Yesterday i visited the city of Arezzo with my classmates, since our project for Restoration Laboratory is the The Medici Fortress of the city. Arezzo is in Tuscany, about 80 km southeast of Florence, at an elevation of 296 m above sea level. In its time, was an important Etruscan town, that later was absorbed into the Roman Empire. A free republic as early as the 10th century, it supported the Ghibelline cause in the violent battles between pope and emperor and was eventually subjugated by Florence in 1384. It’s also the birthplace of the Renaissance poet Petrarch, who popularised the sonnet format, penning his verses in both Latin and Italian, and Giorgio Vasari, the prolific painter and architect who contributed so much to Renaissance.
The current fortress is a massive polygonal contruction included perfectly in the town walls. It was built under the direction of Antonio da Sangallo(the Younger) and Nanni Unghero between 1538 and 1560 on the site of the old medieval cittadella, which had been razed to the ground because it was in the way of the line of fire of the cannons, and englobed most of the trapezoid Forte designed by Giuliano and Antonio (the Elder) da Sangallo at the beginning of the 16th century.
The bulwarks of the east side (those of the Ponte di Soccorso and the Chiesa, which are recognizable because of their sticking out shape) and a few stretches of curtain are left from the older construction. The bastions of the west side (known as the Belvedere, Spina and Diacciaia), and the interior, consisting of an intricate network of by and large unpracticable rooms, tunnels, wells and air inlets situated at varius levels, belong to the new part. The Fortress, which originally had three gates and was surrounded by a wide moat, was in working order until the late eighteenth century. In the year 1800, it was partially dismantled by the French troops; on the west side we can still see the damage caused by a powerful explosive. (Source : tuscanypass)
So today our professor (who is doing the restoration work of the fortress), guided us inside this amazing fortress and we had the privilege to visit spaces that we would never get the chance to see! Parts of the project are almost finished, but during the course of excavations many more things came to surface that no one had predicted, leading in delay of the project. For example they discovered an 11th century church, and an enormous water tank!
The main goal is restoring the fortress and creating new functions for some parts of the building and the open spaces associated with it: the proposed new function, consistent with present-day requirements, was a modern-style museum that could use to advantage the buildings extraordinary cultural, didactic and theatrical potential.
And back to Florence! Have a nice weekend everyone!