The little valley of God. A treasure trove of art, rich in history, known above all to have been blessed by the genius of Michelangelo. On March 6, 1475, the noble Ludwig Leonardo Buonarroti, the father of the great artist, held the function of Podestà (magistrate) at the castle of Caprese. The town’s link with his most illustrious citizen is also highlighted by the Royal Decree of February 9, 1913, which added the name Michelangelo to the ancient name of the hamlet.
The territory of Caprese Michelangelo, bathed by crystal clear waterways, extends along the Apennine ridge in the greenest area of the Valtiberina in Tuscany. The Alpe di Catenaia woods, called the Faggeta Alpe or simply Faggeto, culminate on top with a grassy expanse called the Queen's meadows. From here streams descend from a serene and secluded nature. A place of silence, far from stress and accelerated rhythms of the modern life, defined for its placid spirit "the small valley of God".
The ancient anthropocentric conception of the universe is reflected in the layout of its old town that revolves around the medieval fortress of Caprese, built in the 10th century. Like many small satellites, around the fort, there are groups of houses and villages built entirely in stone, scattered in small nuclei.
Farther away, among the woods and meadows of the green valley, the places of faith and spirituality stand out: like the Camaldolese abbey around which bronze finds have been found that testify to the vivacity of this area since Etruscan times. The church of San Cassiano, the church of St. Christopher and the sanctuary of the Madonna della Selva are also noteworthy. The itineraries of religious tourism embrace the places that testify to the passage of Saint Francis during his travels from Assisi to the Sacred mountain La Verna: such as the San Polo church, the chapel of Zenzano and the hermitage of the Casella.
The memory of Michelangelo Buonarroti still survives today in the church of San Giovanni and inside the castle walls that host the museum dedicated to him. The route includes the birthplace, in Palazzo Clusini, the salt rooms of the fort, where ancient plaster casts are displayed donated by the Florentine Galleries, and the charming open-air sculpture museum spread over an area of about 1000 square meters in the ruins of the early medieval castle.
History, art, culture and legend blend into one reality at Caprese Michelangelo. According to an old story, in 552, the last king of the Ostrogoths, Totila, died in this place, supposedly he is buried in these lands with his fabulous treasure.
In the hamlet there are art-related meetings and the fresco technique courses alternated with exhibitions, conventions and concerts. Numerous are the itineraries around the forests, hiking trails and mountain bikes routes to discover ancient sites. An important appointment is the traditional chestnut feast and culinary events revolving around mushroom and truffle dishes.