Arezzo and its surrounding

Arezzo and its surrounding

A brief history

Arezzo has many and important archeological finds that testify to the splendid art and the perfection of the
handcrafts produced in Arezzo over the centuries. Arezzo, an Etruscan city, stood out against Roman expansion,
forming an alliance with them, keeping up a good relationship with them and sometimes fighting against them with
weapons and diplomacy. During the Second Punic War, Arezzo was allied with Rome, and its inhabitants were aggregated
to the Pomptina tribe as a recognition. Then Roman legions invaded all the peninsula and the citizens of Arezzo were
obliged to turn their Etruscan city into a new roman one: all the old walls were destroyed and new basilicas,
amphitheatres, thermal baths, theatres, new roads and aqueducts were built.

The commercial expansion allowed potter arts to expand: ceramists used ceramic to reproduce silver and gold Greek
jars. At the end of the 1st century B.C. the “Arretina vasa” were so famous that everyone in Italy,
Spain, North Africa and Gual wanted one of these fabulous jar. Unfortunately the coming of Christianity caused the
decay of this art, since their ornamental patterns were inspired to ancient myths or to pagan scenes.

Then Arezzo became the battlefield between the barbaric horde from the north and the roman army that was sent to
prevent their passage. For this reason Arezzo was subjected to many attacks, pillages and devastations. It was
occupied by Lombard and Frank before being taken over by the Tuscany marquises.

Around 1000 many democratic orderings and some artisan organizations started to be established and soon afterwards
the Medieval Commune was constituted. The city of Florence, in the meanwhile, was allied to Siena and wanted to
expand its political influence and acquire new markets where to sell its products. In 1287 Florentines and the
inhabitants of Siena failed to conquer Arezzo. The year after the Guelphs from Tuscany joined their forces against
Arezzo and all the other Ghibellin Communes and in 1289 they won in the famous fight of Campaldino.

In the 1300 Arezzo knew a period of splendor: lots of famous contemporary artists lived here and new universities
were built. However, after the bishop’s death, Arezzo started decaying and it was given to Florence and to the
Tuscany Duchy.

In the 1799 the quiet, that had prevailed during all these years, was bothered by the Napoleonic troops’
invasion. In 1815, after the Congress of Vienna, Arezzo and its province came again under the Tuscany Grand Duchy,
until 1861 when, after a plebiscite, it was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy.  

Activities and events

Arezzo is very well-known for: its antique (the Antique fair takes place during the first weekend of every month in
Arezzo), its goldsmith’s art and other precious metals (Unoaerre factory store), its wrought iron manufacturing
(Caporali Ferro Battuto:,
its fine fabrics (Busatti and Gallo Rodino:, its wine and oil production (Tenuta Setteponti in Castiglion Fibocchi:; Azienda Agricola
Giacomo Marengo).

The city of Arezzo and other nearby cities

Among the most beautiful artistic city in Tuscany we can find Florence and Pisa with their worldwide well-known
monuments: the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Cathedral Square also known as Piazza dei Miracoli; The Florentine old
Bridge, the Old Palace, the sculpture of David by Michelangelo, the Pitti Palace, the Boboli Gardens, and so on.

Travelling through the Chiana Valley, you can’t avoid visiting the marvelous Etruscan city of Cortona,
surrounded by ancient walls, characterized by its overshadowing exclusive buildings, its Romanesque churches, the
Etruscan Academy Museum of Cortona (MAEC) with its Etruscan and Roman treasures and its breathtaking narrow

And we can’t forget to mention the beautiful valley of Siena and the Val d’Orcia, declared a UNESCO World
Heritage Site for its landscapes. Pienza, Montepulciano, Montalcino, San Gimignano are other typical Tuscan suburbs
that are worthwhile to visit.