Arezzo was surely founded by the populations villanoviane, then it suffered the influence by the Etruscans and grew of an importance up to become one of the twelve lacumonies of Etruria. The first archaeological finds of Arretium goes back to the end of the 6th century B.C.: rests of surrounded building, rests of the acropolis of S. Cornelio, rests of the necropolis on the Poggio del Sole, the Chimera and the Minerva (bronzes of the 5th and 3rd centuries B.C., Florence Archaeological Museum), Greek pottery (Euphronios’ crater, Arezzo Archaeological Museum ) and vases made of bucchero.
The names of the famous aretines personalities are: Francesco Petrarca, Piero della Francesca, Giorgio Vasari, Pietro Aretino, Guido Monaco. Their knowledge will fill up the rooms of the culture of any nation. Other prestigious artists as Cimabue o Beato Angelico, il Rossellino, Della Robbia o Marcillat who had worked leaving significant works of art to the city.
The creative and disciplinated spirit of the Middle Ages creates in Arezzo a people-friendly city, where the streets converge upward, and the view tends also up to the sky; This irregularity creates an extraordinary effect of harmony.
A harmony that finds in Piazza Grande the center of the civil life. Here, the ties with the past leave indelible traces in every stone of its palaces, in every merlot of its tower-houses, in every capital of its churches.
Crossing the historic center of Arezzo is like making a trip with the time machine.
Arezzo, through the architecture of its places, tells centuries of history and art. In some cases openly and obviously and in some others more mysterious, and often you need to find out what was destroyed or hidden to get a new discovery. From the traces of ancient places of Etruscan worship, to the purity of Romanesque churches up to the Gothic momentum and Renaissance fasces.
The Gates and the Districts
The subdivison of Arezzo in districts is very ancient.
Throughout the 13th and 14th centuries, the districts played and important role in the political, jurisdictional and taxable life of Arezzo: the pubblic offices were equally divided among the citizens of the four gates.
From 1384 with the second and final Florentine dominion, the distrcts had lost most of their functions, keeping only the taxable one. Until ‘600 the old medieval gates were used as a basis for the compiling of the real estate registries.
The old division faded definitively in 1672 when the Arezzo districts were deeply modified in order to be adapted to the new topographical layout of the city reproduced by the Medici Town wall.
Today the districts have a reminiscent value and attachement to the territory that finds its maximum expression in the Saracen Joust.
Palaces like the one of the Priori who for centuries has become the guardian of the city politics while keeping the “secrets of the palace” or Palazzo Pretorio and its seven centuries of public function, from magistrate’s office into prison and the restoration of the building and its monumental role that has nowadays. Palazzo Pretorio is one of the most prestigious buidings in the historic center and an example of medieval and Renaissance tuscan architecture. It was a prison, then the Medieval Museum and Pinacoteca and finally, since 1959, the Municipal Library.
– Cattedrale dei SS. Donato e Pietro (Duomo)
– Basilica di San Francesco – Cappella Bacci: Affreschi di Piero della Francesca
– Chiesa di San Domenico
– S. Maria della Pieve
– Badia delle SS. Flora e Lucilla
– Chiesa della Ss. Annunziata
– Chiesa di Santa Maria in Gradi
– Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie
Casa Museo di Ivan Bruschi
Corso Italia 14
Basilica di San Francesco, Affreschi Leggenda della vera Croce
Via di San Francesco s.n
Tel. 0575 352727
Archeological Museum Gaio Cilnio Mecenate
Via Margaritone 10
Medieval and Modern Art Museum
Via San Lorentino 8
Diocesano di Arte Sacra Museum
Palazzo Vescovile Piazza Duomo 1
Casa Museo del Petrarca
Via dell’Orto 28
chiuso il mercoledì, tel. 0575 1822770
Casa Museo di Giorgio Vasari
Via XX Settembre 55
Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici
Museum of Means of Communication
Via Ricasoli 22
Booking: Fausto Casi 0575 364741
Galleria comunale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea
-Sede (piazza San Francesco 4) Tel. 0575 299255
-Sala Sant’Ignazio (via Carducci 7)
-Palazzo Chianini Vincenzi (via Cesalpino 15)
-Palazzo Sabatini (via Montetini)
Everywhere the squares are places of meetings but also places that synthetize the history of the city. For this reason, the administration of the town has strongly wanted to the restoration of the main functions of the squares of Arezzo. From Piazza Vasari (called Piazza Grande) from whose center you can rethink centuries of lived history, a still living and palpable history, passing through Piazza San Francesco, a place of culture and sociality, to Piazza Guido Monaco, the most recent one and Piazza Sant’Agostino recently restored.
The “lawn” (Prato) is located between the Cathedral and the Fortezza, in an area of great archaeological interest and is the oldest city park with the most suggestive, high position, centuries-old trees.
It occupies the surface of a vast natural hollow, which for a few centuries either separated two hillsides, St. Peter’s and St. Donato’s Hill, corresponding to the settlements of the Cathedral and the Fortress. Overlooking the altitude throughout the centuries, the area was housed in a public garden – venue for concerts, horse races, balloons and pyrotechnics – since the beginning of the nineteenth century.
The current extension, from Porta Stufi to the southern fortress bastion (where Roman archaeological remains are visible), was reached in the first half of our century. The marble group of the monument of Francesco Petrarca dates back to 1928, the work of Alessandro Lazzerini, located in the center of the park.
The other City Park is located in the lower part of the city, extending along the first stretch of Viale Giotto. The park is named after Sandro Pertini.
It was built in the 16th century by Medici of Florence; it’s located at the top of the hill and it offers a wonderful view. Gardens, called “Prato”, are all around the Fortress.