Piero della Francesca in Arezzo
one of the Etruscan capitals
Arezzo is situated in the confluence of three valleys which together with Valtiberina form the whole province. Arezzo was born before the Etruscan time and it was one of the first Etruscan town. During the Roman time, Arezzo became a symbol of the Roman expansion in the North. Arezzo is also an important Medieval centre, so, today people commemorate it with the Giostra del Saracino.
Details of the Tour
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In Arezzo two are the obligatory stops in order to admire the stilistic genious of the “Biturgense” master: the Cathedral, which is a sort of casket to the unicum of Maddalena and the Bacci Chapel in the Basilica of St. Francis, which collects the extraordinary cicle of frescoes of the Legend of the True Cross, one of the most important testimony of the Italian rinascimental painting.
A single-nave building designed to reflect the practice typical of the mendicant orders of the day, construction on the Basilica of St Francis started in the second half of the thirteenth century and was completed in the fourteenth. The campanile was added in the sixteenth century. Painstakingly detailed restoration work has almost entirely re-established the original austere simplicity of the grandiose single-nave interior, which is flanked along the right by niches containing fourteenth-century and Renaissance ornamentation and along the left by stark Gothic chapels.
While you are inside the basilica, take the time to admire the stained glass by Marcillat, the canvases and frescos by Spinello and other rare and splendid pieces, such as the large crucifix panted by a contemporary of Cimabue, and make sure you go to the last side chapel on the left, to see the funerary monument to the jurist Roselli, which dates to the first half of the fifteenth century. But the basilica owes its fame above all to one of the masterpieces of all Renaissance painting: the Bacci Chapel, with its cycle of frescos of the Legend of the True Cross, painted by Piero della Francesca between 1452 and 1466. The chapel belonged to the wealthy Bacci family of merchants in Arezzo, who commissioned its decoration from the Florentine painter Bicci di Lorenzo in 1447.
Churches and Art in Arezzo
There are even other churches and buildings in Arezzo which had a great importance for the historical and artistic development of the town. The church of St. Domenico has a simple structure because of its unique nave.
Piero della Francesca at the Museo Civico
The museum is situated in an old palace of Sansepolcro, the seat of the municipality until the 60s. The present aspect of the building has resulted from a number of architectural changes, which began during the 14th century.
Cortona and the Academy Museum
Cortona is the main turistic and cultural center belonging to Arezzo's Valdichiana area. In antiquity it used to be a powerful city-state belonging to the Etruscans' dodecapolis. Today it offers a wide range of artistic points of interest.
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