Pieve Santo Stefano

Pieve Santo Stefano is an ancient Roman settlement, founded in the northern part of the Tiber valley on the confluence between the Ancione stream and the Tiber. In this place, wood from the Massa Trabaria was collected and was put into the water to float to Rome.

It was mentioned as Suppetia in a manuscript in 723. In those times, this area was conquered by the Langobards, changing its name to Massa Verona. During the 10th century, the viscountcy of Massa Verona was given to Goffredo d’Ildebrando head of the family of the counts of Montedoglio. At those times the town was a Castle of Verona, later named Castelfranco.

In 1264, the town called the Bishop of Arezzo, Guglielmino degli Ubertini, for protection and he fortified the town, renaming it Castel san Donato.  In 1269, the armies of Sansepolcro and Perugia besieged Pieve Santo Stefano, damaging its fortifications. Arezzo later sieged Sansepolcro, compelling the city to rebuild it after the fall of Sansepolcro.

During the first half of the 14th century, the city was ruled by Uguccione della Faggiuola and then by the Tarlati di Pietramala, another layer of city walls was built. Pieve Santo Stefano remained under the control of Arezzo until 1384, when Arezzo was captured by Florence. Florentines erected another, the third, layer of city walls in 1483, instituting a Vicariate in 1545.

On the 14th of February 1855, a flood destroyed the town, which was rebuilt during the following times but, with the 2nd World War and the breaching of the Gothic Line, Pieve Santo Stefano was further damaged. In 1977, in the locality Madonnuccia, started the construction of a dam that, in 1993 created the lake Montedoglio, the biggest in Tuscany.

Among the important sights in town, it is worth mentioning the Town Hall, from the Middle Ages but rebuilt after the 2nd World War. Right next to it there is the Praetorian Palace, from the 16th century. The two buildings give access to the Logge del Grano, built in the 19th century.
The neoclassic Collegiata of st. Stefano, built between the 1844 and the 1881 where the mediaeval parish church was, is the main religious site of the town. The sanctuary of Our Lady of the Light (Santuario della Madonna dei Lumi) was erected between 1590 and 1625, keeps a fresco which is thought to have realised miracles. On Colledestro stream, where originally a pagan temple dedicated to the river Tiber stood, there is the church of st. Mary, with an octagonal plan. It has been mentioned in documents since the 12th century, but its current aspect comes from a restoration done in the 16th century.

Pieve Santo Stefano is the place where the National Archive of Diaries is, it was founded in 1984 by Saverio Tutino. Since 2013 the Praetorian Palace has housed the Small Museum of the Diary, a one of a kind museum in Italy where letters, diaries and memoirs of ordinary people are kept.

The territory includes sites like the Hermitage of Cerbaiolo, which was at first a Benedictine monastery  that was given in 1216 to the Franciscan order. According to tradition, both st. Francis and st. Anthony the Great have visited this hermitage.

In Sigliano stands the church of Our Lady of Peace (Santa Maria della Pace) in a neo-byzantine style, finished in 1921; its panoramic position on the lake of Montedoglio makes this church one of the most peculiar sites in the city, together with the near hamlet of Tizzano, where some Etruscan finds have been discovered, and Baldignano, where there is the church of st. Lorenzo with its crypt from the 11th century. Further high, still on the lake, there is the Castle of Brancialino, from the 12th century. In Mignano, on the road that goes to Mount Verna, there is the church of st. Andrea of the Tower, documented since 1085 and connected to a fortified small town. In Cercetole there is the Hermitage of Our Lady of the Beech (Eremo della Madonna del Faggio) built in the first part of the 15th century. Some art pieces of the 16th century are inside the church of the st. Giacomo and Cristoforo in Montalone and inside the church of st. Pietro and Paolo in Valsavignone.

In Bulciano there is the villa where, since 1907, the writer Giovanni Papini, has lived; he played host to a lot of important intellectuals from the first part of the 1900s, he wrote his most important works and he converted to catholicism. The so-called “Cross of Papini” remembers his

Town Hall

Collegiata of Santo Stefano

Collegiata of Santo Stefano

Sanctuary of Madonna dei Lumi

Hermitage of Cerbaiolo

Hermitage of Cerbaiolo

Montedoglio lake

Diary Museum