All SEE in Arezzo

Arezzo has many tourist attractions, of which we can mention Piazza Grande, the main square of Arezzo, the Arezzo Cathedral, dedicated to Saints Donatus and Peter, the Church of Santa Maria della Pieve, the Basilica of San Domenico, the Church of Sant’Agostino, Palazzo del Comune, Palazzo delle Logge, and the beautiful Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici.

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    Piazza Grande

    Piazza Grande is the main square of Arezzo, located in the center of the medieval city. With an inclined trapezoidal shape, the square is one of the most beautiful in Tuscany and in the whole of Italy. In Piazza Grande, twice a year, in June and September, takes place the Joust of the Saracen (Giostra del Saracino), a traditional festival with a medieval fragrance.   SHORT HISTORY In the early Middle Ages, the area of the current square was used for the livestock market, and was called Platea Porcorum. In the 13th century, the space definitively became a square, and during the 14th century, with the construction of the buildings around it, Piazza Grande took on its current appearance on three of its sides. In 1560, Cosimo I de’ Medici, as a demonstration of the strength of the new Florentine lordship, demolished Palazzo del Popolo, Palazzo del Comune and other buildings to the north of the square. At the behest of the same Cosimo I de’ Medici, the new layout of Piazza Grande was designed by Giorgio Vasari. He closed the square to the north with Palazzo delle Logge, built between 1573 and 1595. As a new political and economical Read more [...]

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    Cathedral of Santi Pietro e Donato

    The Cathedral of Santi Pietro e Donato is the Cathedral of Arezzo, located in Piazza del Duomo, on top of the San Pietro Hill.   SHORT HISTORY An important event, which contributed to the construction of the Cathedral, was the visit to Arezzo of Pope Gregorio X, which took place on December 20, 1275, on his return from the Council of Lyon. The Pope, seriously ill, died in Arezzo on January 10, leaving the sum of thirty gold florins for the building of the new Cathedral. In 1277, the decree of bishop Guglielmo degli Ubertini was promulgated, which stated the desire to build a church “to the honor of God, of the Blessed Virgin and of the patron Saint Donatus”. In 1289, the year of the Battle of Campaldino, the church, already consecrated, presented a fully built apse and the first two bays. In 1384, when Arezzo was annexed to the Tuscan state dominated by Florence, the construction of the Cathedral was stopped. The works were resumed only in 1471, and were completed in 1511. In the early 17th century, following the new rules of the Council of Trent, a modernization operation was carried out, with the renewal of the Read more [...]

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    Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici

    Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici is a 14th-century palace in Arezzo, located in the beautiful Piazza Grande. The palace houses the organization of Fraternita dei Laici, an institution founded in 1262, still active today and very involved in projects of social and cultural interest.   SHORT HISTORY The palace, started in 1375, was completed only in the second half of the 16th century. Between 1550 and 1560, the facade was finished with the construction of the balcony and the lunar phases of the Aristotelian-Ptolemaic clock, built in 1552 by Felice di Salvatore Vannucci. The part of the palace towards the apse of the Church of Santa Maria della Pieve was completed in the second half of the 16th century, following a project by Giorgio Vasari. The renovation of Palazzo della Fraternita in 1781, supported by the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo di Lorena, led to the opening of the Library to the public. Today, the palace houses the Fraternita dei Laici Museum, reopened in 2010.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The original painting of Christ from the external lunette of the central portal, work of Spinello Aretino, was replaced by a copy at the end of the 1970s, and is now in Read more [...]

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    Palazzo delle Logge

    Palazzo delle Logge, also known as Logge Vasari, is a large Renaissance-style palace in Arezzo, located in the beautiful Piazza Grande.   SHORT HISTORY In 1384, Arezzo was annexed to the Tuscan state dominated by Florence, and during the following centuries the Florentine influence became visible in the architecture of the city. In 1560, Piazza Grande changed radically, at the behest of Cosimo I de’ Medici. As a demonstration of the strength of the Florentine lordship, he demolished Palazzo del Popolo, Palazzo del Comune and other buildings located in the northern part of the square. The new layout of the square was designed by Giorgio Vasari, who started Palazzo delle Logge in 1573, one year before his death. The palace was completed in 1595 by the architect Alfonso Parigi.   ARCHITECTURE Palazzo delle Logge has a bright, yellow facade, on which the profiles of the architectural elements – pillars, arches, cornices, and windows with low arched tympanum, stand out. The palace has a long portico under which the entrances of the ancient shops, with the characteristic parapets, open. In the center of the loggia, a short staircase connects Piazza Grande with Piazza del Praticino, located higher on the San Pietro Read more [...]

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    Church of Santa Maria della Pieve

    The Church of Santa Maria della Pieve is a Romanesque church in Arezzo, located in Corso Italia, with the apse facing Piazza Grande.   SHORT HISTORY The first documented information about a church in this area dates back to the year 1008. However, the current structure was begun in the 12th century, thanks to the funds provided by the Municipality of Arezzo. In the 13th century, a new facade was built, while the high bell-tower was completed only in 1330. During the 16th century and later, the interior of the church was modified with stucco and Baroque-style decorations. In the 19th century, a renovation eliminated all the Baroque decorations, with the aim of restoring the church to its original Romanesque appearance.   ARCHITECTURE The facade overlooking Corso Italia, rebuilt in the 13th century, has three loggias supported by small columns. The two lower loggias are arched, and the third is surmounted by an architrave. The apse overlooking Piazza Grande is divided vertically into three superimposed orders – the first is made up of blind arches, while the second and the third of loggias. The church has four portals, three on the main facade, separated by blind arches, and one on Read more [...]

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    Basilica of San Domenico

    The Basilica of San Domenico is a Gothic church in Arezzo, located in the homonymous square, in the northern part of the historical center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY The church was built in Romanesque style starting with 1275, and completed in the 14th century. Important changes inside the church were made in the second part of the 16th century, when new altars were added and the frescoed walls were painted white. In 1782, after the reform of religious orders in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the church was abandoned until the beginning of the 20th century. During the restoration works from the 1920s, the altars added in the 16th century were removed, and the frescoes of the 13th and 14th centuries were recovered. The construction of the porch in front of the entrance was completed in 1936 on a project by Giuseppe Castellucci. The porch was built to protect the fresco in the lunette above the entrance door.   ARCHITECTURE The asymmetrical facade, in masonry, includes a bell-gable with two bells. The interior of the church, with a single nave and a trussed roof, takes light from 12 single-light windows. As you approach the apse, the distance between Read more [...]

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    Church of Sant’Agostino

    The Church of Sant’Agostino is a church in Arezzo, dedicated to Saint Augustine, located in the homonymous square.   SHORT HISTORY The mendicant Order of Hermits of Saint Augustine was approved in 1256 by Pope Alexander IV. One year later, the Augustinian friars laid the first stone for the construction of their church in Arezzo. The first church was small in size, and for this reason, in 1330, it was decided to build a larger church. The new church, with three naves, was completed in 1341. However, the religious complex, which also included a large convent, remained incomplete until the 15th century. Only in 1491, the works were resumed and all the structures were finished. Between the end of the 14th century and the early 16th century, the church was embellished with splendid cycles of frescoes and paintings. All the works disappeared between 1761 and 1766, when the interior of the church was transformed in Baroque and Rococo styles, on a project by Filippo Giustini. The facade and the quadrangular bell-tower, both dating back to the 15th century, were spared by the transformation. The tip of the bell-tower was damaged by lightning in 1825, and was rebuilt in the 1920s. Read more [...]

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    Church of Santi Lorentino e Pergentino

    The Church of Santi Lorentino e Pergentino is a small church in Arezzo, located along the former ancient Roman road which connected Chiusi to Florence.   SHORT HISTORY Some historians cite the ancient Passion of Saints Lorentino and Pergentino, dating back to the 6th century, to identify the church as the place of burial of two Christian martyrs, Lorentino and Pergentino, beheaded on June 3, 250, by emperor Decius. Little information exists regarding what happened with the church between the burial of the martyrs and the Middle Ages. A document from 1135 shows that the church belonged to the Benedictine monastery of Saints Flora and Lucilla. In the year 1204, the parish was given to the monks of Camaldoli, to compensate the sale of the Church of San Pier Piccolo. They took care of the church from 1252 until the 16th century. In 1663, it seems that, of the entire complex, only the church remained. Later, the church was abandoned and reduced to a barn. This process of continuous decay up to the loss of the entire western part, that of the facade, and the nearby construction of numerous huts and buildings of little value, continued until 1970, when the Read more [...]

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    Palazzo del Comune

    Palazzo del Comune is a palace in Arezzo, located in Piazza della Libertà, on top of the San Pietro Hill, near the Cathedral of Santi Pietro e Donato. Today, the palace houses the city’s Town Hall.   SHORT HISTORY Palazzo Comunale, known at first as Palazzo dei Priori, was home to the supreme magistrature of Arezzo. The original facade of the building, dating back to the 14th century, can be admired from Via Ricasoli. In 1454, there was a first major renovation. In 1466, the large clock was mounted on the tower. In the second half of the 16th century, a new makeover of the palace began after a design by the famous Florentine architect Alfonso Parigi, which was completed in 1602. During the works, the layout of the stairs was changed, and the large internal portico was built. In 1650, the facade collapsed and some frescoes painted by Lorentino d’Andrea were lost. The reconstruction was carried out by slightly withdrawing the front of the building. In 1715, a bell dedicated to the Madonna and Saint Donatus was placed in the tower. The last major renovation was carried out in 1930s, under the supervision of Giuseppe Castellucci and Umberto Tavanti. Read more [...]

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    Monument to Ferdinand III of Habsburg-Lorraine

    The Monument to Ferdinand III of Habsburg-Lorraine is a sculpture in Arezzo, located in Piazza di Murello, not far from the Cathedral of Saints Donatus and Peter.   SHORT HISTORY The monument, executed by the Florentine artist Stefano Ricci, was placed at first in Piazza Grande, on April 13, 1822, and in 1932 it was moved to its current position. Ferdinand III of Habsburg-Lorraine was the Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1790 to 1801 and from 1814 to 1824, Grand Duke of Salzburg from 1803 to 1805, and Grand Duke of Würzburg between 1805 and 1814. The statue was erected in gratitude for his excellent work in the field of communication between Arezzo and Tuscany. Via Anconetana, at the time the main communication route with the Adriatic, was one of his projects.   DESCRIPTION The Duke is depicted with an ancient toga, crowned with oak leaves, symbol of virtue, strength, perseverance and loyalty. In his left hand holds the scepter, emblem of power, while at his feet lies a lion. The relief placed at the base of the monument is the work of the Aretine sculptor Ranieri Bartolini. The relief describes allegorically the union of the two tuscan rivers, Chiana Read more [...]

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    Monument to Ferdinando I de’ Medici

    The Monument to Ferdinando I de’ Medici is a sculpture in Arezzo, located in Piazza del Duomo, on the steps leading to the Cathedral of Saints Donatus and Peter.   SHORT HISTORY Ferdinando I de’ Medici was Grand Duke of Tuscany between 1587 and 1609, and during his lordship Arezzo had a quiet period, both from political and economic point of view. The Duke distinguished himself for important economic, fiscal and social reforms. He continued the noble tradition of the Medici family in terms of patronage of art and culture. The sculpture was designed by Giambologna, or Jean Boulogne, known also as Giovanni da Bologna, the last great sculptor of Renaissance, but it was executed by Pierre Francheville (Pietro Francavilla), a French-Italian sculptor, at the beginning of the 17th century. The statue was erected by the people of Arezzo as a sign of gratitude for the reclamation of the Chiana Valley (Valdichiana), which was an important addition to the municipal territory.   HOW TO GET THERE The Monument to Ferdinando I de’ Medici is located about 900 meters away from the Arezzo railway station. The closest bus stop is in Via Ricasoli, a few meters away, on the bus Line Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Pretorio

    Palazzo Pretorio is a palace in Arezzo, located in Via dei Pileati, about 100 meters away from Piazza Grande. Since 1954, the palace houses the Municipal Library of Arezzo.   SHORT HISTORY The area on which the current palace stands was occupied since the 13th century by the houses of the Albergotti, Lodomeri and Sassoli families. Thus, the palace is the result of the unification of several buildings, built in different periods and styles. At first, Palazzo Pretorio was the seat of the Captain of Justice (Capitano di Giustizia). At the beginning of the 15th century, the palace was purchased by the Municipality, and transformed into a prison, which was closed only in 1926. In the 1920s, a long restoration began, completed in 1934 by the architect Giuseppe Castellucci, who returned the structure to its 16th century appearance. After the restoration, the Medieval Museum of Arezzo was transferred there.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The beautiful facade of the palace is decorated with many coats of arms of podestà (chief magistrate) and captains, who used the palace as their seat since 1434. Inside the palace, on the ground floor, there is a private chapel, where you can admire the remains of Read more [...]

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    Monument to Francesco Petrarca

    The Monument to Francesco Petrarca is a sculpture in Arezzo, located in the beautiful park of the city, Prato, on top of the San Pietro Hill. Francesco Petrarca, anglicized as Petrarch, was an Italian poet of early Renaissance, born in Arezzo on July 20, 1304.   SHORT HISTORY In 1902, a group of people formed the Committee for Honors of Francesco Petrarca, and decided to build a monument dedicated to the poet of Arezzo, on the occasion of the sixth centenary of his birth. In 1904, a competition was launched, and a Royal Decree provided the funds for the construction of the monument. However, the result was not satisfactory, and a second competition was held two years later, and a third one in 1907, when the design of Alessandro Lazzerini was chosen as the winner. On July 31, 1909, the contract was signed, but due to a series of delays the first stone was laid only on December 12, 1914. Then, the works were stopped during the First World War. In 1924, Benito Mussolini, head of the government, allocated the necessary funds to start the work. Thus, began the extraction of the marble blocks and their processing in the artist’s Read more [...]

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    Palazzo della Provincia

    Palazzo della Provincia is a neo-Gothic palace in Arezzo, located in Piazza della Libertà, across the square from Palazzo del Comune, near the Cathedral of Saints Donatus and Peter. Together with Palazzo del Comune and the Cathedral, Palazzo della Provincia, seat of the Province of Arezzo, forms a complex very close to an ideal agora, where the main administrative centers of the city are concentrated, in a dominant position on the San Pietro Hill.   SHORT HISTORY On February 24, 1913, the administration of the Province of Arezzo decided to build its new headquarters, commissioning the engineer Giuseppe Paoli for this project. The project consisted in a new building to be used as offices and the restoration of two pre-existing buildings. The masonry work, carried out by the company Giuseppe Rossi, was started shortly after and was completed only on September 27, 1925, followed by the official inauguration of the palace. Concerning the decorative works, the realization of the frescoes was entrusted, at the suggestion of the designer, to the painter Adolfo De Carolis, in 1922. The sketch was immediately approved, and the works – started in the summer of 1922 and executed entirely by De Carolis, were concluded at Read more [...]

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    Fraternita dei Laici Museum

    The Fraternita dei Laici Museum is a museum in Arezzo, housed by Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici, located in Piazza Grande. The museum was founded anew in 2010 to exhibit a series of works collected between the 14th and 19th centuries.   SHORT HISTORY The first collections of the institution were exhibited in the Fraternita dei Laici Museum starting with 1820, the year of its foundation, until 1935, when most of the art (archeology and science collections, and the library saved after the 1759 fire) was partly sent to the Civic Museums of Arezzo. Most of the works, about 6000 of them, including 100 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and ancient furnishings, are still in the palace and represent the core of today’s exhibition.   ART The Museum is composed of the Quadreria, the Council Room, and the Primo Rettore’s Room. Besides the ancient works, the collection was completed around 1780 with the magnificent Gallery of Portraits, a series of effigies of grand dukes and benefactors who made the institution rich since the Middle Ages. The Bartolini Collection, composed of drawings, prints, plaster casts and books, is named after its founder, the sculptor Ranieri Bartolini, who left it to the city Read more [...]