The town of Gualdo Cattaneo is situated in central Umbria, and south-east of the region capital, Perugia.
Starting a visit in the main square of Gualdo Cattaneo it is Borgia’s Fortress that stands out, designed by Francesco di Bartolomeo da Pietrasanta in 1493. Work on the fortress began in 1494 and incorporated new solutions to counter the guns that caused serious damage to both structures and defenders.
Francesco da Pietrasanta proposed a solution that included a tower with a circular section, which was connected by walls forming two sides of an isosceles triangle, to allow the defenders a total control of the fortress. Specialized workers from Tuscany and Lombardy were used in the building of the fortress at Gualdo Cattaneo
Pietrasanta was an important sculptor and architect who spent the last few years of his life in Umbria, at which time he was responsible for several buildings including part of the Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi.
Entering the 16th century the fortress of Gualdo ceased to be needed as a military structure and was transformed into a residence for the Cardinal Legates in charge of city government. Over the course of the centuries the castle was completely restored and these days it is often used for exhibitions and conferences.
Among the religious buildings in Gualdo cattaneo we first mention the Church of St. Augustine, dating back to 1136. The church façade has a Gothic portal and stone blocks of pink sandstone, while the interior is notable for its wooden trussed roof and some important works of art.
These works of art include the "Crucifixion", attributed to the School of Nicolò Liberatore known as "L’Alunno" (1430-1502) and a 15th century fresco by Andrea di Cagno*, a painting by local artist Bastiano* and a work by Francesco Providoni* (1633-1703) called "The Trinity, the Virgin, St. Gregory the Great and the souls in Purgatory".
Next stop on our tour of Gualdo Cattaneo is the Church of Saints Anthony and Anthoninus, built in 1262. Its crypt was built to preserve the relics of the martyrs of the town. In 1464 the Sacrament Chapel was added, while the bell tower only dates back to 1905.
We conclude our tour of the churches with the Church of St. Andrew, of Romanesque style as seen in the crypt and some of the sculptures on the façade.
The area surrounding Gualdo Cattaneo is very interesting because of the various and numerous medieval remains, with ancient churches and castles, such as that of San Terenziano.
There are also old traditions related to the local natural products and craft. The typical products of Gualdo Cattaneo include cheese, sausage, mushrooms, truffles, bread and pasta.
* For detailed artist information see Italian artists in the renaissance