangallo along which are some of the most important buildings of the historic village including the Loggia dei Mercanti, built in the early decades of the sixteenth century and attributed to Antonio da Sangallo the Elder or Andrea Sansovino. In front of the lodge is the austere Palazzo Comunale, work of Sangallo, with, on the back, a renaissance roof garden. Nearby is the Church of Misericordia and the Tower of the Praetorian Palace (Palazzo Pretorio).

The parish church dedicated to Sant’Agostino was founded in the fourteenth century, but was altered in the following centuries, on the facade there is a rose window and a Gothic portal. Inside the church are the frescoes of the beginning of the fifteenth century work in part by Spinello Aretino. Next to the church is the Baptistery of San Giovanni, whose portal is the work of Sansovino.

Monte San Savino, Arezzo. Autore e Copyright Marco Ramerini.

Monte San Savino, Arezzo. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

In the square Gamurrini are other interesting buildings such as the Fortress of the late fourteenth century, the seat of the Municipal Museum of the Fortress (Museo Comunale del Cassero), with paintings, sculptures and an interesting collection of ceramics and majolica, or as the Palazzo della Cancelleria, home of the Municipal Library. The nearby church of Santa Chiara contains a considerable number of Renaissance statues.

At about 2 km away from Monte San Savino is the church of Santa Maria delle Vertighe – dating back to the eleventh century – and the adjoining Franciscan monastery.

The fortified village of Gargonza is located less than 10 km from the village, nestled in the quiet countryside of the Val di Chiana.

Monte San Savino

Monte San Savino

USEFUL INFORMATION:

Weekly market in Monte San Savino: Wednesday morning
Old town

Tourist Information Office – Monte San Savino
Corso Sangallo 38
52048 Monte San Savino (AR)
Tel. 0575/849418 fax 0575/843076

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • AA. VV. “Toscana” Guide Rosse Touring Club Italiano, 2007
  • Tenucci Giovanni “Val di Chiana. Castiglion Fiorentino, Civitella in Val di Chiana, Cortona, Foiano della Chiana, Lucignano, Marciano della Chiana, Monte San Savino” Aska Edizioni, 2003
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