One of the defining monuments of Arezzo is the massive fortress that sits at the top of town on Colle San Donato. It is a fine example of 16th century defensive architecture. There was a small citadel here in the 9th and 10th century that was destroyed in 1343. With the constant city-state wars, it was rebuilt and destroyed again in the wake.

Under Florentine rule, the decision was made to build a new castle under the modern fortifications model, and the design was given to Giuliano and Antonio Sangallo. It was constructed between 1538-1560, on the behest of Cosimo I de' Medici, and completed by Antonio Sangallo the Younger. While the previous fortress had a rough pentagonal footprint that followed the landscape, this one was built as a trapezoid shape, with bastions. The imposing castle incorporated some of the remains of the previous structure.

The fortezza was given to the city of Arezzo in 1893 and turned into a garden and attraction. The panoramic spot lets you enjoy stellar views of the city, the Arno valley and the surrounding countryside, along with the mountains beyond. It is well worth the walk uphill to enjoy this piece of history...with a view!

Been there? Done that? Share your experience and tips!

Haven't visited yet? Have questions about Fortezza Medicea and Park Arezzo? Ask them here!

Address in Arezzo:

Viale Bruno Buozzi.

Ph. (+39) 057 540 1945.

Have a look at our holiday homes in Arezzo.