It’s difficult to go back to certain dates, but due to the findings of some burials, we can affirm that the countryside of Chiusi della Verna was already populated in the Etruscan-Roman age. The territory was crossed by the Via Maior, which connected Arezzo with Romagna, passing the Passo Serra after the Corsalone torren.
In the Medieval Age, the pilgrim routes were reported in many writings. On the ancient Roman path, the route of the Via Romea is formed, used, above all, by pilgrims of Germanic origin, who went to Rome, following an alternative route to the Via Francigena, moved further west.
Therefore, many people entered in our territory and some of them decided to stay here.
However, we do have a sure date for the Marcucci’s house, the oldest in the historic centre of Chiusi della Verna, built in 967 A.D.
From the same period, if not earlier, the Castle was erected, owned by the Messer – Count – Orlando Cattani at the time of St Francis, which we can now only admire a ruin. In 1213, the two met in San Leo, in Montefeltro, and on this occasion, the Messer was impressed by the preaching of the friar and wanted to donate to him the mountain of La Verna. This mountain became the place of numerous and prolonged periods of seclusion.
«I have in Tuscany a very devout mountain which is called Mount della Verna, which is very solitary and wild and is so well suited to those who want to experience penance, away from the people, or for those who want to live alone. If you like it, I would gladly give it to you and your companions for the sake of my soul»
(Messer –Conte- Orlando Catani of Chiusi della Verna before donating the mountain to St. Francis from Assisi, 1213)
In the following years, some cells and the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli (1216-18) were built.
At the end of the fourteenth century, the Countess Caterina Tarlati erected the Chapel of Santa Maria Maddalena, in memory of the shelter where the Saint lived during his stays, and where the stone on which Jesus sat when he appeared to the Saint of Assisi receiving the stigmata (1224) is still preserved.
The Florentine Republic conquered Chiusi in 1385, which became, along with other lands, the capital of a civil jurisprudence, a Podesteria, in which a Podestà (a person who acted as a mayor) resided.
This person must have been a Florentine citizen, selected by the government with the system of the drawing lots. During the years, different acts and laws were applied and implemented to manage the Podesteria; several lands were moved from a jurisdiction to another. In 1428, it was established that the two Podesteria of Chiusi and Caprese would have to share the same Podestà.
Exactly in the year of Michelangelo’s birth, the mayor of Chiusi and Caprese was Ludovico di Leonardo Buonarroti Simoni, who moved from Miniato del Sera with his already pregnant wife Francesca di Neri.
The first Podesteria was located west of the Castle, “from the Pievania there was a road that led to the Podesteria”.
This road date back to the period of Michelangelo’s birth, and nowadays only its foundations remains. In 1702, a second road was built: in a more convenient position, but not far from the previous, and next to the church of San Michele Arcangelo (1348), which was built by the will of the Countess Giovanna Tarlati.
The church is covered outside with squared stones, and in the inside, it still shows part of the original plan, which made this church a real gem. Sadly, over the years some interferences have ruined its original beauty. In 1800 the Chapel of the Madonna of the Rosary was rebuilt; the entrance was moved covering the large and ancient door. In 1960 a new bell tower replaced the previous one, which was unsafe, and at the same time the church was enlarged.