Lucignano is located on the top of a hill on the border between the provinces of Arezzo and Siena, at the crossroads of important roads that, through the ages, connected the Tirrenian and the Adriatic seas, across the Chiana valley. The Etruscan necropolises of Casalta and Moschino have brought some information about the wealth of the inhabitants of Lucignano in the 5th century BC.

According to tradition, Lucignano was founded by the Romans; they built a castrum, called Lucinianum, during the 1st century BC. The name derives from that of the consul Lucius Licinius Lucullus.

The free town, during the Middle Ages, was a point of contention between Arezzo, Perugia, Florence and Siena. In 1371, when Siena was its ruler, the city walls were completed. In 1392 the fortress was built.

In 1552, Lucignano was conquered by the Florentines, then for a short time the government of Siena was restored but the Medici permanently conquered the city in 1554.

The typical elliptical shape, made by concentric rings, and the conservation of the historical centre, full of wonderful glimpses, let Lucignano enter the circuit “I borghi più belli d’Italia” (the most beautiful towns of Italy). The two main gates of the town are San Giusto ate, to the west, and San Giovanni Gate, to the east. There are also two other gates: Murata and St. Angelo.

Some of the most important buildings in town are located in Tribunale square. The Town Hall, built during the 14th century, was the house of the town council, so where justice was administered. Nowadays, inside the building there is the Civic Museum, with masterpieces that were made between the 14th and the 18th centuries. The most important room is the Chancellor’s Office, frescoed in the 15th century; in this picture there are some important men and women from the Greek, Roman and Christian histories that would inspire the behaviour of Lucignano officials. At the centre of the room there is the Golden Tree, an extraordinary reliquary that is almost two metres and a half of height; it was probably made during the 14th century by a goldsmith from Arezzo, influenced by the Senese style, and then finished by Gabriello d’Antonio in the 1470s.

The Collegiata of St. Michele Archangel, built between the 1594 and 1616 has a travertine staircase at its entrance and the main altar designed by Andrea Pozzo at the beginning of the 18th century. The church of st. Francis has an Italian gothic style and was built from 1248 to 1289; inside it there are many works such as the fresco “Triumph of Death” from the late 14th century attributed to Bartolo di Fredi.

The Oratory of the Most Holy Body (Oratorio del Corpus Domini) is adjacent to the church of the Most Holy Annunciation or of the Mercy (chiesa della Santissima Annunziata o della Misericordia), from the 16th century, is close as well. The itinerary of the churches in Lucignano ends with the 16th-century church of the Crucifix or of st. Margherita and the Oratory of st. Giuseppe from the 15th century.

The fortress, built by the Senese at the end of the 14th century, with its small tower and the fortified one, is one of the distinctive elements of the town. The Loggia, built in the 16th century, faces the fortress.. In the small square behind the church of st. Francis, it is possible to see the tower of the Monache from the 11th/12th century, whereas the tower Picconi, round shaped, is along the walls.

Around Lucignano it is possible to visit the ruins of the Medici Fortress ,only partially built by Florentines in 1558, and at north west from the town the sanctuary of Our Lady of the Oaks (Santuario della Madonna delle Querce), built in the second half of the 16th century and  attributed to Giorgio Vasari, the convent of Capuchins, built around the end of the 16th century, and the church of st. Biagio, a Romanesque building restored at the end of the 18th century, in the small town Pieve Vecchia.

In the locality Calcione there are a picturesque lake made by the dam on the Faenna stream and the majestic castle, documented since the 10th century, belonging to the noble family of Pianetti Lotteringhi della Stufa.

The profile of Lucignano with the Collegiate Church of San Michele Arcangelo and the senese tower, with the Valdichiana in the background.

Porta San Giusto

Porta San Giovanni

The 16th-century porticoes, with the Collegiate Church of San Michele Arcangelo above.

Collegiate Church of San Michele Arcangelo

Rocca senese

Town Hall, Civic Museum

Albero d’Oro, Civic Museum

Albero d’Oro, Civic Museum

Albero d’Oro, Civic Museum

Church of San Francesco

Church of San Francesco

Fresco from the early 15th century

Trionfo della morte,  attributed to Bartolo di Fredi (late 14th century).