Arezzo

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Arezzo
Comune di Arezzo
Piazza Grande; from left - S. Maria della Pieve, the old Tribunal Palace and the Lay Fraternity.
Coordinates: 43°28′24″N 11°52′12″E / 43.47333°N 11.87°E / 43.47333; 11.87Coordinates: 43°28′24″N 11°52′12″E / 43.47333°N 11.87°E / 43.47333; 11.87
Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Province Arezzo
Area
 • Total 386.25 km2 (149.13 sq mi)
Elevation 296 m (971 ft)
Population (30 April 2011)
 • Total 100,455
Demonym Aretini
Area code(s) 0575

Arezzo is an old city in central Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Arezzo, in the region of Tuscany. Arezzo is about 80 km (50 mi) south-east of Florence. It is at an elevation of 296 m above sea level. In 2001 the population was about 91,600 people.

Geography[change | change source]

Arezzo is placed on the floodplain of the Arno. In the upper part of the town are the cathedral and the squares.

History[change | change source]

Arezzo may have been one of the twelve most important Etruscan cities, the so-called Dodecapolis. Conquered by the Romans in 311 BC, Arretium became a military station on the via Cassia, the road to expansion by republican Rome into the basin of the Po. In the 3rd to 4th century, Arezzo became an episcopal place: it is one of the few cities whose succession of bishops are known by name without interruption to the present day, in part because they were the feudal lords of the city in the Middle Ages.

Until 1384, Arezzo was an independent city-state, generally Ghibelline in tendency, thus opposing Guelph Florence. In 1252 the city founded its university, the Studium. Arezzo in 1384 was under Florentine domination. During this period Piero della Francesca worked in the church of San Francesco di Arezzo producing the splendid frescoes.

In the 18th century the neighbouring marshes of the Val di Chiana, south of Arezzo, were drained and the region became less malarial. At the end of the century French troops led by Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Arezzo, but the city soon turned into the hands of the resistance against the invaders with the movement of "Viva Maria": this gained the city the role of provincial capital. In 1860 Arezzo became part of the Kingdom of Italy.

Squares[change | change source]

View of the edifices of Piazza Grande. From the left: the Romanesque apse of S. Maria della Pieve, the Tribunal Palace and the Lay Fraternity.

The Piazza Grande is the most noteworthy medieval square in the city, it is currently the site of the Giostra del Saracino ("Joust of the Saracin").

  • The Palace of the Lay Fraternity (Fraternita dei Laici): 14th-15th century palazzo, with a Gothic style.
  • The Vasari Loggia.
  • Episcopal Palace,
  • Palazzo Cofani-Brizzolari, with the Torre Faggiolana.

Churches[change | change source]

  • the Gothic Cathedral of Saint Donatus (13th-early 16th centuries).
  • Basilica of San Francesco (13th-14th centuries), in Tuscan-Gothic style.
  • Romanesque church of Santa Maria della Pieve.
  • Basilica of San Domenico (founded in 1275 and completed in the early 14th century).
  • Church of San Michele,
  • Santa Maria in Gradi is a medieval church from the 11th or the 12th century, but was rebuilt in the late 16th century by Bartolomeo Ammannati.
  • Church of St. Augustine, founded in 1257,
  • Badia di SS. Flora e Lucilla (12th century). Built by Benedictine monks in the 12th century, it was totally restored in the 16th century under the direction of Giorgio Vasari.
  • San Lorenzo,
  • Santa Maria delle Grazie, a late Gothic sanctuary with a Renaissance portal by Benedetto da Maiano (1490).
  • Santa Maria a Gradi (1591), a monastery existing already in 1043.
  • Church of Santissima Trinità. Built in 1348,
  • Santa Maria Maddalena, built in 1561.
  • Pieve di San Paolo, in San Paolo, erected as Palaeo-Christian baptismal church,
  • Pieve di Sant'Eugenia al Bagnoro,
  • Pieve di San Donnino a Maiano, at Palazzo del Pero (6th-9th centuries).

Others places[change | change source]

Amphitheatre.
  • Roman amphitheatre and museum.
  • Palazzo dei Priori, erected in 1333, has been the seat of the city's magistratures until today. The edifice was numerous times restored and renovated; the interior has a court from the 16th century, a stone statue portraying a Madonna with Child (1339), frescoes, busts of illustrious Aretines, two paintings by Giorgio Vasari. The square tower is from 1337.
  • Medici Fortress (Fortezza Medicea), designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger and completed in 1538-1560. It was partly dismantled by the French in the early 19th century.
  • Palazzo Camaiani-Albergotti (14th century, renovated in the 16th century), with the Torre della Bigazza.
  • Palazzo Bruni-Ciocchi, Renaissance edifice attributed to Bernardo Rossellino.
  • Palazzo Pretorio.
  • House of Petrarch (Casa del Petrarca).
  • Casa Vasari (in Via XX Settembre) an older house rebuilt in 1547 by Giorgio Vasari
  • Ivan Bruschi House and Museum (Casa-Museo "Ivan Bruschi").
  • Gaio Cilnio Mecenate Archeological Museum.
  • Civic Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Festivals[change | change source]

  • Arezzo is home to an annual international competition of International Guido d'Arezzo Polyphonic Contest
  • Arezzo is home to an annual medieval festival called the Saracen Joust (Giostra del Saracino). In this, "knights" on horseback must attack,the "Saracen king" and score points according to accuracy.
  • Arezzo is also home to an annual popular music and culture festival, in July, called Arezzo Wave.

Notable people from Arezzo[change | change source]

Sport clubs[change | change source]

  • Associazione Calcio Arezzo (A.C. Arezzo)
  • Vasari Rugby Arezzo
  • Club sommozzatori Calypso - Federazione Italiana Attività Subacquee - Sez. Terr. Arezzo (diving)

Twin cities[change | change source]

Others websites[change | change source]