Tuscan sojourn shows pitfalls of military operations

The family and I are spending a few weeks at a villa in rural Tuscany. Generations of artists hardly did justice to the Tuscan countryside. Ancient churches, towns, and fortifications abound. Art is everywhere. Michaelangelo was born about five miles from here. Also nearby is San Sepolcro, birthplace of the Renaissance fresco painter Piero della Francesca and home to many of his works. The nearest town of any size is Anghiari, a picturesque, walled medieval town perched on a promontory above the Tiber Plain. Anghiari briefly made it into the history books in 1440, when armies from the city—states of Florence and Milan, competing for mastery over Tuscany, met on the plain below the city. Today signs proudly mark out the site of the encounter. Leonardo da Vinci immortalized the Battle of Anghiari in the Hall of the Five Hundred in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio (city hall), the edifice that now provides a backdrop to Michaelangelo's renowned statue of David. Niccolo Machiavelli, the...(Read Full Article)