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Some about the cities in Tuscany and Umbria

Florence, Firenze, of course the center of all art and history in Tuscany ,and one of the most important of all Italy.The city is full of museums ,of which the most known are the Uffizi and the Academia.,both of them worthy of your visit.So many beautiful churches , the Duomo and it’s Battistero ,The church of Santa Maria Novella.So many historical palaces and villas. Food and leatherwear markets ,you probably could spend a lifetime here.So take a good guide book and chose what you possible can see in your allotted time.

At Arezzo you can walk through the historical center ,and  view the restored frescoes by Piero della Francesca in the church of San Francesco,who was native of a nearby town ,Sansepolcro. There are also musea worth visiting,like casa Vasari.Giorgio Vasari was a well-known architect ,painter and historian of the Renaissance. In Arezzo you also find an antiques market every first Sunday of the month ,and the Saturday before.

Assisi ,seen high upon  the hills like a white beacon of peace, is  made for a day of tranquility. The beautiful cathedral of Saint Francis ,born in Assisi and their most beloved son of the city,with the upper chapel full of paintings by Giotto,is alone worth of your attention. The city has a sense of  calm and inner peace,and it’s a pleasure just walking through it,and look at the architecture,and enter from time to time in some church or museum.Assisi is also known for it’s embroidery,that goes back to the 13th century.

Montepulciano ,another medieval hilltop city,is certainly a place to visit ,while in the vicinity of Cortona.  Besides it’s historical center with it’s Piazza grande and it’s cathedral,it’s a nice relaxing walk through the narrow streets ,full of  wine shops,where you can taste the different  wines ,for which Montepulciano is famous,like the Rosso di Montepulciano and the Nobile di Montepulciano. When you leave the city on your way to Pienza,you should take a moment to see the  striking church of San Biagio ,just outside the city.

In Sansepolcro you can visit  the Piero ,a museum where you can admire the works of Piero della Francesca.His hometown brought a lot of his art together from all the surrounding villages where he worked in his lifetime.

Città di Castello is a gorgeous medieval town in the plain of the Upper Tiber Valley, you can visit and admire the narrow and hidden streets of this medieval town and its churches and architecture, there are excellent trattorias and restaurants to taste the delights of Umbrian kitchen.

At Anghiari ,mostly known in the history for the battle of  Anghiari,you can enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes.The fresco of the battle,painted by Leonardo da Vinci is unfortunately lost.There exist a copy in the Louvre by Rubens.It’s also the hometown of the  Busatti  industry ,known for it’s  beautifully made bedlinens and household textiles ,which you can visit.

Cortona, the hill town, so called Citta del Arte, for the fine museums MAEC and the Diocesan Museum with a collection of works by Signorelli, Lorenzetti, Fra Angelico and other artists of Cortona, Lot’s of medieval performances and games in spring and summer.Also a lot of musical events during the tourist season.

Perugia, the  capital of the region of Umbria, is  home to the most known chocolate factory of Italy,the Perugina,which produces the very well loved “baci”,kisses.. There is the National Gallery  with church paintings, and the local cathedral is  a beautiful landmark in the historical center.

 Siena, known especially for it’s Palio, held twice each year on the Campo in the center of the old town,is a joy to walk through and absorb it’s history by just looking around.The beautiful restored cathedral is certainly worth a visit because of it’s mosaic floors and it’s library of antique books..

 Pienza and San Quirico d’Orcia ,another two little hill towns , that are delightful to visit. Just stroll through the narrow streets and allies ,and look at the spectacular views of the surroundings, which are a popular object for photographers and painters.This region ,first among it Pienza,is famous for it’s Pecorino (goat) cheeses,which you can taste and buy everywhere.

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