Città della Pieve is situated in a dominant position on the Valdichiana above Lake Trasimeno, near to the border between Umbria and Tuscany, not far from Lazio, in the middle of central Italy, on a hilly plateau characterized by deep valleys and gorges.
From anywhere you look, its profile is unmistakably characterized by two vertical elements that stand out above the agglomeration of buildings, all built in red brick: they are the Civic Tower and the Bell Tower of the Cathedral.
Not surprisingly, therefore, they have become the symbols, we could say the brand of the city.
The Civic Tower, adjoining the Cathedral, was built in the twelfth century on a previous core part of the ancient defensive system of the city using the base of travertine stone, and was later raised between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries with the use of brick.
The tower rises up to 39 meters, with the windows opening upward from the first to the fourth level. It adheres to the stylistic forms of the Lombard Romanesque period that spread into neighbouring Tuscany, and from its top you can scan the horizon for tens of kilometers.
The Cathedral of Saints Gervasio and Protasio rises above the ancient parish church with the baptismal font, probably built around the eighth century AD. and from which Città della Pieve is named. Its brick steeple, with its elegant frame and the great belfry, rises elegantly upwards.
The church has undergone continuous transformation to become the first a Collegiate and then a Cathedral in 1600. Inside you can admire the sixteenth century works of Antonio Circignani, Salvio Savini, Giannicola Paul, and Domenico di Paride Alfani.
Above all one finds works of Pietro Vannucci, known as Perugino: The Baptism of Christ and the Madonna in Glory with Saints.
Under the Cathedral are the ruins of the old church, consisting of mighty stone columns supporting pointed arches dating from the early thirteenth century.
The homeland of Perugino
Looking at the surroundings of Città della Pieve people usually think of the landscapes painted by Pietro Vannucci, known as Perugino, of where the Lake Trasimeno in the distance appears and of the Chiana Valley. And it is precisely in Città della Pieve that Pietro Vannucci was born, probably in 1450 AD, when
Nelle composizioni dell’artista, tra le figure pensose poste in primo piano e ispirate alla statuaria classica ed il paesaggio retrostante che si allontana verso l’infinito, si crea una dimensione patetico-sentimentale che suggerisce la presenza armonica di Dio nell’Universo.
Numerose sono le opere del Divin Pittore che si possono ammirare in Città: l’Adorazione dei Magi presso l’oratorio S.Maria dei Bianchi, il Battesimo di Cristo e la Madonna in Gloria e Santi presso la the city then was in the dominions of the Municipality of Perugia.
After a first contact with the art scene in Perugia he had to get closer, the second when he wrote to Giorgio Vasari in 1550, to Piero della Francesca and simultaneously began attending the prestigious workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio. Giovanni Santi, father of Raphael, of whom Perugino was partly teacher and collaborator in part, emphasized his temperamental affinity with Leonardo da Vinci, who he certainly met in the workshop of Verrocchio.
In the artist’s compositions, thoughtfully figures were placed in the foreground and inspired with classical statuary and the landscape behind moving away to infinity, creates a moving-sentimental dimension which suggests the harmonic presence of God in the Universe.
There are many works of this divine painter that can be admired in the city: the Adoration of the Magi at the Oratory S. Maria dei Bianchi, the Baptism of Christ and the Madonna in Glory and Saints in the church of Saints Gervasio and Protasio, the Deposition from the Cross at Santa Maria dei Servi, and Sant’Antonio Abate among the Saints Marcello and Paul the Hermit at the Church of San Pietro.