Art in Umbria

The Perugino in Città della Pieve

In Città della Pieve, an itinerary to discover the evocative artworks of Pietro Vannucci in his hometown

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Tourist information and welcome office
Piazza Gramsci 1 - 06061 Castiglione del Lago

Pietro Vannucci, also known as Perugino, the "Divine Painter", was born in Città della Pieve in 1446. And it is exactly his hometown that preserves some of his beautiful paintings.

We suggest you to discover them in a tour of the village and its surroundings that will take you to places that will leave you open-mouthed.

The most striking artwork of Perugino that is located in Città della Pieve is the Adoration of the Magi: it is situated on one of the walls of the Oratory of Bianchi, in via Pietro Vannucci. The oratory, half owned by the municipality and half belonging to the Brotherhood of Bianchi, can only be visited in the first room, the one containing the imposing painting of Perugino: this fresco is seven metres wide and six and a half metres high and dating back to 1504.

When you enter you can’t but be amazed by its size, by its extremely realistic colours, by its perfect perspective games and especially by the sweetness that unites the faces portrayed in the Perugino's paintings. In this fresco, the history of adoration is represented in one of the largest landscapes created by the Divine Painter, which is the ideal representation of a view that goes from Città della Pieve to the Trasimeno and Val di Chiana. Here the characters are inserted in an elegant way, in a way that recalls the Hellenic postures.

This is one of the last artworks of Perugino, in fact he was already looking carefully at one of his pupils whom he had a deep respect for: Raffaello.

Now go up to the central square and enter the cathedral of the town: the beautiful cathedral of St. Gervasio and Protasio. The church has pre-Romanesque origins and offers the view of numerous artworks: the Madonna and Child by Domenico Alfani, the Virgin on the Throne by Salvio Salvini and many other ones. But stop to observe the two paintings by Perugino.

The first one is located on the left, at the entrance: it is The Baptism of Christ of 1510. Here, too, the perspective used by the Divine Painter is perfect and the two figures, representing St. John and Jesus Christ, are in a pose that recalls the statues of Ancient Greece. On the apse there is another painting by Pietro Vannucci: a panel representing the Madonna in Glory between the patron saints Gervasio and Protasio, signed and dated 1514.

The family home of Pietro Vannucci, now remembered with a plaque, used to be located between Piazza del Duomo and the present Via Vittorio Veneto. The house has been now replaced by a structure that preserves nothing of the old house. However, we invite you to stop here and observe the plaque.

As the last stop of your journey, head to the Church of Santa Maria dei Servi, just outside the walls. The Church, open only upon reservation and for guided tours, now houses the Diocesan Civic Museum and is the home of another important painting by Perugino. Although the painting is only partially visible, you can’t but notice its unique hand: it is the Deposition of the Cross of 1517, the most important artwork of the master's old age (the painting, hidden by a cavity, was discovered in 1834).