I’ve been planning an afternoon excursion to the town of Anghiari which is about 16 miles through the countryside from Arezzo. I first saw the town a few years back as I passed by on the bus and I’ve always wanted to return. Taking the bus is not something I’ve done on my own yet. I’ve always been with a group, but I figured how hard could it be? I’m fine at the station purchasing the ticket, I just have to figure where to get off the bus!
Turns out I didn’t have to fret at all-the school had planned an outing to Anghiari one afternoon this week. The ride there was incredibly green through fields and wooded areas. I’m a sucker for spring time since we don’t really have much of that going on in San Diego. Here and there we passed by small farms with fields just plowed, ready too be planted. The town is really a sleepy place most of the time. My teacher told me that during the week most of the shops aren’t even open. We were lucky to be visiting during their annual Mostra Artiginato (exhibition of crafts) when just about everything was open. We wandered up and down the steep streets and back alleys, stopping into various stores and checking out their wares.
Seems that Anghiari is most famous for a battle that took place in the plains below the city in 1440 between the Florentines and the Milanese. Apparently it was a battle with little loss of life and the Florentines were able to keep the northern Milanese from getting a stronghold in this area. What the battle is most famous for is a painting that Leonardo di Vinci was commissioned to paint in the Palazzo Vecchio in Firenze. What’s famous about the painting is that Leonardo was experimenting with a new technique and set up braziers (pans with hot coals) to dry the painting and it ended up causing the colors to run and the painting was lost!
I imagine that the fields below town is where the the fighting took place. This area is on the very eastern edge of Tuscany with Le Marche and Umbria over the Apennine Mountains off in the distance.