Together with Poti, Lignano is the peculiar mount of Arezzo. From south, the mountain acts like a sentinel, watching over the city and on it lies its biggest public park. The top, around 836 m, is a natural terrace from which it is possible to have a 360° view of the Chiana valley, the Apennines, Casentino, Upper Arno valley.
Favalto, Poti, Catenaia Alp, Falco and Falterona mounts, Pratomagno, Amiata and Cetona, Height of st. Egidio and reaching even a part of the Trasimeno lake. In every direction, especially on days with clear sky, nothing escapes the view from Lignano.
With the tendency of castle-building during the Middle Ages and the swamping of the Chiana valley, the south-western part of Lignano was inhabited for centuries by the population migrated from the plains that had become unsafe and unhealthy, this can be seen by visiting the small hamlets from Olmo to Vitiano that all have a historical centre uphill.
Since the 16th century, as the draining of swamps continued, the mountain was almost abandoned, even though the area was still used as a pasture area that led to the depletion of these lands, alongside the uncontrolled exploitation of the woods. During the 1800s, Lignano was almost without any tall vegetation.
In 1914, the vicar of Rigutino, don Ferruccio Bigi, received praise from the national association Pro Montibus et Sylvis, which, at that time, promoted reforestation throughout Italy. The vicar was carrying, with the participation of the municipality of Arezzo, a substantial reforestation in the area closer to the hamlet; this project was continued in the 1920s and 1930s.
During the 2nd World War, Lignano became a battlefield, especially during the first half of July 1944. The Nazis took the mountain to try and stop the advance of the Allies, who were freeing the cities, towns and hamlets in the Chiana valley and wanted to free Arezzo as well. The turning point was on the 12th of July when the bombing happened and the New Zealand and Indian soldiers attacked hand-to-hand, thus leading to the retreat of the Nazis from the mountain, on the 15th of July. Even today, walking towards the peak of the mountain, it is possible to see some emplacements made with stones.
After 10 years of working on it, on the 10th of May 1975, the Municipal Park of Lignano was open. It is possible to reach it by bike and on foot via different small paths. It is possible to reach it by car going from Rigutino to the parking lot near Podere Rigutinelli where it is possible to find a rest stop in what once was a farmhouse, tables, barbecue area, playground and a botanic garden with a small zoo.
The panoramic road goes further up, reaching another picnic area, near the point called “Le cinque vie”, from which it is possible to pass and go towards Gragnone and the Bagnoro valley. To the right it is possible to reach Frugnolo, and to the left the road leads to the top of Lignano mountain. From here to the top of the mountain there is a “Via Crucis” at the end of which there is a metal cross placed in 1990 by the parish of Rigutino (from 1974 to 1990 there was a wooden cross). The bas-relief on stone by Lamberto Giusti with the “Madonna of Lignano” was made in 1986.
Along the slopes of Lignano mount there are lots of historical small towns that are part of the municipality of Arezzo. On the Chiana valley side of the mountain there are Pieve a Quarto, Sant’Andrea a Pigli, Policiano, Rigutino, Ottavo and Vitiano whereas on the side of the Bagnoro valley lie San Marco Villalba, Santa Firmina, Monastero, Bagnoro and Gragnone. Around Gragnone, it is possible to see one of the tunnels that were part of the defunct Railway of the Central Apennines, a railway that connected Arezzo and Fossato di Vico, in Umbria, whose remains are now overrun by nature and are a popular place for hikers.