The National Gallery of Umbria is one of the richest collections in Italy with works of international interest. The artistic evidence it preserves ranges from paintings on wood, canvas and wall to wood and stone sculptures, goldsmithery and textiles, examples of the artistic production developed between the thirteenth and nineteenth centuries.


The collections of the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria have been housed since 1878 on the upper floors of Palazzo dei Priori in Perugia, one of the greatest examples of Gothic civil architecture. The new exhibition area, inaugurated in December 2006, covers an area of 4000 square metres on two levels.


The prestige of the collection is testified by the presence of some masterpieces of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance with works by Arnolfo di Cambio, Nicola and Giovani Pisano, Duccio di Boninsegna, Gentile da Fabriano, Beato Angelico, Benozzo Gozzoli, Piero della Francesca and Francesco di Giorgio Martini. Ample space is reserved for the Umbrian artists Benedetto Bonfigli, Bartolomeo Caporali, Fiorenzo di Lorenzo and in particular for the famous paintings by Perugino, Pintoricchio and their students and followers. Some sections are dedicated to masterpieces of Sienese goldsmithery, traditional Umbrian fabrics, the unpublished collection of drawings (including a precious sanguine study by Federico Barocci), and the sculptural decoration of the façade of the church of the Maestà delle Volte by Agostino di Duccio.

The itinerary continues with an exhaustive selection of paintings and sculptures from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, made in Umbria by some of the protagonists of the time such as Orazio Gentileschi, Valentin de Boulogne, Pietro da Cortona, Corrado Giaquinto, Sebastiano Conca, Pierre Subleyras, Jean Baptiste Wicar. The exhibition concludes with original nineteenth-century thematic presentations dedicated to Perugian topography and the precious Carattoli collection.



The museum is set up inside the Church of Santa Croce, the ancient oratory of the homonymous confraternity. The Umbertide museum is part of the unique ticket of the Terre & Musei dell’Umbria circuit.

The fourteenth-century church of Santa Croce houses the City Museum. The altarpiece of the Deposition on the high altar, painted by Luca Signorelli in 1516, is the only one of the many works on wood by the master from Cortona still in its original site. The same characteristic, quite unusual for a museum, also occurs for the paintings on the side altars. Other works from the nearby church of San Francesco are of great importance in the Museum, including a painting by Niccolò Circignani known as the Pomarancio, depicting the Madonna and Child in Glory.

The museum of Santa Croce also has an important archaeological section: ceramic materials from the protohistoric age to the Hellenistic and Roman period.


The Michelangelo Museum is located at the fortress of Caprese Michelangelo; it consists of three main buildings, the Palazzo del Podestà, Palazzo Clusini and the Corte Alta, and a garden with outdoor exhibition.

The original nucleus of the museum, founded in 1875, revolves around the Palazzo del Podestà, a building dating back to the first half of the 15th century, which was the residence of the Florentine Podestas who held an annual office here. The community of Caprese, together with that of Chiusi della Verna, submitted to the Florentine Republic from 1384. Among these podestas there was Ludovico di Leonardo Buonarroti Simoni, Michelangelo’s father, in 1474-1475: an autograph document by Ludovico, found in 1875 in the Archives of the Casa Buonarroti in Florence, attests the birth of his son Michelangelo Buonarroti in Caprese on 6th March 1475 and bears witness to his baptism in the Church of San Giovanni Battista. The Palazzo del Podestà is therefore considered the birthplace of the great artist.

The museum has been enlarged over time and currently presents five main thematic nuclei

  1. The fortress of Caprese and its history
  2. Michelangelo Buonarroti

III. Giovanni Santini

  1. The small Italian sculpture of the 19th century
  2. The sculpture of the 20th century


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The Museum of the Madonna del Parto in Monterchi preserves the splendid fresco by Piero della Francesca, one of the most famous of the artist from Arezzo and one of the highest expressions of the Renaissance.

The work, which was originally located in the chapel of Santa Maria di Momentana in Monterchi, is shrouded in mystery, both for the choice of the site where it was frescoed, a place once chosen for the devotion of divine figures protecting fertility, and for the patronage still unknown today: a masterpiece, unique of its kind, which could be the master himself.

The Virgin is represented pregnant, at the centre of a curtain opened by two angels. She is wearing a simple blue robe with openings that allow a glimpse of the white petticoat, the symbol of her purity. With one hand she caresses her belly, a gesture of protection at the same time as a proud ostentation of the miracle taking place. The other hand is resting on her side. The curtain that welcomes the scene is decorated with pomegranate flowers, evocative of the future passion of Christ.


The Madonna of Citerna is certainly one of the most fascinating and daring discoveries in the field of art in recent years, a discovery that has revealed to the public a masterpiece of undoubted artistic and cultural value. It was in 2004 when the volume Madonna di Citerna, Donatello’s unpublished terracotta, dedicated to the statue found inside the Church of San Francesco, the result of a scientific study by Laura Ciferri, was presented to the public, in the context of a research project aimed at establishing a corpus of heavy terracotta artefacts in Umbria in the 15th and 16th centuries, publication of which included important essays by Alfredo Bellanti, Corrado Fratini and Giancarlo Gentilini, which confirmed and confirmed with further comparisons and theories both the attribution and dating.

This was the beginning of a long journey, made up of studies, in-depth analysis and skilful work carried out by the Opificio delle Pietre dure of Florence, where the statue arrived, thanks to the will of the then Superintendent of the OPD Cristina Acidini, at the restoration sector of Plastic and Ceramic Materials, directed by Laura Speranza. The high professionalism of the restoration sector, with the wise dedication of Rosanna Moradei and Akiko Nishimura, and a painstaking and prudent work, have restored to the public’s vision a sculptural complex of fascinating beauty.


There are many important works that the palace hosts:

The Pleistocene Bifacial: on display is a selection of the most significant pieces from a collection of over 8000 instruments and splinters, belonging to the former “Centro Studi Archeologici e Naturalistici Altotiberino”. It is made up of: points, scrapers, toothbrushes, levallois nuclei and bifacials. The basin where these were found is all inscribed in the territory of the current municipality of Anghiari.

The Roman Room: It includes the testimonies of Roman civilization in the territory of Anghiari, ranging from the discovery of coins of the imperial and post-imperial age, parts of ceramic objects of various invoice, rock crystal artefacts, up to marble elements, such as parts of frames and a stone. It is a room in continuous change thanks to the evidence found in excavations still in progress.

Catorcio di Anghiari: symbol of the bellicose struggles, typical of Tuscany, was at the centre of the disputes between Anghiari and the nearby Sansepolcro. It also became a literary theme when a seventeenth-century poet, Federigo Nomi, made a heroicomic poem, called “Catorceide” or “Catorcio d’Anghiari” in which the events between the two Tuscan villages are told in eighth rhyme.

The Battle of Anghiari and Leonardo da Vinci: Presents the theme of the battle, fought in Anghiari by the Florentines and Milanese on 29 June 1440, from different perspectives: historical, military historian, and artistic. It illustrates the techniques of war; Leonardo’s genius in representing the brutality of man through the unfortunate feat of the oil fresco in the Salone dei Cinquecento in Florence, the historical importance of this event for the history of Tuscany.

The Taglieschi Code: the 17th century cabreo documents the properties of the Taglieschi family. Illustrated with coloured drawings it is a very important document for the knowledge of the local history and the economic history of the Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Collection of Firearms: It preserves examples mostly made in Anghiari at the end of the XVIII century. It documents the skill of the Anghiarian workshops of the Vallini, Carboncelli, Guardiani, Matassi, workshops that combined technical manufacturing skills with great artistic skills in chiselling, engraving and burling.


From the Pacific to the Indian Ocean, from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean: it is “Malakos” which, with about 600 thousand specimens catalogued, represents the largest private shell collection in Europe.

The collection, in the Villa Cappelletti headquarters in Città di Castello, is a real exploratory journey through the shells of all seas.

The museum is the result of ten years of work by the biologist Gianluigi Bini, a Florentine by birth but adopted by the world, who has collected and studied about 15 thousand different species from every corner of the planet.

The biology section introduces the world of molluscs with their incredible curiosities, while the paleontology room helps to understand how the earth was formed, allowing you to meet some invertebrates from the distant past.

In the biogeography rooms each display case reconstructs the fauna and life habits of each sea, but not only: it is possible to discover unusual environments such as dangerous mangroves and abyssal areas, to get to know friendly land snails of decidedly extra-large dimensions and marine predators with deadly venom.

Malakos is also home to the reconstruction of a coral reef, made up of materials from the state forest corps seizures, with species never seen before.


The Documentation Centre of Popular Traditions and Craftsmen’s Workshops of Umbria is housed in the Villa Capelletti complex in Garavelle, 1 km from the centre of Città di Castello. It is one of the first examples in Italy of a collection of objects linked to rural tradition. The museum of popular traditions is set up inside a farmhouse where the various rooms of the house have been reconstructed using furniture, furnishings, equipment and work tools linked to the daily life and agricultural activities of the families who lived in the Umbrian countryside. On the ground floor there is the blacksmith’s shop, in the stables there are all the tools for the care of the animals, in the room used for the oil mill there are amphorae for the oil, jars, a stone millstone and a large press of the eighteenth century. Upstairs you can visit the large kitchen with the stone fireplace and the small tools for everyday work, and the bedroom, while in the large attic there are all the tools for processing cereals as well as looms for weaving.

A living and real “museum” that guides us to the discovery of the rural civilization and the Umbrian folk traditions.


UMBRA CANVAS – Città di Castello

The Laboratorio Tela Umbra, founded in 1908 by Baroness Alice Hallgarten and her husband Leopoldo Franchetti, is a unique historical and productive experience. It is the only workshop in which pure linen is handcrafted using handlooms from the late 19th century, using original designs from the medieval and Renaissance periods.

Alice Hallgarten Franchetti, a young American in love with Italy, spends entire afternoons walking in the countryside, visiting poor houses where illiteracy and disease make life already hard. She meets women who tell her about the hardships their families are forced to endure while, sitting at the loom, they weave fabrics with art and skill handed down through generations. It is from these encounters that the passion that Alice’s life and those who follow her in the company will mature radically. The intuition, already clear in her, to allow mothers to exercise that art as at home, next to their children, comes to life; but this time with efficient tools, in a healthy and organized environment as a company able to sustain itself over the years. The friendship with Maria Montessori and the knowledge of the thought of that young pedagogue will then be precious to her. At that moment, that very special example of integration between art and humanity was born, which still lives today under the name of Tela Umbra.


Italy, because of its economic and cultural liveliness, is the country where the technique of printing with movable type (Subiaco 1465), invented by the German Gutenberg in the middle of the fifteenth century, was the first to spread. In Umbria in Foligno, already in 1472, the Mainz cleric Johan Numeister printed the first edition of the Divine Comedy in 20 copies. In Perugia, seat of the University, there is Francesco Cartolari’s printing works. In Città di Castello, in 1538, on behalf of the Priors, the Libro degli Statuti (Liber Statorum) was printed by the itinerant printers Antonio Mazzocchi from Cremona and the Gucci brothers from Cortona. For more than 2 centuries the production was scarce and of an exclusively religious nature: only from the 18th century new printing works were established in the town by G.Manescalchi (1716-1743), O. Bersiani (1765-1775), F.Toppi (1778-1789). At the end of 1799 the printers Francesco Donati and Bartolomeo Carlucci arrived in Città di Castello, coming from Assisi, to set up a workshop in the premises above the ancient church of S.Paolo (XIII century) which had previously been a convent and then a prison. The typography immediately distinguished itself for its considerable capacity and for the production of books and prestigious publications, which made it so successful that many orders were received from nearby towns and cities. After Carlucci’s death, the activity was continued by Donati, who introduced the Bodoni characters in 1817. In 1842 the monumental work Le Memorie Eclesiastiche e Civili di Città di Castello, published in 28 files and written by bishop Giovanni Muzi, began to be printed with the wooden press. After the death of Francesco Donati the printing house passed to his son Biagio and from him to his nephew Giuseppe Grifani. So the shop takes the name of GRIFANI – DONATI (GRIFANI – DONATI) and moves towards a centuries-old activity. On Giuseppe’s death it passed to his son Ernesto and from him to his son-in-law Alberto Ottaviani, husband of Elisabetta Grifani and then to his sons Mario and Italo. Giovanni Ottaviani, the current owner together with his wife Adriana, continued the family tradition adding to the typographic and chalcographic production the lithography, exclusively on stone and the binding and restoration of books. Today, traditional techniques and period equipment (Elia Dell’ Orto 1864, Platina Tiegeldruk 1903, Bollito & Torchio 1880, Paolini 1960 Pianocilindrica Werk Augsburg 1910, etc.) are used to produce lithographs and chalcography. Characters and friezes, silographies, galvanotitypes (all original), lithographs, chalcographies, posters, letterheads, business cards, wedding invitations, ex libris.