The civic museum is based in 14th century building that was built upon an existing building by order of Galeotto Malatesta around about the 1300’s, and was discovered due the underground rooms. These now hold artefacts of Roberto Maria Costaguti (1732-1818), Bishop from 1778 – 1818, which are classed as the ‘treasure of the cathedral’.
Throughout the years, the actual building has suffered various changes and all of which very easily identifiable. With the 15th century renovation, when the whole residence was completely reorganized, the Conservatori del popolo was redefined and now holds the famous Resurrection of Christ (Resurrezione di Cristo) that was created around 1460 by the Tuscan Piero della Francesca (1415-1492). Thanks to this, the decision was made around the end of the 1800’s to collect further artwork and the first Pinacoteca Comunale came about. In the following years up until the 1900’s further renovations have been carried out giving the building its current aspect. Inside the civic museum there is a considerable number of artistic patrimony, holding an incredible collection that starts from the XIV to XX centuries.
For example: the sword of Saint Pietro and Saint Paolo by Matteo di Giovanni (1430-1495), the sword with the Annuniciazione, Adorazione dei Pastori, angeli e santi by Andrea della Robbia’s workshop (1435-1525), the Madonna del Soccorso by Gerino da Pistoia (1480-1529), the Martirio di San Quintino by Jacopo Carucci (known as Pontormo 1494-1557), the Annunciazione by Santi di Tito (1536-1603), the Adorazione dei Magi by Leandro da Ponte (known as Bassano 1557-1622), the Crocifissione e Santi by Domenico Cresti’s workshop (known as the Passignano 1559-1638), the Immacolata concezione by Giovan Battista Mercati (1591-1645) and finally the Assunzione e Incoronazione della Vergine by Raffaellini del Colle (1594-1566). Not to be missed are the 14th century frescoes (currently being studied) that come from various churches from other towns and are located on the museum’s last floor along with the small archaeological collection from local digs. A lot of interest is dedicated to Piero della Francesca who was born and grew up in Sansepolcro. The Sala dei Conservatori holds another two if his extraordinary frescoes: the San Giuliano (1455) and the San Ludovico (1460) however not be forgotten that in the neighbouring hall is the the famous Polittico della Misericordia (1445-1454).
Via Niccolo’ Aggiunti 65
The ground floor and basement can be accessed but not the tower. Parking outside the town walls is free.
Opening hours and tickets:
16th September to 14th June
09:30-13:00 and 14:30-18:00
15th June to 15th September
09:30-13:00 and 14:30-19:00
25th December and 1st January the museum is closed.
Tickets can be bought up to 20 minutes before the museum closes.
Over 65’s, groups of over 10 people and between the ages of 19-25 € 5.00
From the ages of 10-18 € 3.00
Children from 0-10, journalists and military are free.
Booked guided visits are on Saturdays only € 10.00 or if in a group of 10 or more € 8.00
Reception, lockers and coatrooms
Town guided tours available from every Saturday from 10:00 -16:00 Saturdays only.
Guide books – Disabled toilets – Lift – Bookshop
NOT JUST PIERO: THE MEDICI FORTRESS IN SANSEPOLCRO BY GIULIANO DA SANGALLO
Continuing south, down Via Niccolò Aggiunti, at the bottom of the road we come across the Fortezza Medicea by Giuliano Giamberti (Sangallo 1445-1516) from the early 1500’s.
The first fortress was built upon the orders of Malatesta between the XIV-XV centuries and was constructed on top of a previous structure of a similar type.
An irregular quadrilateral shape, the fortress is an excellent example of ‘modern’ military architecture, using not only architectural solutions for its time but also trying to adapt to the new powerful weapons being used.
Looking at the fortress from the side running along Via dei Molini it is still possible to see where the 15th century and the 16th century walls have been mended for defence purposes using stone and brick.
The pre-existent central drawbridge was cut off to make it less exposed when under attack.
It was also possible to ‘flood’ the extremely deep moat upon demand using the water from the water mills (where the name of the nearby road takes its name).
On the four corners of the perimeter there are four struts of various sizes; at the North East there is San Casciano, North West that of San Leo, South West Santa Maria and finally Belvedere on the South East.
The Santa Maria bastion points to the town, although the smaller one of the four, it is by far the most important. It has not been necessary to do many repairs and still has the same heart shaped structure designed by Giuliano Giamberti. The cannon’s barrels are still visible and placed on the side of the struts, an invention by Giuliano to hide the cannons and create a dynamic defence system.
The San Leo bastion has instead been researched bringing to light how Giamberti projected it with cylindrical form referring to other structures in Tuscany. It was then ‘incamiciato’ by the local architect Alberto Alberti who was assigned to improve the fortress in 1561.
The San Casciano bastion still has the heart shaped form although modified through the years.
The Belvedere bastion is the biggest of the four and built using only brick and thought to be from another period. Being directly exposed to attacks from lower ground it has been strengthened more so than the others and the original structure has been incorporated with a more modern one.
Inside, the fortress has a medieval courtyard which is the 13th Century building’s crowning achievement and can be found near the San Casciano strut.
During the middle of the 1500’s Alberti did important modifications to the work carried out by Sangallo. In particular to the ravelin, a polygonal shaped fortification near San Casciano’s strut and surrounded by high walls along the moat with an embankment that is still visible today.
From the 18th Century onwards the need for a defensive structure becomes less and it was sold and transformed into a farm and is now privately owned.
Aboca is the only herbal museum that informs of the History between man and herbs.
‘The Herbs and Health throughout the years’ will amaze any visitor for its prestigious headquarters Palazzo Bourbon del Monte on Via Niccolo’ Aggiunti.
In the halls it is possible to see the laboratory reconstructions, pharmaceutical botanical books, antique mortars and pottery.
Winter opening hours:
1St October to 31st March
Closed Mondays, 25th -26th December and 1st January
Groups of 5 or more € 6.00
For 10-14 years olds, students and 65 and over € 4.00
Children under the age of 10 with parents are free and tourist guides.