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I’m away to Anghiari

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I’m going to Anghiari!

Well, not right away, of course. But I just paid a small deposit to rent a lovely house in Anghiari with a friend in June. (The second photo above is the view from the upper terrace.)

I realize that June 2010 is a long way off, and as much as I love planning trips, this is a bit extreme! But I need a lift. I find November depressing enough, and I’m still feeling exhausted after a bad flu bug last week. So anything happy and exciting – such as thinking about a trip -- is welcome.

I don’t know a great deal about Anghiari. However, I do know that it’s a small town near Arezzo, on the border of Tuscany and Umbria. So, the location sounds great for interesting day trips. I would love to see Arezzo again, and revisit Piero della Francesca’s stunning fresco cycle, The Legend of the True Cross.

I fact, I’d like to follow the informal Piero della Francesca trail, including seeing works in Sansepolcro, which is near his home village and located only about 7 kilometres from Anghiari. I would also love to do a day trip over the mountains to Urbino, the family home of the great Raphael.

I think this area must ooze great Renaissance art!

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Anghiari is apparently located on the site of a Roman settlement and became prominent in the 11th century because of its strategic position on the trade routes linking central Italy with the Adriatic.

However, the most important period in its history is associated with the Battle of Anghiari which was fought in 1440 between the Visconti armies from Milan and those of Florence, which were allied with the Pope.

Leonardo da Vinci executed a huge and short-lived fresco of the battle at the request of the Magistrati of Florence, which wanted to decorate the walls of the main Chamber of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, with scenes celebrating the victories of the Florentine armies. At that same time, Michelangelo was commissioned to paint the Battle of Cascina.

(Leonardo's love of experimentation caused his fresco to be damaged during the drying process and the uncompleted painting decayed. Eventually it was replaced by a fresco by Vasari).


The house we are renting sounds wonderful. It’s owned by a friend of the friend I am traveling with, and she rarely rents it out. Generally, the owner and her extended family use it year-round. But since we’ve requested it so far in advance, she is giving it to my friend V. and I at a great rate.

I always travel alone, but I think V. and I will get along fine – the house is a good size, two bedrooms and two bathrooms, so we’ll each have our space. The house even has two terraces, and is built into the city walls of Anghiari, so the views will also be lovely.

After our week together, V. and I will go our separate ways. I’ll likely head down to Umbria for the next two weeks, to see my favourite spots and explore new ones.

I can’t wait!


Comments (24)

How exciting! It sure looks like a charming village and a nice place to stay (two bathrooms and two terraces can't be beat!).

Glad you're feeling better too!

barb cabot:

Good for you! This looks like a wonderful place. I'm thrilled that you are doing this. 2010 is a heartbeat away...

Brad'll Do It:

Seems you just can't quite stay away from Umbria. Is it the art? The scenery? The pace of Perugia, the asthetic of Assisi, the arresting Arezzo? Has it become your special place?

Vicky:

Actually, recently I was thinking, "Sandra's due for another Italy trip, isn't she?" Seriously. So, I'm glad to read you have it pretty much sewn up! We're all looking forward what sounds like a fabulous trip.

Exciting news. There is nothing quite like travel to ward off the fall doldrums!

sandrac:

Hi Annie, it does sound like a good arrangement! As a single traveler, I don't get many chances to rent a vacation house where I can sit on the rooftop in my bare feet and drink wine. Should be fun!

Barb, what a wonderful concept -- that June is only a "heartbeat" away. I'll hold on to that thought.

Brad, I do love alliteration! And Umbria -- I think it has become a very special place to me. That said, I'm really interested in visiting Sicily, I just haven't worked up the courage yet!(For some reason, I think it might be a bit daunting to visit alone)

Thanks Vicky, how about you? Any trips to Italy in the works?

Too true, Jerry, otherwise it would be such a long winter!

Hi Sandra... Lucky you! I visited this little town one day as part of a Tuscan tour. It's a beautiful place. Have fun planning and looking forward to now... Dana

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Sandra, sounds like a wonderful trip already. And Italy is always the right cure for a bad flu and getting through cold winters.

Glad you're feeling better!

sandrac:

Hi Dana, I'm glad to hear that you liked Anghiari! It sounds lovely in and of itself, as well as being a good base for a week.

Kathy, I am feeling a lot better, thanks. And thinking about Italy is a big help!

Hope your trip planning is going well -- I can't wait for photos from Scotland!

This is exciting news! Anghiari looks like a fun place to stay. I really enjoyed both of my visits to Arezzo and would love to go back there again. Lucky you! Sounds like a great plan!

sandrac:

Hi Girasoli, thanks! I think it will be great fun -- and not too expensive!

Anne:

Ahhh, I am in raptures looking at these photos and imagining your trip! I would love to follow the Piero della Francesca trail. Anghiari looks and sounds wonderful.

nancyhol:

Sandra, I am really excited for you! It is so much fun to plan a new trip! So many possibilities.....

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi from Scotland Sandra, glad to hear that you're feeling much better.

Take care.

Sandra, how wonderful!! I am so happy for you! What a great thing to look forward to. The place looks so nice! (If you were there in May I would seriously come visit!)

sandrac:

Hi everyone, sorry I'm so late in responding -- as you know, our blogs are only now back in operation!

Kathy, I hope you're having a great time in Scotland!

Yay! We can blog again! I didn't realize how attached I am to my blog until this forced hiatus. :)

Hope you are feeling better!

sandrac:

Thanks, Annie! I am feeling better and glad to have my blog back!

It all sounds wonderful and the apartment with two terraces (!) sounds like a perfect place to rest your feet and enjoy some fine wine after a day in the Piero della Francesca trail.

Happy planning!

Sounds like a fun adventure. I know what ou mean about November. I am on a go slow myself.

Kim:

Hey - you need to update your sidebar countdown.

Happy travels!

sandrac:

Kim, thanks for the reminder! I've been slack about going into my widgets (and slightly afraid I'd delete something in error.) But it's done!

Kim:

Uh oh, I'm not seeing it. Email me if you need help with it.

sandrac:

Hi again, Kim! Thanks for the offer!

But I originally thought you were reminding me to take down last year's trip countdown (which I had been meaning to do and put off.)

Unfortunately, I'm not actually going to Italy until June (almost 7 months from now -- which seems like forever) So for now, I've just moved the countdown out of the way until closer to June.

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