The territory of Arezzo
includes part of the Appenines Tosco-Emiliano (Alpe della
Luna, Alpe di Catenaia, Pratomagno) and of Chianti, higher
Val Tiberina, Casentino, part of the Upper Valdarno and Val
di Chiana: it is worth mentioning that these are some of the
most flourishing territories for wine production, famous worldwide,
as well as being areas of incomparable natural beauty, much
loved by those who prefer a non wasted holiday, but an intelligent
and aware or conscious one.
Already a permanent prehistoric seat belonging to the Dodecapoli
Estrucan (Arrentium), then a Roman colony (1st Century BC),
noted for the production of ceramics: from an evidential point
of view, there is almost nothing from this ancient era, apart
from that regarding the remains of the Roman Amphitheatre.
A Free Council in the 11th Century, it reached noteworthy
economic development at the beginning of the 14th Century:
it was in this period when testimony can be found, in the
form of the most important City monuments, like the Pieve
di S. Maria, the Cathedral, S. Domenico, the Communal Building
and the Case-Torri (Tower Houses).
Defeated by the Florentine Guelphs at Campaldino (1289), overwhelmed
by the feuds of 1380 between the Ubertini and Tarlati, the
City handed itself over to Carlo d’Angio, Duke of Durazzo,
who then sold it on to Florence. Also in this period, Arezzo
experienced a noteworthy artistic development: in fact, during
the Renaissance era, architects like Giuliano da Sangallo
and Giorgio Vasari were active in the City, and also the superb
artist, Piero della Francesca.
The urban structure of the City is compact and well preserved,
especially concerning the historical centre, and follows a
semi-circular plan, sloping down towards the square, to the
height of the Cathedral,. On the medieval system, by nature
a little tortuous, the Renaissance presence is engraved in
the form of larger, scenographical roads.
The hill of the Cathedral, almost like an old acropolis, dominates
the City, embellished not only by architectonic monuments,
but also by beautiful public gardens called Passeggio del
Prato, dating back to the Medici period. The Cathedral (13th-14th
Centuries) is a grandiose Gothic building, later completed
during the 1500’s (the façade, though, is a modern
reconstruction, as well as the Clock Tower, which is from
1859); the interior is enriched with funerary monuments from
the 1300’s and by the presence of pictorial works; amongst
which a fresco by Piero della Francesca.