As soon as you arrive in Arezzo, you see the “Matitone” or Pencil, as it’s known by the people of Arezzo. This bell tower of the Cathedral of Arezzo is undisputedly the central figure in any panoramic view of Arezzo. It has a hexagonal shape and its tip seems to reach up to draw a line in the sky. The bell tower is connected to the Cathedral of Arezzo, named after Saints Peter and Donald, which contains many treasures and represents one of the most beautiful Gothic monuments in Tuscany. The facade of the cathedral is the first of many masterpieces you’ll encounter as you begin your visit. As you enter the cathedral, you’ll come across a rainbow of colors that illuminate the entrance thanks to the stained-glass windows designed by Guillaume de Marcillat. To the left of the central nave, there is the fresco of Mary Magdalene by Piero della Francesca and the relics of Pope Gregory X, on the main altar sits the imposing marble Ark of Saint Donald, masterpiece of the 14th century which are complemented by beautiful frescoes and chapels, along the right nave.
The wooden choir and the painting depicting the Baptism of Christ are works of art by the 16th century artist and art historian Giorgio Vasari. In the 19th century, the cathedral became home to the Chapel of the Madonna del Conforto or “Virgin Mary of Comfort.” This Madonna is venerated by the people of Arezzo and every 15th of February for over 200 years, they have come to pay their respects to the image of the Madonna who saved Arezzo from the earthquake of 1796. Large glazed terracotta rays, produced by Andrea Della Robbia and the significant pictorial works of the great Masters of Neoclassicism Pietro Benvenuti, Luigi Sabatelli and Luigi Ademollo.
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