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Castiglion Fiorentino: a medieval town

Castiglion Fiorentino is an important town in the Val di Chiana situated on a hill 345 meters high, between Arezzo and Cortona. The village has remote Etruscan origins, it is shown by the remains of Etruscan walls found at the Cassero. During the late archaic and the Hellenistic periods in the area of Castiglion Fiorentino stood an important Etruscan settlement.

The actual town began to form in the eleventh century, first as a fief of the Bourbon del Monte, then, from the thirteenth century, as a possession of Arezzo, with the name of Castiglion Aretino. Arezzo fortified the village with a mighty wall. Between 1345 and 1369 Castiglion Fiorentino came under the control of Perugia. In 1384 it became a permanent possession of the republic of Florence, which changed its name to Castiglion Fiorentino.

WHAT TO SEE

The village is now dominated by the medieval Cassero (11th-12thcentury), around which there is the old town that is enclosed within the walls of the thirteenth century. Castiglion Fiorentino has a well preserved historical center where stands the central square where are the Town Hall (16th century, but partly reconstructed in 1935) and the Vasari Loggia (16th century) from which there is a beautiful view of the valley below.

Among the most interesting religious buildings are the Romanesque church of San Francesco of the thirteenth century, the Church of Our Lady of Consolation (Madonna della Consolazione, early seventeenth century), the former church of San Lazzo in Santo Stefano dating from the mid-fourteenth century and is full of frescoes, and the so-called Three Churches (Tre Chiese): the Pieve Vecchia (mid-fifteenth century), the Collegiate Church of San Giuliano (19th century) and the Church of Jesus (Chiesa del Gesù) of the sixteenth century. A little more than 1 km from the center of town is the Church of Rétina (Pieve di Rétina), dating from the twelfth or thirteenth century, but of Renaissance appearance.

Among the museums are to visit: the Art Gallery, which is located inside of the Fortress, the museum includes the Church of Sant’Angelo (16th  century), which is incorporated within the Cassero, and home to some masterpieces of medieval goldsmith. In the so called Coro della Monaca is the painting collection of the Art Gallery (Pinacoteca), with works by Bartolomeo della Gatta. Also interesting is the visit to the Archaeological Museum (Museo Archeologico), located in the Praetorian Palace (Palazzo Pretorio), here are exhibited by the remains of the Etruscan period of the city and there is also an archaeological underground path.

In the direction of Cortona a few kilometers from the town is the picturesque Castle of Montecchio Vesponi.

HOW TO GET

Castiglion Fiorentino is located in Eastern Tuscany between Arezzo and Cortona, on a small hill in the heart of the Val di Chiana.

Car: To reach Castiglion Fiorentino, coming from Florence or from Rome along the A1 motorway Milan-Rome, exit at Monte San Savino. At the crossing then takes to the right towards Castiglion Fiorentino, which is reached after about 14 km.

Road distances: Cortona 11 km, Arezzo 18 km, Perugia 62 km, Siena 70 km, Florence 94 km, Rome 211 km.

Bus: Castiglion Fiorentino is connected by bus services of Etruria Mobilità Scarl with Arezzo, Siena, Cortona, Monte San Savino and Foiano della Chiana.

Train: Castiglion Fiorentino railway station is located along the railway line Florence-Rome. The station is served by daily connections with local trains. Intercity stop at nearby stations Arezzo (18 km) and Terontola (18 km). The ticket station is open Monday to Friday from 6.40 to 13.20.

Air: The nearest airport is Florence-Peretola Amerigo Vespucci, which is located 111 km away. The airport of Pisa Galileo Galilei is 194 km away.

Castiglion Fiorentino

Castiglion Fiorentino

USEFUL INFORMATION

Weekly Market: Friday Weekly Market, every Friday from 8.00 to 13.30.

Tourist Information Offices – Piazza Risorgimento, 19, Phone 0575 658 278

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • AA. VV. “Toscana” Guide Rosse Touring Club Italiano, 2007
  • Gallorini, Santino “Castiglion Fiorentino, dalle origini etrusco-romane al 1384” Calosci, Cortona, 1992
  • cur. Massini, S.”Pinacoteca comunale e museo della Pieve di San Giuliano di Castiglion Fiorentino. Guida alla visita dei musei e alla scoperta del territorio” Ediz. multilingue, Polistampa, 2012
  • Taddei, Gabriele “Castiglion Fiorentino fra XIII e XV secolo. Politica, economia e società di un centro minore toscano” Olschki, 2009
  • cur. Torriti, P. “Sacra mirabilia. Tesori da Castiglion Fiorentino” EDIFIR, 2010

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About Marco Ramerini

Ho pubblicato alcuni scritti sulla storia dell'esplorazione geografica e del colonialismo, in particolare sulle isole delle spezie, le Molucche. Ho ideato alcuni siti internet tra cui il sito www.colonialvoyage.com dedicato alla storia dell'esplorazione geografica e al colonialismo. Poi il sito www.borghiditoscana.net dedicato alla mia regione: la Toscana. Oltre che a molti altri siti di viaggi in diverse lingue. Viaggiatore, scrittore di guide turistiche online, scrivo di storia, fotografo e sono appassionato di astronomia.
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