About Pratovecchio and Montevarchi
Pratovecchio and Montevarchi are both townships in the province of Arezzo in Tuscany. This region in central Italy is characterized by surrounding valleys and numerous monuments.
Pratovecchio is a classic Italian medieval village with cobbled streets and several churches. The town is also the birthplace of influential Renaissance artist Paolo Uccello. Home to the Church of San Pietro at Romena, the consecration of this parish church dates back to 1152 and it was built in stone.
Historically, Montevarchi was an open air market and is characterized by an unusual spindle shaped plan, similar to the contemporary villages seen in Germany. The town's trade and industry reached its peak at the beginning of the 20th century due to the storehouses of wheat which were incorporated into one of the town gates.
In the present day, Montevarchi contains the Collegiate Church of San Lorenzo. This a Tuscan baroque-style building which contains the Relic of the Holy Milk on the main altar. The most important event in Montevarchi is the Festa del Perdono (on the first Sunday of September), once a religious event but now a fun fair. In addition, the town hosts an annual Montevarchi City of Peace cultural event, focusing on how peace can be built in our world.
Both Pratovecchio and Montevarchi twinned with Bethlehem on the same day, strengthening the relations between the municipalities and establishing channels of cooperation and cultural exchange. Signed 16 years ago, this twinship agreement was between the Mayor of Pratovecchio, Angiolo Rossi, the Mayor of Montevarchi, Rolando Nannichi and the Mayor of Bethelehem, Hanna Nasser. All three parties expressed their wish to consolidate and promote these relations at all levels and at all times.
Since the signing of the agreement, there have been invaluable efforts and endeavors to assist Bethlehem. Towards the rehabilitation of cultural heritage site Hosh Al-Syrian in Bethlehem, Montevarchi was a contributing partner.