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Arezzo's History

Arezzo’s land was probably lived in since Paleolithic era, about 200 thousand years before Christ. In 1863 was found a skull that confirm this hypothesis.

Archaic Era
The first settlement core, was probably made by the Umbri population and it was located in the current area of the Dome, Prato and Fortezza. The city in this period was the commercial centre between the bordering regions. The bronzes statues of Aratore, Minerva and Chimera are dated to this years.

Etruscan Epoch
Certainly there was an etruscan settlement: Arretium was one of the twelve main etruscan city, one “Lucumonia”, the etruscan kings’residence. In this era the power of the city rose, there was an icrease of commerce and a coin’s brand. We have a lot of finds going back at this epoch: some stony surrounded walls and the morphology of the city itself.

Roman Epoch
The battle of Vadimone lake, between etruscan and roman populations, was the end of Arretium and the beginning of the roman domain in Arezzo’s territories, but is only after the umpyeenth insurrection, soothed by the Terenzio Varrone consul, that Arezzo's history aligns with the one of Rome. A thing of particular importance is the industry of the coral vases, that was born in this period and that assumed a international importance. The Roman decadence of the Arezzo is due to two factors: first, the crisis of the industry of the coral vases, then the introduction of the Cassia Nova, a new street of communication that replaced the Cassia and that favoured the centers of the enclosures, Siena and Florence. The diffusion of the Christianity and the consequent persecutions, made the Pionta's catacombs full of faithful, simultaneously also the first martyrs fell: S.Lorentino and S.Pergentino, that was buried to the side of Castro torrent, and S.Donato, the second Arezzo bishop, beheaded on August 7th, 304 a.C.

During the barbaric invasions Arezzo, thanks to his strategic position, was stuck from longobard, francs and germans, that allocated here and granted big privileges to the town. The Pionta, during the Middle Ages, became the center of the political and religious Arezzo's power, the bishop obtained also the earl charge. In this place Guido Monaco lived and studied music. The revival of the town happened in 1098 with the institution of the first consul of Arezzo's council, in that period, one of the first universities of the world, was born in Arezzo. The early Middleage was the most thriving epoch in the town, it was centre of culture and power, the nobility began to allocated here and to build the tower-houses, Arezzo counted about 20.000 inhabitants and it was subdivided in 4 quarters (Porta Crucifera, Porta S.Andrea, Porta del Foro e Porta del Borgo). In 1200 thanks to the birth of confraternities and associations, the most beautiful buildings in the town were built: The cathedral, the Pieve of S.Maria, S.Domenico, S.Francesco, the Palace Of The Council and its tower. Simultaneously Arezzo undertaked several struggles against the near towns, particularly, against Siena and Florence. The two towns in 1288 joined and besieged Arezzo, that resisted and it was able to catch up the Siena's fugitives in Pieve al Toppo, earning the victory. The next year Firenze made a coalition with the Guelfi of Tuscany and they win against Arezzo in the Campaldino's battle. To raise the town again from the aftereffects of the defeat the bishop Guido Tarlati intervened, a big political value man that was named governator all his life long and he became one of the most powerful bulwarks of the Ghibellina part of Italy. When the bishop Tarlati died, Arezzo plumped down in decadence, because of internal struggles between nobles and population, and between the Guelfe and Ghibelline families, to accentuate this uncomfortable situation there were the Compagnie di Ventura's slaughters. Arezzo, too exhaust, fell in the Filorence's hands, that bought it for 40 thousand florins.

Modern Epoch
The Florence's domain created uneasiness situations for many Arezzo's families, that not succeeding in the struggle for the independence they left the town, and doing so they contributed to the slow development of the economy. But in this period, many buildings of big value like the S.Maria loggia of the graces, the Palace Of The Fraternita Of The Laymans, the Palace Of The Loggias and the Fortress were built. In 1600 the economic situation became worse: the commercial activities in town, were not able to have a development, and in countryside the Latifondo was not allowing the growth of the economy. Arezzo's inhabitants never ceased fighting against the Florence's domain, but at the same time they were also faithful citizens, in this contradictory attitude Arezzo was taken in the Dukedom of Tuscany.

Conteporary Arezzo
The domain of the Asburgo-Lorena (1737-1853) was characterized by a discontent climate, caused by the Latifondo's reforms. However, for Arezzo's inhabitants it was not the only problem, in those years in fact, powerful earthquake shocks were registered in town, Arezzo was pratically put below-above. In this occasion a miracle took place: a terracotta's Vierge blackened by the smoke of a Via Vecchia's tavern, suddenly became white and bright, since this moment on, the Arezzo's inhabitants will turn their prayers to the "Madonna of the comfort". Further economic crises and the occupation of the town by Frenches, made the Aretini rise and shout "Viva Maria" in the roads of the town. The insurrection caused further slaughters by Frenches. The Restaurazione took back the Granducato Lorenese to the Arezzo's guide, but only up when Arezzo's inhabitants expressed for become part of the Sabaudo Kingdom. In 1900, Arezzo's history aligns with the one of the others Italian towns for the two world conflicts, the working struggles, the resistance and the rebuilding. In the half of '900, Arezzo economy has a period of big rising: gold's industries became the economic symbol of the city.



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