Città della Pieve is situated on a hill overlooking the Chiana Valley and Lake Trasimeno. Medieval in origin, the town was completed in 1326 with the building of the fortress. Over the centuries it was influenced by Siena, visible in the characteristic layout of the town’s narrow streets and squares. The most important monuments, dating from the 13th and 16th centuries, are found inside the town walls and have notable baroque and Renaissance stylistic influences. The numerous towers and steeples in the town are evidence of a history of military and ecclesiastical supremacy. Città della Pieve is the birthplace of the painter Pietro Vannucci, known as ‘Il Perugino’. The town conserves several of his masterpieces.
Things to see: The cathedral of SS. Gervasio and Protasio, built around the 8th century, then rebuilt and enlarged in the 13th century with features in Gothic style. The building preserves many frescoes and paintings; in the apse is a Madonna and Child by Perugino. Palazzo della Corgna, the most important noble residence in Città della Pieve. Built in the mid-16th century, it now houses the public ibrary and temporary exhibitions. The oratory of Santa Maria dei Bianchi, which has an extraordinary fresco by Perugino: The Adoration of the Magi, considered among his best works. The medieval Casalino well, built to supply water in case of siege. Thirty-two metres deep, the well is connected via an underground aqueduct to the Fontana delle Cannelle, which was once located near the ancient church and monastery ‘del Fior di Maggio’, now demolished. Perugino’s house, now private property, is located between the main square and via Roma (formerly via Vecciano). A plaque on the façade from 1923 was placed on the fourth centenary of the artist’s death. The 12th-century Romanesque-Gothic style civic tower attached to the Cathedral, built of travertine stone. The 13th-century church of S. Agostino, containing works by Pomarancio and Savini. The church of Santa Maria dei Servi, originally Gothic but later remodelled in baroque style, which contains the last painting by Perugino, the Deposition from the Cross. The 13th-century church of S. Francesco: inside are works by Pomarancio and Alfani.
Places to visit near Città della Pieve: Salci is an interesting fortressed village located at the border of the town’s territory. It was elevated to the rank of duchy in 1568.
Typical local foods: Products include honey and various cheeses and wines, including Grechetto DOC, Vin Santo and Novello. The production of saffron has been documented since the 13th century and was strategic for the local economy since it was used for dyeing fabrics. Today, production flourishes anew, and the gathered saffron stigma or ‘threads’ are used mainly as an ingredient for cooking, inspired by Renaissance recipes.
Local crafts: Castel della Pieve was once famous for the production of bricks, velvets, silks, tapestries and ‘crimson cloth’. Today, the handcrafts mostly consist of ceramics and glazed containers and jugs. Painting, decoration and restoration are also important, as is traditional wood sculpture.