Piazza Grande, Arezzo
Square in Arezzo
Piazza Grande stands as the beating heart of Arezzo and ranks among the most enchanting squares in all of Tuscany. Its allure lies in the harmonious juxtaposition of buildings from various historical epochs, creating a tableau reminiscent of a well-orchestrated stage setting.
Notably, this square’s unconventional shape stems from its location on a sloping terrain. During the Middle Ages, Piazza Grande bustled as the epicenter of the local market, while the Renaissance era elevated it to the focal point of civic life in the city. The square’s current appearance, characterized by the magnificent Palazzo delle Logge, can be traced back to the 16th century. This splendid edifice, designed by the talented Giorgio Vasari and completed in 1595, presides over the highest portion of Piazza Grande. It distinguishes itself through its architectural simplicity and the grandeur of its porch. In the lower section of the square, opposite Palazzo delle Logge, a collection of medieval stone structures, including the crenelated Torre Faggiolana from the 13th century, Palazzo Cofani-Brizzolari, and the tower residence of the Lappoli family, add to the square’s historic charm.
Among the gems adorning Piazza Grande, the Confraternita dei Laici palace stands out as a masterpiece. Its lower level boasts Gothic architecture, while the upper level showcases Renaissance design. Today, it houses the offices of the Public Prosecutor and the Court.
Piazza Grande has become the lively stage for the Saracen Joust, known as the “Giostra del Saracino,” a historic event that unfolds twice a year, in June and September. This captivating spectacle resurrects a chivalrous competition hailing from the Middle Ages, adding an exciting chapter to the square’s rich history.
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