Sansepolcro is the most important city of Valtiberina valley, near Arezzo. It is located at the crossroads of Tuscany, Umbria, Emilia Romagna and Marche. It developed on the left side of Tiber river and among the Alp of the Moon and Massa Trabaria mountains, in a flat area near the Apennines mountains’ intersection to the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic coasts.

According to historians, in 1012 there was a Benedictine abbey in the area. During the following century those monks accepted the Camaldolite rule. In the meantime “Burgus Sancti Sepulcri” developed around the monastery, a village that, during the second half of the 12th century, became independent from the religious control of the abbey.

In 1301 Sansepolcro was conquered by Uguccione della Faggiuola and in 1321 it was put under the rule of Guido Tarlati da Pietramala, lord of Arezzo. From 1335 to 1351 Sansepolcro was controlled by Perugia, from 1351 to 1358 by the Visconti family of Milan, and after that by Città di Castello. In 1368 the Emperor Carlo IV of Luxembourg gave the city to Raimondo da Montalto. From 1371 to 1432 Sansepolcro was ruled by the Malatesta family of Rimini, and then was assigned to Niccolò Fortebraccio, a gonfalonier of the Church.

After the Battle of Anghiari on 29th June 1440, Sansepolcro started to be ruled by pope Eugenio IV, who the year after gave control of the city to Florence. The artist and mathematician Piero della Francesca was born in Sansepolcro during the 15th century, along with Luca Pacioli, famous mathematician and economist. In 1520 pope Leone X created a new diocese in Sansepolcro, and the episcopal see remained there until 1986, the year in which the diocese of Sansepolcro became part of the Arezzo-Cortona diocese.

In the city center of Sansepolcro there are many important historical buildings. The Palazzo Pretorio of the 14th century; the native house of Piero della Francesca, of the 15th century; Laudi Palace, with its arches of the 16th century, that nowadays hosts the city hall offices. Of the same century is Ducci del Rosso Palace , where the public library is located, Graziani Palace and Picchi Palace. Alberti Palace, which hosts a bust of Cosimo II de’ Medici of the 17th century, Aggiunti Palace of the 18th century, and the Dante Theatre, also called Risorti’s Academy, which was inaugurated in 1836. The Medicean Fortress is a masterpiece of military architecture, built by Giuliano da Sangallo at the beginning of the 16th century, whose building project incorporated the Malatesta stronghold of the 14th century.  There are also many important buildings connected to religious heritage.

The Cathedral of St. John the Apostle (San Giovanni Evangelista), built in roman-gothic style, was built in the 11th century as an abbatial church, and then became a cathedral in 1520. Its interiors host many beautiful works of art like the “Volto Santo”, a polychrome wooden Christ crucified sculpture of the 8th-9th century.

St. Augustine’s Church, the Church of Our Lady of Servants (Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Servi) and the ex Church of St. Chiara, now used as auditorium, are of the 13th century. Saint Francis’ Church and the Church of St. Antonio Abate and Eligio were built in the 14th century, while the Church of St. Rocco, the Church of Our Lady of Graces (Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie) and the Church of St. Lorenzo are of the 15th century. The Church of St. Mary is of the 17th century.

The Civic Museum in the old Palazzo della Residenza hosts paintings of important artists from the 14th century to the 19th century, but it is well-known for hosting Piero della Francesca’s works of art, such as the “Polyptych of Mercy” of the 1445-1462, the “San Giuliano” of the 1454-1458, the “San Ludovico da Tolosa” of the 1460, and the “Resurrection” of the 1450-1463.

The Museum “Bernardini Fatti” della Vetrata is set up inside the deconsecrated Church of Saint John the Apostle, while the Aboca Museum is located inside Bourbon del Monte Palace. In Muglioni Palace there is the CasermArcheologica, point of reference for Contemporary Art.

In the surroundings of Sansepolcro there are some nice rural hamlets such as Gragnano, Pocaia, Cignano, Misciano and Gricignano. Near the Apennines there are Montagna, Aboca e Aiola. In Paradiso there is the Saint Bernardo Tolomei monastery of the 16th century, with the Church of St. Michael Archangel. In Montecasale there is a Camaldolite hermitage of the 13th century which in 1213 was offered to Saint Francis. In 1537 the Capucines minor friars took the monastery that still today lives there, in a suggestive site.

Palazzo delle Laudi and Cathedral of San Giovanni Evangelista

Palazzo Pretorio

Porta Fiorentina

Civic Museum

Polittico della Misericordia, Piero della Francesca, civic Museum

Resurrection, Piero della Francesca, civic Museum

Resurrection, Piero della Francesca, civic Museum

Church of San Francesco

Birthplace of Piero della Francesca

Medici Fortress