Montevarchi is blessed with a privileged position in the golden triangle between Florence, Siena and Arezzo. Right at the edge of the famous Chianti region, it's location in the Arno Valley puts it in the center of all of Tuscany's best known sights. It is surrounded by sunflower fields and undulating hills. With 21,000 inhabitants, it offers a lively atmosphere, pretty piazzas, and elegant shops without the crowds and costs of nearby tourist cities.
A city under the historic Republic of Florence, it was a stronghold along the border of Arezzo and was enriched by the Florentines' wealth and endowed with monuments similar to those of Florence. The town is really lovely with decorated churches, impressive palaces, and interesting streets full of charm. It flourished under the Medici's and was an important center for the wool trade. Today it's noted for its fine leather production, especially shoes and bags.
The town is rich in architectural sights, including the Collegiata of San Lorenzo, a slim Baroque church wedged into a small space. The Convent of San Ludovico and adjacent Cloister of Cennano is an internal arcaded courtyard that was perfect for monastic contemplation. The Sacred Art Museum contains the Tempietto with some astounding works by Andrea della Robbia, the artist famous for his stylistic ceramic decorations. The Palazzo del Poesta' is worth a look, too.
If you prefer contemporary art, head over to the Parco d'Arte Bum Bum Gà created by the sculptor, painter, poet and musician Carmelo Librizzi, with exhibitions of contemporary art that mixed media artworks, from marble to waste materials. Museo Galeffi preserves the masterpieces of this modern painter who worked in the second half of the twentieth century.
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