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AREZZO Città del Natale
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
x  Fino al 7 gennaio, dal giovedì alla domenica dalle 10.00 alle 21.00, attrazioni luminose, proiezioni, mercatino... Read more...
IVAN THEIMER ad AREZZO
Wednesday, 12 October 2016
xAncora visibile fino al 23 ottobre la bella mostra di Ivan Theimer: i grandi bronzi sono esposti nelle sale... Read more...
SESTO CENTENARIO della nascita di PIERO della FRANCESCA
Saturday, 20 February 2016
x  Arezzo si sta preparando per celebrare adeguatamente il sesto centenario della nascita di Piero della Francesca. Il... Read more...
SANSEPOLCRO Visita guidata alla Resurrezione di Piero della Francesca/ work in progress
Wednesday, 25 November 2015
x  Il restauro di un'opera d'arte è anche un importante momento conoscitivo e quello de La Resurrezione di Piero... Read more...
Visite guidate di CITTA' DI CASTELLO e LAGO TRASIMENO
Wednesday, 14 October 2015
x  Oltre ad Arezzo, Siena e province, la mia competenza professionale attualmente copre anche Città di Castello e... Read more...
Free-lance tour guide - Arezzo, Siena and their provinces – Gianna Chiaretti
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Arezzo, Cortona and ..

 

Luckily enough I live and work in a beautiful, Tuscan province which is rich of green areas such as Parco delle Foreste Casentinesi, of breathtaking views and history... nearly every place is a clear example of historical stratification: firstly the Etruscans, secondly the Romans, thirdly the Early Middle Ages, then the free Communes, Renaissance and all the rest before us!

In my province there are imposing monuments and small and hidden works of art which often speak to the visitor’s soul: I think of the Valdarno Pievi, of Camaldoli Hermitage and Monastery, of La Verna Sanctuary, of Cerbaiolo, Le Celle and Montecasale Hermitages... all plunged into a green silence.

There are archaic feasts such as La Maggiolata di Lucignano and ancient tournaments such as Arezzo’s Giostra del Saracino, Sansepolcro’s Palio della Balestra, Cortona’s Giostra dell’Archidado and they have been talking about Carnival at Foiano della Chiana for almost five hundred years! There are fairs all year round and nearly everywhere: the ones called “Perdoni” in Valdarno, the fairs of the Steak and of Copper in Cortona, the fairs of the Dressed Stone and of Wrought Iron in Casentino, the ancient St. Catherine's Fair in Monte S. Savino, also called "of the horse and of the whistling hand-warmer", Sestino’s Fair of the Chianina Breed in the Upper Tiber Valley, the Antiques’ Fair in Arezzo.

Apart from all that, there are places which are both beautiful and evocative such as Ponte Buriano, also called Monna Lisa Bridge, Poppi Castle with Simone da Battifolle’s ghost and Sorci Castle with Baldaccio d’Anghiari’s one; there is Sansepolcro's Aboca Museum which is about herbs and ancient cultures, it is really a sensorial museum; there is Cortona’s Melone 2 del Sodo, an Etruscan hypogeum with a terrace-altar telling about the 6thc. bC rites and architecture and there are also the “Fairies’ Mountains” in Valdarno which, apart from their name and fascinating look, only echo the toil of our peasants who lived there till about the 1960’s.

Our gastronomy is still very much influenced by their ancient culture and therefore our food is simply prepared, extremely tasty and always matches with excellent oil and wine which are still made as peasants used to. At Anghiari there is Molino Ravagni which has been producing oil for at least 500 years and there is also Manifattura Busatti where beautiful fabrics have been woven since the mid-nineteenth c. with first quality yarns and ancient patterns. And then there are the ceramics made in Valdichiana, the extremely colourful and warm woollen cloth named “Panno” from Casentino and Piero della Francesca’s works... there is colour and beauty everywhere!

 

Once a tourist wrote to me: I envy you the beauty that surrounds you!”.
I also believe that living here is a privilege, which I would like to share…
as a guide I know I can!

 

Siena, Pienza and ..

 

Curiosity has made me find out and deeply know also Siena and its province where I have always discovered something surprising: a view, a painting, a sculpture …

 

Siena, a Unesco site since 1995, is a very special town indeed: not only is there a noticeable number of imposing Renaissance buildings such as Palazzo Spannocchi, Loggia della Mercanzia, Palazzo del Magnifico, Palazzo di San Galgano, Logge del Papa; Siena really lets you plunge into the Middle Ages too. The names of many streets and alleys echo the medieval activities which were carried out in this rich and lively town: Vicolo dei Borsellai, dei Pollaioli, Via di Beccheria with a lot of butchers’ and Via di Pian d’Ovile where shepherds used to live; Via dei Pittori where workers  used to die cloths which were later dried in Vicolo del Tiratoio or Via della Stufa Secca. In Siena you can find the largest collection of gothic paintings with a golden background: therefore, there is Vicolo degli Orefici dedicated to Siena’s goldsmiths, and Vicolo dell’Oro reminding us of the pure gold used for 14th and 15th c. paintings. There is Costarella dei Barbieri, because there used to be several barberie where the owner acted both as a barber and a general practitioner. Last but not least, there are Via Banchi di Sopra and Via Banchi di Sotto along which you should imagine the Sienese money changers’ stalls waiting for the foreign pilgrims going to Rome through the Francigena Road; actually, there is still Via dei Pellegrini.

There are streets reminding us of the most popular Sienese saints (Via di Santa Caterina, Via del Sasso di San Bernardino who, together with the four patron saints and the Blessed, are all gathered around the Madonna to whom the Sienese people are deeply devout and asked for protection many times: the first on the occasion of Montaperti battle and the last in 1944.The two Palio races (on July 2nd and August 16th) are also dedicated to the Madonna and the big bell on top of Torre del Mangia is called Sunto after l’Assunta that is Our Lady of Assumption!

Fairly enough, in Siena there is the Street of Wisdom (Via della Sapienza) because it is definitely a cultured town where a Doctor of the Church was born  (Saint Catherine) and many university students lived since the mid-13th century; just the ones who had imported an archaic tennis which was played with a ball thrown by the players’ palms beyond a rope tied across Vicolo della Pallacorda.

In Siena there are streets named Costa dell’Incrociata, Via del Costone, Vicolo del Costaccino and Costa Larga: all these synonyms stand for “short, steep street” and are all certainly avoidable, but I must admit that Siena is a most irregular hill town! In fact, in 2003 Siena started to organize walking tours away from the most renowned corners in order to favour slow tourism which is good both for people’s body and mind: the initiative meets with great success on 31 October of each year and is largely imitated all over Italy.

Piazza del Campo is an unusually steep square which is partly bordered by the largest gothic public palace in Italy and is the fantastic setting for a wild race, the Palio, organized by the fiery Sienese people: after all, only in Siena there is an alley named Dog and Cat! I like to remember Via dei Pispini too, where a beautiful fountain was placed in the mid-16th c. and the people liked it so much that they named the street after its jets (pispini).

 

Yes, the Sienese people are straightforward, lively and passionate persons who are fond of their town. Surely enough, both your eyes and heart will be filled with Siena’s art and passions; you may even take a bit of its culture home … if you buy its delicious panforte!

 

 

You can also find a lot of culture at Pienza, formerly called Corsignano, where the Piccolomini family had large properties. Enea Silvio Piccolomini was born there in 1405 and, after a successful diplomatic career, he became a priest who was very soon appointed bishop, later cardinal and finally Pope as Pious II in 1458. He was a humanist and a writer who has left us his autobiography, I Commentarii, with a lot of information about the restoration works which were carried out in his native town in order to make the first Italian Renaissance square with the help of a famous architect: Bernardo Gambarelli, nicknamed il Rossellino.

Piazza Pio II is just magic: if you look at the cathedral you may have the feeling that it is proceeding towards you; if you turn against it, the square seems even larger with its perfect perspective. The Piccolomini Palace and all the other buildings around it give their contribution to its beauty and harmony which are also the qualities of the spacious Cathedral where the gold of the five altar-pieces glitters in the sunset light.

Pienza too is a Unesco site where you can also visit a most interesting Diocesan Museum and the Pieve di Corsignano which is full of fascinating primitive sculptures, crawling snakes included. Last but not least, from Pienza you can have a unique view of Val d’Orcia which is made of beauty and harmony again.

 

Apart from that … the whole Sienese province impresses any visitor with its most various landscapes: there are the lunar Crete and the volcano dominating the Amiatino, the rough Chianti hills and the smooth and mellow Valdichiana; there are the green Val di Merse, Val d’Elsa and Val d’Orcia, a valley which is so beautiful to be protected by Unesco as a rare jewel.

A widespread, deep religious feeling has produced unique temples such as San Biagio at Montepulciano and the abbeys at Monte Oliveto, Sant’Antimo and San Galgano; the Middle Ages tower above San Gimignano, Monteriggioni and Colle Val d’Elsa, while elsewhere the green serpentine and the white and yellow marbles of Siena cathedral crop out.

There are spas all over the Sienese province, which have been known for some 2,000 years: there are forty-two of them at San Casciano only and some maintain that “they are the most beautiful spas in the world”; there are the ones at Petriolo where Pope Pious II used to go, differently from Lorenzo de’ Medici who preferred Bagni di San Filippo on Mount Amiata. Saint Catherine plunged herself into the warm waters of Bagno Vignoni, while at Radicondoli you can find a 19th c. spa inside a natural reserve. Rapolano offers waters of different temperatures and roman baths, but Emperor Augustus’ personal practitioner recommended Fontes Clusinae which were very close to Chianciano Terme. Apart from wine, Montepulciano has recently found out that it can offer first quality thermal waters as well.

A glass of Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino or Nobile di Montepulciano can easily express the special flavour of this territory, especially if it is matched with salumi di cinta senese, pecorino di Pienza or with pici, the delicious homemade spaghetti, the best of which can be tasted at Celle sul Rigo May Fair.

 

Anyway, I think that the real magic of the Sienese province can be found at Sarteano where one can meet a frightening demon and the sweetest soaring angel … 


Why  a licensed tourist guide?


  • helpWhy choose a licensed tourist guide?

    To see beyond beauty ..

  • infoWhy choose a freelancer?

    Because his only guarantee is quality.

  • lockWhy just me?

    I am highly experienced, I love art and share it passionately.

  • lockAny other good reason?

    Apart from the tourist sites which everybody visits, I know very special places all over the province!

 

Why  a guided visit?

  • With a guided visit you walk less and see more !

  • With a guided visit you know the spirit of the place, people's habits and passions, legends…

  • With a guided visit you do not miss anything: you can see all the most beautiful sites!

  • With a guided visit you live the trip so intensely that beauty roots in your mind

  • With a good guided visit you receive a lot of cultural stimula on which you may like to have a deeper insight when back.

  • After a good guided visit the trip goes on...

You should not miss: Arezzo guided visit, Cortona guided visit and Piero della Francesca trail

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article thumbnaiAmbrogio Lorenzetti al SMS di Siena
13 December 2017
x  A distanza di quasi 15 anni dalla grande mostra su Duccio di Buoninsegna, il Santa Maria della Scala di Siena si apre al grande pubblico offrendo il meglio dell'arte del Trecento firmata da uno dei più importanti artisti dell'epoca, Ambrogio Lorenzetti, che dà il titolo alla mostra. Cinquanta opere tra prestiti dai musei più importanti d'Italia e del mondo (Louvre,  National Gallery, Uffizi, Musei Vaticani, Stadel Museum di Francoforte e Yale University Art Gallery) e affreschi restaurati. La mostra aspira a reintegrare, pressoché interamente, la vicenda artistica di Ambrogio Lorenzetti facendo convergere a Siena, che conserva all'incirca il settanta per cento delle opere oggi conosciute del pittore, dei dipinti che furono in larghissima parte prodotti per cittadini senesi e per chiese della città: fra di essi il ciclo di affreschi staccati della chiesa di San Galgano a Montesiepi, il polittico della chiesa di San Pietro in Castelvecchio e, successivamente, gli affreschi...