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Monterchi, Italy: The Madonna del Parto (Pregnant Madonna)


About Monterchi & the Fresco of Madonna del Parto:

Italy is, without a doubt, a place where are and religion come together—at least during the Renaissance period. It is hard to separate the two. The 15th Century had many great Renaissance painters, and one of those was Piero Della Francesca, who came from nearby Sansepolcro. Here in Monterchi you will find one of his most famous works in the Museo della Madonna del Parto, a fresco dating from around 1460 showing the Blessed Mother pregnant with the child Jesus.

The fresco as you can view it today (Photo courtesy Sanctuary of Madonna del Parto)
The fresco as you can view it today (Photo courtesy Sanctuary of Madonna del Parto)

The symbolism is that Mary bore the Ark of the Covenant, which was a popular theme during the Renaissance. Of course, Our Lady appeared as Our Lady of Guadalupe to Saint Juan Diego in Mexico as pregnant and is known as Patroness of the Unborn.

This fresco originally was in the church in Sansepolcro, but after an earthquake destroyed the church, it was removed from the ruins and kept there until it was transferred here to the museum in Monterchi.

Due to its fragile nature it is kept under glass but it is a remarkable work of art, reportedly finished in only 7 days.

There is an admission fee to the museum of a few euros per person…..well worth it.


Traveling to Monterchi:

Monterchi is about 50 miles northeast of Assisi and the museum is definitely worth a visit. Like many Italian hill towns it is quaint and interesting; however, it is unlikely that any Catholic tours will have it included in the itinerary.

For this reason, it is more suitable for those traveling independently.

There is no direct train service–you can get as close as Arezzo by train, and go by bus from there (about 12 miles).  Get train & bus schedules, see fares & buy tickets here.

Address: Via della Reglia 1 52035Monterchi (AR) italy

GPS coordinates: 43° 29′ 4.4088” N, 12° 6′ 44.2044”

e-mail: info@madonnadelparto.it

Click here for the official museum website

Click here to find hotels and B&B’s in and around Monterchi, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor

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