Nestled between the uncontaminated nature of the National Park of the Casentino Forests, Chiusi della Verna is a municipality in the province of Arezzo, situated along one of the most important routes of the past, the Via Major, which connected Arezzo with the Romagna region. The area was inhabited since Etruscan and Roman times, as evidenced by the several interesting relics recently unearthed. With high probability, the town's name derives from Latin "clau clusu" which indicates its location at the end of the valley, in a narrower area compared to other centers of the same region.
In medieval times, it was the pilgrim destination, mostly of Germanic origin, who, on their way to Rome, used to prefer this alternative route rather than the Via Romea. With a diploma of 967, Emperor Otto I, ceded the fief to Godfrey of Ildebrando Catani. In 1213 the Count Orlando Catani assigned the territories of Mount La Verna to Saint Francis of Assisi, and it was here that the "Poor Saint" received the holy stigmata. After the rule of several local feudal lords and being scenario of various clashes, Chiusi della Verna, in 1384, finally became part of the jurisdiction of the Florentine Republic, of which it was proclaimed capital in 1404.
Among the mayors that have been elected over the centuries, stands the name of Ludovico Buonarroti Simoni, father of the famous Michelangelo, who was born here.
Sites of Interest:
- the ruins of the keep, or fortress of the Count Orlando, which is documented since the X century;
- the Church of San Michele Arcangelo, built on rock spur in 1338, by the will of the Countess Giovanna, wife of Count Angelo Tarlato Tarlati. Profoundly altered over the centuries, it preserves however, a simple structure;
- the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, where according to tradition (also reported by a plaque), Michelangelo Buonarroti was baptized;
- the Sanctuary of La Verna, where local stories reveal that St. Francis received his "stigmata" (bodily marks, in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus). It is a complex of several buildings: the Oratory of Santa Maria degli Angeli (built by St. Francis and enriched with polychrome terracotta features by Andrea della Robbia), the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta ( built between 1348 and 1509, also enhanced, by the Della Robbia, in terracotta and features a monumental XVI century organ), the XIV century Chapel of Mary Magdalene (in which is preserved the stone on which Jesus sat, when he appeared in San Francisco), the corridor of the Stigmata, the Precipice (where the devil tempted San Francisco), the caves with the cells of the first monks and the wrought iron bed of the Saint of Assisi and the Sasso Spicco (a deep cleft in the rock);
- the Church of San Martino, built in rural Romanesque style, preserves a XV century painting of Neri di Bicci;
- the Church of St. Agatha on the Rock;
- the Church of Santa Maria;
- the Podesteria;
- the public fountains.