Foiano della ChianaLoretta Gallorini

For all those who are searching for places of interest, rich in emotions and continuous discoveries, Foiano della Chiana represents a true and unique mine of curiosities and itineraries. In a central place on the most typical of Tuscan landscapes, Foiano reveals itself slowly, slowly to the eye of the visitor, but strikes immediately for its component harmony of its urbanistic arrangements, vaguely in the form of a heart, with the point turned towards its “appendage” Pozzo della Chiana. Its urban system is unique in the province of Arezzo and you may admire its singolarity by walking along the old wall, between narrow alleys and small squares.

Dominating the town is the soaring majestic torre civica (civic tower), erected at the end of the 700s. In the principal piazza of the town, there is the splendid palazzo pretorio, ancient dwelling of the podestà and today the seat of the Town Hall. Opposite this is the Palazzo con Logge (known as Monte Pio), erected in the XVI century, as a hunting residence for Fernando II deMedici. The palazzo actually houses the Archivio storico (historical archives), the Biblioteca (library) and the Fototeca (photographic library) “Furio Del Furia”, relative to the work of the Foianese pharmasict of the same name.

Nearby is the Chiesa delle S.S. Trinità, in the characteristic design of a Greek cross with central cupola of an octagonal form, decorated with majolica polychrome. Inside there is a remarkable Trinità del Pomarancio and a statua col Cristo risorto (statue of the resurrected Christ), which is used in processions during Easter. For its Renaissance style, the architectural simplicity and the sobriety of the inside, this church may be considered an authentic jewel.

Of undisputed beauty is the Teatro Garibaldi and the Palazzo Neri-Serneri (XVII century), entirely built in brick, with portals in pietra serena. The Theatre, named after Garibaldi, who stopped at Foiano in 1867, has a curious design in the shape of a horse and ceiling rich in frescoes. On the exterior on the first wall circle, the distinguished Collegiata di S.Martini one of the largest churches of Valdichiana built in 700s and rich in remarkable works of art. The apse, boasts an organ with 2004 reeds. Thanks to other works, preserved in various churches, Foiano may be defined as a true museum.

In the neighbourhood we mention the sixteenth century Fattoria Granducale, ancient residence of Lorrainer dukes, and the Tempio di S.Stefano, designed by Vasari on the occasion of the victory of the battle of Scannagallo.

What characterizes Foiano, other than the infinity beauty of its artistic jewels, is an important and ancient folk-lore festival, known and appreciated throughout Italy: the Carnevale. This festival is composed of a parade of floats, created by the four quarters of the town. On the last Sunday of carnival there is a masked parade in front of a jury who nominate the winner and then proceed to the cremation of the cheerful King, symbol of the feast.

Widely celebrated at Foiano, the Settimana Santa (holy week), with the remembrance of the Ressurection of Jesus with processions through the streets of the town and bursts of firecrackers. There has been constant activity for some years with the Teatro Poplare dArte who organize educational courses on theatre and by shows staged throughout the course of the year.

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Pozzo della Chiana

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