Città della Pieve

The town of Città della Pieve, called “Castrum Plebis” at the time of Perugino, is just a few kilometers from the border with Tuscany; its medieval historic center is set on a hill at 508 meters above sea level, overlooking Val di Chiana. The town assumed the current urban shape already in 1250; the city plan recalls of an eagle, symbol of the Emperor Frederick II of Swabia, who advanced menacingly towards Rome.
The historic center is mainly built in brick made of the local artisan terracotta, with a characteristic color that varies from light pink to a darker shade and that is still produced in accordance with tradition.
The urban mesh presents solutions typical of the first municipal civilization: the wide streets and curves highlight the presence of the class of knights who went to war with their horses; on the other hand, the streets behind, narrower and fragmented, indicate the class of pedestrians, farmers inurbati, who used the bow and crossbow. Thus in the clash between the two classes, the riders could escape the pawns’ shot through the curvature of the streets, while the pedestrians defended themselves through the structure of the alleys, impenetrable to the horse.
Among the many noteworthy monuments, we remember the fourteenth-century Rocca, the Concattedrale dei Santi Gervasio e Protasio, the Torre del Pubblico, Palazzo della Corgna, the church of San Francesco.
Among the most famous local products, saffron has been cultivated and produced in the city since the thirteenth century, to be used in the dyeing of fabrics and, according to legend, by Perugino as a color for his works.
Città della Pieve is in fact especially known for being the birthplace of Pietro Vannucci, who, however, is called “Perugino”, as the Umbrian capital, to distinguish himself from the masters of Rome and Florence. Perugia hosted one of his two workshops, but the painter left many masterpieces in his birthplace too: do not miss a visit to the former church of Santa Maria dei Servi and the oratory of the Bianchi, which preserve two frescoes that the artist realized during his last years.