Cortona Charme

The Building Palazzo Vagnucci Petrella

Palazzo Vagnucci (then Vagnucci Petrella) occupies most of the block which has boundaries on Vicolo Vagnucci, Via Coppi, Vicolo Baldacchini and Via Nazionale, where the main entrance is, and in ancient times named Ruga Piana. The building falls within the period of urban medieval (late XII – XIII Century). Some of the most important families of Cortona had their homes along Ruga Piana. The building in question is named after a noble family of Cortona, Vagnucci, (the coat of arms - “a crowned bear holding three roses with a paw” - still affixed to the facade), resident here at least from the XVI Century, and owners until the second half of the XIX Century.

Right on the side of Via Coppi, though in a state of decay, you notice the part originally intended for animals, the common type of patrician house of Cortona. Even in town buildings grapes were vinified and wine was bottled, olives were milled and olive oil was stored, part of the grain was massed and part was stored, which was generally necessary for the food needs of the family for many months.

Among the constructive peculiarities there are signs of the presence of so-called caves or bisciai, a system used widely in Cortona for the drainage and collection of water.

Palazzo Vagnucci is a complex building, predominantly VI – VIII Century, but the result of the strong diachronic merging of more housing units, with systems which date back to the XIII – XIV Centuries, poly-volumetrically articulated, given also the difference in levels existing between Via Nazionale and Via Coppi.

Internally the multiple transformations do not make evident the unified organisation; however, the beautiful paintings stand out (XVII- XVIII Century) which adorn the vaults and walls of the halls on the ground floor (Via Nazionale).

According to one tradition, taken largely from literature sources, on the corner between Vicolo Coppi and Vicolo Vagnucci, in the mid XII Century you could find the house of the Coppi family, where the famous friar Elia lived, town planner and architect of the Church of San Francesco.

History of Palazzo Vagnucci Petrella