Lucignano, a little more than an hour’s drive from Arezzo, adorns like a bow the hill from which it dominates the surroundings. The first to live on the top of this hill were the Etruscans, but most of the village was built in the Middle Ages.
Orange Flag of the Italian Touring Club, on the list of the most beautiful villages in Italy, Lucignano is part of the historical landscape of the Leopoldina Reclamation in Valdichiana. An enviable prize for this place as a champion of splendor.
Among History, Urbanism and Geography
Imagine for a moment to fly in the sky over the country. What you would see is an amazing ellipse with concentric rings, one of the distinctive elements of Lucignano.
You are close to the border with the province of Siena and the city of the Palio has played a very important role in the local history. You should know that in the past Lucignano was among the lands of Florence, Perugia, Arezzo and Siena. In short, a truly strategic position: everyone wanted to control the neighbors from the top of that hill.
This is why the Sienese and Florentines fought several times for the dominion over this fairy village. In the mid-Sixteenth century, the Battle of Scannagallo decreed the victory of the latter and extended the power of the Medici family over the whole region.
Even today you can read the traces of a privileged relationship with Siena. You will notice in a moment, in front of the architecture and works of art of the country.
What to See in Lucignano?
Walking through the streets of Lucignano, you have the impression of wandering around in a wedding favor a little ‘larger than normal. On the pavement that traces the spiral shape of the town your steps produce a different sound from the usual.
Maybe it is the old stone and brick houses which parade next to you that create this kind of echo. They have sober and picturesque facades that is a pleasure to observe while walking aimlessly. Cassero with its tower which overlooks Piazza delle Logge creates the ideal set for the photo you wanted to post on social media.
Once you have broken the ice with the village, it is time to get to the heart of exploration. Concentrate on the main attractions of Lucignano. Despite its small size, in this Tuscan village there are many things to see.
Three Unmissable Places In The Heart Of The Village
The Municipal Museum of Lucignano is a must to see. Here the Golden Tree, a reliquary masterpiece of goldsmith made between the Fourteenth and Fifteenth centuries, is preserved. A work of art preferred by lovebirds, who in front of its golden reflections swear to love each other forever.
Then there are the religious buildings. If you already know Tuscany, the bichrome facade of the Church of Saint Francis will trigger the mental association with the facade of the Cathedral of Siena. Inside the church has many precious frescoes. Focus your attention on the Triumph of Death because its background may hide another call to the “neighbors”. Do not those bare reliefs remind you of the Crete Senesi?
The third must see of your stay here is the Collegiata di San Michele Arcangelo. Majestic architecture spokesman of the Sixteenth century will welcome you with a fairytale staircase (it is ellipse-shaped, like Lucignano) and sumptuous spaces.
Outside Of The Village
Close to Lucignano there are at least a couple of interesting places. Beyond the historic centre the landscape welcomes the two bastions of the Medici Fortress. The task of building was entrusted by Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici to Bernardo Puccini, one of the most competent military architects in his service.
Lucignano was precious and had to be protected with the best military engineering of the time. The works were interrupted almost immediately, but still today the two guard bulwarks symbolically defend the country
Also the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Querce is located just outside Lucignano. It seems that it was designed by Giorgio Vasari, the illustrious architect of Arezzo who lived in the Sixteenth century. The sacred building is dedicated to the cult of the Sorrowful Virgin. The tradition says that the point where it rises was the set of miracles and Marian apparitions.
Enjoy the cosy atmosphere of this place. It is the perfect note of poetry and mysticism to close with style your itinerary to discover the wonders of Lucignano.
What to Do in Lucignano?
Folk events enliven the life of this extraordinary Val di Chiana town in all seasons.
The queen of the village’s festivities is undoubtedly the Maggiolata, a bit of a middle ground between a delayed carnival and a collective ritual to greet the spring. A tradition inaugurated several decades ago, it is now very different from then without losing its charm. If you are curious to see what it is, keep free at least one of the last two Sundays of May.
Two basic ingredients of Maggiolata: On one hand, the allegorical wagons made by the four districts of Lucignano, giant furniture and entirely covered with flowers that parade through the streets of the village and compete to conquer the Grifo d’oro. On the other hand, Italian and foreign folk groups gather here every year to play live and accompany the event.
Find out who are the characters of the popular historical parade. Excited during the flower battle which takes place on the final Sunday and involves the Contradaioli in a bizarre and spectacular clash.
But that’s not all. There is Segni d’amore to celebrate Valentine’s Day in one of the most romantic places in the province of Arezzo. Always in winter, Lucignano becomes beautiful for the Fiera del Ceppo, the propitiatory event of Christmas. At the end of September do not forget Memorie del Passato, which evokes crafts and customs of the time between the Nineteenth and Twentieth century.
With the good season, to be precise in June, the food and wine excursion of Camminmangiando. Finally, if you have no plans for the evening of San Lorenzo, you are invited to toast your summer and the beauty of Lucignano during Calici di stelle.
Lucignano is a place with a thousand surprises, one of the most brilliant gems in that treasury that is the land of Arezzo.