The Tuscan landscape is different from that of Umbria, the colours are warmer, the hills gentler. The differences are often almost imperceptible but substantial.
Umbria requires patience and dedication, while Tuscany embraces you and accompanies you while you discover it.
Although it’s just a stone’s throw from Umbria and belonged to this region in the past, Monterchi definitely has the feel of Tuscany.
Perched on a hill, in the summer Monterchi is surrounded by sunflowers. Riding on the coattails of their famous region, shopkeepers remind tourists that they’re in Tuscany at every step.
A nice little town with a medieval layout, there are two good reasons to visit Monterchi: the atmosphere of its town square and the beautiful Madonna del Parto by Piero della Francesca.
Monterchi‘s small square is a joy in the summer: there are ceramics shops and a typically Tuscan bar that invites you to sit outside to enjoy an excellent wine and a platter of cold cuts and cheeses.
Piero della Francesca, one of the most important painters of the 15th century, was born in nearby Sansepolcro and painted the Madonna del Parto, an absolute masterpiece that you can see in the museum of the same name in honour of his mother who was born in Monterchi.
When I saw it, I was amazed, not only by the beauty of the work but also the conditions in which I was seeing it: I entered the museum without having to wait in line at the entrance, I was alone in the room with the painting, sitting on a bench, and I was able to enjoy the work in complete silence.
I was alone in the room, in front of an absolute masterpiece. Even this is part of the magic of this area between Tuscany and Umbria that gives you experiences that, in a large city or better known tourist site, would be unimaginable luxuries.