Anghiari, its castles

Imposing fortresses dot lush landscape

The Sorci Castle
In 1268, the Castello dei Sorci was destroyed by German soldiers led by Corradino of Swabia who was fighting against Carlo of Angiò. It subsequently came under the domain of Florence and became the home of the Mercenary Captain, Baldaccio d’Anghiari. On summer evenings, legend has it that you can still hear the rattle of Baldaccio’s armor as his ghost ‘haunts’ his ancient castle.

Throughout the following centuries, the castle was gradually converted into a seventeenth century villa which incorporated its original tower that we can still appreciate today. It hosts one of the most traditional and characteristic restaurants in Italy, which is a favorite of cinema actors, television presenters, singers, journalists and writers. It also provided inspiration for the film "Non ci resta che piangere" by Roberto Benigni and Massimo Troisi.

The Toppole Castle
Toppole Castle was part of the fortification system that defended the right hand side of the Sovara valley. Historical documentation indicates that Enrico di Barnabò (the Lombards of Galbino) defended the Toppole in favor of Arezzo’s Santa Flora Abbey.

In 1142, the castle and its court was given to the monks of Camaldoli in addition to parts of the castles of Pianettole and Valialle. Later, it was handed over to the Anghiari by Raniere of Galbino. Successively, Toppole fell under the dominion of Guido Tarlati of Arezzo and then became the property of Florence.

The church of San Clemente is in the middle of the castle’s complex. It was certainly in existence during the first half of the 8th century. The apse is the oldest part of the church which was originally built with a Greek-cross design. Close by Toppole, you can find the San Veriano Abbey which boasts an important Romanesque church.

The Pianettole Castle
Pianettole is in a fairly good state of repair and thus, it represents a nice example of a medieval fortified structure with a high, encircling stone wall and a tower guarding the western gateway.

The tower still has its wooden attics linked by stairways and there is a big fireplace on the first floor. The history of Pianettole is linked, at least in part, to the presence of the Camaldulian Monks in the Tiber Valley. Churches that were linked to many of the castles in the area were frequently donated or dedicated to the Camaldulians.

The Castle of Montauto
Montauto was already in existence during the Etruscan period (VIII to V centuries BC ), and the settlement took advantage of the territory’s rich copper mines. It was a Roman/Byzantine lookout tower and came under the dominion of a feudal lord, Goffredo, the son Ildebando, to whom Emperor Ottone I conferred property in the High Tiber Valley in 967 AD. The castle itself has its origins in 1170-80.

St. Francis of Assisi liked to stop at the Montauto Castle during his journeys to and from La Verna and, until 1503, the cassock he wore when he received the stigmata at La Verna was hosted in the Chapel of Montauto. In 1503—the year that the Florentines took the castle by trickery—all of its treasures were stolen. It subsequently went through various vicissitudes until it was almost totally destroyed.

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The Alta valle del Tevere is the most eastern part of Tuscany and takes its name from the river that crosses it completely lengthways, up to the border with Umbria. ...
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