The old town, “an extended museum”
Anghiari is an ancient walled town that dominates the entire Tiber Valley. The original nucleus of the town dates back to the 11th century when the Camaldolesi monks, who were mainly responsible for its economic and artistic development, helped to give the town its form. The powerful monastery of St. (Bartholomew) Bartolomeo, which was later transformed by the Perugians into a defensive structure (the Cassero), and the Christian Chiesa della Badia were the first buildings in Anghiari. The high walls that surround Anghiari have protected and preserved the historic centre over the centuries and remain almost intact, just as they were when they were built between the 12th and 13th centuries. The town can be entered by three gateways, Sant’Angelo, San Martino and Fiorentina. Some of the most characteristic elements of the town, the apse of the Chiesa di Sant'Agostino and the Bastione del Vicario, are incorporated into the walls. The old Borghetto square, now known as Piazza Mameli, is in the heart of the town and is the location of two important museums that hold the memories of Anghiari: the Museum of the Battle of Anghiari in Palazzo Marzocco is the historic museum of the town; the Museum in Palazzo Taglieschi is the art museum of Anghiari. The town centre was expanded in the 14th century when the noble Tarlati family commissioned the long road, “the Cross”, that leads to Sansepolcro and the Loggia with its water fountains, which can be found below Piazza Baldaccio (formerly Piazza del Mercatale), which was also enlarged.