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Church San Cristoforo

Street and number Loc. Piazzano
City Tuoro sul Trasimeno
Country ITA

Despite being administratively in Umbria, this church, named after Saint Christopher, is part of the parish of Montanare, in Tuscany. The church of Piazzano, 310 metres over sea level, is perched on a hill known as Castelnuovo, literally “the new castle”, overlooking the wide expanse of the Val d’Esse.

The first written record of this church’s existence dates to 1583, reporting a visit by the Bishop of Arezzo. Piazzano, small as it is, is the centre of a strange border debacle. Despite the creation, in 1325, of a local dioceses of Cortona, in fact, this parish remained assigned to Arezzo until 1965. A parallel history concerns the village of Borghetto which, despite being inside the borders of the Perugian diocese, continued to refer to Arezzo. Apparently, this is the result of the decisions of a rather strong-willed Arezzo bishop who wanted to maintain control over the two villages, one for game, the other for fish. This may be a myth, and the parishes’ uncertain destiny may have more to do with the fact that they were never administered by the City of Cortona.

To this day, Piazzano remains part of the Diocese of Arezzo-Cortona-Sansepolcro. In the words of Father Frescucci: “Due to this state of things, no information was collected concerning Piazzano, it being at the border of two regions, two provinces and two dioceses. In truth, it is by all forgotten and held low in esteem. A pity”.

The name “Piazzano” comes from the Latin plateanum, meaning the “Arms Square”. This is likely in reference to the presence of a detachment of soldiers overseeing traffic in the Roman road below, which led from the Val d’Esse to Castelnuovo and Tuoro sul Trasimeno.

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