The Medicean Fortress of Arezzo


Jewel of Sixteenth century military architecture, the Medicean Fortress of Arezzo rises on the hill of San Donato.

A terrace overlooking the city, the Pratomagno and the Alpe di Catenaia. Several historical eras are mentioned in this exceptional sighting point, headquarters of the Forum for Etruscans and Romans. The first fortified citadel was built here between the Ninth and Eleventh centuries. The remains of the majestic Church of Saint Donato in Cremona belongs to that period. Porta Sant’Angelo is all that remains of the ancient Cassero wanted by the Bishop and Count Guido Tarlati in the Fourteenth century.

Star plant, suitable for the hill and five ramparts. The present Fortress was designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, the architect of the Fortezza da Basso in Florence. At that time the Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo I de’ Medici also ruled over Arezzo. Palaces, churches and towers near the area of the works were demolished. In this way the Florentines, enclosed in the Fortress, could more easily quell artillery blows and possible revolts of the rebellious Aretinians. To fill that void Il Prato, the beautiful park that welcomes the Antique Fair in September, was established.

The bastion of the Spina, triangular and pointed, looks over the city.  It is the only one which does not have the heart shape, typical of the Medici defensive structures. A large moat surrounded the complex which could be accessed from three doors. Guardian of stone and treasure chest of archaeological riches, today the Fortress is a place of culture and relaxation. Location of art exhibitions and events and destination of walks with breathtaking views of Casentino. A quiet and charming gem on the roof of Arezzo.

The Medicean Fortress of Arezzo

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