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Arezzo

Arezzo (ärĕt´tsō), city (1991 pop. 91,626), capital of Arezzo prov., Tuscany, central Italy. It is an agricultural trade center and has machine, clothing, gold, and jewelry industries. Arezzo was an Etruscan town, later became a Roman military station and colony, and was made (11th cent.) a free commune. Siding with the Ghibellines, it was defeated (1289) at Campaldino by Florence, to which it passed definitively in 1384. In Roman times the famous red-clay Arretine vases were made there. Arezzo was a center of learning and the arts in the Middle Ages; Guido d'Arezzo, Petrarch, Aretino, and Vasari were born there. The city retains much of its medieval character. Noteworthy buildings include the Gothic cathedral (1286–1510); the Gothic Church of San Francesco (14th cent.), with frescoes of the Legend of the Holy Cross executed (1452–66) by Piero della Francesca; the Romanesque Church of Santa Maria della Pieve (1330); Bruni Palace (15th cent.), which now houses an art gallery and museum; and Vasari's mansion (decorated by Vasari in 1540).

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