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Caprese Michelangelo is a little centre of tourism placed on a hogsback of the Appennines, a 653 m above sea level, surrounded by an area of outstanding natural beauty, typical of the high Tiber, valley. The meadowlands and sweet- chestnut woods are ideal for walking, riding or just relaxing. Caprese Michelangelo, however, is not just an attractive place: it is here that nature and history fuse into an integral part of great art. For it was here, in the house of his father, the Podesta /Squire), that Michelangelo Buonarroti was born in 1475 and in the tiny Church of San Giovanni that he was baptised.
The village was by then under the dominion of Florence, but its origins go back a long way: the ancient cultures of Liguria, Umbria and Etruria all existed here, and there are also traces of Roman times in the via Ariminensis. Reliable historians maintain that Totila, King of the Goths, died here in 552 AD. There are historical documents from the era of Lombard rule which refer to the pluteus discovered during restoration work on the Church of San Cristoforo. In the Buonarroti house and gardens is a collection of modern sculpture and casts of the great artists work.
During recent years Caprese Michelangelo has organised annual seminars for the study of the Art of Fresco. In the surrounding woodlands are wild strawberries, blackberries, mushrooms, and above all, sweet chestnuts which give rise to the Chestnut Festival in October. In the mountains nearby you can visit many charming places and also follow the ridges of the Alpe di Catenaia where St. Francis walked from Monte Casale to La Verna. It is on this track that the Ermitage of Casella was founded in memory of the saint's last fare well to La Vera. Also nearby are churches of great historical interest: the ancient Abbey of Tifi, the church of San Cristoforo at Monna and the Pieve di San Cassiano.
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