The Fortezza Medicea is located at the top of the Colle di San Donato, on the outskirts of the center of Arezzo. Thanks to its high position, one has a magnificent panorama of the entire city from the fortress. It was built in the 16th century. Napoleon had it partially destroyed three centuries later.
Fortezza Medicea Arezzo
Address, opening times and admission
The telephone number of the Fortezza Medicea is +39 05753770. It is open from 07.00 to 20.00 (from November to March from 10.30 to 18.00). Closed: Monday. Entrance fee (2020): 3 Euro.
History and description
The fortress was built in the 16th century by order of Cosimo I de Medici. The architects were Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane and Nanni Ungheri. Construction lasted from 1538 to 1560. In order to build the citadel, the existing one had to be demolished. However, part of the older citadel (10th century) was incorporated into the new building. Of this construction, two bastions along with parts of the intermediate defensive wall remain.
The building had three entrance gates. Surrounding it was a wide moat. It was part of the defensive wall around Arezzo and was pentagonal in shape. Because the terrain is very irregular, not all sides are the same length.
The fortress was in use until the end of the 18th century. In the 19th century, Napoleon had his soldiers partially demolish it.
After a new restoration, the fortress was returned to the city on June 24, 2016. Excavations during this restoration revealed ruins of the 11th century San Donato in Cremona Church. They also found a mosaic floor of a building dating back to Roman times.