The Valtiberina, or Upper Tiber Valley, stretches from the source of the river Tiber, on Monte Fumaiolo until the town of Montecastelli passing through the three Italian regions of Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, and Umbria. The Tuscan portion incorporates the towns of Anghiari, Badia Tedalda, Caprese Michelangelo, Monterchi, Pieve Santo Stefano, Sansepolcro, and Sestino.

Monte Fumaiolo
Monte Fumaiolo (left): the source of the river Tiber.


The area is home to several nature reserves; is rich in food including truffles, wild boar, chestnuts, and cheese; has played an important part in history from the time of the Etruscans to the present day; and gave birth to two of the most important Italian artists, Piero della Francesca, and Michelangelo. Although the works of the latter are mostly in Rome or Florence, several important works of Piero’s are still in the area including the Madonna del Parto in Monterchi, and the famous Resurrection, symbol of the town of Sansepolcro.

The Lago di Montedoglio, formed by creating a dam on the river Tiber
The Lago di Montedoglio, formed by creating a dam on the river Tiber


The Upper Tiber Valley is also associated with Saint Francis of Assisi who would often pass through on his way to his mountain retreat at La Verna. A small community of Friars still occupies the thirteenth century monastery on the top of Monte Penna, one of the most distinctively shaped mountains in the area. In fact, its form is clearly visible in the background of Michelangelo’s Creation of Man on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome: a memory of his childhood in the area.

Monte Penna
The unique form of Monte Penna, home of the sanctuary of La Verna

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