In the peripheral part of the Upper Valley of the Tiber and in the northeastern part of Tuscany, where the valleys of the rivers Foglia and Marecchia begin, Badia Tedalda lies alongside an important Roman road, the Via Ariminiensis, built at the end of the 3rd century BC to connect Arezzo to Rimini. It is possible that the town was born to function as a mansio, meaning a post station for travellers near the Viamaggio pass.
In 554, after winning the war against Goths, the emperor Justinian administratively divided the Italian Peninsula, including the territory of Badia Tedalda into the province of the Apennine Alps.
The “badia” part of the toponym refers to an ancient benedictine abbey, founded by the Tedaldi family in an area that the mighty families of Tarlati from Pietramala, of the counts of Montedoglio and of Della Faggiuola wanted to conquest. At the end of the 14th century, with the permanent decline of Arezzo, even this area entered under the dominance of Florence, further reinforced after the battle of Anghiari of 1440. In 1489 Badia Tedalda, which had been under the Florentine sphere of influence for over a decade, started adopting its laws. In 1520 the Carthusian abbot Leonardo Buonafede ordered the abbatial church of St. Michele the Archangel. In that year the rule of the religious complex passed from the diocese of Città di Castello to the newborn diocese of Sansepolcro.
In Badia Tedalda art, history and nature have been communicating for centuries in a unique way. Deep in the Apennines where three region border one another (Tuscany, Marche and Emilia-Romagna), the territory of Badia Tedalda includes the Natural Reserve of the Alp of the Moon and the Natural Area of Local Interest of Pratieghi, where the springs of the Marecchia river are. The church of St. Michele Archangel is what is left of the ancient Benedictine abbey, a religious landmark around which, in the Middle Ages, Badia Tedalda developed. The first parts of the church were built in the 10th century, but the actual romanesque building is from the 12th century, with a partial renovation in the 16th century; the church has one aisle with a bell tower, built in a prior defence tower. A loggia with three arcs on the front and two on each side is adjacent to the façade. Inside the church there are the glazed polychrome terracottas made by Benedetto and Santi Buglioni, who also worked in other parts of the town, that are called “Mary enthroned with child and four saints”, the “Madonna of the Girdle”, the “Announcement with the saints Giuliano, Sebastiano and Anthony the Great”, all made between 1519 and 1522.
The evocative surroundings of Badia Tedalda are packed with hamlets deep in the green Apennines. For example, the church of the Assumption of Mary (Santa Maria Assunta) in Rofelle, documented since the 12th century together with a castle, the latter presumably demolished. A fortilice also was in Fresciano, where the church of st. Pietro and Paolo, cited since the 13th century. This sacred building keeps a beautiful glazed terracotta by Santi Buglioni that represents “Jesus that gives the keys to St. Peter ”. Inside the church of st. Tommaso, in Montebotolino, there is another glazed terracotta representing the “Incredulity of st. Thomas” by Santi Buglioni.
The exclave of Ca’ Raffaello is also part of the municipality of Badia Tedalda: this is a part of Tuscany inside Emilia-Romagna, that includes the places called Cicognaia and Santa Sofia Marecchia. The origin of the exclave dates back to 1607, when the Grand Duke of Tuscany Ferdinando I de’ Medici acquired the territory from the Gonzaga of Novellara. Ca’ Raffaello is distant only 50 km from Rimini, making it the closest part to the Adriatic sea of Tuscany.
Church of San Michele Arcangelo
Gothic Line Museum
Remains of the Gothic Line
Remains of the Gothic Line