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Comune di Arezzo
Piazza Grande; from left: Santa Maria della Pieve, the old Tribunal Palace and the Lay Fraternity
Piazza Grande; from left: Santa Maria della Pieve, the old Tribunal Palace and the Lay Fraternity
Flag of Arezzo
Coat of arms of Arezzo
Location of Arezzo
Arezzo is located in Italy
Location of Arezzo in Tuscany
Arezzo is located in Tuscany
Arezzo (Tuscany)
Coordinates: 43°27′48″N 11°52′42″E / 43.46333°N 11.87833°E / 43.46333; 11.87833Coordinates: 43°27′48″N 11°52′42″E / 43.46333°N 11.87833°E / 43.46333; 11.87833
ProvinceArezzo (AR)
Frazionisee list
 • MayorAlessandro Ghinelli (FI)
 • Total386.25 km2 (149.13 sq mi)
296 m (971 ft)
 (1 January 2020)[2]
 • Total100,734
 • Density260/km2 (680/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0575
Patron saintSaint Donatus of Arezzo
Saint day7 August
WebsiteOfficial website

Arezzo (UK: /əˈrɛts, æˈr-/ ə-RET-soh, arr-ET-soh, US: /ɑːˈr-/ ah-RET-soh,[3] Italian: [aˈrettso])[a] is a city and comune in Italy and the capital of the province of the same name located in Tuscany. Arezzo is about 80 kilometres (50 miles) southeast of Florence at an elevation of 296 metres (971 ft) above sea level. As of 2022, the population was about 97,000.[6]

Known as the city of gold and of the high fashion, Arezzo was home to artists and poets such as Giorgio Vasari, Guido of Arezzo and Guittone d'Arezzo and in its province to Renaissance artist Michelangelo.[7] In the artistic field, the city is famous for the frescoes by Piero della Francesca inside the Basilica of San Francesco, and the crucifix by Cimabue inside the Basilica of San Domenico.[8] The city is also known for the important Giostra del Saracino, a game of chivalry that dates back to the Middle Ages.[9]


For a chronological guide, see Timeline of Arezzo.

Described by Livy as one of the Capita Etruriae (Etruscan capitals), Arezzo (Aritim in Etruscan) is believed[by whom?] to have been one of the twelve most important Etruscan cities—the so-called Dodecapolis, part of the Etruscan League. Etruscan remains establish that the acropolis of San Cornelio, a small hill next to that of San Donatus, was occupied and fortified in the Etruscan period. There is other significant Etruscan evidence: parts of walls, an Etruscan necropolis on Poggio del Sole (still named "Hill of the Sun"), and most famously, the two bronzes, the "Chimera of Arezzo" (5th century BC) and the "Minerva" (4th century BC) which were discovered in the 16th century and taken to Florence. Increasing trade connections with Greece also brought some elite goods to the Etruscan nobles of Arezzo: the krater painted by Euphronios c. 510 BC depicting a battle against Amazons (in the Museo Civico, Arezzo 1465) is unsurpassed.[citation needed]

Roman pottery sherd from Arezzo, Latium, found at Arikamedu in India (1st century AD), an evidence of the role of the city in Roman trade with India through Persia during the Augustan period. Musée Guimet.
Roman pottery sherd from Arezzo, Latium, found at Arikamedu in India (1st century AD), an evidence of the role of the city in Roman trade with India through Persia during the Augustan period. Musée Guimet.

Conquered by the Romans in 311 BC, Arretium became a military station on the via Cassia, the road by which Rome expanded into the basin of the Po. Arretium sided with Marius (157 – 86 BC) in the Roman Civil War, and the victorious Sulla (c. 138 – 78 BC) planted a colony of his veterans in the half-demolished city, as Arretium Fidens ("Faithful Arretium"). The old Etruscan aristocracy was not extinguished: Gaius Cilnius Maecenas, whose name has become eponymous with "patron of the arts", came of the noble Aretine Etruscan stock. The city continued to flourish as Arretium Vetus ("Old Arretium"), the third-largest city in Italy in the Augustan period, well known in particular for its widely exported pottery manufactures, the characteristic moulded and glazed Arretine ware, bucchero-ware of dark clay and red-painted vases (the so-called "coral" vases).

Around 261 AD the town council of Arezzo dedicated an inscription to its patron L. Petronius Taurus Volusianus. See that article for discussion of the possible political/military significance of Volusianus's association with the city.

In the 3rd to 4th century Arezzo became an episcopal seat: it is one of the few cities whose succession of bishops are known by name without interruption to the present day, in part because the bishops operated as the feudal lords of the city in the Middle Ages. The Roman city was demolished, partly in the course of the Gothic War and of the late-6th-century invasion of the Lombards, partly dismantled, as elsewhere throughout[citation needed] Europe. The Aretines re-used the stones for fortifications. Only the amphitheater remained.

The commune of Arezzo threw off the control of its bishop in 1098 and functioned as an independent city-state until 1384. Generally Ghibelline in tendency, it opposed Guelph Florence. In 1252 the city founded its university, the Studium. After the rout of the Battle of Campaldino (1289), which saw the death of Bishop Guglielmino Ubertini [it], the fortunes of Ghibelline Arezzo started to ebb, apart from a brief period under the Tarlati family, chief among them Guido Tarlati, who became bishop in 1312 and maintained good relations with the Ghibelline party. The Tarlati sought support in an alliance with Forlì and its overlords, the Ordelaffi, but failed: Arezzo yielded to Florentine domination in 1384; its individual history became subsumed in that of Florence and of the Medicean Grand Duchy of Tuscany. During this period Piero della Francesca (c. 1415–1492) worked in the church of San Francesco di Arezzo producing the splendid frescoes, recently restored, which are Arezzo's most famous works. Afterwards the city began an economical and cultural decay, which ensured the preservation of its medieval centre.

In the 18th century the neighbouring marshes of the Val di Chiana, south of Arezzo, were drained[by whom?] and the region became less malarial. At the end of the-century French troops led by Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Arezzo, but the city soon turned (1799–1800) into a resistance base against the invaders with the "Viva Maria" movement, winning the city the role of provincial capital. In 1860 Arezzo became part of the Kingdom of Italy.

City buildings suffered heavy damage during World War II; the Germans made a stand in front of Arezzo early in July 1944 and fierce fighting ensued before the British 6th Armoured Division, assisted by New Zealand troops of the 2nd New Zealand Division, liberated the town 16 July 1944. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Arezzo War Cemetery, where 1,266 men are buried, is located to the north-west of the city.[10]

Pope Benedict XVI visited Arezzo and two other Italian municipalities on May 13, 2012.[11]


Arezzo is set on a steep hill, rising from the floodplain of the River Arno. In the upper part of the town are the cathedral, the town hall and the Medici Fortress (Fortezza Medicea), from which the main streets branch off towards the lower part as far as the gates. The upper part of the town maintains its medieval appearance despite the addition of later structures. Arezzo's city proper is near the high risk areas for earthquakes, but located in a transitional area where the risk for severe earthquakes is much lower than in nearby Umbria and Abruzzo, albeit it is slightly more vulnerable than Florence.[12] Notable earthquakes are still a very rare phenomenon in the province, with a 4.6 quake 25 kilometres (16 mi) to its north-east that claimed no lives on 26 November 2001 the exception.[13]


Climate data for Arezzo
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 17.4
Average high °C (°F) 9.1
Daily mean °C (°F) 4.5
Average low °C (°F) 0.0
Record low °C (°F) −20.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 46.6
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 6.9 6.8 6.9 9.4 9.0 6.9 3.8 4.8 6.6 8.3 9.0 7.6 86
Source 1: Servizio Meteorologico [14]
Source 2: Ogimet [15]


See also: List of mayors of Arezzo




In popular culture

Main sights

Piazza Grande
Piazza Grande
Aerial view
Aerial view
City wall
City wall
The Vasari Loggia on Piazza Grande
The Vasari Loggia on Piazza Grande
Cathedral of Arezzo
Cathedral of Arezzo
The Communal Palace in Arezzo
The Communal Palace in Arezzo
Church of San Domenico
Church of San Domenico
Santa Maria della Pieve
Santa Maria della Pieve
Cimabue's Crucifix in the church of San Domenico, 1265–1268
Cimabue's Crucifix in the church of San Domenico, 1265–1268
The Tarlati polyptych by Pietro Lorenzetti, 1320, at Santa Maria della Pieve; includes a depiction of Donatus of Arezzo (far left)
The Tarlati polyptych by Pietro Lorenzetti, 1320, at Santa Maria della Pieve; includes a depiction of Donatus of Arezzo (far left)
Roman amphitheatre
Roman amphitheatre

Piazza Grande

The Piazza Grande is the most noteworthy medieval square in the city, opening behind the 13th century Romanesque apse of Santa Maria della Pieve. Once the main marketplace of the city, it is currently the site of the Giostra del Saracino ("Joust of the Saracen"). It has a sloping pavement in red brick with limestone geometrical lines. Aside from the apse of the church, other landmarks of the square include:




Notable people

See Category:People from Arezzo, which includes people actually born in town.

Twin towns – sister cities

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Italy

Arezzo is twinned with:

See also


  1. ^ Latin: Arretium[4] [arˈreːti.ũː], also Aretium [aːˈreːti.ũː];[5] Etruscan: 𐌀𐌓𐌉𐌕𐌉𐌌, romanized: Aritim.


  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "GeoDemo". 2019.
  3. ^ Jones, Daniel (2011). Roach, Peter; Setter, Jane; Esling, John (eds.). "Arezzo". Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (18th ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-15255-6.
  4. ^ Glare, P. G. W., ed. (2012). Oxford Latin Dictionary (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 190.
  5. ^ Gaffiot, Félix (1934). Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français (in French). Paris: Librairie Hachette. p. 158. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  6. ^ "Arezzo (AR)". (in Italian). Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  7. ^ Pintus, Marta (2022-01-28). "Oro aretino: dagli etruschi a oggi, una tradizione millenaria d'artistico splendore". TuscanyPeople (in Italian). Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  8. ^ "Chiesa di San Domenico e crocifisso di Cimabue". Terre di Piero della Francesca (in Italian). Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  9. ^ "La Storia – Giostra del Saracino" (in Italian). Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  10. ^ "AREZZO WAR CEMETERY". CWGC. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  11. ^ Sala Stampa Archived November 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Which areas of Italy have the highest risk of earthquakes?". The Local Italy. 28 October 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  13. ^ "M 4.6 Central Italy 2001-11-26". Earthquakes Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  14. ^ "AREZZO" (PDF). Servizio Meteorologico. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  15. ^ "Decoded synop data". Ogimet. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  16. ^ "Sister Cities". City of Norman. Archived from the original on 2015-04-17. Retrieved 2012-01-07.


Further reading