01 Apr 2011 Città della Pieve
Città della Pieve is a small village in Umbria, in the province of Perugia. It is very near the border between Umbria, Tuscany and Lazio, and surrounded by some of the most beautiful places of these three regions: the Tuscan cities of Montepulciano and Cetona, Lake Trasimeno in Umbria, Lake Bolsena and the city of Viterbo in Lazio.
Città della Pieve is a medieval village, ringed by fourteenth century walls, featuring beautiful exposed brickwork. It is said to have the narrowest alleyway in Italy, Via Baciadonne, and is famous for being the birthplace of Pietro Vannucci, called Il Perugino, considered to be the highest exponent of Umbrian art in the XV century.
Il Perugino spent most of his life in Tuscany, in Lucca and Florence where he frequented the prestigious workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio and was a fellow student of Leonardo da Vinci. His name is also often associated with that of Sandro Botticelli, with whom he worked, amongst other things, on decorating the Sistine Chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, where he created his masterpiece: “Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter”. Many of his works can be found in Città della Pieve: in the Cathedral, in the Churches of Santa Maria della Mercede, S. Maria dei Servi and S. Antonio Abate.
Every year on the Feast of the Assumption (Ferragosto), Città della Pieve hosts the traditional “Palio dei Terzieri” (or “three-district palio”: the term refers to the three parts into which the city is divided, each one of which corresponded to a social class in medieval times: peasants, bourgeoisie and aristocrats.) The Palio lasts for 10 days and ends with a “bull hunt” between the three “Terzieri”: “Borgo dentro”, “Casalino” and “Castello”.